I Can't Handle That I Was Raped And It's Haunting Me

I Can't Handle That I Was Raped And It's Haunting Me

Lately, things have been hard.

Lately, things have been hard.

I don't know why or what changed, but I feel like my past is haunting me. Every thought I have goes back to me being raped. It's like no matter how hard I try, I can't let it go.

The odd thing is that I was fine. I didn't feel much about what happened unless it was near the time of year, or something reminded me of him. Maybe I repressed it all this time. Maybe I was in such a denial that it's finally hitting me. I don't know, but it's haunting me. I literally can't stop thinking about it and it follows me, everywhere I go.

I'm not thinking about it in an "oh, that thing that happened once," but rather it creeps into my mind in the most unexpected of moments, forcing all other thoughts from my mind. It takes the happiness away and brings pain. It takes all the good with it's cold, ghostly fingers and only leaves panic in its place.

I'm a pretty private person, so I never really told anyone except my boyfriend, the person I trust the most. Though I told him, I never went into detail (who'd want to hear about that) and I think I need to go into detail. I think it's catching up to me and I can't let it go anymore. I can't tell myself "it's fine, it's over" or "don't think about it, it doesn't bother you" because those lies are what got me to this point and now I need help.

Ignoring what happened no matter how much I want to, isn't the answer. Instead, I need to work through it, even if the first step is telling someone.

I know my fear is that if I say it - out loud - then it really, truly, irrevocably happened. There is no gong back or denial, but rather facing him and admitting that it happened, so that I can finally move away from it.

I can never forget or let it go, but I can learn to handle it better.

That starts with telling someone, from beginning to end, what happened. It also starts with me admitting that I'm not doing well. I'm not handling it well. I began to have bad thoughts again and be self-destructive, but in recognizing that I can stop myself before it gets too far.

It starts with me saying I need help and I'm getting bad again. It's not just thoughts, but touches that are haunting me. I feel it creep up on me like a ghost hell bent on getting its notice. It warps my mind, allowing the coldness to leak into my heart, turning it to ice. It looks me in the eyes as tears stream down my face, silent and haunting.

It's the look in my eyes that I see when looking in the mirror. It's the look of pain and knowledge that you can't escape and wish away. It's the quiet in my mind that allows echoes of the past to move into the forefront. It's my shirt moving over my head, reminding me of him. It's the hands that brush my skin, causing fear to steal my breath and the fear that my own hands are his.

The ghost is me. And I need to deal with it. I need to tell someone and get help so that I can be better again. I want to be better again. And getting better starts with admitting there is a problem.

My name is Cat. I was raped. I'm not handling it well anymore and I need help. I need to get better, even if that means facing the worst thing to ever happen to me.

If you were sexually assaulted or raped and need help, please contact 800.656.HOPE

Cover Image Credit: Zach Guinta / Unsplash

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The Wrong Name Game

That's not my name, but it's close enough.

I've been aware for many years that my name is not something people hear every day. And because of this, I decided to keep a mental checklist of the most common and exciting names people have come up with instead of asking me what mine is again, as well as responding to anything that sounds similar. Keep in mind that some of these incidents happened at Chick-fil-a because my voice has a lower tone and I'm naturally quiet. But I'm sure I'm not the only one who has had this problem.

Starting with the most common mess up, a lot of people have called me Audrey. And I understand why. Audrey is the famous, sporty cousin to Audra. Am I categorizing my name as the nerd or outcast? No. But you hear Audrey a lot more, and even see it on nicknacks, unlike my experience of being disappointed at gift shops.Therefore, it's my number one.

The next has happened at least five times, and I'm not sure how, but different people have come up with Audrea. Maybe they heard the 'a' at the end, and it clicked. If this was a semi-common name, I might understand, but I've never heard the name before. So, upon hearing this a second time, I figured someone had this name, and I just never went to school with someone with it. And every time I hear it now, I respond anyway.

Then there is the fact I've been called Ann. Not only is it shorter than my name, but it sounds nothing like it. As much as I love going to Chick-fil-a, this one was a shocker. I had to do a double-take before realizing that they were referencing to me. And after acting like it didn't matter, even though I was confused, this one immediately made my list.

The last one is I've seen on my friend's phones, apparently put in the day we exchanged numbers: Adura. According to one of my female friends, she never thought about changing it. And I don't insist either. I know it is on more than one of their phones. I've probably done the same to others when I took their pronunciation and used that to spell their names out. So, honestly, I can't be upset.

This slight issue is something I'll have to face my entire life, even if I hold adults to a higher standard than kids with what I go by. If my cousin could say it when she was barely school age, it's probably not that hard of a name. But that's my personal opinion, isn't it? Everyone has issues with their name in some way, and that will be a trend for the rest of time. I just have to live with it.

Cover Image Credit: unsplash.com

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Black Girl Magic

The Power of Women

2018 is the year of change. The old societal rules that have existed to keep people down can no longer exist. One group that has been affected is black women. As one of the most under-represented groups in society, this year has become about showcasing the power of black women.

The movement isn't about bringing down other women, in fact, the black girl movement has come in allegiance with the MeToo and TimesUp movements. Black women in Hollywood have rallied around each other and help each other grow and showcase their talents.

Every day now the world is sent into shock over another "black" film turning into just simply a "blockbuster" film. From Get Out to Black Panther, and most recently A Wrinkle In Time there is no denying that black people can make films that appeal to a greater audience.

The female characters played by black women in films become heroes to the next generation who can now see themselves as leaders, but these actresses don't stop representing black women at the end of the film they bring this power into their real lives.

Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira, two leading actresses in Black Panther, have continued to stand up and support other black women who are achieving great things.

Oprah Winfrey is one of the original icons for black girl magic because she was reaching success on tv and representing black women long before these movements.

Now she uses her platform to help support other black women and grow the empire. From acting and producing A Wrinkle In Time the largest budgeted movie with a black female director to showcasing people on her show.

She has had everyone from Elain Welteroth, to Yara Shahidi, and even Michelle Obama appear on her show to talk about their struggles in life, how they identify themselves, and where they want to see change not just for black women but for all of society.

Sorry men but the world stand on the backs of women. Women have run the world from behind closed doors for too long and we are finally making our debut. All I can do is stay true to who I am and hope to one day achieve a small portion of that success. I want to be able to surround myself with a strong group of people who understand and believe in the power of black girl magic.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Tanja Heffner on Unsplash

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