Wednesday, January 2, 2013
The other day I left a comment on one of the blogs I frequently read and I mentioned that one of the reasons that I blog is to be a better ME. I have also written in the past that ultimately, if I want to LIVE then I MUST write and for accountability's sake among other reasons I must do it publicly. A blog is the perfect format for fulfilling this requirement...as it were.
Anyone who has ever read a few posts of Shell Shock Serenade will tell you that it is brutally and unhesitatingly honest. Yes it is a cliche....but I truly bear my soul for all to read in my posts here at Shell Shock. I will tell you in all honesty that I would rather not be so open and transparent but my experience has shown me that the only way for me to heal, to recover, to grow from the torment and horror of my past experience is to share it with others.
Obviously those memories, thoughts and feelings...if repressed and held inside are virtually like POISON to me. They eat me alive from the inside out. Ultimately that road lead me to suicide.
But there is an equally important reason I share this information the way I do...It very possibly helps others when I do. There is a critical benefit in taking something so hurtful, so negative and achieving something positive with it. I found early on in my recovery that I could not have recovery without sharing my experience, strength and hope with others. In recovery circles we have a saying that goes we cannot keep it (sobriety) unless we give it away.
When I first sobered up this made absolutely NO sense at all. Today it is crystal clear to me. My past life was totally based on SELF. And as my alcoholism/addiction continued to progress, the very nature of it is selfish because your world revolves around one thing and one thing only...staying intoxicated and high. This way I thought I was avoiding the pain. Little did I know that I was just adding to it.
The booze and drugs gave me a false sense of well being, that nothing could hurt me any longer. But at some point that all changed and the addiction became a prison of my own creation from which I could never seemingly escape!
As if my addiction/alcoholism in itself wasn't punishing enough...since the age of 12 I had been living with a horrifying little secret that I had been unsuccessfully trying to repress or make go away: I was beaten and gang raped by 3 grown men I had never seen before because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was already an addict at age 12 and my need for drugs took me somewhere I never should have been. And boy did I pay a price for that mistake...
I couldn't even begin tonight to explain all the repercussions that being sexually assaulted had on me physically, psychologically, emotionally and spiritually. The stigma of being male and the implication that somehow I must be gay and deserved it somehow loomed large. And though I am not gay, this experience has certainly made me more accepting and understanding to people who are different then I am. Perhaps that is one of the few positives that have come from this experience: I am much more sensitive to others...and I care so much more about people and how they feel.
For the most part, my recovery from addiction has been ongoing now for nearly 7 years. I would say that I honestly had done no real work on healing from rape since I had seen a trauma therapist in 1989 who diagnosed me with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and helped me admit for the first time to another person what had happened to me. Since thn I really had done nothing to help me heal and I believe now that I really regressed in a lot of ways.
By opening that can of worms and talking about it I made myself incredibly vulnerable but i did nothing to help me deal with the anger, self-hatred, rage, guilt, blame, etc that I had unleashed by my admission. I was seriously self-destructive because of this but I never saw it. I just felt that I lived on the edge and it was no surprise that this fed my addiction like a ravenous Lion.
Ans so that is basically where I am today. I am openly dealing with the sexual assault with therapy, spirituality and by honestly writing about the experience and what I have learned so I can share that all with others who are suffering.
But I still feel stigmatized...i still feel like a castaway, a total outsider. No matter how much I try I still feel different then everyone else. At church for example...I feel so uncomfortable...as if everyone knows what happened to me and judges me for it.Even though they are nice to me, they mock me and treat me as being something less then they are. This is a very common feeling for me and something I have had to fight and resist giving into each and every day.
Well that is my current "State Of Being" as it were. Though there are still painful steps that must be taken and dealt with each and every day...life is tolerable and even pretty good for the most pat
But let's face it...I will need to work through this sh*t each and every day and there will never be such a thing as a cure No just daily treatment of helping others, honesty, abstinence that keeps the Hell Hound Off my back. Such is the life I get to live but considering the alternative....I'll take it!