Warning: Major mind-dump follows. Read at your own risk.
So it's 2010. Big whoop.
I am in a funk. I have been for a couple of months now. Around Thanksgiving, for the past 2 years, I get....moody. Just weird. I have days when I shut down emotionally, and then I have days when I am a live wire, totally oversensitive and irrational about everything.
2 years ago, my Mamaw died right after Thanksgiving. And then, over the next two months, two sweet friends killed themselves. So now, the end of each year holds some pain that was never there before, and I'm not sure how to handle it.
And then there's January. Most people consider January to be all about new beginnings and a fresh start. They approach it with hope. Every year for the past decade, for me, January has been the starting line for what will be 6 months of...weird.
Between May 1994 and January 1999, I was raped by 6 different guys. And ever since then, something weird happens to me during those months of the year. I just get...weird. I don't really know how to explain it. It looks similar to the monthly hormonal imbalances that most girlies have, only it lasts for 5-ish months.
Well, now it seems to last from November to May. ugh.
I want to call it seasonal depression because it feels a bit like depression. A mild case, but enough to bother me and bother my husband. It probably bothers my kids too, although I really haven't noticed it affecting them. I call it weird because I can also be rolling on the floor laughing with my kids, my husband or with friends during these months. I can still see so much beauty and grace around me. I can experience God's love and mercy. I can be excited and have extreme contentment and joy some days. I can be out of my own skull and clock some serious time considering what others are going through and how I am in a position to help. When I was depressed before, I couldn't experience any of those happy feelings, and if I did, they were extremely fleeting, to the point where I'd think I'd imagined it.
Sexual sin has affected my life since I was 15. My own sins and the sins of others. I lost my virginity early and had no idea that that moment had opened the door for further sin. That I would find it impossible to be in a relationship with someone after that moment without the physical intimacy. That I would rush into that part way before I actually knew the person like I should before engaging in such an intimate experience. I had no idea how it would affect me and my future husband. I had no idea that it would later become the single thing that I felt I had to offer people, and so I gave it freely to gain friends and attention. I didn't realize that a reputation would follow that would be too much of a temptation for 6 guys to resist.
They'd all heard that I was....easy. And after the first few guys didn't find the cops banging down their down to arrest them, they figured out that I wasn't the kind of girl to talk about it afterwards either. In all honesty, I was an easy target. That doesn't place any blame on me. I wasn't asking for it. I didn't dress in a way or behave in a way that someone should expect that to happen. But I certainly wasn't doing myself any favors by continuing to give myself to strangers and by refusing to allow the police to seek justice for what had been done to me. (I heard later that one of the guys that had hurt me had hurt someone else as well. I felt overwhelmed with guilt for years because I had had the power at one point to have him punished for what he'd done to me.) I was so embarrassed and scared. I didn't want to have to give details of that night to the police (strangers, males), and I certainly didn't want to press charges and then have the guy come after me to have his revenge later.
I did actually go to the cops once. I found out that one of the guys who had hurt me was now dating a girl who I'd gone to high school with. I tried talking to her, warning her to be careful because he'd hurt me. But she didn't want to listen. She said that I didn't know him the way she did. So more than a year after it had happened, I pressed charges, hoping that it would stop him before he could hurt her. Because of how much time had passed, there was no longer any evidence, and he never had to do anything. He didn't even have to show up to court.
Usually I don't even think about the whole January through May weirdness until around April of each year, when I start to get concerned that I have been in this weird funk for a while. Then it dawns on me - 'OH! It's April. Now it all makes sense.' But this year, I have been anticipating the weirdness. I have been trying a new approach. I have been trying to think of ways to counter it before it hits.
I have considered counseling, psychotropic medicine, different prayers, books, bible studies, The Office/Arrested Development marathons... I just don't know what to do. In the past, I had hope that God would take this from me. But after a decade, I'm thinking He has other plans for me. I don't think He wants me to suffer. But I think He wants me to work for my healing. And in the process, I'm imagining that I will not only grow in my intimacy with God, but with my husband as well.
Honestly, this scares and excites me at the same time. Ben and I have had many cards stacked against us from day one. He has had to deal with an emotionally volatile or unavailable wife. He has had to learn how to handle those moments when I give in and offer sex when I don't want to because I'm scared that he'll leave me if I don't. He's had to deal with me getting terrified in 'the moment.' As you can imagine, it's not a pretty picture. But he has tried to be patient, and now, more than ever, he's willing to do whatever it takes to help me learn that God designed sex to be good. I have some really screwed up beliefs about it, as I'm sure you can imagine. Don't get me wrong - I don't necessarily think that sex is bad. I just have some serious wounds to heal from. If that's possible.
As embarrassing as this topic can get, if I stay silent about it, others might not realize that we can ask for help. That we can, at the very least, HOPE for better. I know that God could heal me with a wave of His hand, and that I'd never have to deal with this ever again. But He seems more interested in the growth that will occur DURING the healing process than with the actual healing itself.
Please pray. For me and Ben and all the relationships out there affected by this kind of trauma. It's not pretty. It's not easily fixed. and it takes lots of trust. Trust in my husband and in my Father in heaven. And as you can imagine, trust for a victim of rape is pretty impossible to give as it is.
If you have any suggestions/advise/kind comments, please share.