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Last Year

by K. Jo in Story Time

It’s funny how change seems to happen so slowly, but then you look back, even just one year, and life is completely different.

Last year at this time, I was in deep shock, that would lead to depression, and a diagnosis of PTSD.

Last year, on September first, I was violently raped by someone I considered a close friend.

Last year, at this time, I was finally accepting medication to manage my PTSD symptoms and getting help, because (although I didn’t know it) I had had PTSD since I was six years old.

Last year, at this time, the furthest thing from my mind was building my art business. Hell, I could barely show up to work. I would find myself driving around aimlessly, lost in a state of surreal-ness that would eventually be labeled dissociation.

Last year, at this time, my roommate was freezing damp pads for me to use as ice-packs for my hoo-ha.

Last year, everything changed….

I got help.

Depression has plagued me for as long as I can remember. This was by far not my first sexual assault. The first I don’t even remember, other than a vague feeling about a man, night terrors, bed wetting, thumb sucking and a host of other childhood symptoms that I worked through on my own. Getting help was out of the question. Grown-ups were not to be trusted. Period. Except women. But even they had to be watched closely.

My parents loved me. They didn’t know. They didn’t know how to help, or even that I needed help. They thought I was just strange, quirky, brilliant; like Einstein.

Last year, at this time, I found hope.

I found tools to help ease the depression long enough for my brain to start the recovery process, and yes, it will be a long one. I found out what those moments of overwhelming surreal-ness were. I found out how long I’d been having panic attacks of various kinds, including the more recent crippling ones that left me unable to move or speak or cry.

I found love. I found acceptance. I found within myself the ability to forgive myself for being born, for being broken for so long without being brave enough to get help sooner.

I found faith in people again. I found forgiveness from others where I had no right to find it.

I found me.

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