For the record, I am fine. I managed to escape with a little tightness on one side of my neck, a messed-up knee (dented my gas tank), and a bruise from my back-pocket button on my butt cheek.
By now I’m sure most of you have read about the hearing surrounding the lovely Judge Kavanaugh (who I will kindly refer to as It for the remainder of this email). For those of you who don’t know, I had something almost identical to what Dr. Ford went through happen to me at the beginning of my sophomore year of college. I never reported it.
A few years later, I wrote an article for Elite Daily talking about how staying silent had affected me. After I wrote that article, there were a handful of events that led to a huge blow out between me and some of my closest friends. I’ll spare the details, but I went through a really dark and rough time where I felt voiceless, powerless, and numb to everything around me. That was a few years ago and ever since then I have been around people that have only helped with my healing. I didn’t want to go to a therapist back then because I thought I was strong enough to figure everything out on my own. I brushed all of the pain and all of those negative experiences under a rug and then pushed it underneath the rug so deep that I had all but forgotten about it. I had done a great job of that (minus some sporadic anxiety attacks) until the hearing with It’s confirmation.
All of the sudden, that pain and anxiety and hurt and frustration came bubbling back up. I was having flashbacks. I was crying randomly. I felt like I wanted to punch every man that looked at me, except George, who has been incredible through all of this (Hi baby!). I wanted to scream and shake everyone who seemed to be going about their daily lives. How could anyone function normally with this playing in the background? I started becoming distracted and unmotivated with work. I couldn’t write, it was almost as though someone stole my voice. I felt a constant weight on my chest that made it hard for me to breathe. I was jumping every time I heard a loud noise and felt like everyone was watching me. I felt like I was stuck in a glass box, suffocating and trying to yell for help while others just looked at me and walked by. I felt helpless and vulnerable. During one of my flashbacks, I became hysterical and spent an hour sobbing into George’s arms while he tried to calm me down.
The first time I went through everything was traumatizing, but I was in survival mode. I shut down, became numb and forced myself to pretend that I was ok. I knew I wasn’t, but I didn’t know how to admit that. I felt trapped in my own body. It took a while to climb out of that dark place. I promised myself I would never allow myself to reach those depths again.
I was weary of going to a therapist because I felt like no one could help me. I felt weak asking for help, for admitting my pain, because admitting it meant that I was still suffering from things that I thought were in the past. I was upset because it meant accepting that I would never be the person I was before the trauma. It was part of me, and I had to learn how to grow with it.
This time was different though. I saw the warning signs. I saw myself slipping into those same feelings. I felt my body try to go into survival mode but this time, I wasn’t by myself. I had someone who loves me and who would be by my side. Whether I was fixed or broken. It wasn’t fair to him, to us, to allow myself to shut down and avoid dealing with this pain from so long ago.
The morning after that last flashback, I admitted something that I never had before. I was not OK and I needed to get help, so I did.
I found a therapist that I love. I have been seeing her twice a month since October and have been focused on healing mentally (and physically). It’s a work in progress and there are a lot of things I am working through but going to her has been one of my proudest accomplishments to date.
So yeah, I got hit by a car on my bike in October and I have been MIA since then, but I’m alive and I’m healthy. And for the first time in a while, I’m confident that I’m going to be okay.