Learning to protect myself…

Something has definitely shifted since the photoshoot on Wednesday. It sounds so insane somehow that something as seemingly simple as a photoshoot should change so much, but it has. Maybe speaking out with my identity known has undone more than I could have realised…

Before, people would tell me I could protect myself if I wanted to. Now, in total honesty, I didn’t completely know what this meant. I was still alive…didn’t that mean I was protecting myself? Or, on the other hand, I was still getting raped….so maybe that meant I wasn’t protecting myself at all. I couldn’t see a middle ground. It seemed either all or nothing. And hopeless.

I didn’t really understand what I was protecting, and in hindsight I can see that my spirit was ignored…dissociated somewhere deep within me…and my main focus was making sure I wasn’t physically injured too much. This made emotional abuse very easy to get into my head, and “programming” to happen continously. I hadn’t quite grasped the idea that the most precious part of me is not actually my body. So, for as long as I could walk, I thought it was okay. Fine maybe I was raped…but I was walking ten minutes later, so maybe that meant I doing okay with the whole protection thing. It would often take someone else to point out the mental effects before I even considered it…and when I had realised, I’d bury it underneath a pile of shame, guilt and self-hatred… my actual younger self (not DID personality) completely ignored and lost. I didn’t know how to protect my soul, if you like. The personalities did that for me.

Speaking out on Wednesday seems to have shifted that, because I gave myself permission – by absolute choice – to forgive myself and to accept within myself that to feel hurt is okay, and that I deserve to be protected.

Suddenly, my tiny young self is no longer a neglected spirit hidden under a pile of crap. Now, I’m cradling her in my arms. Holding her close to my heart, ready to bite the head off of anyone who so much as touches her arm without prior permission. Suddenly, I am extremely protective of my younger self. Suddenly I am connected with her, but she’s had years of feeling neglected and hurt, and is terribly upset and in pain from what happened. She’s still trapped there, because I haven’t been holding her hand and taking the journey to safety together with her. I now need to protect her, care for her, soothe and reassure her, and let her cry her eyes out for the terrible things that happened to her.

So suddenly my priority is not protection of my body. My priority is the little child I’m cradling in my arms…this vulnerable, frightened and hurt child who never lost hope in me opening my eyes and catching her. I’ve got to show her it’s okay…and to do that, I have to believe it in myself. I have to have a zero tolerance for abuse. It’s no longer a case of ‘just one more rape’ or ‘it’s okay, I was only hit.’ That’s out of the question now. Somehow I was convinced it was okay, when it was concerning me.

But the child in my arms has been hurt quite enough. And the child in my arms is my younger self, and from that…is me. So her tears are mine too – today I’ve been a wreck. I don’t like it, but I equally don’t beat myself up for it. There’s a lot to cry for…I just need to reassure the child and help her smile and laugh, even despite tears. That way, recovery can happen.

This young child has been hurt too much. I have been hurt too much.
I will not be hurt again. And anyone who tries is going to be battling with a girl who’s face and name is now known, who’s been offered more chances to speak with the media, and therefore by hurting me you will have all agency taken out of your hands – because whether I like it or not, a lot of people would know very quickly. Mess with me at your own risk…but your programming to make me neglect myself has been crushed. I won’t stand for anymore shit.

It’s okay little one, be still now. I won’t let anybody touch you again… J

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2 thoughts on “Learning to protect myself…

  1. Whatever happened at that photo shoot awakened the fighter in you. Now that your eyes and mind are opened you will start to get stronger and begin the healing process.

    This post makes me think of the song by Pink “Conversations with my 13 year old self”. It’s really a beautiful song.

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