2013…in some ways the most difficult yet most incredible year so far…

2013. Part of me is hesitant to properly reflect on this year…so much of it has been painful. But even in this hard place I can’t deny some of it has been incredible. Somehow its been the most extreme roller coaster…barely any calm lucid middle ground…just jumps from horrific lows to amazing highs… exhausting,  exhilarating,  terrifying and spirit-growing. I learnt a lot about myself…my capabilities..my weak points…my strengths…my person…and I’m starting to see who I might be when I’m not constantly afraid and hurt…

A year that within barely hours of it being 2013, was full of abuse. Where I somehow managed to get back to my university town last January,  against the odds,  to fall straight into an abusive relationship. A year that started with trauma,  loneliness,  pain and hopelessness. A year where suicide has never been far from my thoughts. 3 hospital admissions, despite my intense fear of hospitals. Where I tore myself to pieces for not even being able to kill myself successfully. But I remembered the hope that could come from a simple cuddly toy – a stripey monkey in fact – whilst in hospital. I remember I took that toy pretty much anywhere I went whilst in hospital in March. It remained in my arm, close to my chest and at times was the only thing holding me into the world. I felt like a tiny child again…able to withstand any level of pain as long as the cuddly toy was left unharmed. Even as I grew stronger in hospital and tried standing up to the staff and making patients laugh despite the ridiculous rules,  the monkey was never far away, and indeed his dancing brought out some tired smiles. I remember in hospital I discovered more the power of drawing the images and memories in my head, of not trying to muster the energy to put it into words…and the faithful monkey would sit against my cup of tea…

2013 saw the point where I hit a wall…unable to take anymore pain…tired of living afraid and hurt and ashamed of my existence. I didn’t know if I could recover fully from hitting that wall. I still don’t. 2013…again, more rapes than I could ever count…more flashbacks and nightmares…more psychological and physical torture…

And yet, 2013 saw some major turning points as I teetered onto the delicate state of being in limbo between the two words…this state was and is a very surreal place. In some ways its quite a privilege to be able to see both worlds from such a unique place…but it did leave me faltering;  who was I in the ‘right’ world?  Who was I and where did I fit?  2013 saw me properly questioning my identity and role…and actively doing something to create myself…

It saw the powerful moment where I realised I was no longer a child with no choices. Where I didn’t have to do as daddy says. I realised I didn’t have to take the bullshit on the phone. I was scared of this realisation. Scared of hurting them and scared of being alone. But it was a moment where I realised that to get out of limbo I needed to assert myself and make concrete steps to enter this world. In August I cut off my parents. I am now parentless. Not tied to the family. In that,  I was beginning to recognise my right to safety…that keeping safe was more than just keeping friends’ calm, that keeping safe was actually deserved…

2013 saw the moment I created a new identity. A new life. A new start. It left me speechlessly overwhelmed by the support and encouragement received by doing this…

In 2013 I found my voice…which was quite a moment. Almost comical really,  to find that part of me that’s always been there, literally under my nose. To find that despite their best efforts,  they hadn’t silenced me…and that the greatest sense of empowerment and strength came from just…speaking. To discover my voice could reach others,  could reassure other survivors… that was the most incredible and moving thing…

In 2013 I truly discovered the power of music that I’d taken for granted before. How music saved my life and brought many of us together….

2013 was the first time I didn’t get raped on Christmas day. The first chance I had to just cry my eyes out,  safely,  over Christmas because I could actually have the space to feel the aftermath of the memories. 2013 saw the unification of my alters,  the transformation of my DID into something quite beautiful, complex and sophisticated. The alters to which I owe my life…who I am no longer afraid of…

Most importantly,  2013 showed me the absolute power of compassion and friendship. To the friends who I’ve come to know via blogging, thank you for your constant stream of validation,  encouragement and courage. You inspire me. To the friends who’ve simply smiled at me when I was silently breaking inside,  thank you for catching me. At such times I’m just reminded that there is light, even glimmers, if we just look. To the friends who have supported me right from the start, to the ones who’ve stood by me even despite the late nights, tears,  flashbacks, arguments and stress…thank you for countering all of that with kindness, consistency,  honesty, compassion and respect for yourselves and me. Thank you for helping me realise I deserve safety. Thank you for holding me whilst I cry, or for the near constant laughs and giggles which counter the hurt. Thank you for opening my eyes to the other world,  and gently holding my hands whilst I take the first wobbly and nervous steps into it…I owe you all so much…you are your own army far more powerful than the abusers, simply from your compassion…

I met so many strong and amazing individuals…survivors…who inspire me daily to keep going…

To the children and my little ones… I wish you were here to step into 2014 with me. To victims who are in danger tonight due to the rituals…stay strong. I wish I could just get you all out of there… please know escape is possible,  it’s painful and incredibly hard, but it’s possible. You can make it…

Happy new year. I made it through 2013…and in honesty that feels like a miracle. I’ve such a strange sensation of shock,  relief,  hope and fear…

I made it…. and to anyone reading this; well done, so did you… 🙂

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One thought on “2013…in some ways the most difficult yet most incredible year so far…

  1. 2013 was my hardest and most painful year ever. It was also the year I broke free of my abuser for the last time. 2014 looks way brighter. Remembering all that you’ve achieved – which is a lot – I hope yours does too!

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