I’ve officially finished my first week at my new job. There are a number of us around my age who all started at the same time, so it’s been nice to make the adjustment as a group versus alone. It definitely makes moving to a new place a little easier knowing we’re all experiencing some of the same feelings.
It’s weird though. Getting to be whoever I want to be. No one knows about my past, whether from me or from the grape vine. For the first time in so long I get to just be me, to just be Jenny. I no longer feel like the phrase “rape victim” (or “survivor” depending on the day) hangs over me like a cloud. There’s a part of me that feels like I’m lying every time I meet someone new and don’t let them know that part of myself.
For so long my identity was rooted in what happened to me. When the idea of moving for a new job came up I wasn’t sure if I could do it- moving away from a place that defined me, a place my identity was so deeply intertwined with, whether I wanted it to be or not. But I took the leap. Thank God I took the leap.
It’s only been a week of my new job and I’m happier than I’ve ever been in a long time. There were days where I didn’t think it would be possible to be this happy again. There were days I didn’t believe it was worth it to hold out for happiness because it felt like I would never find it. But I did.
I know there’s still a lot I need to work on to get to a healthy place with my trauma but I’m trying to take baby steps. I should probably be up front and say I don’t think I’ve spoken to a guy my age at work yet or at least entertained a conversation with one of them for longer than a minute. I’m reminding myself that not every guy is like Chuck*, they’re not all manipulative narcissists who will hurt me in the worst way. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make it much easier. Baby steps still move you forward and baby steps are better than staying still.