Still Standing

I’ve been having a rough week. Or month. Or while. First, I told myself the feeling would pass. Now it’s gone on so long I don’t know how to tell anyone about it. I’m still standing but it feels like I’m a second away from shattering into a million pieces at any moment.

The anniversary of my rape was last week. I got through the day with only one panic attack, so I counted it as a win. But I haven’t gone a day in the last few months without thinking of that night – without it replaying in my head at some point (or multiple points) throughout the day. I’ve been having dreams about him. Dreams where he never raped me. Dreams where we’re still friends. Dreams where we’re happy and the nightmares don’t exist.

I hate myself. Because when I dream those dreams I have an inception moment in them where I realize it’s a dream; I could never be friends with him again. He and I will never be happy together again. And I realize it, and, in the dream, I tell myself, “Jenny, let yourself keep dreaming this dream. It’s better than waking up.” And I do. And when I finally wake up I think about the dream where we’re happy and I hate myself for letting it go on. For letting myself see an imaginary world where it never happened because it reminds me what life could’ve been. And still, every time I have a dream where we’re happy I let it go on. I don’t know why I let it go on.

And then I blame myself. I blame myself for the PTSD. If I didn’t have the PTSD, he and I could still be in each other’s lives. We could be happy. If I didn’t have such a visceral response to seeing him, I could ignore the fact that he raped me. And if I could ignore that fact, at whatever cost to my self-worth, we could be happy. But I have PTSD and that’s not, and has never been, an option.

I think of him and I know he doesn’t think of me. He doesn’t think of the night that changed my life. He doesn’t dream the dreams where it never happened, where we’re happy.

I haven’t wanted to kill myself in a long time. And ultimately, I still don’t. But I’d be lying if I said there weren’t moments where it felt like ending this would be easier than keeping on. I haven’t used drugs in almost a year. I know numbing the pain doesn’t work. I know I’ll be upset with myself if I relapse. The only reason I haven’t is because I deleted all my dealers’ numbers. That and I can’t ask anyone if they know a dealer without someone finding out I’m going down that road again. But god I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to feel numb.

How am I supposed to move past that night? How am I supposed to move past him?

Yesterday, visiting the old city we used to live in, I drove by the house where he raped me. It wasn’t intentional, and I didn’t realize it until I was there. But there it was, still standing, just like it was on the night he raped me. And I don’t know how to move past it.

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