Springtime and Setbacks

“I’ve felt the coldness of my winter
I never thought it would ever go”

Led Zeppelin, The Rain Song

 

Sunlight lasting past dinner. Robins chirping. Sprouts of green grass poking through a winter of isolation. The first warm day that allows you to open up your windows and breathe fresh air into the stark staleness of winter. Spring cleaning to purge your world of clutter and rejuvenate physically, mentally, emotionally.

Ah, Spring is finally here! We bundle up in the Great Lakes State for months, submit to dark hours in the morning en route to work and during our commute home, and pop Vitamin D supplements to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

“Finally! Spring cleaning!” I thought as I pushed open the window to my bedroom, took a long drag from my Cinnamon Role flavored coffee, rolled up my “Saturday sweats” and plopped down to sort through a stack of clutter. I moved unexpectantly during a turbulent time in my life and have been pining for a morning just as this to organize so many things. I put on my Apple Music. and set out to Covey method style through my list. Halfway through humming one of Adele’s newest hits I came across it.

Spring reverted back to the gloom of winter. I felt like the past five months had been erased in a gust of wind. This was no longer a happy moment of Spring organization. I felt polarized. Literally. Polarized by cold, fear, emotion, and recall of the past five months of hard work I had put in to heal.

My hospital paperwork. My god damn hospital paperwork and the 11’000 plus bill I had to fight with insurance to get paid. Proof of what happened to me on October 21st, 2015. Solid medical proof that I was attacked, beaten unconscious, raped, and left for dead by a stranger. The paperwork I had never wanted to see it again. At that moment it all came back.

I tried to make myself get up and walk away from what my eyes were pouring over. I couldn’t though.  I was transfixed. I am not sure if I ever read through the entire paperwork of what happened to me when I begged a complete stranger for help. When I was raped, knocked out cold, knocked on a stranger’s door, and was then wheeled into am ambulance. The ambulance serves as a metaphor of the hell my life became after that. My life was sparred, but my descent into darkness began that day.

I sucked in my breath and reminded myself to breathe out. I have severe asthma/luncg issues since infancy. I have to be able to breathe to function. I know this. I took a deep breath, and settled into very single typed word of this document….

I let my mind wander…my mind wandered not to the songs of yesterday I loved so much…but 5 months prior….

I moved on. I moved literally back to my hometown. I have done everything I can to climb out of my depths of shame, depression, hell, guilt, and more that came with my world 5 months ago. I lost my entire life the week of my assault. I lost independence. I lost a best friend. I lost my dignity. I lost a person I thought would always be in my life.

My heart was  broken.

I have a new job. I started running long distances again. I read, I wrote, I spoke with others, I put down roots, and I TRIED to move forward. I combed through my favorite authors at the library and wrote down things I have learned from these readings. I worked so hard to “make do” with my new life. I embraced it; but was still haunted.

Finding my hospital paperwork was my single largest setback I’ve had to date.

I’ve never read through it all. I couldn’t. I lived through it. Do I feel proud of myself for being in a better place? Do I digest what happened? Am I back to being that shell of a person on the morning of October 22nd, 2015? Do I hold in anger towards not only going through this, but fighting an enormous bill for my injuries?

What really is moving forward?

It was at this exact moment that I realized something. I can transition to countless new careers, continue to run 100s of miles, read every piece of literature I think will help me and so much more. I can tune out this part of my life, but I can’t make it go away. This is now a part of my truth, my identity, my past, my everything. I will feel this moment again. I will continue to move forward, but I will have a moment of setback and painful hurt.

I will cry.

I will hurt.

I will continue to survive.

I embrace a scar on my left check socket everyday as a part of who I am now. A scar left from my attack. I exude advocacy with my self appointed streak of teal in my blonde tresses. I have physical reminders I chose to and some I don’t chose to have.

I have just realized a hard cold fact. Spring cleaning will never be getting rid of this part of my story. My past. My identity as a survivor, woman, and more. This part of my truth will always be that pair of jeans we hang onto every year. The pair that once brought us happiness, made us feel confident, we will never wear again, but we hang onto year after year.

We hang onto as there is that slim chance we can capture that moment in time again. I may never capture that snapshot again, but I will continue to move forward.

After all, doesn’t fashion recirculate?

If not that I can still embrace classic Jimmy Page guitar…”It is the Springtime of my Love…”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Scars are Souveniers you Never Lose…”

Cross posting to my toughasteal account for sexual assault awareness!

tableforonedotcom1

Scars are souvenirs you never lose, the past is never far
And did you lose yourself way out there?
Did you get to be a star?
Don’t make you sad to know that life is more than who you are?
Grew up way too fast and now there’s nothing to believe
Reruns all become our history
A tired song keeps playing on a tired radio,
And I won’t tell ’em your name
And I won’t tell ’em your name
And I won’t tell ’em your name

~Goo Goo Dolls~

I went to meet a friend for lunch today and had a phone call from the detective working on my case. He is a very kind man and doing the best he can with his job. The department is very happy about how cooperative I have been (how could I not be?) I was told over the phone that the executive…

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No I Won’t Be Afraid…Just as Long as You Stand By Me

I am reblogging this for sexual assault awareness month and to help spread forth my mantra of #toughasteal

tableforonedotcom1

“If the sky that we look upon should crumble and fall

And the mountain should crumble to the sea

I won’t be afraid. I won’t shed a tear.

Just as long as you stand by me.”

-John Lennon-

I will start off by stating this might be the hardest, most powerful, and shocking piece of writing I have ever composed. Some of the details are not for the faint of heart and cover sensitive topics (to give warning.)

I turned 31 on May 13, 2015. At this point in my life I had been unemployed for over a month, living in East Lansing alone with my two cats, and ready to embark on new adventures in career and personal. Waking up with pink eye in both eyes should have been an ominous sign that this year was going to be a struggle. They say that rain on a wedding day is…

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