Buried in the fog
At 18 I was raped. At 37 I remembered it happened. I spent nearly 20 years in between in a fog. Slipping in and out of consciousness, waking mid-conversation unsure how I'd gotten there. On the outside together, capable, functional. On the inside gagged and bound. As the years went by the fog grew thicker. Months would go by where I spent every day with my office door closed sobbing uncontrollably. No one noticed. Years went by and I withdrew further and further from the world still no one noticed. And to find equilibrium I self-medicated, at least then there was a reason for the fog. Eventually, my body spoke for me when my words couldn't. My face and limbs would go suddenly numb or shocks of electricity would shoot through my body till I couldn't control the function of my limbs. I almost drove off a cliff. I did drive into another car. And suddenly I couldn't be ignored. A series of degrading medical visits, MRI's and full exams where I was treated like a liar and finally someone said maybe it's not physical, but it is severe. I was sent to a therapist who recognized me saw my PTSD and we began the journey of EMDR. And suddenly the veil started to lift and the memories came flooding back. The boyfriend who dragged me up the stairs then shamed me into silence, the years of emotional abuse that followed, it was like I stepped out into the light and could finally see it all clearly. Years of treatment and my mind is starting to finally clear a few steps forward a few steps back. But generally healing slowly.
4 months later
I found out last week that my abuser has been arrested. The FBI caught him attempting to traffic two young girls and he is now facing a decade or more in jail and a lifetime of surveillance. And I am free of him for the first time since I was 15. For the first time, I'm not looking over my shoulder. My laughter and my smile are not forced, I am safe, I am secure. I know the healing isn't over. I know he'll be back in the world, and I mourn the other girls and women he hurt between now and then. But for this moment I'm going to ride the warm wave of peace surging through my body.