Stop Telling Me How To Feel

I mentioned in my previous blog that I was a victim of sexual abuse. This blog is somewhat about that, so please be mindful of the subject matter as it is not going to be for everyone. 

I recently have been seeing a CPN and a psychiatrist in regards to my mental health. And, I’m doing well. So well in fact that my pyschiatrist has decided to take me off my medication and just do a trial of me not being on it and just working with the mental health team, and possibly seeing a psychologist as well. That’s just my little update before I get into the main subject matter. 

My psychiatrist suggested that I might find useful tools online to help ‘come to terms’ with the things I’m feeling. There are some very useful resources out there, but one thing keeps cropping up that makes me so angry. It’s the word ‘forgiveness’. 

Now, I’m a Christian. And of course, forgiveness is you know, our ‘thing’. So really, I should not have an issue here. But, just to throw a spanner in the works, of course I have an issue. 

These resources and these people who have made videos in regards to their own experiences mention that the main important thing to do in this situation is forgive. Forgive your rapist, your abuser, whatever it may be. And the idea of that kind of makes me sick. 

I’m told by these people that I need to ‘let it go’ and ‘forgive’ and ‘close the chapter on that part of my life’ and I don’t understand how I’m meant to. Or why I even should. The very phrase “Let it go” makes me feel like I’m being told I’m pathetic and that I need to just ‘get over it’ and I can’t. At the age of 6 or 7, a person that I knew and that I trusted very much sexually abused me. In fact, the World Health Organisation defines rape as “physically forced or otherwise coerced penetration – even if slight – of the vulva or anus, using a penis, other body parts or an object”, and if you go by that definition it kind of escalates my abuse. But that’s about as much detail as I’m going to probably ever go into, online or offline.

It makes me sick. Anyone who commits that kind of a crime against anyone makes me sick. Anyone who gets off on that kind of crime makes me sick, even if they ‘just’ watch it via porn sites. And again, there’s another story involving that last bit that I may or may not tell later on down the line if circumstances allow me to. 

But, to tell me how to feel, how to process what this was, what it’s still doing to me, no. That’s inexcusable. Everyone’s situation is different, everyone’s thought process is different, everyone’s coping strategy is different. 

I can be out with my friends and the topic of conversation can turn to something like sexual abuse or rape or whatever (it’s a current news story, I don’t have bizarre friends) and I flashback to my abuse. And I can’t stop it. It’s like when you’ve switched something onto the TV and you really don’t want to watch it, but the remote’s fallen and you can’t find it, but at the same time wherever it’s fallen it’s pressing the volume button so you’re watching whatever it is and it’s getting louder and louder and you can’t shut it out. That’s what a flashback of my abuse is like. And it’s terrifying in general. To be out in public and have it happen and not be able to explain to anyone what’s going on? It’s indescribable. I literally cannot find words to describe that feeling. 

It takes me ages, if ever, before I fully trust people. Right now – bar immediate family – I can name 2 people I trust fully. One of them has been in my life more than 6 years. The other less than 6 months but he’s more than proven he’s worthy of my trust on countless occasions. (That’s an awful description, like I think I’m better than everyone. Trust me, I don’t think that at all.) I mean, I trust people. But at the same time I’m not going to be surprised if they turned out to stab me in the back. That’s what this situation has done to me. I hate being by myself once it’s dark. Public transport when I’m by myself is one of the most terrifying things, even during the day. 

So, no. I can’t just “let it go” and “forgive him”. Yes, I need to work through this. And yes, I need to get to a point where I can say “This is no longer something that causes me fear”.

But forgiveness, I struggle with. And as a Christian, I pray that I can one day forgive him. But right now, forget it.