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I feel trapped right now. I don’t want to be awake. I’m panicking. I want to get the house clean before my partner gets home but I know that’s unreasonable. I feel frozen in place. I’m terrified. What if I do it wrong and she screams at me? What if she tells me I’m stupid and useless and can’t do anything right? I feel like I’m already saying these things over and over again to myself and if I heard them out loud, I would absolutely crumple. I’m exhausted. I hate fighting with myself day after day and feeling so ashamed about the state of my home. I can’t seem to do anything right. I want a beautiful place people can come over and hangout at but I can’t seem to do that. It’s too much. It’s too much. There’s dog shit in the living room. Cereal spilled all over the kitchen. Clothes every where. Papers and dishes are scattered throughout the house. I’m scared of cleaning and throwing stuff away because i don’t want Anne to get mad at me. She collects things and brings them home and they just sit around the house in the bags they were brought home in from the store. I used to do the same when I was with Justin. I’m afraid it’s a sign she’s unhappy with me. Because I was so unhappy with Justin that I would just buy every book I could get my hands on for cheap even if it wasn’t something I could see myself reading anytime soon and since we didn’t have more than one book shelf at the time, the books just piled up around the house, collecting dust. Which didn’t make sense because my books are my babies. Even my unread ones. I love them just as much as I love my animals. But in saying that, I struggle to care for my pets. Heck, I struggle to care for myself. I haven’t showered in almost 5 days at this point. I get so sensory overload with everything that I just end up feeling frozen in place. Im doing my best not to intellectualize it. Dissecting why I feel this way isn’t going to make the feeling go away. I think that’s the problem, I hate the feeling of shame that washes over me when I come face to face with what I’ve done to my apartment. I can hear my mother’s voice telling me my old apartment looked like a crack house because we had the mattress on the floor. It was my first apartment though. If my memory serves me correctly, my parents didn’t even come over and help get things set up. I was all on my own. My mom had always been the one to decorate my room. The only things I was really in charge of were my book shelves and my posters that I put up. I didn’t even know how to coordinate colors until my nana helped me when I was visiting one time because I was trying to figure out what my style was. She bought me a bracelet with maroon, sapphire blue, hunter green and a few other colors on it. She told me to start matching pieces of my wardrobe to the bracelet. It worked and it helped a lot. I realized I’m a jewel tone person. I like the bohemian style of rich colors, gold hues, etc. I feel like my girlfriend and I differ on the styles we like. She loves turquoise. I hate turquoise. I hate light colors. They don’t feel like home. All the women in my family seem to have been blessed with these amazing decorating skills and I just somehow was not. Which is hard because I know specifically what I don’t like. But I’m not entirely sure what I do like. I’ve been holding this resentment towards my partner for decorating our home and not really giving me much of a say in it. But truth is, I feel frozen when it comes to me decorating. I’m afraid if I say what I really want it’s just going to lead to an argument. And I’m so tired of arguing. I wonder if this is how men feel when it comes to their women decorating their homes. It seems unfair that in many cases men are delegated into having one one space decorated how they want (aka the “mancave”). I want to throw everything away and start over from scratch. I feel like the decor we have now is just a painful reminder of the time spent living at my parents house. I wish I could throw it all away and begin over again. Looking at it just sends me back to being locked inside my parents home, unable to leave my bed for fear of existing in my parents home. I felt like a burden to them. Like I was the bastard child. Because I was. I was constantly told that I was the “built in babysitter.” My feelings were never considered. I became a second parent to my siblings. I was expected to be mature and set an example for them. I went from being an 11 year old, to being Mom Number 2. I feel like in a huge way I was robbed of my childhood. Before 11 years old, I didn’t have much of a chance to be a child then either seeing as how my mom was constantly on the run from my grandparents. I know she didn’t have a choice and was just trying to protect herself and me. There was always some sort of stress looming over my head. I experienced a lot of stress as a child. It’s no wonder the simplest of things stress me out as an adult. I have trouble making decisions for fear of hurting others. Having an opinion in my family meant I was being obstinate and a “bad” child. That didn’t make much sense to me either considering who my mom is and how opinionated she is. I came from a long line of very opinionated women. As a child, I was no different. At one point, I wanted to be a lawyer. My mom said I’d be good at it because I was so good at arguing. Sometimes I wish I had gone that route. I can’t really see myself in a courtroom though. Well…not as a lawyer anyways. I’d probably be the defendant. I don’t know when things changed and I became an adult who my parents expect to go to prison. Apart from being a bit of a kleptomaniac, I’m actually a pretty decent person. My parents act as if I’m some sort of criminal just because I smoke weed and occasionally steal things (I literally only steal from the dollar store). I hate that they treat me like a monster. They’ve always treated me like I’m gonna rub my bastardness off on my siblings. They’re worst nightmare must’ve come true when my brother came out as gay then later as trans. My mom made a joke about how my oldest brother better not fuck up because she’s lost hope for me and my youngest brother. It hurt to hear that. Especially since when she said that, I was an established massage therapist with a license and a job I was successful at. I had been stable and medicated and was doing well. And it just didn’t seem like I was enough for my parents. I felt like I was trying so hard. I’d given up on writing at that point. I’d given up my sexuality and pushed down my queerness because I wanted my parents to love and accept me. I did everything I could to make them happy and they still barely acknowledged any of my accomplishments. Even when I won an award for being “Most Improved Therapist” at my first job. My parents were radio silent about that. And I had worked so hard that year to try and not miss any work and to keep myself stable. But it wasn’t enough. It’s never been enough. When I was sexually assaulted at work, my downfall began again and I couldn’t keep it up. The #MeToo movement was just coming about and all I heard from my parents about how the women coming forward were “asking for it” and only wanted money and attention. Which felt like a slap in the face to me because they knew I’d been raped and that was the catalyst for my mental health declining and me ending up in the mental hospital after several suicide attempts. How could they say those things when they had lived with me and seen firsthand how badly being raped had affected me. It was soul crushing. As much as the #MeToo movement needed to happen and it’s pushed us forward as a society as far as the equal treatment of women go…it was an extremely triggering time for me (and I’m sure for other women as well). I finally felt like I had buried that part of my life and was moving forward and then all of a sudden everywhere you went people were discussing sexual assault and everyone seemed to have an opinion on it. I heard so many nasty things being said about the women coming forward. I heard people say that they were crazy which felt extremely personal to me seeing as how I’d spent atleast 2 weeks out my year in 2014 in the mental hospital after finally just losing it. My rape opened up a Pandora’s box for me. It allowed me to see who was really there for me emotionally and as it turned out, the people who I thought loved and cared for me, essentially abandoned me and left me to deal with it all on my own. At one point, I tried to tell my cousin and she told me that every woman goes through that sort of thing and I just had to learn to deal with it and not let it ruin my life. I feel like most of my ptsd surrounding my rape came more from the aftermath of the situation rather than the actual rape itself. I learned that I couldn’t trust people anymore. Not even my own parents. I don’t want people to get it twisted. I am angry at my parents. And I’m angry at my cousin. That doesn’t mean I don’t love them. That’s the thing. That’s what makes it so painful. It’s one thing to have a stranger tell you that you were asking for it but to have your own parents say that…it’s devastating. I was freshly 18 when I was raped and I believe I was groomed by the man. He knew I had never been with a man. And he knew exactly what to say to get me to trust him. He love bombed me. I’d lost a lot of weight at that point too. I wasn’t used to being looked at by men in a sexual way. And all of a sudden with my new body, men were starting to notice me. And I enjoyed the attention. My rapist was an attractive guy who had a career, a car, an apartment and played guitar. He had his own EP released. He was my version of a manic pixie dream boy. And he liked me. My chest is hurting just thinking about him. I feel like I still spend a lot of time trying to repress the memories of him away. I didn’t realize how much pain this caused me still. The night it happened, he rolled off me and turned his back to me. I lay there in bed next to him feeling so numb. I don’t like talking about it. Im scared people are going to use it against me. Or tell me im lying. I told my therapist about it. I lied about some parts because I thought she would blame me like my parents had. When I tried to tell my mom she shrugged and asked me what did I think was going to happen. After all, it was my fault for giving him the wrong impression since I elected to spend the night with him in the first place. I naively didn’t realize spending the night was code for sex though. Bruce felt like I owed him sex because I was there. He was angry because I kept telling him no…I didn’t want to have sex. I wasn’t ready. I just wanted to cuddle. He started slamming stuff around and screaming at me to leave. I was in an unfamiliar place and it was 3 in the morning though. I gave in because I was scared. I told him I wasn’t going to do it unless we had protection. So we drove in silence to the gas station where he grabbed a pack of condoms. I think i must’ve checked out emotionally around that time because I don’t remember walking up to his apartment. I just remember not even being able to look at him as he thrust into me. There was no foreplay…no thought given to me or how I was feeling. It hurt so bad. He grunted and I winced as he picked up speed. I put my hands on his arms to try and slow him down and he shook me off of him, closing his eyes and just thrusting over and over into me, to the point I had started crying with how bad it hurt me. I closed my eyes and prayed it would end soon. With one final grunt, he stilled completely as he came inside me (with the condom still on). Then he rolled off without a word. He didn’t offer to help clean me up. Or even to let me know where the towels were so I could go shower off at the very least. I couldn’t move for a long time. I just felt the stickiness between my legs as tears rolled down my cheeks, onto his white sheets. I don’t think I realized how much that moment would define so much of my adulthood. I lost myself in that moment. The girl who loved books, animals, nerdy movies, the beach and so much more disappeared and was replaced by an empty shell of a human. I was already teetering on the edge of a full blown eating disorder at that time and I was pushed over the edge. I’d go on to binge and purge, overexercise, abuse diet pills and starve myself for days at a time. I was already pretty introverted but my introversion turned into isolation. I’d started self harming on my thighs, stomach and arms. I was either filled with manic energy or exhausted and unable to get out of bed. My therapist drew the conclusion that my rape had kickstarted a chain of events that snowballed and led me to my first suicide. It wasn’t until my third attempt when I was finally diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Studies show bipolar disorder usually is triggered by a traumatic event. The sad part is, the rape wasn’t as traumatic as how people treated me after it happened. I saw people’s true colors after it happened.