Write what you know. Well, I’m all about that recovery shit.

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Winter in Auckland. Exploring black sand dunes, feeling intrepid.

I’ve been thinking for a while about narrowing the scope of this blog. It’s my first blog, and I started it because there was so much I wanted to share and express! Initially, my idea was that I would write predominantly about S&M and feminism and relationships. I’d describe my blog to myself as: “thought-provoking” and “challenging”. Haha. In practice this is starting to feel like a chore. I’ll think of something that I want to write about, but thoughts are half-formed, I can’t put them down as eloquently as I’d like, and my dashboard is full of half attempted posts.

When I was kid and struggling with a creative writing homework project, my dad told me to write what I know. And I think I need to return to this. I’m going to start from what I know, and what I know right now is the recovery process following sexual assault.

I was raped last year, over the course of a weekend, by a room mate. I’ll write about it in more detail later, perhaps. I spent 8 months ‘dealing’ with it: living with it, but not processing it. Now, finally, I found a therapist and I’m processing and recovering and it’s really shit and really tough and hard and scary and lonely.

Today is a difficult day. I’m finding that Mondays usually are. Getting up, getting dressed, eating breakfast and going into work to sit staring at my computer seems so pointless, mundane, stupid. Yesterday I met my cousin at a restaurant for dinner, and I told her about the rape. Usually, when I tell someone, I’ve made a plan about how to tell them, and built myself up to deal with their response. I hadn’t done this with her though, it just sort of came out and apart from blushing and not being able to make eye contact, I felt very calm about it, it was the right thing to do.

As I’m coming to expect, she told me about her sexual abuse: age nine, from a family friend. I am no longer shocked by the number of women who have experienced sexual assault and abuse. Today, sitting in my office thinking about this, I feel defeated. And my trivial to-do list: putting together a two day conference, writing a plan for a workshop on Friday, making phone calls- seems completely ludicrous when I am feeling so sad and weary about the injustice and horror of all the rape in the world. Where the fuck do I start?

I recognise that today is a low day. Later on in the week, I’ll build myself back up. My anger at my rapist will continue to drive me towards my ultimate future career as a sex educator. Making this anger a positive force in my life is the only way I can live with it. My relentless work ethic will kick in and I’ll get my office to-do list done, and feel stronger in my sense of achievement. I’ll connect with friends, and travel this weekend to beaches and laugh and feel grateful and happy and alive.

Today, all I can do is try. Here is my alternative to-do list.

Monday:

– try to not cry in the bathroom at work

– try to feed myself well

– try to look busy whenever my manager walks past

– try to go grocery shopping and cook when I get home

– try to do some yoga

– try and have an early night

– try and remember: acceptance and impermanence. Feeling like I do today is part of recovery. It will pass.

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