A lifetime ago. That’s what it feels like. As if I had been a completely different person. Since the couple months that followed, it has never been spoken of again. Until now.
Before I met my now husband, I was not always making good life choices. When I didn’t have my daughter, and she was with her natural dad, I would go to the bar. If I didn’t have to work the next day, I would stay at the bar until it closed. I didn’t know what to do if I wasn’t being a Mom. So I would get drunk, and then walk the couple blocks home. Every time.
See what I mean? A lifetime ago. Yet it’s only been 6 years ago. Strange feeling.
Moving on. There was one specific night. Started out the same as every other night. I intended to drink, go home, and get to sleep. I was out with a friend. I remember shots and drinks- in bits and pieces. I remember she walked me home. I remember him walking along side us. I have flashes in between of laughter and stumbling. I remember him saying he needed a place to stay and I offered our couch. My roommate was at her overnight job, but it would be fine. The couch was downstairs and he’d just pass out anyway.
I don’t remember throwing up, but I remember my friend cleaning it up and getting me out of my thrown up on clothes. I remember her tucking me in. I remember I forgot the stranger downstairs on the couch.
Then the memories become clearer, although still spotty. Even writing this now it makes my skin hurt. I remember yelling for him to stop, but being too drunk to actually be able to move. I remember crying. After he was done, I remember him seeing a picture of my roommate and best friend. He asked how I knew them, and I told him she lived with me and he was my best friend.
I remember he bolted and told me not to tell anyone he was there. To be honest I don’t remember his name. I either blocked it out, or forgot. But I remember crying on my porch, smoking cigarette after cigarette. I remember calling my daughter’s dad, who I thought was my friend at the time. I remember sobbing into the phone to my roommate, my birth Mom and my best friend. “Do NOT shower. I know you want to but do NOT shower.” I remember my roommate repeating those words over and over to me. Texting me constantly.
I paused writing this just now. I shake, and although I feel on the brink of crying, I do not. I’m not sure why. I haven’t shared this since it’s been long gone. I haven’t spoken out, or put it in writing. I haven’t wanted to. It’s easier to pretend. To be normal. To be just like everyone else.
I remember the hospital in pieces. I remember the man and woman who came to talk to me. The police. I remember the news article. The comments. “She got too drunk. She deserved it.” “What was she wearing? I bet she asked for it.” “Is she sure she actually said no?” “Why didn’t she just fight harder?” My friends told me to stay away from reading it. To ignore the comments and remember they don’t know me. But those comments mixed in with my own thoughts, and the line between what they thought, and what I thought to myself blurred.
My best friend blamed himself for a while. He slept on our couch for weeks. My protector. My eyes stayed to the floor most days. I didn’t want people to see me. Showering wasn’t enough. I scrubbed and cried and scrubbed. Nothing worked. It was like each time someone looked at me they knew. They saw right through my clothes. Saw the dirt I couldn’t wash away. Saw the gross parts of me I couldn’t cry away.
I remember the day the man and woman called me to the police station. I remember them saying if we went to court, I would have to testify, and we would probably lose. I remember being ashamed at their reasoning. “He didn’t physically hold you down, or leave marks on your body, so we can’t prove that you resisted.” I was too drunk to move, he didn’t have to hold me down. So I guess that made it okay in the eyes of the legal system. I remember feeling ashamed. Feeling as if I was weak, and let my daughter down as a human being, and as a Mother.
I remember the message I got from someone who spoke with my ex. “He told me what happened to you and I laughed so hard. You deserved it.” Until today, I have hated that person with every fiber and energy I can possess. I have hated her and secretly wept for those words that cut so deep. Out of all the comments on the article, and the rumors, and my own thoughts about myself at that time-Those words have stuck with me. Because of these words I harbored so much anger towards this person. Even writing about those words right now makes my body tense up, and I can feel the anger rising inside.
But that’s all they are. Words. It took this one wax tear during my reflection time today to make me realize this. I need to let it go. What happened was painful. Things that were said were painful. But if I do not wish for my true and present self to be held and judged for my past self- then why should I do that to others? What makes me any different than her?
I relax as I finish this post. I feel a sense of true release. I may not see eye to eye with this woman, and we may never truly get along. But is that really my responsibility to decide? No. It’s not. I forgive them. I forgive the man who raped me. I forgive those commenters that didn’t truly know anything other than what the newspaper journalist wrote. I forgive this woman. I forgive those words. More importantly, I forgive myself for holding on for so long. I release them. In light of the new moon, I release all of this old, and harbored, and hidden energy, and I open my heart, and my soul to what’s to come. I release it all.
It feels like a new day. It feels like a new beginning. Something big is coming. Although I’m not sure what it is. I know it will be magical, and I know that in letting this go, I will be ready. Accept and Release. I intend to forgive the past, and those in it, as I do not hold the right to hold them in judgment for their past selves or for any other reasons. There is an opportunity here. A new life in a way. I intend to take it and make something beautiful with it.
All thanks to a single candle wax tear from a reflection time. I asked for a sign to what I can do to serve my higher self and this new moon. I received a candle wax tear in the physical, and absolute release within. Although the actual release will take some time, I already feel lighter, and brighter.
Love to you all.