Healing from Trauma

TW description of sexual/assault, trauma, mental illness, self harm, intrusive thoughts, gay slurs, slurs toward sex workers, non self-inflicted cutting, death threats, nonconsensual age play, suicidal thoughts, suggested necrophilia, nude photos, photos of implied (but not actual) cutting

I haven’t been writing again. I know, there have been updates, but it’s been a scraped-together assortment of things that were already done. I haven’t had the words. I’ve been trying really hard, but I lost them, they were taken from me, and it takes a while to figure out your voice after something like this.

Instead I’ve been isolating and avoiding the questions and locking myself in my house and pouring all my energy into…what? Not knowing how to talk?

Closeup of the back of Taylor's forearm showing a blue whispy tattoo. Their other hand is squeezing their arm, fingers digging in to the area where the tattoo is. You can see trees and a post in the background.Without my words, what am I?

I managed to shower yesterday. I cleaned my face and brushed my teeth, I choked down two meals and I left my house. It was exhausting. I wanted to be home. My brain told me that I wanted to step in front of a bus but I knew that wasn’t true. I just didn’t want to be alive wanted to feel okay again. “What about that bus instead?” my thoughts whispered. I dug my fingernails into the back of my arm, hard, and focused on my breathing.

I hate “focusing on my breathing”.

I knew this was progress because it was further than I had gotten in a week, it was the best I’d been since – no. No I couldn’t let myself think of him, I had shit to do.

Years ago I learned that sometimes the only way for me to get through a day after trauma is by drowning myself out and not allowing my brain to think, to remember, to drift. Music helps. Headphones, sound, drown it all out.

I can’t think with the music going like this, can’t write, can’t figure myself out. But at least I don’t hear his voice in my head telling me what he was going to do. At least I don’t feel the weight of his legs and hands and…

Deep breath.

I know how this works, this isn’t my first assault.

Yesterday was day 10. I managed to take a walk because I wanted to. I got a couple things done. I turned the music off and I talked to friends and took a bath and wanted to drown myself while I didn’t relax, per say, I was mostly alone in my head. I knew it wouldn’t last and it didn’t, but I made it one day without constantly wanting to hurt myself as a distraction from his shit.

is not linear.
It doesn’t follow the rules or make sense it just….sucks
until one day it doesn’t

A friend asks if I’m okay and I don’t know how to answer. Because no, I’m not. But how do you casually tell someone that you were assaulted? How do you tell them that you have been dissociating all week? The words aren’t there anymore. I’ll figure it out again one day, I always do. I feel defeated, lost, and try to shrug off their question.

I know the drill by now. I’ll dissociate for weeks and want to tear my skin off and flinch every time the fan hits my skin. My intrusive thoughts will be out of control and I’ll cry all the time and not give a fuck about literally anything and I won’t leave the house. My hands will shake and it’ll be a struggle to sleep or eat or do anything. Eventually I’ll find the words to start writing about it, but the writing will be shit for a while. Eventually a draft will be publishable. Eventually I’ll remember how to function like a human. Eventually I’ll be able to turn the music off. Eventually, maybe I’ll even salvage some of the shit that I wrote about this and turn it into strength. I don’t see how, but I’m sure I’ll try. Eventually, eventually, eventually. For now everything is just shit.

I think what’s fucking me up most is not knowing what was real and how much was intentional.

Yes, he knew what he was doing, but what of the dirty talk? He made me beg for things and I didn’t know if he was about to do it or just wanted to have that power and hear me ask for it. I tried to find out once and learned my lesson. It’s best not to question these things. While rimming him he had me ask to eat his shit. While hurting me he made me beg to be killed.

“Please daddy, please kill your faggot whore”
“Say how old you are”
“I’m twelve, daddy”
“Too bad you’re never going to reach your teens, faggot”

I didn’t know what was actually a threat but it all felt like one.

He was threatening to bring more people over. I didn’t think this was real but a minute later I heard the lock click and someone else came in. It was his husband. Would this make things better or worse for me? I didn’t stick around to find out – I grabbed my stuff and I ran. I was grateful that I took the money upfront. I got dressed in the elevator.

I walked home, shaking. There was no way I could get on a subway or in someone’s car like this.

I told a group friends about it three days after it happened.

It’s been two weeks and none of them have asked how I am.

Taylor stands naked in a hallway, pictured from chest to knees. Their right hand is grasping an old-looking butter knife hard, pushing it up into their gut a bit below their belly button an their left hand is in the shape of a claw, digging into their hip and side. The image looks bleak and uncomfortable.I wonder if I need better friends. I wonder if they actually are friends, or if that’s just what they would say when they want something from me.

I wonder what it even matters.

He talked about cutting me open so that he’d have new holes to fuck in the same way I used to fantasize about cutting my uterus out with a butter knife – with a calm, serious voice filled with hate for the thing he was talking about – me, my body.

When he told me – over and over and over again – that he could kill me if he wanted to and no one would know what happened, when he talked about how he would continue getting pleasure from me after that, this time his voice was sickly sweet. Condescending. As if I was nothing to him. As if I was nothing to anyone.

Even if they asked how I’m doing, they don’t want to hear about that.

No one wants me to tell them how excited he was. How he bragged that he had been looking forward to being able abuse and rape a disgusting, 12-year-old faggot whore. How he was grabbing me by the collarbone as he said that – a place he grabbed again and again, digging in and leaving a painful reminder of him – and then he made me look him in the eyes and say “I love you, daddy”.

I wanted to throw up, but he already told me he’d make me eat it if I did, and I didn’t know if he meant it.

No one wants to hear these stories, so I guess it’s for the best that my friends didn’t check in. I guess.

And to be fair, I don’t want to talk about it, either. I don’t want to relive it or think about it or anything. I want it and him to leave my head forever. But I also want to feel like there are people that I could talk to, if I choose. That there actually are people who cared about me, unlike he seemed to think, unlike he made me feel.

I feel let down by them but it’s more than that. I feel angry. I feel betrayed.

This group of feminists who are so quick to call others out for poor behaviour, these ten “friends”, not a single one has asked me once how I was. I’ve spoken to a bunch of them multiple times since. Not even once have they checked in about me and how I’m doing.

They have asked if I’m planning any parties. They have used my work for their gain.

And I bet that when I see them again in a couple of weeks they’ll all be happy to see me, acting as if nothing happened.

I feel betrayed by them and angry, but mostly I feel exhausted and isolated and it’s hard to care. Future-Taylor can worry about the friend issue, today-Taylor is still taking things hour-by-hour, just trying to get by.

What’s fucking me up so much is that a lot of what happened was stuff that I love. Which he knew. But instead of having hot kinky sex, he wanted to abuse me.

I’ve had to pull back in dynamics because of this and it makes me furious. I don’t want him to have the power to take anything else from me but I’m not ready.

I hate that he has any fucking say in what I do with people I love.

I hate him, I hate what he did, I hate myself for being mad at myself for this.

I’m starting to get my shit together enough that I can pretend to have my shit together again. I can leave the house and be functional for controlled, calculated outings.

I’m panicking in crowds again.

There are too many people and I can see his face in that split second where he decides that I’m far enough in his maze of a house that he can drop the act and his charming, pleasant mask vanishes and suddenly he’s all rage and I can see how much my very existence disgusts him. And he knows that I know that I’m likely trapped.

Taylor, hunched over a desk. They're topless and you can see the tension in their shoulders. They have bulky headphones on which they are clenching hard. They are facing a laptop which is open to a scene from the show SupernaturalI feel trapped in the crowds, feel like any second any of these strangers around me could drop their mask and try to kill me and no one would know what happened.

My heart races, my breath is rapid, my vision goes blurry, I need to get out of there.

Unexpected sounds and noises are making me jump more than usual, my body taking hours to fully relax afterward. I’m improving, though. The weekend after it happened there were days of fireworks. Days of noise-cancelling headphones in a room with the lights off and not being able to do anything but cry. At lease I’m able to go outside and have panic attacks in public again like a regular millennial.

I decided to get a day job.

Not that I expect it to last.

One month later and I’ve finally seen my therapist for the first time.

She’s an odd woman; not my ideal fit but honestly at this point it’s just too much hassle to start fresh with someone new so I put up with her quirks.

She wants to talk about how risky sex work can be. Not as a judgement, but it isn’t a helpful contribution. Besides, one assault in my 6 year career is lower than I’ve had in any other industry or in my personal history.

She comments that it sounds like I’ve normalized being sexually assaulted and all I can do is laugh sarcastically and remind her that she knows my history.

The session wasn’t helpful at all but I rebook anyway. She may have been off topic and spacey (as always), but that was still the most I’ve felt allowed to talk about it all month.

I spend the rest of the day crying on and off. It’s annoying because I had finally gotten to the point where I only cried if talking about/reading/thinking about emotional things and that was great. But I just spent an hour discussing how I was held down and if I didn’t know if I was going to be able to leave and how my friends just….didn’t seem to care.

I’ll be sad for a while again, but it’s a gentler sad this time.

I know the drill by now. Talking about it will make me think about it and everything will get worse for a bit. But purposefully making yourself feel like crap over and over is how you heal, after all.

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