Road to becoming a Survivor, beginnings

Hey everyone. This is my first time blogging so I'm not sure if I'm even doing this right, but I'm giving it a try. I've started writing a book about my life that I'm hoping will be very inspirational. I want to help others out who have been through some of the same experiences that I have. However, I'm not sure how to go about getting my book published, so instead I have decided to post a blog. I'm going to post bits and pieces of the book I have been working on. I really hope that everyone reading enjoys my work as I've put my heart and soul into it. There are details that are very graphic, so be warned. Here is the first portion of my book. I hope you enjoy it :)

 

My name is River and I'm 24 years old. Since I was in high school, I've always had my life planned out. I was going to get married and start a family by the time I was 25. Okay, so it's not an intricate, exuberant, or even a difficult goal to accomplish. But it's all I've ever wanted out of my life, if I did anything at all. Sure, I had other dreams. I wanted to be a teacher, a singer, a nurse, an author, and even an actress; but none of that mattered to me if it didn't work out. It was cool to dream about, but all I wanted out of my life was to be a mother and have at least a somewhat normal family, to have someone look up to me and call me mom.

My life hasn't been the easiest and I've really started to think deeply about it since I'll be turning 25 in three months. Thinking about how I've gotten to where I am has definitely brought a lot into the spotlight. Mostly, I've realized how dependent I am on the man I am with. I don't love myself enough to reach out and get help. If it were up to me, I would continue to be delusional and in denial thinking I can control everything and handle all the stress, depression, anxiety, and everything else on my own. I knew he couldn't handle me and my issues anymore. He shouldn't have had to in the first place, but I was lucky enough to find someone who loved me and wanted so much for our relationship to work out. I wanted to change myself for him. I'm realizing now that this journey isn't about me changing. It's about healing.

I've started seriously seeing a counselor to end my life of being a victim, and start a life being a survivor. I've talked with counselors, therapists, and social workers before (four before her), but I don't think I ever sought help for what was truly holding me back in life. All they ever did was touch the surface. This counselor I have now is a wonderful woman. She's bubbly, kind, and really open and enthusiastic about what she is doing with her work. It's so easy to talk to her and I'm so grateful that I was led to her for healing. I've only seen her a couple of times now, but every time I leave, I have this feeling of contentment, that I'm on the right path and doing the right thing for once. I've never actually felt that in my life before; contentment. It's new to me and yet refreshing. It's inspiring.

Sarah, as I'll call her, works in a government funded center which focuses on giving counseling to those who have been molested or sexually abused as a child, or who have been a victim of domestic abuse. I remember making my first call to this center and speaking with the receptionist. "Have you been a victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault?"

It shocked me that this woman could be so forward with me and how easy it was for her to say. I understood that it was necessary so I could get the appropriate counseling, but the word 'sexual assault' has always had a certain connotation to it for me that was almost taboo. All I could say was "The latter of the two." with an awkward, anxious giggle.

It felt really wrong to giggle about something so serious, something that was so difficult for me to even talk about with the man I love. I wasn't even fully in my body while the call was going on. I was aware of what was happening, what she was saying, what I was saying, but it wasn't me. Not exactly an out-of-body experience, but sort of like I was day dreaming and not fully aware of my surroundings as they happened. My mind was elsewhere. It's as if it weren't really happening. My instinct was to hang up the phone, tell them I was fine and that I didn't need counseling. I was afraid. I'm not sure what of, though. Getting healthy? Finding out I'm crazy? I'm not sure I will ever know. I held onto the fact I needed to do this if I was ever going to be the woman my fiancé deserves. I was able to stay on the phone and set up my first appointment with Sarah.

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