When I feel pain, I pull away. I retreat. Like a turtle withdraws into his shell; I too withdraw and hide to protect myself. I stand alone in the face of this pain. I try to protect those around me from entering this place of pain and suffering. I do not want to hurt them with the knowledge of this pain. I avoid others, afraid that one word, one phrase, one look might break down the floodgates. That all I have tried so hard to conceal would come spilling forth.
I feel safe in my loneliness, I am not vulnerable. I can hide away. I can put on a mask around others. My strong face. Stoic. Unwavering. Emotionless. I can remove my mask when I am alone and experience the pain. The mask saves me from breaking down and exposing myself. My vulnerability. My pain.
I have avoided other women since the rape because of this vulnerability. Friendship would prove to be too vulnerable for me. The rape has become so much a part of me, it defines who I am. How can someone get to know me without knowing I was raped? I hide my hurt and pain so I won’t disappoint others. I also deal with it alone because I don’t want to depend upon other people to get me through this. Everyone in my life has proved unreliable. I want to trust God and go to Him first. I feel like when I go to God, I am forcing myself to deal with the it.
Sometimes when I talk to others they just focus on cheering me up. They tell me I am torturing myself. I don’t think I am torturing myself. When these memories creep into my mind and haunt me. I am reminded that I haven’t moved on. I am not done healing and there are still issues that need to be resolved. Blocking it out, pushing it away, or repressing it won’t get me anywhere.