I moved away from my hometown at 18 so that I could attend college in California. I remember having a conversation with my younger brother at the time, telling him how I couldn’t wait to leave because of the small-mindedness of everyone. I realized later that it was my anger at my sexual abuse that was causing those feelings. I didn’t have the capacity to express what was really going on in my head, so I projected my own rage at the others.
All I really wanted to do at the time was escape my sexual abuse and start a brand new life where no one knew about what had happened to me. I truly believed that I could magically transform myself into anyone I wanted being in a completely new environment. Yet, that didn’t happen at all! My memories, my anger, and my confusion followed me to California and plagued me just has much as it did in Wyoming. As much as I denied what was going on in my life, I had no familiarity or routine to dive in to in order to divert my attention away from my past. It slapped me in the face every single day.
Slowly, I realized that I can’t escape my past sexual abuse. Like it or not, being molested is a part of who I am. However, I do get to choose how I allow my abuse to affect my present. There are definitely times, more than I’d care to admit, that I let my emotional baggage take over my life. It not only brings me down, but it also affects those around me. I continue to learn how I can choose to be a stronger person. I’ve learned that when I’m sad or anxious, I can reach out to others. I’ve learned that my emotions don’t always agree with my logic, and I can accept that. I’ve learned that my body refuses to cooperate with my brain, and I have ways to communicate that so that I can function throughout my day. Not everday was to be perfect, wonderful, productive (especially this one because I identify so much with self-achievement!), and fulfilling. I just need to be in the present.