Hello Everyone! I am Julia and I welcome you to my blog. I decided to do this blog for many reasons and some of you may initially be sad by my introduction story, but I want you all to know that is not my intention. I want to share my story and I want to be ultimately uplifting. I have learned that I need to move on and to truly move on I need to love myself again.
Let me explain…
(TRIGGER WARNING–ONLY FOR THIS FIRST PARAGRAPH)A couple of months before I met my wonderful husband I was sexually abused by a man I wanted to date and then he raped me.WHY DIDN’T I STOP SEEING HIM WHEN HE WAS GETTING ROUGH! WHY DIDN’T I SEE THE SIGNS? YOU ARE SO STUPID! Those are only some of the more tamer things I said to myself after the denial I lived in for ao long finally subsided. I blamed myself for the longest time for not realizing what he was doing was abuse. I did reach out to some people for help after the rape because I did feel a bit unsure and a bit frightened by him and about the situation at first but I was told it was what I got for sleeping around so I buried it. I even went to my University doctor when I had bruises and pain in my nether region…for reasons I will spare you from, but the doctor did nothing. She listened to me for a brief moment, gave me a cream for the cause of the pain, patted me on the knee, then said maybe I needed to see my therapist more (I already suffered from anxiety and depression), and gave me condoms. That was the beginning of my silence. I pretended everything was okay…for years. I buried this real deep. I kept it to myself for so long that it eventually was so buried that I don’t think I even realized what happened anymore. I would make certain comments to, my now husband, when we were in our dating years that would definitely concern him but he was not sure how to tell me what I knew in my heart was the truth. He knew first before anyone else did. Even before I had admitted it to myself. I didn’t want to see it. It meant I was weak. It meant I was not strong and I was not good enough to protect myself. At least at that time I thought it did and that is why I never wanted to see things for what it was. I eventually started seeking counseling before my husband and I were married and I still am in counseling today. I will always remember how tragic it was for me when I confronted the truth. To truly realize that I was a victim in something I never could have imagined and truly say “yes that happened to me” was scary. Some people in this world think that a victim will know that they are a victim. That is not true. It is especially not true in cases when you know the person, and when you were trying to be close to that person so they take severe advantage of you. It happens all the time. Also, victims of sexual assault and rape will often be in denial and self blame for a long time before they come to terms with anything. That was me. I didn’t come to terms with it until I ultimately told everything to my mother. When I told her the story I already had come to know in my heart what happened and I was ready to confront it. Luckily, I have a support system (when I opened up again and now) to survive through it. That was a long time ago. It was not until recently, May 5 2015 to be exact when I had an epiphany within myself and with counseling that I no longer feel like any of this was my fault and that realization does make me strong. It is still a constant struggle to deal with the pain of what happened, but I am getting stronger by the day and its a relief now to say that and to even believe that.
Shortly after I started dating my now husband, (and months after the rape) I had to deal with an incident at my University where I got extremely sick and could not go into school. I could not turn in my homework or go to campus. I lived off campus. I was pretty sure I was dying. I had a doctors note to prove it. Not the dying part but the fact that I was sick. Anyway, I had sent an email to a professor of mine, knowing that she likes work put into her mailbox if class was missed, with my work saying that I could not make it to campus because of being sick. She said that was fine. I kept that email. She gave me a “D” preventing me from fully graduating with the rest of my friends and continuing with them in the Master’s program. It was because of that one missing assignment. I reported it to the Dean of the Education Department. He said that all I had to do was retake the class and get a better grade and I will be accepted and everything will be fine. Even though I had the email that the Professor said I was fine, I could not do anything about what the Professor did. I retook the class and received an A and reapplied. They still did not let me into the program. They said I was unfit for the program even though everything was eligible: grade point average, my PSAT scores, and classes taken. I appealed it. They still denied me. I was told that some “Professors” said I just wouldn’t make a good teacher. In my opinion I don’t see how anyone can be denied by a matter of an opinion, especially after I paid for the class again if they were only going to deny me anyway. I know who that Professor was. Or maybe it wasn’t a Professor but a certain Dean that just didn’t want to deal with a student that causes a stink when she gets pissed off with his precious Professors when they do something messed up. The way I see it is that I was paying good money to attend and I deserved a lot better. I still see it that way. At least I do now. However, then it sadly destroyed me and it took a lot out of my self confidence and worth. Still working on my confidence because of this.
Shortly after the school denying me entry to the program I wanted to attend I decided to take a break from school and continue with my part time job and make it a full time job. I made it full time as a Supervisor since it was a part time one anyway in a town closer to my husband who was still just my boyfriend at the time. We moved in together and things were going well since I took a position at a store close by. Well, that soon went down the toilet. I started noticing that there were an awful lot of refunds happening and I did mention it to my store manager. I also mentioned that these refunds were not being logged into our log nor was anything written on the second receipt. Nothing was really done about it on her end but I never thought anything about it. Months later this issue arose again. I also want to state that I was bullied non stop by another supervisor in this store and reported it to the District Manager and the Store Manager and nothing was ever done about it. They spoke to the girl and it only made things worse. I was pushed harder and the Manager was told I was not working hard enough by the supervisor that bullied me and she would believe it. I was constantly pushed around. When the refund issue came back up I was accused of fraudulent returns under my numbers. I said that I would never do such a thing, which I am not just saying this, but I would NEVER do such a thing. I will go on public oath right now and say again it was not me in a million years. I was framed. They poked and prodded me. I cried since I am sensitive but it must have made me look guilty since they said they could match my handwriting on the receipts to mine. I told them go ahead because the handwriting would not match mine. To this day I wish they would because that shitty hand writing would never match mine, but I bet I know who it would match. I have a couple of ideas anyway. So I was suspended pending an investigation but they never did one. I was let go.
All three of these things happened within a span of two 1/2 years. My self esteem grew non-existent and the person that cared about anything ceased to exist. I started to think why should I care about my appearance when there are people who will only abuse me and tear me down anyway? Why should I work so hard for my dreams when it doesn’t matter how hard you work it only takes one person to destroy you? Why should I care about my life at all? No matter how hard my husband tried to pull me close I only tried to push him away harder. I pushed friends away to the point where they are really only acquaintances on Facebook, because I will make excuses that I cant do things because I have trust issues. I even developed trust issues against my own boyfriend, who is my husband (bless his patience and acceptance through my trials and demons), and truthfully my own family. Anything negative said to me was a criticism I could no longer take. It was an attack on my person that would literally tear me to pieces. I literally have barely been able to hold it together. Through the years most people probably would not have even noticed. I always act cheerful and I always try to look out for other people before myself, but behind closed doors I was dying inside.
I know that my husband was desperately trying to get closer and help me through it but I would only get angry and throw up walls. My mother would ask me what is wrong and I would tell her there wasn’t anything wrong. When my husband and I were planning our wedding and loosing weight it was a really happy time for me. I was actually building confidence back and getting excited about…well…about life again. Our wedding was amazing. I will post our nerdy wedding sometime and as well as our Disney/Harry Potter Honeymoon as well. It wasn’t until when we got back that things started turning sour again. I tried seeing the counselor that I was seeing back then again (I am seeing someone totally different, brilliant, and amazing now) shortly after we got back but I had a migraine. I still suffer from severe migraines. I left her a message that I need to reschedule and gave her the days I was available with times for the rest of that week and the next. She had always called me back and at least left me a message if I did not answer. She never called me back. It was like a trigger for me of rejection. I would have to find a new counselor which shouldn’t be a big deal but it was hurtful since she never called me back but it was like she didn’t care. A person that should care for her patient…I mean especially in this case…did not even care to call me back. I felt slapped in the face with my trust issues again and I started to feel anger. Not to mention that the psychiatrist that I see also does not return calls was starting to happen a couple months later really started to get under my skin and cause me pain. December 3,2014, which was only months after my wedding, I snapped. It should have been a lovely time…first holiday season married, but I couldn’t sleep. I was having nightmares most nights about my past and I just couldn’t cope anymore. I felt like my husband was better off without me. I thought that everyone would be better off without me. I started saying that I wanted to wrap myself around a tree. I wanted to die. I was admitted to the hospital for suicidal thoughts. I thought that this world would be better without me because I just was not normal. I wasn’t working properly. Even on medication I could not cope and I had migraines that would not subside.
Well, come to find out the hospital said that the psychiatrist nurse practitioner that I was seeing was putting me on medication dosages that really don’t exist and shouldn’t really be paired together. My medicine was essentially fighting against one another and just not doing anything. They finally listened to my symptoms and told me what type of depressive they thought I was and prescribed me with medication that would help with my migraines. I no longer felt like a guinea pig but like my life was actually going somewhere. I still see the counselor that I have now and she is great.
So…I want to say that TRAUMA is defined as an emotional shock following a stressful event or a physical injury, which may be associate with physical shock and sometimes leads to long term neurosis. I am already a strong person that struggles through depression and anxiety and I was seen for it in college before any of the things above ever occurred. My family as a history of depression as well, but then I went through all those things above that caused me severe stress, pain, suffering, heartbreak, and continued grief in my mental state. This is the truth behind trauma and PTSD. I am now writing this because I am now opening up to everyone that I understand that I have PTSD and I am going to make myself a better person. I will no longer hide from the world. I want to share who I really am inside. I don’t want to hide from husband, my family, my friends new and old, and most of all myself anymore. It is time to shine again.
There is this book that I borrowed from my counselor that has truly inspired me. It is called, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are by Brene Brown. It is her guide to a wholehearted life which was something I wanted and needed to read about because with everything I have been going through I felt like my life wasn’t worth living if I couldn’t be perfect. This book is changing my life right now. It is getting the Julia “Nerdy” stamp of approval because it is just what I needed to realize the I need to be me again. Here are some quotes from it to see if you are interested because I highly recommend it!
Perfectionism is not the same thing as striving to be your best….Perfectionism is not self improvement-page 56