September ’16

My depression has affected me stronger in the last two weeks than it has in a long time. That’s the thing about depression; you will start to feel better until you almost forget, then it hits you from behind like a train. Sometimes there is a trigger and sometimes there is not. Coping skills definitely help, but the train is still there, and it won’t be ignored. This time there was a trigger. Someone very close to me was sexually assaulted two weeks ago. When they started to tell me what happened, I just ran out of the room screaming. That was terrible of me. I should have been there for them when they were feeling traumatized. Instead I ran out of fear. I didn’t want to hear details, and now I feel guilty. I thought that when I got out of the cult I would be able to protect myself from abusers. I thought I could protect my friends and family. How could I have been so foolish? I am just one person against an entire culture of abusers. I’ve been physically ill most days since the event. I feel unmotivated, exhausted, distracted, I can’t catch a breath and my stomach hurts. I used to punch myself in the stomach each time after Ted took a hold of me, and I think that thinking about this most recent abuse is triggering that old pain. I feel weak, as if the day-to-day requires so much energy. My friend has a lawyer, detective, and counselor. She will most likely be okay. I am angry. I’m angry that I couldn’t protect her, I’m angry that this evil man found her. She didn’t deserve this, no one does. I’m jealous that she has a lawyer that will take her case when I never got the chance, and never will. That thought racks me with guilt. She deserves justice and this man deserves punishment. I hope they each get what they deserve.

It is interesting that September is suicide awareness month. Every day I see posts from a Facebook page about mental health; ways to cope with suicidal feelings and thoughts. These posts help me. By the age of 18 I was suicidal. I thought after I decided not to choose suicide I would never feel that way again. I haven’t felt like dying again until this week. I did not think about self-harm, I just felt like giving up. I had the thought of seeing no reason to live. I could see that scared Husband when I told him. I keep on living for my family. I keep on living for love, light, and kindness. I know I will get through this, I am not scared. I have just had a hopeless two weeks. I felt that the last 9 years I have done so much work to remove myself from that abuse. After this incident being so close to me, it all came back. I felt that I was right in the middle of it again. I saw no escape.

Tonight I did yoga for the first time in two weeks. Yoga helped a lot, but it wasn’t quite enough. I ran around the track, I just kept running until the tears were streaming down my face. I long to move forward, I will move forward. I have overcome so much, I will do it over and over again, because I am here.

I am not caged, I am free.




2 thoughts on “September ’16

  1. I’m so sorry Erica. I know you will be OK, you are right. I wish that there were triumphant “happy endings” in life like in the movies! There are triumphs of course, but somehow they always end up looking more like an accumulation of small victories and achievements, peppered among inevitable failures and disappointments. The main thing is constantly re-devoting ourselves to love and kindness and the humane side of our human nature, again and again, despite everything, despite all the evidence that we all harbor a darker side. It’s like a labor of Sisyphus, (probably spelled that wrong), but the alternative is to die. Let’s LIVE! I love you.


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