On what is to me the second day of the 5-year anniversary of my rape, I reflect upon my journey over the last five years. It has been a hard fought journey of the days and weeks after being constantly reminded and replaying in my head the events of that night to these most recent months where I do not have those thoughts anymore but work through all the images, thoughts, feelings, etc. that are still stuck in my mind that have never gone away. It is a journey that I finally see an end to after over four years of blaming myself, convinced it must have been my fault because those around me told me so and I told myself so because I believed everyone and I believed that I did not do enough to protect myself, as if I could have done something more.
It was not my fault. I could have said ‘No’ a thousand times more and it would not have made a difference. I cannot change what happened, erase it with magic or forget it somehow. What I can do is work through what happened. I can stop blaming myself, work through all the pain, anger and sadness, and find full recovery from this just like I am finding recovery from my eating disorder. I can stop using the eating disorder to try and cover up all of the feelings and instead feel them. I can choose recovery.
I fight through the pain and memories of the rape to finally find peace and find recovery. I choose recovery over the blame, living in the eating disorder, and being stuck in that night. I know recovery is possible and I will get there. I will heal from this.