Apology To The Girl I Lost

In my late teens and early twenties, I was someone I really liked. I was strong, confident, independent and determined. I worked in travel, I was always on the road, in a different town, and often country, every night. I worked hard, and partied harder. Nothing phased me, I had the world in my grasp and I was dragging it by its balls.

By the age of 21, I had my first child, and although it meant the end of my career in travel, I was still completely independent and had big goals for my future. I was all my child needed, and they were all I needed. We were all set to go off exploring the world, but then I met my husband and everything changed.

After years of being controlled, put down, and raped, I no longer recognise myself. In fact, just yesterday morning I stormed out of my bathroom after yelling at my reflection that I cannot bare to look at her face. I am not that girl anymore, I don’t know where she has gone, but I know I miss her. Instead of being strong or confident I now jump at shadows. Instead of being independent and determined I now just feel proud if I manage to haul myself out of bed, and that just feels pretty pathetic in comparison.

I often close myself in at home. I talk to people online, but there is a distance that way. I know it isn’t healthy, but it makes me feel safer right now. The trouble is, when I see family and friends, they greet me with a hug, and same with goodbyes. For most people that would be lovely, normal even. For me, it is uncomfortable and I fear it so much that I shut myself away even more. The thought of physical contact makes my skin crawl and my stomach lurch.

Even my dreams are no refuge. If I am not reliving distressing events from my marriage, I am dreaming about horrible things happening, that people are holding me down so I can’t move or escape, or that my son suddenly appears but I can’t speak to him.

Recently I had a lovely dream, I dreamt I met an actor I had a huge crush on, and he was protecting me. In my dream he was just holding me, and I felt so warm and safe, something I haven’t felt in years. I woke up feeling happy, it was such a relief. Later that day a photo of this actor appeared on my Twitter feed (new film out). I suddenly found myself shaking uncontrollably, crying and absolutely terrified. Now I can’t even look at him.

I already can’t listen to music and now films and tv are becoming a problem.

A few weeks ago, whilst a work, a male colleague made a harmless, flirtatious comment, but it left me so scared. I used to love the attention I got when I was younger, but that girl is not here any more. I don’t like the one that is in her place. She is weak, an imposter, afraid of almost everything, including her own decisions.

I hope one day I can find a glimmer of the girl I lost. I miss her and I’m so sorry I allowed her spirit to be dismantled and destroyed.


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