I am not good at accepting help. I never have been.
Since the day my mother and my family turned their backs on me when I was 13 years old I have felt alone.
That day, twenty years ago, I asked for help, for someone to save me but instead they told me off and made me believe that I was bad for reaching out. I got into so much trouble for asking for help that I began to believe that it was wrong to do so.
So, instead of asking for help, I began self-harming. Not only was it a way to feel a different pain to the frequent rapes, it was a way to silence my emotions and a way to silence my voice. It was a way to stop myself asking for help.
Every time I felt like speaking up and asking for help, I would instead cut myself, punishing myself for even having the thought.
After all, asking for help was forbidden. I was made to believe that asking for help meant I was weak.
For a really long time the self-harm worked. Up until the day I walked into the police station and reported him.
That day something changed.
From that day onwards the self-harm has stopped helping to silence the emotions. It is like something was triggered that day. Reporting him has made the memories come flooding back. Memories that I cannot control.
Memories, nightmares, flashbacks.
PTSD brings not only new, supressed memories but also new emotions. Emotions I have never been allowed to feel before are hitting me daily. Even as I try, I know the cutting doesn’t help anymore. Not in the way it used to. It may silence the emotions for a little while but then they come flooding back, more intense than ever.
I feel like I am drowning.
I need help but I am scared. Does asking for help make me weak? Does it make me a burden?
This time is different from when I was 13. This time I have people, professionals, who want to help. People who know how to work with victims like me.
My therapist, Rape Crisis, Victim Support and even the police, they all want to help. And the thing is, I really want their help. I need their help.
I feel like I am drowning and well, sometimes, people who are drowning die fighting their rescuers.
I am carrying a burden that is so hard to bear. The memories alone eat me up inside. They make me feel disgusting. They make me hate myself. But it is the emotions I struggle with the most.
I have all this stuff locked away inside. I try to cope alone but it is getting too hard. This pain hurts so bad.
The pressure inside from not allowing myself to cry keeps on getting stronger and stronger. I physically hurt inside. My chest hurts. My head hurts. My nose bleeds from pressure and stress. It is unbearable. I need help to let it out or I am only going to get worse. I am only going to continue suffering.
Is asking for help that bad? Is letting people help me that terrible?
I fight to survive every single day. I have had to fight alone for twenty years. Having someone help me doesn’t mean I am failing. It just means I don’t have to do this alone…..doesn’t it?
I am scared to accept help. I am scared because accepting help means I have to trust the people who want to help me. Trusting them leaves me so very vulnerable. Trusting them means I am at risk of getting hurt again. That terrifies me.
I want help. I need help. I need to try and let people in. I have to try to trust them.
I have to be willing to let people help me. I cannot carry this burden alone. It is becoming too heavy. The police case alone is terrifying. Let alone the PTSD and the memories. I have to allow myself to be supported or I am going to break.
I won’t survive this without help. I just know it.
I have been strong enough to stand alone for twenty years but I am also smart enough to know when I need help. I just need to be brave enough to ask for it.
Accepting help from others doesn’t mean I am weak. Accepting help is its own kind of strength.
Some people think that to be strong is to never feel pain. In reality the strongest people are the ones who feel it and learn to understand it and then, in time, accept it. But we need help to do so.
Accepting help is scary but it is one of the bravest moves I can make.
So please, if I tell you that I need you please do not take it lightly. I do everything I can to never have to depend on anyone, to never show my emotions. If I say that I need you it means I am trusting you enough to catch me if I fall.
I need help. I need you to tell me everything will be OK. I need you to reassure me that I will be fine. I need you to tell me because I cannot tell myself.
Most of all I need you to tell me that it is finally OK for me to let go.
Thanks for reading
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