PTSD, flashbacks and Nirvana (*trigger warning, contains details of rape and trauma*)

By (S)llew la Wulf | Llewella_la_femme | 12 Mar 2022



 

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(this song was the theme tune to my feelings of isolation and pain for many years... Not there, for the main part anymore, but watching Batman the other day bought it back...) 

 

Life has been OK recently I have to admit, pretty good in fact, so it surprised me that I experienced one of the most vivid and intense flashbacks I've had since I was raped 6.5 years ago. I have had various episodes of experiencing flashbacks, but the most important and standout aspect of this one was that it was a flashback to a point I had not remembered. Ie there has been a whole section of one of the days (it wasn't an isolated event, it occurred over 2 nights and 2 days) that I've never been able to recall...

A friend of mine has suggested that perhaps because I'm in a better place now, I am more able to handle retrieving these memories. If I'd had them a few years or even 6 months ago, it may well have been followed by severe, consistent and debilitating anxiety attacks. As it stands I'm actually OK... It was deeply unpleasant but I'm OK... Just trying to assimilate this new information and run through how I feel about it.

The main part I have now retrieved is that he did rape me again on the second morning. I was unsure because, all I remember is waking up and him (after promising to be 'nice' and sleep on the floor) in my bed, attempting to rape me again. Then my memory cut to a scene I can only describe as post fight - I had clumps of his hair in my hands, he had scratches on his face and we were either side of the bed.

Seemingly he had actually raped me again, but this time rather than go catatonic (like I did when he raped me the first night) I broke free and physically fought him.

In many ways, cold as it may sound... Whether he raped me once, twice or 10 times over that 2 days, no longer matters. It was a violation of my body and mind, period. So I am not going to allow myself to be retraumatised by that. I understand why my mind had blocked that out, because unlike the initial rape, there was an overt violence to it, because I struggled. This is the reason I suppose why so many women do go catatonic during rape because... They are scared and they know that it will be more brutal and violent if they do resist. And then that lack of fighting, of resistance is interpreted, socially, as enjoyment and used as a sign of their culpability... Ah yes, the years of my own victim blaming lies proof of that. Because I was catatonic for the first rape (aged 19)and the first episode of rape with this man... and I was *dumb* enough to have been so manipulated by my own fear and self hatred, I told myself that it was my fault (for not fighting), not his and therefore agreed to him staying in my room a second night... Yes, I still, in some ways, feel shame over this... I can't help it, despite knowing that shame is not mine to own, its his... This is how rape culture works folks. Fully automated from within the minds of the survivors/victims... You only have to look at the low rates of reporting and conviction set against the context of how many women are raped each year. Go figure...

I so want to name him, but I can't, not in a public space, because too many people would know him or would remember him from back in the day and he is just... known, popular in some ways... I would be scared for my own safety. That angers me more, I have to say... That he still manages to scare me... I still sometimes have intensely violent thoughts about him. His blood decorates the hallways of my trauma and keeps absolute darkness at bay... Because anger is more purposeful than fear and self loathing...

 

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(S)llew la Wulf
(S)llew la Wulf

Yet another artist screaming (colourfully) into the void. I like to dance. I write. I do self portraiture and i draw... I cover topics ranging from racial bias to female sexuality to capitalism to rape culture and of course, love ❤️


Llewella_la_femme
Llewella_la_femme

Some of my more political writing and art...

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