I have not been here long, and have been struggling to acknowledge any progress I may have made.
After a session with my therapist this morning, where we briefly discussed what progress looks like. I decided that this was progress for me.
So I thought this would be a good place to put this.
Before joining this site and Pandy's I set out to tell my close group of freinds of my assault. I was inspired by a similar letter I saw in Mike Lew's Book - Victims No Longer.
I spent 3 weeks writing it, changing it, deleting it, and writing it again, before I finally placed copies in envelopes, and sent them off to my close group of 5 friends.
We've know each other a long time, some as far back as public school. I was terrified at the prospect of them knowing, but you'll see that in my letter.
So for what it's worth, this is my progress.
I write this letter to you because; at present this confession would be far too difficult for me to verbalize in person, collectively or individually. So you are aware, I have sent this letter only to our close group of friends, Greg, Craig, and the three Mike's.
I am a survivor of a childhood rape. I am a survivor but I have been suffering and continue to suffer from the effects of this attack, and yet I am mostly unaware of the extent this has affected me.
This occurred only once, at the hands of a stranger, and I have only minimal recollection of the actual event itself. I have surmised that I was about 8 yrs old at the time, as I have a difficult time placing this event in context with a specific age or time, and I cannot explain why. I won't impart you with details, as not only would this be unnecessary and unfair, but I don't really recall the greatest portion of what happened, as I may have been unconscious or in a dissociative state for a large portion of my attack.
Until very recently I had only ever told two people, Deborah, several years ago, and childhood friend shortly after it occurred. This friend then used this information against me, by threatening to expose my secret. I was terrified at this prospect, and begged him not to. He didn't tell, but I instantly lost my trust in him and our friendship pretty much ended that day. As you can imagine I have been reticent to tell anyone since.
It's been difficult to trust anyone, those I don't know, as well as those I do. My world has been very black and white, you're with me or against me, there is only good or bad, right or wrong, with little room for shades of gray. The trust I have in someone or something can be broken in an instant, and for relatively insignificant reasons. These however are reactions, beyond my conscious control. Once I get past the emotional response and separate myself from the situation, I can talk myself through it, and can see how I would have preferred to react. Then beat myself up for reacting the way I did.
I cannot begin to describe how difficult informing you of this is. As I sit here writing this, I am awash of fear, trepidation and sadness, all the while admonishing myself for not "Manning Up" and calling or seeing each of you to explain. I know however that I am not yet up to that task, and the next time I speak to, or see you, will be another emotionally difficult hurdle to overcome. I worry that youíll look at me differently, see me as damaged or broken, or find it too uncomfortable to face, and the safety net you all have unknowingly provided me would be gone.
I considered asking you to keep this in confidence, but realize this would be too much to ask, as you too may have to process this and need to discuss with to your respective partners or each other. I tell you these things as I believe you all know me best, I'm hoping you'll read this letter and integrate it with what you know about me. Perhaps a trait you've wondered about, or a disagreement, or a distancing or lack of contact may become clearer with this understanding. Maybe even something positive, since I tend to gravitate towards the negative first. This has shaped me in ways even I do not understand yet, and I believe I have long way to go in my recovery, if that is even possible.
I have tried to find something of relevance on the web to refer you to; to further understand the implications, but nothing I've found truly reflects my experiences. I believe I became a master at compartmentalizing and rationalizing, but these mechanisms have been getting more difficult as time has passed.
I believe, as I don't fully understand the complexities yet, that at this early age, to protect myself, I shutdown emotionally. I kept people at a distance. I try to read people and react, if I have the will to interact at all, and have a constant fear that I'll be found out. I am not yet truly aware of the forces that have guided me through my life to this point. But I am beginning to give myself some credit for having made it this far, as I understand many in my circumstance do not. I feel like I am ill equipped to feel the things that most people take for granted, and I yearn to feel as normal as everyone else seems to me.
Itís not all bad and Iím not a blubbering mess even though it may sound like it. I am currently in active therapy but struggling with where I need go with all of this. I am barely beginning to understand... me, and how this has indelibly shaped me. But opening this door has seemed to take away some of the power this has had over me. My hope is by telling all of you, I can further diminish the power this had had over me.
Why have I given this to you? I don't need you to talk to me about it, although I would welcome any conversation. I don't need or expect any pity. In fact I expect all of you to continue to bust my balls, as you would have if I had not exposed this to you. I would, however welcome your support and understanding. At this point in my recovery there is just one thing I do need from all of you. I just need you to know. Thanks.
I am not my name, or my history, or the contents of my mind, I am the awareness behind of all this.
Formerly Adam A Gedman (AKA - A damAGed man)
But you can call me Kevin