It’s very hard to admit something bad has happened to you, because we feel a level of guilt from not preventing the bad thing from happening.
When we lose ourselves, we hate ourselves for it. We think it’s *our* fault, when really a combination of events happen and so they happen to us. Like me. Two years ago, I was sexually assaulted.
This past year I have been rebuilding myself. The first year was about surviving it. This past year was about thriving.
When it happens to you – a traumatic experience, a grief you know not to deal with, you lose yourself. The months prior I could feel myself slipping, but it took having the right to my own body, the right to say NO that shattered me into pieces.
It wasn’t until three nights ago I realised exactly why this past year has been so back and forth. It;s the year I have been relearning the basics of my new self. I was stretching, pushing at my breaking points, learning what makes this Lou tick. What made her stomach fill with fire and what made her snap. I was establishing my boundary lines.
So here’s a mini progress report: 2 years on, 1 year New Lou.
1. Doesn’t seem to rate colour, but anything in pink or sparkly is bought no questions asked.
2. Can run over 6 miles in an hour, especially if old school Christina Aguilera is on the playlist.
3. Refuses to drink dairy milk. It’s GROSS.
4. Has a large art and print obsession – will buy something where ever she travels, even London.
5. Hates the sayings ‘man up’ or ‘grow some balls’. Will insist on ‘adult up’ being used instead.
6. If we’re going to do the whole ball thing *eye roll* then she’s got the biggest balls of anyone I know. She’s a powerhouse.
7. Loves herself more than her love for Edinburgh Gin or Kinder Buenos.
8. Is learning to stay passionate even in the face of opposition – she knows what she’s on about, alright? Her gut’s a good’s.
She’s still learning about herself, like Bambi on ice, but she’s so crazily happy she loves every step.
I won’t ever get back to the girl I was; I can’t get her back no matter how hard I try. And I have. She’s gone. But in her ashes, this Lou rises high as a phoenix. She is someone I’m in love with and feel privileged to be – she’s stronger than the old me, tougher yet softer and has a comfort in her body I could only once dream of. I miss the woman I could have become, god she would’ve been a friggen knockout, but I’m happy as me. The woman before would have had a completely different future; she would be at a different university, even back at home dating someone I don’t know, feeling safe and totally oblivious to things.
There’s still so much I have to learn as this version of me, this woman filled with passion and fight. There’s a part of me who longs for three years ago when my old self was happy and safe, content with everything around her. It was all familiar. But this girl? She needs me. She needs my love and support, and so that’s where it shall be.
Here’s to figuring out who the hell I am. Here’s to the next year and thriving even more. Here’s to freedom and gritted teeth, open palms and quick feet. Here’s to only looking back to learn.
And here’s to you, for sticking with me got so long and reading this far. Thank you so bloody much. You have been my shield, my comrade in arms and my close friend I don’t know. You have all of my heart.