Defences shattered.

I have lived my life, post attack, in a very defensive mode. My emotions were locked tightly away. I’ve been referred to as cold, this was my choice to be seen this way, I had to be in control of every aspect of my life and I certainly couldn’t afford my emotions to get in the way.

It is very common for a survivor of rape or abuse to need this level of control. The attack that happened left me feeling like he controlled my life. During the months that followed me being attacked I constantly listened to an album by Tears For Fears. The album is The Hurting.

The image of the child, so clearly hurt and in pain, resonated so deeply with me at the time. For all I thought of myself as an adult I was technically still a child when attacked.

One of the songs that really spoke to me at this time, and still evokes those feelings I experienced at the time, is a song from this album called Watch Me Bleed.

Watch Me Bleed

Tears for Fears

Heaven comes to he who waits

But I know I’m getting nowhere

And all the deeds of yesterday

Have really helped to pave my way

Though there’s no one near me now

How come everyone can touch me

You see the torture on my brow

Relates to neither here nor now

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Although my face is straight, it lies

My body feels the pain and cries

Here the table is not bare

I am full but feeling empty

For all the warmth it feels so cold

For one so young I feel so old

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

It’s not allowed to be unkind

But still the hate lives in my mind

I’ll make no noise

I’ll hide my pain

I’ll close my eyes

I won’t complain

I’ll lie right back and take the blame

And try to tell myself I’m living

(And when it’s all been said or done)

Where do I go?

Where do I run?

(What’s left of me or anyone)

When we’ve denied the hurting? Oh oh oh oh

Where do I go?

Where do I run?

(What’s left of me or anyone)

When we’ve denied the hurting? Oh oh oh oh

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

And all the deeds of yesterday

Have really helped to pave my way

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

Watch me bleed

Bleed forever

And all the deeds of yesterday

Have really helped to pave my way

Songwriters: Roland Orzabal

Watch Me Bleed lyrics © BMG Rights Management

I shared this with a friend once, she said it explained so much about me. With all that had happened, the state of mind I was left in, the emotional pain that I cannot describe because it is a feeling, it was no surprise that I built impenetrable walls around myself. My first boyfriend after the attack was shocked at how broken I was and he admitted he couldn’t breach the walls I had erected.

When I met my Mr. Wonderful I had just broken up with J. Mr. Wonderful was made aware of what had happened to me and I explained to him I never wanted to have an intimate relationship. He understood where I was coming from, a place of pain so great that I would probably never trust a man ever again.

Yet his friendship brought me back to life. His friendship healed me and I started to trust him. The wall was breached enough to let him in. But the rest of the wall remained in place with regards to anyone else new in my life.

Over the years it feels like every now and then a brick will be removed from my wall, but the wall was still fairly solid. The tight control I had on my emotions and not letting anyone in was still fairly intact. And so it was until I shared the deepest part of myself with some people. I felt a strange sense of relief sharing my feelings with regards to how this one incident shaped my life.

I believed the wall was still intact, right up until the PTSD episode struck. That brutal experience last month has demolished every defence I had carefully crafted to protect my shattered innocence. During this time there was also a betrayal. That hurt as much as the trauma being replayed every day in my head.

And so it was a shock to find I had no defences left when it came to doing an exercise of self discovery yesterday evening. The question was to journal about a wounding to your woman-self. Obviously there was the attack, but letting the words flow I wrote about how other women had wounded me by their actions. As I journaled, the tears flowed so freely, I couldn’t stop them. Normally I’d take a breath, pause what I was doing and regain control over my emotions.

But I just couldn’t this time.

My defences are well and truly shattered.

I’m afraid of where this discovery of self will take me. But I’m also excited to greet the new me.

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