Last night's flashbacks were different. I don't know how to use words to describe it. Most nights, I lay there full of pain and feel completely helpless against what is happening. I still felt helpless, but I felt something inside me beginning to fight back.
I saw myself laying on the bed stiff as board and panicked with my ex-husband on top of me. And then my mind said, I don't HAVE to do that. You deserve better than that. THAT is not sex or love - that is RAPE, and it is NOT OK!
Then I saw myself standing in the kitchen begging him not to go - trying to convince him that he was right, I was wrong, and that I could change. Again, my mind said, That's not right! You are lying. It is not ok that he just did that to you. He should be ashamed - not you. I felt compassion for the woman standing there looking and feeling so desperate. I felt sad for her, and I just wanted to put my arms around her and let her know she deserved better than that.
I saw myself sleeping in bed. The Ex reached for me, started touching and humping me. In my mind, I pushed him away and told him NO! Leave me alone! You can't have me. This is my body, and my choice. Get away!
The memories haven't changed. They still hurt. They still leave me feeling disgusting, gross, helpless, guilty, and ashamed. But there are new thoughts associated with the memories. They leave me feeling stronger, triumphant, beautiful, and like I am an amazing woman. That is a lot of conflicting things for one brain to handle.
Then tonight, Melissa was talking about her friend Brianne, and Brianne's abusive father. She told a story of one time Brianne's dad nearly killer her brother. For one brief instant, I felt the fear, the guilt, the anger, and the confusion that I felt that night when I was fourteen. Then, the memory passed and I was grateful things weren't like that anymore.
I imagine all of these flashbacks will be like that one day. It might hurt for a second, but then it will pass just as quickly. All of this will be just memories, and nothing more. It is all changing, and it is exciting!