I know that not all survivors suffer from some sort of post-traumatic stress. I cannot speak to those experiences. In fact, I cannot speak to a single experience that is not my own. But I sure as hell know that almost 11 years later, I definitely don’t feel “healed.” Better, certainly. I don’t think about being raped every day, after all. But I don’t know when I will. I don’t know if and how it will happen. Subconsciously, it also affects my relationships with regards to trust; I know this.
So healed? Healed? No. No, I am not fucking healed. And while I wouldn’t begrudge finding out someday that I’m wrong, I’ve basically accepted that “healed” is something I’m never going to be.
In short, I am okay. I have been okay for some time, and I will be okay. But I will never be the way I was pre-rape, or “get over it.” To go back to this “bruising” metaphor — you can’t see the bruises unless you look for them, and they don’t hurt in just general life. But if you press on them, fuck yeah, there’s pain.
Like Cara, I've wondered about healing too. I'm trying, but I don't see it as a destination I'll find and then be all better forever again. Am I better now than I was a year ago when the memories came back to smash me to bits? Yes. Am I healed?
No. Fuck. No.
I have good days, where I don't see her or feel her or sense her. Then, I have days like I did yesterday when I wanted to scream, cry, put my fist through a wall and curl up in a ball all in one afternoon.
While things are improving, the end result is that I was still raped and that has deeply transformed me in ways you can see and in ways you cannot. Cara's analogy with the surgery scars was perfect. There was a change made that cannot be unmade. I will continue to get better, but there is no going back. There is no mental eraser to make it all go away.