Trigger Warning: This post mentions sexual abuse and may trigger some people.
“I stopped by a coffee shop on the way. Around me, everyday city types lived everyday everyday life … nevertheless, or even more, I sat in this coffee shop and had a coffee. I drank and felt desperate loneliness. I was the only outsider. There was no place here … I had nothing to do with anyone here. The fact is that I will come to regain myself.. “~Haruki Murakami
“You have no goals.”
“I wondered why people of your age and qualifications aren’t doing any more.”
A simple statement made for those who haven’t lived my life. For twelve years of childhood sexual abuse, silence and struggling to stop it, people I trusted denied it happened. 33 years of struggling with depression, failing, and constantly taking the easy way by giving up on myself, my dreams, and my life.
Still, I continued to move forward, pushing for depression attacks. I experienced trauma at an early age and lost my childhood sensations.
I fell in love with a boy at school to feel normal, but I didn’t feel anything. I couldn’t fall in love, as my friend was in college. I tried to like men, but I withdrew from just a touch.
In my late thirties, when I woke up to a life I had opened up myself, I thought I had found love in a six-month relationship, so I dated irregularly. Ten years later, I’m still alone and can only hear a girl crying trying to find her childhood and the lost youth. A woman who wants to find love but is blocked by self-doubt.
Despite my handicap, some days are better than others, considering how much I’ve achieved in my career, but others are just loneliness. With therapy, Buddhism, a PhD, a rich career, and a family that loves me, I never admit the greatest truth in my life.
I don’t complain very often, and some say that what my family doesn’t understand is cultural and generational. Others are worried and ask for help when I’m in a bad mood.
It doesn’t help me, neither attention nor approval. These are all what I had been looking for before. What I want is to live a life where I can find love. But I think love wants me to find myself first.
If you’re looking for yourself or love, like me, maybe what I’ve shared below may help.
Don’t move away from your feelings.
They come on the waves, weakening you and making you cry. Let’s cry. Your tears are valuable because they express what you feel without words or judgment. Your pain, your sadness is yours. Don’t turn your back on it. Listen to it and listen to it.
I’ve spent countless hours crying because anger, distrust that this was my life, and the sadness of having a tough childhood now make me cry. I cry for myself, a five-year-old girl with eyes that said a lot but no one paid attention to. A child whose emotions are labeled as tantrum and ignored.
Don’t ignore your tears, or someone else’s tears.
Don’t silence your thoughts.
Your thoughts can be both your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t judge it like your feelings. Find a way to express yourself.
I write as a researcher and as a way to express myself. It was my writing that helped me overcome the devastating stages of depression in my life. My words on paper revealed to me many hidden, silent aspects of my abuse. I was able to write down what I couldn’t speak and reconcile.
Get it all, whether you share it with others or keep it yourself. Release shame by sharing your story.
When I talked about the past, many patronized me and felt sorry for me. Thank you for listening to me, but I don’t open up because I want to sympathize. I do it for myself — because talking about my past empowers me.
Don’t give up hope.
While writing this, I’m sitting here crying and feeling hopeless, but in life, our breathing is resilient. And my heart tries to convince me that there is no hope, but as long as I am still breathing, I always know that there is hope. The same applies to you.
Please turn your gratitude inward.
We are more than grateful to our friends and family for having a stable job and home. We are grateful to ourselves, what we have done in our life journey, and how we have overcome many pains. You can look at yourself with your eyes in the mirror and say, “I deserve love.”
Double-check that you deserve love and more.
I compare my life to others and go through the stages where life feels different in a short period of time, and others have it all. Everyone knows that we shouldn’t compare ourselves to others, but it’s not the comparison that hurts. I’m afraid I won’t be able to get what others have.
We lack faith and trust because years of abuse have led to low self-esteem and self-doubt. The best way to get in and out of yourself is to accept yourself, regardless of past, sadness, lost years, or tears. It all shaped who we are and made us into strong people who deserve love and respect.
Have a dream
I haven’t given up on finding love. My abuse has robbed me of a typical life trajectory, but over the last decade I have reconnected with different parts and aspects of myself. For example, as a teenager, I wanted to fall in love, but I’m afraid to trust.
Work was a safe place, so my career set a precedent for most of my twenties and thirties. But now that I realize that love doesn’t have to be dangerous, I dream of finding love someday by having a dog with my family.
It wasn’t just my youth that was robbed, but also my dreams because I didn’t believe I deserved or could find it. For everyone who feels like me, I can only say one thing. It is to reach out and regain those dreams.
Regain your life as it is precious and you deserve a life full of hope and dreams.