Someone recently asked me if I truly think that healing is possible after Rape. I thought about this question hard over the next couple days and gave her the best answer I knew how to give, “That depends on how you define healing,” I said. Do I think that you will ever be the person that you once were…? Sadly, no but someone new will emerge. That person will be neither good nor bad only completely different.
You will find new strengths, new weaknesses, and new challenges.
I try hard to remember the woman I was before this all happened. I never see her anymore. I used to catch glimpses every now and then; but they were very short lived. I no longer recognize the woman staring back at me in the mirror. Her eyes are almost unrecognizable and her pain intricately woven into her soul. A stranger, new and unfamiliar, stares back from where my reflection once stood.
I must get to know her. I must understand her. I must love her. My assault changed everything. That was the day that I died. That was the day I was given new life. On one sense, I was afraid that people could see my brokenness and on another I was afraid that they were blind to the burdens that I carried.
I soon came to the realization that they saw the same stranger staring back at them; neither good nor bad only completely different. I wondered if they would get to know her. I wondered if they would understand her. Mostly, I wondered if they would love her.
I still have to grieve the person I was before because she had family and friends who loved her, and eyes that shined. I also have to celebrate the new life that I have been given. It’s a beautiful thing to know that a stranger will inherit all the love in the world.
Yes, healing is possible but it’s almost always transformative.