6 Years Ago, I was Raped. This is kind of sort of (but not really) about that.

My body is a temple, which is better than a castle. Cinderella and all her princess friends better watch out, because I am a true Princess. A daughter of the True King, and I have come to claim my place in His Kingdom.

For years I’ve been looking for my beauty in all the wrong places.

You see, six years ago today, I was sexually assaulted. And for years I believed I was no longer beautiful. I had been dirtied by an act that society told me was my fault. I was impure. No longer worthy to be called innocent. No longer worthy to be called beautiful. No longer worthy of love, and I couldn’t even love myself.

I tried to destroy my temple of a body any way I could, over and over and over again.

I failed to realize I was beautiful all along.

I was beautiful when I was skipping meals. I was beautiful when I was self-harming. The temple was beautiful; the destruction of the temple was not.

Eating disorders are not beautiful.

Self-harm is not beautiful.

Mental illness is not beautiful.

But, I am. I am beautiful, and I was beautiful when I cut myself open trying to cleanse myself using my own blood. My scars are not beautiful, but I am.

I am beautiful because I have been sanctified through the washing of HIS blood, not mine. I am not a god, but I know a God who has made me in His image, making me beautiful despite my sins, despite my past, despite my scars.

I am a temple, and I destroyed these four walls of my body, but I have been rebuilt by the master carpenter. And I am stronger than I ever was before. I have come to realize that I am not ugly even though I have ugliness in my past.

Rape is ugly.

Self-harm is ugly.

Eating disorders are ugly.

Mental illness is ugly.

I am beautiful because of the way I have preserved through it all. I am beautiful because I have overcome. I am beautiful because my worth is not found here on earth, but in heaven. I am beautiful because I am a temple, a daughter of the King.

My beauty is not lessened by my past. My value does not decrease because of an act done to me by adolescent boys who were never taught how to properly treat women.

I am beautiful. But it’s taken me years to realize I have so much more to offer the world than my beauty.

 

 

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Conflict Resolution?

You know that part in “the Lion King” where Simba returns to Pride Rock and battles his uncle Scar for control? I still close my eyes, and I’ve seen that movie dozens of times.

I hate suspense more than anything. I can’t watch shows until after they premiere because I need to read the recaps before I watch–I need to make sure I know what happens, I know if everything’s going to be ok. So, if it’s a two-part episode, I have to wait until the second part premieres before I can watch the first part. Watching Season finales before the next season starts is basically out of the question, obviously. (Grey’s Anatomy is particularly difficult in this aspect; Shonda Rhimes is the bane of my existence.) When I’m reading a book, and I get to a suspenseful part in the plot, I have to close the book and give myself time for my heart rate to calm down before I finish reading; it’s a character flaw of mine.

My favorite thing is watching a show or reading a book for the second time because I know how everything unfolds, I know how it ends, I see the character development, and I get unbelievably excited when I notice foreshadowing of what is to happen later.

Tomorrow will mark 6 years since I was sexually assaulted. I’ve forgiven. He’s apologized. But this whole depression thing is really throwing a wrench in my “moving past this” plan.

Depression isn’t always beautiful girls slicing their skin, and handsome guys fighting a glorified, heroic battle. Sometimes Depression means not wanting to get out of bed ever, because somehow your feet refuse to believe they won’t shatter on impact when they hit the ground. Nobody likes things that are broken. Sometimes Depression means doing laundry is the biggest feat of the week, and that’s ok. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. Sometimes Depression means lying on the floor, staring at the ceiling, thinking about nothing and everything, because your body is convinced it’s paralyzed. Sometimes Depression means that I, a writer at heart, can’t even string together coherent thoughts other than, “I’m trapped and drowning, and I swear I’m trying.” And people don’t want to hear the same story over and over again. But sometimes, that’s the only story I know how to tell. Sometimes Depression means every bone in your body aches, but you have to keep doing your routine, because some people still think Depression isn’t a valid disease. Sometime Depression is ignoring every text message you receive, because even though the number is right, the person they’re searching for is nowhere to be found. – “Just Me, My Selfie, and I

I’m tired of people saying, “It’s all in your head!” You’re kidding, right? It’s a Mental Illness. Of course it’s in my head.

Some days, I’m ok. Some days, I have to give myself an hour and a half Pep talk before I can get out of bed. These are the days when I’m scared about the future. These are the days when I wish I knew how my life is going to go, what job I’m going to have, what my kids will be like, who I’ll get married to. If there was a wrinkle in time, I’d fast-forward to the part where I can look back on my life, see how far I’ve come, find the pieces of foreshadowing, and see the major plot points. And then I’d move back in time, live my life as normal, because, like reading a recap of a tv episode, I’ll know how it plays out.

And don’t tell me I’m being ridiculous, because I know I am. I’ve read enough books to know that the best part about life is the journey, not the destination (and, no, I’m not talking about Death, Heaven, and Hell). All I know is that I don’t want to look back on my life and realized I didn’t “live life to the fullest,” whatever that means; I didn’t Carpe Diem; and I most definitely didn’t achieve everything I was capable of.

Right now, I have these lofty plans for myself, which is ironic because I have a fear of failure that is stopping me from doing a lot of things I want to. And I know that plans change for two reasons: 1. When I was five, I wanted to be a Doctor. I am not currently, nor will I ever be in Med school–other people’s blood makes me feel queasy. 2. I applied to College to be an engineer. By the end of my Senior Year of High School, I switched to being an English Major.
So, ya. My plans have worked out well.

The future and the unknown terrify me, probably more than they should, but I know God has a plan for my life that, right now, I cannot comprehend. And I know He answers prayers, even if it’s not always the answer I want to hear. He’s called the Father for a reason.

Parents tells children ‘no’ when they try to stick things in the outlets, because the parents know it is in the children’s best interest to not electrocute themselves, even though the child doesn’t know that. But parents also have to let the children learn the stove is hot so they won’t touch it again. Sometimes experience is the best teacher.

Children complain when things don’t go their way, and sometimes I do, too. But I imagine somewhere God is saying, “Silly, girl. She thinks this is what she wants, but she doesn’t understand how much it will hurt.” Sometimes He allows me to get hurt because of what I need to learn.

I’ve certainly learned a lot from all my experiences. God’s steered me away from danger, but I’ve also experienced hurt. God’s taught me lessons the way I need to learn them in order to make them useful. He’s certainly been faithful.

But sometimes I’m still scared.

Tomorrow, it will be 6 years since I was sexually assaulted. I’ve seen how far I’ve come, and I’m amazed. I can’t see how far I have to go, but I’m excitingly hesitant for the journey.

I’m excited because I believe God will do great things in my life. I’m hesitant because the world’s a big place. I want to make an impact on those around me, and my ultimate goal is to leave the world a little prettier than it was when I arrived. I hope I’m on the right track.

Depression has this way of making you see the world differently. People with depression see the cruelty, the joy, the pain, the compassion, all at once. I look at a person, and I see their capacity to hurt and help, and I’m always wondering which one they’ll choose. I see the world as it is, how it was, how it could be. I see my life the same way. Nothing is black and white. Sometimes, the weight of all this seeing is overwhelming, which is the cause of the pep talks in the morning, the faith trusting the floor will hold firm beneath my feet.

Depression has made me who I am today, and I know it will make me who I am tomorrow. And I will live one day at a time, because tomorrow is not guaranteed. The future is overwhelming, but I know God has great plans for my life. He has provided me with so much healing; When my strength has run out, He has carried me, and I know He will continue until I see him face-to-face. I have a bright future, thanks to Him.

But right now, the suspense is killing me.