TW sexual assault TW eating disorders

Going through my old facebook is a lot like going through a graveyard of my old life before I was sexually assaulted. There are a lot of things about me that have changed, one very apparent one being my weight. I always have people asking me about my weight gain and most people aren’t actually aware of the reason behind it or how uncomfortable I felt when it was brought up. I’ve had people always try to view me as some kind of sad girl to fix for their own personal satisfaction and I’ve had old friends view me as a negative person they didn’t want to be around because of what someone else did to me. I’ve had people view me as a lazy person who gained weight because I had no self control. The worst thing I think about my sexual trauma is how much you feel like a dissociated version of yourself when people you once cared for just act completely desensitized to your story and uncaring about how it affected you.

After my personal space was violated I was trying so hard to create a new identity for myself, but simultaneously struggling to get my old life back. I remember for the first month I had barely ate and lost a lot of weight and I felt small and weak and powerless. I felt like my room was closing in on me when I was alone with my thoughts and I was just someone trying to hide from everything. I remembering thinking I had absolutely no control of the weight I was losing and just felt my heart and vibrancy and soul shrinking with each day. 

I think a few months later I was feeling a little better slowly about my appearance because I had started eating steadily and I felt in control of myself. I knew the way I looked wasn’t Elaine, not anymore. I was never conscious really of the way I was gaining weight and I didn’t even see a difference until I gained 60 pounds in 6 months. I tried to hide myself at first, I was ashamed and embarrassed that I was fat. The people around me noticed that I gained weight and it was very obvious since it was such a dramatic change in my appearance in a short amount of time. I would always try to project myself as the way I used to look. I would always question my self confidence because I didn’t think anyone could be attracted to what I had become. I struggled with this for a long time, but finally came to a point where I realized there is absolutely nothing wrong with being fat. I’m not trying to hide myself or get my old life or body back. 

The stretch marks I have on my stomach, my arms, my thighs are all symbols that I am alive and I survived. They are all reminders that I am powerful and I have become me. My weight gain is not a negative aspect of my life anymore. And It’s taken about 3 years to accept myself, but now that I do I am just so glad I made it. There have been so many nights where I didn’t know how I was ever going to get through this and the deep set pain I felt in my heart. But I had someone help me a lot, we didn’t even address my sexual assault directly but they were just kind and warm and considerate. And I needed help and they sensed that. And now I realize it’s ok to ask for help, and to get help, and to let people help you. And I’ve really reached a point in my life where I feel the chapter closing and the page turning and I’m not letting this define my life.  

I know a lot of you who follow me or used to know me or check up on me know about my sexual assault and I just want everyone to know I’m ok now. And that if you don’t know me and you are struggling, that it’s okay to get help and ask for help and it’s ok to not and any way you want to heal is ok. There is no right way or method to heal, just listen to yourself and do things, even small things, that make you happy.