Jordane's Story- Raped at 15 & her journey to thriving + how her 2 boys give her the hope she needs!
I was raped when i was 15.
Reckless teenager at the time, I lied to my parents to go out dancing with friends, the plan didn't work and my friend never came to pick me up. I was scared to tell my parents about it and go back home, and I remembered this guy I've been talking to online in the afternoon, who told me to call anytime. He was 26 and a military staying at the station that night. Yes, I was 15, i thought we live in a beautiful world where people are just kind with good intentions. I called him and he told me that he would come and pick me up shortly and i can spend the night with him at the station and go back home in the morning. Once there, he told me not to be scared, that he was a good guy with no other intention than helping me for the night, gave me a jumper and I laid next to him. After 5 minutes I started feeling his hands going on my chest, under my T-shirt and this has been the beginning of a long night... He was talking to me very calmly and even tenderly, telling me not to be scared, that he will make me discover something beautiful. I was scared, petrified, could barely breath. I was so petrified i NEVER said a word or tried to push him back. I was a virgin. I did let him undress me, kiss me, touch me, penetrate me. It hurt, but I didn't say a word. When he "was done" he laid next to me and hold me in his arms, just as a couple ... and this happened again, and again, during the full night. In his bed, in the shower in the morning, he made me do things that an inexperienced and young girl like me shouldn't experience yet, without ever forcing me to do anything, i would just do and let him do anything he was asking for, just as if my mind left and I was "just a body", not thinking, not feeling... Then in the morning he took me back to the train station, kissed me and left me there. I went back home, and sat at the lunch table with all my family, all believing i was back from a sleep over at my friend.
It took me about 5 years to realise what happened that night, to realise that even though I didn't say no, this was not ok and that I have been abused this night.
I was already 20 when those memories suddenly came back to my mind, before this I barely remembered anything that happened that night to be honest, just as if my brain hided those images to protect the young girl I was. The day those memories came back has been the first day of such a long and painful journey. This man took my femininity, ma confidence, my dignity, and left me so empty inside. I was in Business School at this time, i started drinking way too much and would always leave the party with a guy, whoever wanted me that night, and would have sex with him without even enjoying it, just as if sex was for me only about giving, not receiving. I had lost all respect for my body, for myself, i was acting like a machine, doing anything those men wanted, and leaving in the early morning.
For years i have been treating myself without any dignity, respect, convinced I wasn't worth, living in a world where I thought no one could love me for who I was, that love was something I needed to deserve, even buy. I was constantly living with the anxiety of not deserving the people I love (even my own family and closest friends) and risking loosing them. During those years i got so lost, I forgot who i was and i was constantly trying to be who I thought people wanted me to be, and, I promise, this is such an exhausting and painful way of living. Twice I went very close to take a very stupid decision as I just wanted that pain to stop, and I couldn't see any other way than disappearing.
I started my first therapy when I was 27, I saw different people, tried different methods. Those almost 10 years have been a real ocean, with constant ups and downs, this feeling that when you finally manage to find some stability and peace you crash again. Some days it was tough not to give up. But I kept trying, because deep inside I always had this fire for life.
What can surprise you is that during many of those years I wasn't alone, I was with someone good, who became my husband and the dad of my 2 children. He helped me so much surviving to this, but I was so broken and lost that he couldn't save me, I actually understood very recently that I was the only one able to save me.
I am today 36, it was 20 years ago. 2019 has been a tough year as I lost my dad and separated from my husband. But somehow those events gave me the strength to take ownership and control back on my life. Day after day I do focus on building this safe space where I feel in security, confident, and more importantly myself. I know this will always be part of me, but I work on being the one "in control" now. It doesn't mean I do not have my bad moments of fear, insecurity , loss of confidence , I still do. Those moments where for nothing i loose all my self confidence, or where i start panicking about someone's love for me even though this person only gives me signs of love and the anxiety that goes with this. But I am slowly more and more aware of those moments when they happen, so I can try to deal with them instead of completely let them drive my life. When they happen, I try to breath, and take myself through rational reasoning and get to the conclusion that my anxiety and fears are not justified. I also found few things that truly makes me feel happy and calm, and that I do them any time I start feeling down: first moving, in any way that makes me happy that day (I box, I run, I do the classes I love) but also breath work and mediation, even putting some music very loud and dancing alone in my flat! I also have an amazing life coach since about a month who's helping me a lot.
Some day I do better than others, but I can feel the "real me" is slowly coming back, I have so much more of those light moments of pure happiness, my confidence also is coming back. I am sure it will still take time and I'll probably never completely heal from this, but for the first time in my life I am confident in life and in the future, and I start feeling in peace.
He didn't win, I am more alive than I have every been.
DEALING WITH TRAUMA AND HEALING PROCESS WHEN BEING A MUM.
Before Laura and Devika asked me the question I've never really thought about what does it change for me to be a mum regarding my healing process. And thinking about it, i realise it is both a huge strength and a challenge.
It is a huge strength because my boys give me unconditional love, in a life where feeling worth the people I love or get attached to is a real struggle for me.
Love is something that should be unconditional and make you feel stronger, happier, more confident. Even though I made progresses in my healing progress, slowing rebuilding my confidence and the love for myself, I still have this voice in my head making me interpret anything, without any rational, as a sign that I am going to loose the person i am attached to, that i am not worth and they can't love me for who I am. To get attached to someone, or let someone new in my life is always a challenge because it is often source of anxiety instead of just making me feel good. My boys are my strength, because i never ever had this feeling with them, I never doubt their love and the fact they will love me forever. In their eyes I feel loved, but i also feel strong. With them I feel lighter. They also makes me want to be the best version of myself, I want them to be proud of me and they give me the strength to keep working on getting better. I am so grateful I have them.
But yes, they are also a challenge .... because when they are with me I can't break, i can't look weak, I can't cry in front of them. When I feel anxiety coming and they are with me, i can't let it go out, I can't embrace the feelings that are coming to deal with them, I have to put them aside, this painful pressure on my chest will not leave me for a while and i have to pretend I am fine and play with them, be smiley. I do my best to deal with it when this happens but I know i am not always doing the best job to protect them from my "bad moments". Sometimes I can't manage to be in the right mood for them, I do overreact to something they do without reason, I don't properly listen to them ... yes, this happens, and when I realise this is happening it just makes me feel even worse and hate myself for not being strong enough to protect them from me. I am learning to be kind to myself, and accept that it is ok not to be strong enough sometimes. I talk to them and I always apologise if I do something that I think wasn't fair. I am trying to be the best mum I can being the person I am. I know I do my best, and I use those moments where I feel I fail as a mum to make my fight harder.