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When Resilience is Put to the Test

Thursday, September 26, 2013

This is quite possibly the most personal blog I've ever written. I've dug in deep before, but never quite on this level and I debated whether or not I should even share this--that maybe it would be better and more therapeutic for me to just write this out and save it for myself. After thinking about it for a while, I decided to share it and hope that maybe I can reach a few other people who've been in my shoes.

In my last blog, I wrote about resiliency. Although I was mainly referring to resiliency in terms of bouncing back from missteps that lead to overeating, I think that sense of resiliency applies to other areas of our lives as well. Last weekend, my resiliency was put to the test and I'm doing my best to work my way through it. Without being overly dramatic or getting into too many details, I was sexually assaulted. I wasn't raped, but I was violated and it was the stranger in a dark alley variety. I was alone for a very brief time in a situation where I ordinarily wouldn't have been apart from some extraordinary circumstances that night and the creep took advantage of that. Fortunately, I was able to scare him off before the situation lapsed into something much worse, but it was terrifying--and I'm still shaken. There are some things I don't think I'll ever fully be able to get out of my head and I keep replaying what happened over and over again in my head and thinking about what I could have done differently. In case you're wondering, yes, I did file a police report, but so far nothing has come of it. The idiot was actually stupid enough to tell me where he was from when I first encountered him on the street and was merely being annoying, so at least I was able to give the police that in addition to a reasonably accurate physical description.

Now that a little bit of time has passed, I realize I have two options: I can let this horrible experience run my life and become paranoid, mistrustful and withdrawn or I can work through my fears and anxiety, move on and maybe do a thing or two to help other people who have been in similar situations. The latter option seems far more appealing to me and I think will do a lot more to help me cope and heal. I never want my smile to fade or to feel like I can't present myself as a confident woman. I've come too far to let this set me back and there's no way I'm going to let some low life have that kind of power over me.

Even though it's been less than a week, I can already see how my resiliency has come into play. I've shared what happened and how I feel about it with a handful of people who I'm close with and decided to open up here as well. I've walked along the same route a few times since then and my fears are starting to diminish. I'm feeling less anxious and jumpy in general. I haven't stuffed down my emotions with food, something I'm almost certain I would have done just a few years ago, I've been working out and I've fought off the urge to hide out at home. I think I'm going to bounce.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • JOE14250
    glad you shared this with others. Bad stuff happens to people all the time. Not everyone is defeated and stays terrorized.

    You have come a long way, baby!
    1552 days ago
    So sorry to hear this happened to you. But you are strong and will bounce back quickly. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sure it will help others.
    1576 days ago
    Wow, you are a strong person! Great way you handled your self!
    1577 days ago
    I am glad your made it out of the situation without anything else bad happening. You are sounding like you are handling it very well! I hope that you continue to take care of yourself!
    1577 days ago
  • GEORGE815
    Your making better decisions. Tough to do, but it will be worthwhile.
    1577 days ago
    Awww Tina, I am so sorry this happened to you. What a scum bag!!! Very proud of you for getting back on the horse and not letting that creep get the best of you!!!! However, you should carry pepper spray or something if you are going to be walking alone. So glad you were able to scare him off. Hope you kicked him you know where! He obviously didn't know who he was messing with. Your a strong woman!
    Take care, sweetie

    1578 days ago
    Ugh, I'm so sorry this happened to you...but look at the good choices you are making! Keep up the good work, you are so strong!
    1578 days ago
    I'm terribly sorry you had to go through this, but you have shown incredible strength by continuing on with your life and not letting it bring you down. So proud of you for not eating your emotions, and also for going down that same route again and facing your fears. You are a strong woman, and don't let some prick bring you down darling. Thank God nothing worse happened to you, though what you went through was certainly bad enough... *Big Hugs*
    1578 days ago
  • -AMANDA79-
    Very proud of you.
    1578 days ago
    So sorry that happened to you. Glad you took steps and reported the low-life. I am also very proud of you for not letting it stop you from living your life. Huge hugs, emoticon emoticon emoticon
    1578 days ago
  • RX_2_RV
    It sounds like you are dealing with this in a very healthy way. Healthy inside and out...what is better than that! You are right to be proud of yourself.

    Thanks for sharing. It helps the rest of us be strong too.
    1578 days ago
    Strong and resilient. While you can't change what happened, you can decide how to react and you are reacting with strength, resilience and braveness. Even if they haven't caught him right away, your information will be instrumental in catching and finding him. Hugs!
    1578 days ago
    Your resilience, wisdom, and resolve are beautiful!! So sorry you had to go through that awful experience, but you came through it as well as anyone could. I admire you greatly! Thanks for sharing your strength. Impressive working through it without food, too. Awesome! -Marsha
    1578 days ago
    Wow, I'm sorry you had to experience this; thank you for sharing it here, though. You have the right attitude to fight back against feeling like a victim and to not let this rule you. Most assaults are less about sex than they are about power; you are taking back the power he tried to steal from you. Don't hesitate to talk things out with others or to get help if you find you need it, though.

    1578 days ago
    emoticon So sorry that happened.
    1578 days ago
    Oh Tina, I am so sorry, what a terrible experience. I am so proud of you for what you did this week to recover from this! Yes, it is probably true that some things you will never forget, but you will heal because you want to and because you are able to. You are strong and doing all the right things. Keep taking good care of yourself.
    1578 days ago
    Oh, my goodness! I am so sorry you endured that experience :(

    But reading your blog post, there was so much strength, determination, and yes, resilience. You were a victim that night, but your refusal to remain a victim and to speak out about what happened is so admirable. It is amazing to see how the changes in your life have extended far beyond your physical health and have brought you so much emotional health, as well.

    Take care!
    1578 days ago
    Of course I can't say enough to let you know how tragic I think this is, but it does indeed sound like you are "bouncing" right along to recovery. I doubt you will ever totally forget this incident. It is sad how creepy this world is getting!
    1578 days ago
  • KANOE10
    I am so sorry about what happened to you. You showed such strength by fighting him off and then later making a police report. You are a strong courageous woman. I know your resiliency will see you through this. It is horrible that men like him prey on innocent women. I hope he is caught and punished.
    Hugs to you, Tina. I will keep you in my prayers.
    1579 days ago
    Tina, I'm so sorry. You are strong and I'm glad you went to the police. Did they at least treat you with respect and pay attention? If you don't get the response from them you are looking for try going to the comune and finding out if there is a 'casa delle donne' (there's one in Rimini and one in Bologna, maybe in Venice too). It's worth it to tell your story there too, because usually they have connections with the police department, therapists, lawyers, etc. Good luck.

    1579 days ago
    Words are not enough to express all the feelings that arise after reading your blog, Tina. Among them, sorrow that you had to go through something like this, rage against all the people of his kind, and an enormous admiration for your strength and bravery! It takes both these qualities to share such a terrible experience. And I'm sure, those same qualities will help you get over it, move on and help other women who have gone through the same.

    1579 days ago
  • BRADMILL2922
    Sorry to hear that you have to deal with something like that but I am glad that it wasn't worse. You are a stong person to get back out there and walk that same route. I respect and admire that you are able to do that. Good for you for not letting that own you! Proud of you for not turning to food and proud of you for being the strong person that you are!
    1579 days ago
    I already told you, but it's worth telling you again: I'm so very proud of you, Tina. Keep walking those streets like you own them, and lean on the strength inside of you, and the love of your man - the rest will take care of itself. So very proud of you.
    1579 days ago
  • TIGER_LILY_613
    Hi Tina. I'm truly sorry that this happened to you. If you ever need support, we are right here for you. emoticon emoticon

    I am glad that you were able to scare him away. That guy is scum, and I hope the police get him.

    From what you've written, you are a fighter, and a brave one too. I believe you will bounce back too. I believe that this will not steal your smile.

    It is truly admirable of you to share your story in order to help others who have gone through the same thing. You are a brave, strong and generous person.

    1579 days ago
  • _JODI404

    I am truly sorry that you had such a terrible experience! I think you are very resilient and courageous, and I think you are indeed already bouncing back.

    Good for you to choose to take the empowered approach. You should be very proud of not turning to food for comfort!!

    emoticon emoticon
    1579 days ago
  • POPSY190
    You did well in scaring him off; and now you are well on the way to not letting him dominate your life. It is a horrible experience, and won't be forgotten, but you are obviously not going to let yourself be intimidated by this. emoticon
    1579 days ago
  • DALID414
    Thank you for sharing your experience, keep your head up.
    1579 days ago
    What a courageous woman you are: both in dealing with this incident at the time it occurred and in writing about it. I have no doubt that your "learned resilience" will see you through.

    Not without difficulty, and not without maybe some "relapse" from time to time: it does sound so terrifying.

    But you've done all the right things, you have taken the steps necessary to help protect others by going to the police, you have kept on doing all the things you need to do to care for yourself.

    You are a survivor.

    You can be very proud of yourself.
    1579 days ago
    Oh Tina, I'm so sorry this happened. I can't imagine just how traumatic that must be. *hugs*
    1579 days ago
    I'm sorry you had to go through that! You have made the decision about how you will proceed and are taking steps toward healing. You ARE resilient, and I think you are not only "going to bounce"... you are going to fly.
    1579 days ago
    So sorry for your scary experience! emoticon
    But you seem to be on the right track to getting over it, or I should say, deal with it in a constructive,positive way.
    Good job! emoticon emoticon
    1579 days ago
    You are one BRAVE woman, one DETERMINED woman, and one RESILIENT woman, all rolled into one. There may be some forward and backward in getting past this, and if you need to seek a professional to talk with, don't hesitate (I'm a believer in getting help!)

    Facing what happened is the first step in facing down the evil. Your honesty is amazing and I pray that it will help someone else who might have a similar struggle. Good job not caving to old crutches! emoticon
    1579 days ago
    Tina, I'm so sorry this has happened to you. You're a strong woman, and it will take time, but I have no doubt you will bounce!
    1579 days ago
    I am so glad it wasn't worse and admire you for sharing it with us here. You are right though - much better to talk out your fears and get it in the open. You can then move on. Well done for not letting it interfere with your fitness plans.
    emoticon emoticon
    1579 days ago
    Oh my goodness, how scary! Congrats on working through your fears!
    1579 days ago
    Tina! What a terrible thing to happen! I too have experienced an incident like this (not recently) and was quite shaken. I think it is fantastic that you have been willing to share it, and I wished I had a support forum like this one when it happened to me. You are absolutely the picture of resilience, before and after this occurred! I support your opinion of not letting it have power over your life and applaud you for that! Are you resilient?

    HELL YES!!! emoticon emoticon
    1579 days ago
    That would be a horrifying experience for anyone. So sorry it happened. Congratulations on not letting the creep steal your pride, spirit and compassion for life.
    1579 days ago
    Sorry this happened to and thank you for sharing it with us. emoticon emoticon
    1579 days ago
    You are a brave person- both in getting yourself out of the situation and in putting it out there for others to learn from it. Many women who have gone through similar situations have signed up for self defense classes. You may feel even less anxious over time if you sign up for one too.
    1579 days ago
    I'm so sorry this happened to you at all, but indeed you are one strong, resilient, amazing woman!! I'm really glad that you shared here so everyone else can support you and let you know just how amazing you are!
    1579 days ago
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