The Journey – to be WHOLE again
Broken fragments of my life have sliced through my mind, body and soul for nearly 20 years. I was born in the late 80’s into an unconventional family. Sikhism was the majority faith practised within my household followed by Christianity. My childhood was comfortable and somewhat adequate in the emotional care received from my parents. My Father was more times than non having affairs and my Mother was always occupied and consumed by her loveless marriage. Needless to say I was left to my own devices as I wasn’t a ‘problem’ child who acted up. I was quiet, compliant and invested my time either reading or completing homework. My escapism. Infants school was fine. High school was not. My first day at my new school was the day which shattered me into 1000’s of pieces. My first day at my new school was the first time I was raped. I was 12 years old. A quiet, compliant and studious young girl was raped by a grown man who decided it was perfectly acceptable to violate me in every way possible. The second time, because there was a second time, was the time my life became black. These traumatic experiences flooded through me in ways I was not ready for or expecting. I am a firm believer trauma gets stored in the mind, body and soul and now I will tell you exactly how this traumatic journey affected me and my life. Shame. Guilt. Fear. Anger. Isolation. Depression. Suicidality. These are some of the feeling I have battled with over the years. Insomnia. Food Related Issues. Weight Issues. Body Image Issues. Trust and Intimacy Difficulties. Control Issues. These have been some of the behaviours I have battled with over the years. My periods started when I was 12. A couple of months after I had been raped. Since my first period, I have always had negative experiences around my monthly cycles. Heavy periods, long periods, irregular periods and debilitating pain was a relationship I quickly got used to with my body. After trying to get support from my GP with these issues at the age of 14, I was fobbed off by being told it was ‘normal’. At 19, I privately saw a Gynaecologist who performed a laparoscopy and diagnosed me with polycystic ovaries and put me on a hormonal contraceptive. It was horrible. It didn’t help so I was switched to another along side painkillers which I had to take. It also didn’t help. I continued with life the best I could but still suffering until I was booked in for another laparoscopy aged 24 and diagnosed with polycystic ovaries, endometriosis and dilated ovarian veins. I was given the Prostap injection (a 3 monthly injection which shut down my reproductive system and placed me into temporary menopause) adding add back oestrogen usually in the patch form. This was probably the worst treatment I ever received. The side effects were unbearable as it is a drug used to treat cancer but in hope I would feel better I persevered for 18months on Prostap. I was then told I could no longer be on it due to the long term side effects such as osteoporosis so I was switched to another hormonal contraceptive which is used in America. I had to take this back to back continuously. Did it help? Yes, it helped keep my PMS under control but that was all. Now aged 29, I am booked in for another laparoscopy with the likelihood of me having my right ovary removed due to all the scar tissue and cysts. So what’s that got to do with the rape you’re probably asking. Well my belief is that my body has held the trauma and it has sadly impacted my reproductive health. All of my issues have always been gynae related including having a miscarriage at the age of 20 and in recent years being told I have a low ovarian egg reserve which could impact my fertility. I’ve never talked about what has happened to me to my family or reported it as a crime because as a kid I didn’t know how to or have anybody solid enough to tell. However 17 years later here I am sharing my story with you all. My 12 year old inner child has been screaming inside to be heard and for awareness to raised on how sexual violence impacts women’s reproductive health as well as psychologically and behaviourally. I’m not sure if anyone has made their own connections regarding this but it may be helpful to explore your own history and responses to and from your body. Through my experiences I have a greater awareness of myself and others. I’m far from fixed and my journey of self discovery and to be whole again continues.
The Shattered Soul x