I often get the question: “Why did you publish a book about this topic?” Or “How long did it take you to write it?”
It took me about six months to finish the book. Every time I struggled to understand myself, my behaviour, I wrote. Writing makes me understand myself better. So the book is a collection of deep feelings inside of me.
I must admit that I wrote From the Ashes I Will Rise mainly for myself.
The book is not only about surviving rape, it is mainly about a struggle caused by emotional abuse. About wanting to be close to someone but not being able to because of the scars on our souls. Emotional abuse is something that is often underestimated and people tend to say “Just get over it already” yet little do they know that it is not easy to just get over something that not only broke your heart but also altered everything you believed in.
The book is not an act of revenge on my ex-boyfriend. It is clearly nothing like this. Of course, I had the thought of showing him that I can go public and talk about what he did to me but I do not want him to feel bad, anymore. But I can never forget what happened. We were both young and even though I never will want to play down what he did, I don’t have any hatred in my heart for him. I pity him for ruining a love that was real, clear and honest, yes. But in order to heal I had to let go and what I did to do this was writing. I wrote about my pain and my thoughts. I wrote about the trouble finding new love and about failing at letting myself falling in love again and at trusting other people.
So why did I publish it? If it was only for myself in order to heal?
As I was writing down my pain and started talking to some people from my inner circle, that I trust, I realised it is something we need to talk about. People are hurting every day, everywhere in situations where you think they would be safe. But they aren’t because they are being betrayed by people they love.
Abuse is something that happens in every country, every religion, everywhere on earth and most of the time we cannot see it. We do not know what happens behind closed doors, often we cannot know if the smile of someone is real or fake. Talking about it is still kind of a taboo. The survivors feel ashamed, feel ashamed for letting someone that is so toxic to their soul, into their lives and mainly for letting this person stay.
I must admit, after the rape, I did not break up with my ex. I stayed and I let him do it again and again. And the reason for breaking up was another one.
Why did I stay? Because I, like so many others, lived in denial. I let this person treat me like a piece of shit, for a long time. Why? Because he was the greatest boyfriend you can imagine, in the beginning.
And this is the tricky part. People do not show their real faces in the beginning. I always hoped it was just a bad phase and he would go back to who he was before, the lovely boyfriend I fell so deeply in love with.
But guess what? If they cross a line once, they will do it again. And I’m not saying people can’t change but there is a line that should not be crossed. Everyone has a bad phase once in a while but if that bad phase is making you feel horrible and worthless and is betraying your trust and love then it is time to leave. Life is too short to stay involved with people that cause you more heartbreak than everything else.
Emotional abuse is real. Emotional abuse leaves scars on your soul that can start bleeding again every minute.
Emotional abuse causes unhealthy trust issues, self-doubt and loneliness. This is not something that goes away easily. Everything that you thought was real and honest was a lie. The love, the relationship, the affection.
Someone made you feel special, created an attachment and then left you hanging in agony. And this is something you cannot simply get over. It is a long way with uncountable ups and downs. It can take years and tears and more heartbreaks and building up emotional walls, till you are ready to let someone in again and when you do, you push that person away because if you do it, that person cannot push you away. You lost control once and the worst thing of all is the fear of losing it again. So emotional abuse survivors tend to push you away, act irrationally and bitchy, not to hurt you but to not get hurt. Yet with that behaviour, they hurt themselves.
It’s a vicious circle.
And you can only break out of it with patience, self-love and hope. Work on yourself, identify what triggers you and catch yourself in the act.
If you recover from emotional abuse, be patient with yourself. Find ways to express yourself, for me it’s writing, maybe for you, it’s drawing or photography. Art is always a good answer. But trust me, if you ignore your inner voice, one day it will feel like everything that you kept locked up, will crash you.
And always remember, forgive yourself. Love yourself. Take care of yourself.
You are stronger than you think.
I rose from my ashes and so will you.