The Anniversary Effect : Defined as a unique set of unsettling feelings, thoughts or memories that occur on the anniversary of a significant experience.
I wasn’t familiar with the term until a few months ago, when it put a name to the symptoms that I feel every November.
It’s now been two years since shit hit the fan with my now ex step father and my Mom.
And while I could very well focus on all of the difficult emotions that this time of the year triggers, I’m trying desperately hard to acknowledge all of the positive things that I’ve done since then, and the progress that I have made.
I’m damn fucking proud of myself for everything that I’ve gotten myself through over these past two years. I’ve been through hell and back, and I honestly didn’t think that I would come back from where I was at such a dark point in my life.
Two years ago almost to the day, I spent nearly forty five minutes in the shower clawing at my skin until I bled because I felt so damn filthy because of what my step father had been doing to me over the previous year and a half. It wasn’t until a day before that that I had realized what he was doing.
I was devastated.
I felt my entire world crumble around me, and I couldn’t escape the falling rubble.
But guess what?
I did, and I’m still here.
I wake every morning not for fear that I’ll have a nightmare that night. I get up, and want to go out because I love the fresh air, and going places on my own. I found peace in being alone after so long of being afraid of the very same thing. I look forward to my bus ride to work because it does take twenty minutes, but it’s twenty minutes where I’m not obligated to have to talk to anyone, and I can reflect on my own thoughts and emotions.
Two years ago I was terrified of all of that. I was terrified to open my eyes every morning. I was scared of being alive, and it truly does break my heart to think about how broken I felt that I was.
For some, all of these may sound like such minor victories, but for me they’re the most meaningful of all. I know that I have the strength within me to get myself through whatever life decides to throw my way. God knows that I hope that it’ll be nothing like what I’ve already been through, but if it is, so be it. I know now that I can do whatever it is that I please, and be confident in knowing that I do have the strength to do that.
I want all of you out there struggling to know that you’re more resilient than you think. You’re stronger than what you could ever anticipate, regardless of what you yourself or others will tell you.
You have what it takes to get through all of this. Even if you feel like you have no one, you will always have yourself, and you will always have me.
I’m rooting for all of you.
All my love,