“I keep trying to figure out why everything feels so hopeless right now,” I said to a friend. I’ve been adjusting my meds, my schedules, my habits, trying to update a system of managing PTSD that had spiraled out of working for me over the summer. It’d been working, and then, over the last two weeks, my buoyancy slowly sank to the bottom of the sea in my brain, and I was feeling tired all the time.
It was probably the weather, which stayed hot and sticky up until the last few days, cresting into the nineties day after day and leaving my AC-less apartment feeling like a swamp. It was probably the drive out to the school where I teach, an hour and fifteen minutes each way—a beautiful drive, but a tiring one. It was probably any number of things, I told myself.
And then: oh yes, a year ago was when Dr. Blasey Ford testified before Congress, and a year ago (yesterday) was when Brett Kavanaugh got confirmed to the Supreme Court. Which was when, a year ago this week, my ex-boyfriend’s ex-wife (with whom I am friendly) posted on IG that my ex-boyfriend (who had dumped me abruptly with barely an explanation after six months together, cohabitation, years of friendship, and an extravagant trip for his birthday, who I was still struggling to be “over”) had raped her. Which means that a year ago I put together a tricky puzzle of clues and realized that he had assaulted … not just his ex-wife, but just about every woman he’d been with except me.
The body fucking keeps count. It remembers. This week is probably hard for a lot of reasons, but if you’re slogging through the anniversary of the trauma of every survivor of sexual assault syncing up to grieve openly together, give yourself a pass.
Remember how we didn’t have to explain what was fucking us all up so badly, last year? How we just knew, how we held each other, how we drank and raged and wept? Our bodies remember that. So here’s to honoring our collective consciousness, our shared trauma. It really happened. Go gently.