Thursday, May 2, 2013


This is me.  The picture was taken maybe 4 or 6 weeks after the assault, in front of a new house my friend rented so I would have a place to live.    She found the picture a few years ago while cleaning out her attic and gave it to me.  At the time, I could barely look at it.  The triggering was instant and hard.   Now, after years of therapy,  I can look at myself and remember and be okay.  This is how I know I am also healing emotionally.

My foot was broken in numerous places when a man slammed his foot down on it to hold me down. I remember the sound it made as it shattered.  And the searing pain.

I had three broken ribs on my left side, a damaged kidney and a ruptured spleen.

I had been kicked in the jaw that dislodged two teeth.  They had stuffed a shirt in my mouth to muffle my screams and I began to choke and gag on the teeth and blood.   I now clearly remember that frenzied panic of choking to death.  

I continue to wrestle with the rest.  Although I remember it, I still cannot talk about it.

But I'm working on it.

I survived the physical punishment although some the effects remain with me -

My left foot is now filled with arthritis filling in all where all the bones broke.  It is very stiff and bothers me a lot in the morning but is not unmanageable.

To this day I am still protective of my left side.  I still flinch if someone approaches me from the left and I instinctively position myself to protect myself.  I also lost some hearing in my left ear so I tend to tilt my head when someone is speaking to hear from my right.

And I have a wicked gag reflex.  I cannot swallow pills.  The taste of blood in my mouth can send me to a fetal position for days, although I am a much better about that now.  Trips to the dentist are still a little rough.

Still, I consider myself physically healed.  Emotional healing is taking a bit longer.  But just as physically healing did not erase all the permanent effects and scars and need for physical protection,   I now realize that emotional healing will not eliminate all the soul wounds and scars and my need for emotional boundaries.    And I am okay with that.

My therapist often told me that once I was able to talk about it, it would be a sign true healing.  

So today, here I am.  Talking about it.  And that is my victory.

Today I can look at this picture, calmly and with love.  And that is my victory.

Today I can share love and joy and intimacy.

Today I can climb mountains - both emotionally and physically.   And that is my victory.

They win some battles but they will not win the war.


  1. I am so very proud to call you friend.

  2. There is a wonderful article in the Huffington Post today:


    One quote in particular made me think of you:

    Sometimes, you will heal through the journey in time; but every so on, you may find that you have to take more steps, and you will. And sometimes it is another trauma that happens that makes us realize that there is still unfinished business from the previous trauma that we haven't dealt with. It doesn't mean that we didn't heal at all; it just means that we didn't heal as much as we could at that time, but there are more steps to be taken.

    There is also good advise for those of us who walk along people with trauma to be able to give them a safe place to share.

    I am overwhelmed with joy reading your post. Your commitment to healing is a testament to you and those who accompanied you on your journey.

    Blessings to you 8thday and your willingness to help others on this difficult path.

    1. Thank you for the link. I think it accurately reflects the non-linear, non-textbook nature of healing from trauma.

      And yes, I am very thankful for all the folks who have helped me along this journey.

  3. AnonymousMay 02, 2013

    I know the courage it must have taken to do this. Baby step, baby step, and then a HUGE leap forward!

    And thank you Sue for that link. It is a great resource I will share.

    - Michele

    1. I am feeling like I've taken a huge step. And that feels very good indeed. Thank you for your encouragement.

  4. Wow. Look at you! You are an amazing, strong, determined individual. Big, big congratulations for talking about it, sharing it, showing the photographic evidence. Yes, you are healing.

    Love, love, love to you, 8dp...

    1. All that love right back at you, e.

      I will never ever forgot that core of iron mantra that helped me over a high hurdle.

  5. I could cry looking at that picture. Why do peope do this to other people?

    I think I understand what you're saying about even though we may be able to heal emotionally there will always be things we have to protect. We will never be 100% will we?

    I agree with e - you are amazing and strong and I so happy you have healed so much.

    1. I wish I had an answer to your question about why people do this. I don't know.

      I know I will never be 100% of what I was. But even with all our boundaries and scars, we can be whole and productive, feeling love and joy again.