Feeling like a trapped animal...

  Two Decembers ago my aunt was murdered. She was attacked at 2 in the afternoon in a park where I used to feed ducks as a little kid. Newspapers all around town pasted the story everywhere. They revealed gruesome details of the murder and scene. My aunt became "homeless", "raped". She stopped being Krissy and became a gruesome warped story that everybody was talking about.

Two months later I was sexually assaulted at my friends party. I told another friend the next morning to no real response. I tried to shrug it off for a few days, then thought what the fuck am I doing? This is a big deal. I called the police. An abrasive police woman came to my apartment and took down notes. I met with a detective a few weeks later. He was nice but real with me--there was probably nothing much that could come out of this. That was okay. I tried. I talked about it. I told my friends, my family, my school. I talked about because it wasn't my shame to have, it wasn't my fault. I felt like the seems of me were breaking apart when I thought about my aunt, myself. I talked and life still hurt so badly. But, it began to get better. I had friends that would listen, and I had my art. Art always was the roadmap back to myself and the tangible sign that there was still beauty here. I knew there was great horror too, but realizing that beauty stiill could exist kept those scary, scary things from crushing me. 

Sometimes I wake up and feel like a trapped animal. Like someone is going to burst into my room and kill me. Those nights I focus on my breath, on syncing my breath and my body. The summer after my aunt was killed I went to the trial of her murderer. There was a woman there who had survived on of his attacks the week before he killed my aunt. With the man who had attacked her in the same room, she got up to the stand. He had tried to tear her body apart with his bare hands, was stopped half way through and ran away. She had so much courage to be there, to talk about it, to describe her constant, ceaseless sense of fear. She feels like a trapped animal all the time.

Heres my art, the thing that has kept me alive through this crazy thing called life: www.gnomecentric.tumblr.com



Hi Chloe,
I am sorry for your pain but I commend you for continuing as a Survivor. My advice to you, based on experience, is to recognize that evil exists in the world and despite our diligence in looking out for it - sometimes it will touch our lives. You should continue to look for beauty in all things and to try to make beauty where you can.
I would advise against to be selective with whom you share your pain as you've now seen the ugliness of evil, as well as its banality: your 'friends', the police, maybe even family.
It is up to each of us to find ways to cope with life. You were imbued with a will to survive by the Creator. You were also given access to abundant resources for inspiration to do that: books, support groups, art, nature, the religion of your choice, etc. to grab onto.
"Find your tribe" is a great piece of advice. Your tribe might not be your family, or people who live near you, or look like you. But when you find them, you will know you're home because they 'GET' you.
Know that you are not alone - your Tribe is waiting for you to find them.