a monthly feature by
Maddie M. White
Anxious When Alone
What mental illness do you suffer from?
When was the first time you noticed it and how?
It was a couple of months after it happened and I was approached by a gentleman that said something similar to what my attacker had said and it triggered all the emotions and feelings. It was like having a flashback, like I was standing there seeing it all over again.
How does it affect your life as a while?
It affects my life because I can’t go out without thinking it will happen again. Men make me nervous to be around especially when I’m alone. I’ve decided in life since what happened to me happened twice, I’ll not be having children. Some people judge me on that fact, but in my prospective I just feel like I couldn’t bear to think that it could happen to them.
How does it affect your day-to-day?
I can’t help but stay anxious when I’m alone. I always want to be around someone. I don’t go out at night anymore.
What have you learned about it?
That no matter how long or how much you think you know someone, you don’t.
What has is taught you about yourself?
That no matter what obstacles I cross in life. I’m stronger than I give myself credit for. And when I go into depression I just have to keep telling myself I’m worth living for.
Have you found anything helpful in coping with it?
I like to do crafts to get my mind busy. I’ll either crochet, or find like DIY’s on Pinterest to do. And having my dog with me is the best help. He knows whenever I’m going through a rough time.
Describe a time in which you felt empowered after doing something in spite of the disorder.
I ended up buying my first home with the love of my life and I couldn’t have been happier. After the attack I thought my relationship would end. I didn’t think he’d want to stay with someone so broken, but he stuck with me through thick and thin. I’m thankful for him.
To anyone that has went through sexual assault and still feel like it’s your fault. It’s not. Nothing you could’ve said or done would’ve prevented it. Just know in the end you are a survivor, you deserve happiness and love. Don’t shut out your loved ones. They are the ones that will help you the most, being alone isn’t the answer to overcoming depression, anxiety, PTSD. Just remember you are worth it.