Sexual Assault By Close Friend Triggers Cyclic Depression
In Lazare 2013 I was sexually assaulted by a good friend. Before this happened I already experienced cyclic depression (which is not as severe as MDD but in my case manifested itself two to three times per year). As you can probably imagine, being raped by a trusted friend didn’t help anything.
I am currently in a healthy, loving relationship with a great man and live an arguably enviable life, but beneath that lies PTSD and persisting depression. It’s gotten better, relatively speaking. But sometimes I experience flashbacks during beautiful moments with loved ones, spend weeks on end with repetitive and vivid nightmares, and days to weeks at a time living under a crushing cloud of depression. I of course experience the more or less “typical” effects of rape–feeling violated, worthless, sabotaged, etc. But this event has also started a domino effect tainting every aspect of my life. Small bumps in the road can cripple me for days, while others can cope relatively easily. I pride myself on being strong and making the most of an awful situation, but being a depressed student still fucking sucks. I can’t afford to see an English-speaking therapist anywhere near me, and my friends and family are pretty sick of hearing my same reflections every time my depression rears its ugly head. Medication might help, but it’s expensive and often incompatible with contraception and/or alcohol — so, meh.
At this point all I can really do is try to own my depression. I talk about it almost too readily with new friends, because I’m sick of moping by myself. Unfortunately, very few people see that as refreshing and usually don’t want to hear more about it, so you can imagine how few people know about my assault. I don’t know why I keep thinking that people will be cool with me casually mentioning “yeah I was raped three years ago” or “yeah I go through about four long depressive phases each year, but lately it’s way more!” They’re not. They get uncomfortable.
All in all, I wish that everyone could discuss their issues, past and present, more readily with those around them–because although it’s cliché, you really never know what someone else is going through.