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on dating trauma survivors.

Dear man that takes a chance on cat lady Cake,

I am a survivor, trying to be a thriver, or whatever hip word is being used these days to describe someone who has nearly fallen to the depths of hell but climbed out and used that/those experiences towards self and societal growth.

I have survived trauma(s) so intense I sometimes wonder how I'm still standing, how I haven't ended up committed to some ward in a white padded room where I'm fed happy pills every 3 hours as I stare out of the window, eyes glazed over, seeing nothing, wheel of fortune playing in the background. There aren't words to describe how dehumanizing, how crushing it is to find out the person you gave your life to is distorting your reality on purpose and is the sole reason you now reside in this hell on earth. Or how horrific it is to watch your only living biological parent, your best friend and number one supporter, die the most sudden, painful death that seemed to defy time at the end and drag on and on, those images ingrained in your mind forever. Or all of the things that have happened during and since these events... some equally as traumatizing, others giving me the slightest bit of hope in humanity.

My heart bares razor sharp edges that will take immense strength and time to maneuver. These edges are what I have yet to overcome fully and I'm not sure I will ever be able to... but I try. My soul was pulverized, and my reality shattered into a thousand pieces. I question things and have a hard time with either not trusting or over-trusting others from the years of deception I was led to believe and years of growing up under a rock thinking evil didn't really exist. The person that was supposed to protect me, cherish me, and love me, the death of my mother, and the acts of betrayal by others have released thousands of tiny monsters in my head against my will that I would demolish if I could. Trust me, I want those monsters gone.

You won't find a girl that thinks life is full of rainbows and sunshine in me and occasionally I will feel so broken that I forget I am a warrior. My brain, divided into two, before trauma Cake and after trauma Cake. I have lost the purity I once had and even having to say I've been through trauma causes me shame at times. I will need reminded of my strength. Of whom I am becoming. What I am leaving behind - my legacy.

But, in the chaos, there is a uniqueness to me because of what I've gone through. I'm different. My green eyes tell a story of courage, and my smile is one of the most genuine things you will see. I am as authentic as it can get; the good and the bad.

I believe in love and this belief alone takes bravery after succumbing to what I have. It is powerful and dignified of me to choose love after being traumatized by it. A relationship with me will not be like others because survivors survive to live life. If you (choose to) fully understand what I've gone through and (recognize) what I have done to become who I am, you will see how I am stronger and more determined than your average woman (or man, for that matter).

I have had to have an abundance of empathy and sympathy for myself as I've trudged the bottom of hell and dug my way out. For me to hand you my heart, still bandaged and brittle, is a beautiful thing, for I will let you into a place that I protect with steel barriers.

I will test being able to speak my mind with no repercussions thrown my way from you. Although I am mostly comfortable in my own skin, being open with my thoughts will make me feel timid and vulnerable so I will need you to make me feel safe to tell you anything. I am essentially that little girl I used to be, relearning how to live without the pain, defense, and coping mechanisms.

Inconsistent with my heart and all of its jagged points, I have become softer, kinder, more grateful for all things. Please don't let these traits overshadow my desire to no longer be a doormat to someone else and I have no qualms about staying true to who I am. The work I had to do to discover who I am was no easy feat and it is something I have earned not budging on. My days of being controlled, manipulated, & used are gone.

More than anything, I need you to be honest. I need you to be vulnerable with me and show integrity and compassion towards my soul and your own. I need you to be forgiving and patient.

I wanted the earth to open and swallow me whole when I realized the depths of betrayal and dehumanizing acts done to me. Even more so when I lost the only person to ever show me unconditional love - my mom. Still, I want to love and be loved again. What I thought at times would cause my death, I still believe in. If that's not beautiful, I'm not sure what is. I have seen hell because of love, and I choose to risk seeing hell again. Be kind with me. Be gentle. Hold my heart with care. I'm worth it.


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