What’s the Opposite of “Anniversary?”
I’m having some trouble organizing my thoughts, so this post will most likely be a bit scattered. Sorry. It will also be extremely TMI and quite possibly triggering for sexual assault survivors. Again, sorry.
This is a very rough time of year for me. I’m starting this post on 11/09/2013. One month away from the 2 year “anniversary” of when I was raped. A lot has happened in my life since then, including another sexual assault, albeit under much different circumstances
Anyway, although I’ve come a very long way since that day, I’m having a hard time dealing right now.
I measure time in a different way than most folks. There’s no BC & AD. There’s not even BCE & CE. In my world, there’s BR & AR. Before Rape. After Rape.
Before Rape, I was a single mom who had left an abusive relationship 12 years prior, and was just starting to think maybe it might be okay to start dating again. I went on a date with a guy I had dated briefly as a teen.
I immediately remembered why it was so brief. He sent a bouquet to me at work, which kind of creeped me out. Then he started talking about “the future” and got quite upset when I mentioned that I would not be having any more children. I decided to not see him again.
Fast forward several months later, he talked me into giving him another chance. We met up for a coffee date, which went reasonably well, thus morphed into dinner and drinks at his place.
Dinner never happened. One glass of wine later, he refused to take no for an answer. He choked me unconscious, and raped me. It wasn’t until several days later that I discovered I also had cracked ribs.
After Rape. I was an absolute mess. I went home, showered, scrubbed myself raw, and tried to process what had happened.
I don’t want to rehash everything, but suffice it to say… I have fought a long, HARD battle to reclaim myself, my power, and my self-worth. Still fighting, actually. There were many, MANY times I wasn’t sure I could make it through.
In a month, it will be two years since that day. Two years since I was pushed into a pit of self-loathing & fear. My anniversary.
Anniversary seems like such an inappropriate word to describe it, though. According to Mirriam-Webster, the definition of the word “anniversary” is
an·ni·ver·sa·ry noun \ˌa-nə-ˈvərs-rē, -ˈvər-sə-\
: a date that is remembered or celebrated because a special or notable event occurred on that date in a previous year
Well, I suppose that does partially fit. I will certainly remember that
notable horrific event for the rest of my life.
“Anniversary” just doesn’t seem right. The very word conjures up warm, fuzzy thoughts of family, togetherness, and love. A couple celebrating their love and commitment to each other, or perhaps a family gathering honoring another happy event. But not the actions of a selfish scumbag who ripped my soul apart almost beyond repair.
We need a new word for this kind of thing. I think antiversary will do just fine.