This time one year ago, I was just hours away from 29. Things were looking good. I had a plan for finishing uni, then starting again to do teaching. I had a happy and healthy family. I was looking forward to a four week holiday just a couple of months down the track.
Less than four weeks later, my entire life was turned upside down and every single part of my life was changed after I was raped.
So many times over the last eleven and a half months, I've fought to keep going. I had days where all I wanted to do was walk out in front of traffic. Days where taking it day by day was too much, I had to take it hour by hour, sometimes even 10 minutes at a time. Days where I felt so broken, so raw, so depserately disconnected from the world.
Days where I doubted I'd ever be anything close to the person I used to be.
it was the most horrific year of my life. That night ... I thought he was going to kill me. That night was hell on earth, and I lived through it.
I lived through it. That thought has kept me going, even in my darkest moments. The hardest part is over. I lived through the horror of what he did to me. I lived through it, even though he tried his hardest to break me. To intimidate me.
I know I will never be the person I was before the rape again. That girl, she is gone forever. He has changed and impacted every single part of my life.
But I am stronger. I am stronger now than I've ever been. I might falter some days. I might fall apart sometimes. But, inside me, I am stronger. I really do believe that I'm coming out the other side. I'm walking back into life. I'm making plans again. I hope to have uni finished by the end of this year, ready to do teaching at La Trobe next year. My plans took a detour, but I'm getting there.
Happy birthday to me. Watch me rock 30. This will be my year. And no rapist, no bastard coward will get in my way. Happy birthday indeed.