Last Saturday night I had a disturbing dream. Sunday night I had a flashback in the middle of the night that left me disoriented and scared to death. On Monday night, I had another horrible nightmare.
Three nights of hell. I really felt like I couldn’t take one more night of this torture.
Then Tuesday came. Tuesday is my therapy day. Usually I’m so tense and dreading it. My appointment is always at 4 pm. So it’s usually a stressful, long day. Sometimes I don’t even eat until the session is over.
But this Tuesday, an earlier appointment opened up. Since Mrs. A knew that I was struggling, she asked if I wanted to come in early. I said ok. But I felt unprepared. I didn’t have all day to prep and prepare for talking and feeling emotions.
When I sat down in session, she asked if I had anything I needed to talk about. I always say no as a reflex. However, being the amazing, patient therapist that she is, she led me into a conversation about the nightmares.
We discussed all three nights and maybe what those nightmares and flashbacks could be trying to say to me.
As we talked, I shared a few things that I have never told anyone. Which is 95% of my story so far.
I left in my usual “run out the door and don’t make eye contact” fashion. I had to go back to work so I needed to put my mask back on and give myself a break from three days of reliving the trauma.
But what happened Tuesday night taught me a lesson.
I slept. Mostly all night. No bad dreams, no flashbacks. It was a strange feeling. I felt unbelievably normal.
What I learned is this – If I can just force myself to let it out, I can finally start to live again.
If I share the worst of secrets, they won’t be secrets anymore.
While I was speaking the awful truths, I thought my heart would break in two. The physical and emotional pain of bearing my soul is overwhelming. Reliving the trauma seems cruel and unfair. Why have to experience it twice?
I was telling Mrs. A that the second time is far worse than the actual abuse because you know what is happening. When you are a child and you are being sexually abused, you go into survival mode. You don’t feel pain. You cut off emotions. Most of the time you don’t really see or hear what is happening because you have left your body and gone into the zone of dissociation.
When you are having nightmares and flashbacks, these memories, feelings, and emotions are forced on you. Like it or not.
I’ve chosen to continue talking and trying to heal but it definitly feels like a two-edged sword.
If I can just let it out, I can start to eat, sleep, and love like a normal person.
God help me share these awful details, so that I may feel peace.
Until next time – I am being MJ every day!