Proud and Ashamed
This morning I had a trauma therapy session. As usual, Mrs. A was so brilliant at helping me to be aware of my feelings and emotions.
When I started with Mrs. A in October of 2017, I literally could not speak for the entire hour. I was so afraid to even speak about my trauma or even trust this person sitting across from me. It was about 6 months before I told her there was more than one abuser. It was about a year, before I told her there were 9 abusers. And telling her that one of the abusers was a woman, was even harder. I was so afraid of judgement from her. I was also afraid of opening Pandora’s box and not being able to close it.
Today, I started by telling her about my last blog and I read it to her out loud. What a huge accomplishment. Reading anything that I wrote to her was always too embarrassing. Those were my inner thoughts and feelings. How could I let her in to that “secret” part of my life?
Anyway, after talking about the car rides and the feelings and memories that are still there today, I felt sad. I then changed the subject because sad feelings aren’t my specialty.
I started telling her about a dream I had. Mrs. A is the ultimate dream interpreter. Clearly, the things I dream about are unprocessed emotions or events that have happened. But in this particular dream, I was dreaming about my Mom. In the dream, my Mom was away in the mental hospital. (not uncommon in real life) She told me that the doctor said she could come home but he said that I would need to be nice to her. I asked her if it was true and she didn’t answer. So, as usual in my dreams, I ran and tried to hide. As Mrs. A and I are discussing the dream, I’m already crying. Just talking about my Mom usually does that. But this dream had me asking myself, “Was I not nice to her?”. Was I such a burden that even her doctor knew that I was the problem?
At the end of the session, I said to her, “I am sad”. She asked me what is making me sad. I said, “I’m sad that this stuff happened to me”. She said that it was sad and it was ok for me to be sad.
My immediate reaction was embarrassment and feeling so childish. She said that this part of my therapy is going to be focusing on “inner-child” work and that the “adult” Michele already knows all the healing stuff. Wow. Now there’s a thought. I am pretty well-versed in the “what to do to heal yourself” category. I can advise and help others. I just can’t see my own pain. It’s too painful, if that makes sense.
Anyway, I guess I made progress, but the shame is huge. Shame is the biggest battle that trauma survivors face. Knowing we are valuable and loved is a hard concept to grasp.
I’m working hard to believe in me.
Until next time – I am being MJ every day.