Last Thursday, I was in a session with Mrs. A, and we were discussing the fact that we always talk around the abuse, but we never talk about the details of the incidents.
Telling the details is too hard. It is too embarrassing, and I have no idea what words to say. Do I use the gross, slang terms? Do I use the proper medical anatomical terms? Or do I just hint at it?
I have been struggling with this for the entire three years that I have been in therapy. It seems stupid, but my adult mind says to say whatever or however it comes out. My child mind is still so embarrassed and ashamed to say those words.
As a child, I was taught that using those words insinuated that you were not a proper woman and that you probably were engaging in less desirable activities. Of course, we know the purpose behind putting fear into our children. In this case, it stayed with me a lifetime.
A lot of my guilt is tied to those old parental messages that still replay in my mind day after day.
So, this week, on Tuesday, I am back in a therapy session and still trying to figure out how in the world to tell my therapist the “details” of the abuse. She is her usual patient self and tells me she will help me get it out. She told me to send her an email with prompts for our next session and we will discuss them piece by piece.
Yesterday in my second weekly session, I started to tell her that I do not know what is worthy of discussing as far as the sexual stuff goes. I think as survivors, we spend so much time minimizing that none of it really seems earth shattering. In the back of my mind, it is always the same thought. “That was not so bad”. Or “That wasn’t the worst thing that happened”. Mrs. A said it all matters and it is all important. She used the example of building a house. Each brick is significant. Each brick mattered. Each brick provided a foundation.
She asked me to just tell her one thing I considered to be insignificant. So, I did. I told her that during the abuse, he would hold the back of my head and force me to do things to him, even when he was suffocating me. This is one of the reasons I have had difficulty in relationships. The feeling of not being able to get away is always in the back of my mind. And if someone touches the back of my head even in a loving gesture, I feel panic. It is hard for anyone in a relationship to not take that personally. They do not understand that this has nothing to do with them. And in comes the flood of guilt. How do I not feel bad for someone who does not deserve the fear?
This is the exact reason that I got a divorce from my son’s father. He was a great dad, great husband, and great provider. I was a confused, scared wife. And I felt like I was always hurting him. He told me once that his wife was stolen from him before we were even married.
This whole week has been exhausting. The night terrors are back. I wake up talking, yelling, screaming and disoriented as to where I am. I even thought about giving up. I told Mrs. A that I cannot live like this.
But I have to. I have to live. I have to be ok. I have to push through. This whole journey is a roller coaster of emotions. Most of them are negative. I have to believe that there is some joy at the end of the journey.
Until next time – I am being MJ every day.