So, today was therapy day. I looked forward to today’s session a lot. I mean, the last time stirred up a lot of emotions and I was left with quite a few questions in my head. I had taken the time to think through the worries and write some of them down and I felt ready to go in and give it a go, try to see what the answers were..
Sadly, though, I had one of the roughest nights I’ve had in a long time, with maximum of 30 minutes of sleep all together, so I went in and was very tired, and in a lot of pain. I asked if I could sit on the floor, something I had not done before (even though had wanted to, so many times.. but never dared to ask). She had no problem with it. So there I was, sat on the floor, staring at her, trying to get all the things covered in the short hour that flies by in a blink of an eye.
Last time, she got a bit agitated with me and that created many questions for me. I needed to know, why she raised her voice (and this is meant in a completely non-accusative way, just pure curiosity) and if she was angry with me.. And I needed to know if she still cared about me a little bit or maybe she thought about not wanting to see me anymore because I might be a trouble maker.. I also wanted to know if that happened because she planned it this way or because she felt overwhelmed.
Never before had I ever felt ready to ask these kind of questions that I had on my mind. I have always been scared to ask, so I usually just tend to agree to everything and not speak my mind. Never have I ever felt the strength to just sit down and tackle the fears I have about a relationship. I am so grateful for my therapist to have sat there with me and for her honesty and openness. She answered every single one of my questions with what felt like a sincere and honest reply. It made me feel a bit good even, when I asked her if she would have been sad if I would have quit and she replied that of course.. I mean.. It’s so hard for me to believe that she cares, but at moments like these I believe. I honestly believe that she cares about me a little bit.
Last time, she asked me to not read between the lines.
So I try.
I try to be straight forward, I try to communicate very clearly and it seems like we might make some progress like this. I guess that is the best I can do, I just feel a little sad that she felt like raising her voice was her last option to try and reach me. That I was so fixated on the idea I had in my head that she didn’t want me that she felt like no words spoken softly would make me understand what she wanted to communicate to me. She told me she did it as she felt like it was her last resort. I feel a bit bad about putting her into that position. How rude of me, how did I not notice that I was supposed to understand a bit earlier.. How could I just never see that she, a kind person that I have enormous amount of respect for, was trying very hard to help me.
So as I was sat there, on the floor, trying to make sense of the mess I had created, I felt thankful. SO utterly grateful for the amount of support she can offer. I know, the relationship is so out of balance and she has boundaries she would never overstep and it’s so far from normal “friendship” or whatever..ship, but I felt secure.. Like she had to fight for me and she did. Nobody did it when I was a child, I never felt secure. It leaves me thinking that there must have been something so wrong with me when I was a child so that people never really even noticed me. I was just passed around like a borrowed book that nobody really had the time to read. It was ok, I could handle it. I could handle every single part of it. I still can.
We also talked very briefly about the abuse I’ve gone through as a child. I’ve not disclosed it much, but felt I had the courage to mention what my concern was. She told me about a lady that came to see her some time ago who was forced to work as a prostitute when she was a teen. It stuck with me and I felt very deeply saddened by the story. I thought how lucky I was that I was never forced to do these kind of things and how different our stories were. Only to realise that the abuse I endured when I was 4 and sexually abused by a relative, is not too far off. I tell myself I was lucky because my abuser was a child himself, so he wasn’t extra forceful. I tell myself I deserved it, because I didn’t stop it. I tell myself that it’s ok because I can handle it. I remind myself that I was stupid to let it escalate. I tell myself that he did it because he endured some sort of abuse himself. I keep reminding myself to be compassionate to him because he was so lost that he felt the needed to use my body without my permission (as if I would have known to give it as a 4yo anyways). I try to forget and not dwell in the past and most of the time I’m doing great. It’s not one of the daily battles I have to go through, but I guess I’ve reached the point where I feel like I wish I could go back in time and talk with my own little self. I would love to tell her that she didn’t do anything wrong to deserve it and it’s not her fault.
Or when I was 14 and an adult decided that he will choose to sleep with me and my ‘no’ was worthless… He probably needed it. He didn’t hear what I said.. He didn’t mean to hurt me..right? I don’t know.. I’m finally starting to see the cracks in the picture. I’m finally starting to see how what I tell myself might not be accurate. I refuse to call myself a victim. I’m not a victim, because I didn’t cry.. or because I didn’t tell anybody. I was just… in the wrong place at the wrong time. I mean… how could one even be a victim if they managed to live with it for many-many years without talking about it? How could it be sexual abuse, if I wasn’t held at the gun point or beaten into the submission? It surely wasn’t abuse, because my pain was not noticed. It could not have been anything serious because I was able to run away from the place in the early hours of the morning. It surely could not have been sexual abuse, because when he decided to have sex with me without my consent I let him. I didn’t scream. I told him no, I told him he hurt me and that I didn’t want it, but I didn’t panic. I didn’t cry, I didn’t yell, I didn’t try to run. I just laid there without making a sound and waited it out. I bled and I hurt and I waited. And I ran and I promised to forget. Only that I didn’t. I think he did, though.
So when I say I’m not a victim of sexual abuse, I feel like I’m doing it to protect myself. But maybe it’s about the right time to try and see what the experiences have left me with.. And how I can display a great amount of empathy towards people that have been through abuse that is similar in the nature and I refuse to give myself any kind of recognition to have endured it and survived…Is there a way I could also try to be a bit kinder towards myself?
Maybe it’s about time that I will try and see that it was not what I wanted, it was not fair and that I don’t need to protect the people that made me feel like this. I mean… I really wish somebody would have told me that it wasn’t my fault and that I deserved better. I realise that nobody could have told me that because I chose to tell nobody… But that’s just the way it was. Maybe now, when I finally have the courage to open my mouth and say it, I will be able to accept a little bit of support?
Right, so next step would be to be able to talk about it, am I right? I mean to try and open these closed boxes in the safe space my therapist and I share once a week.. To see what my dear brain has decided to hide from me until I was ready to try and uncover.. I guess we will see, what will come of it, but I’m just glad I’ve found a place that I can call safe. And that I have a person that I know will be able to hold my secrets and not be influenced by them, not be mortified, not feel sorry for me, not care too much.
Thankful to my therapist, thankful to my partner who has had to deal with the memories coming back to me slowly, thankful to my dogs and horses that never fail to cheer me up and thankful that my lovely friends for not asking questions and standing with me when I need them to.