I know this doesn’t really make sense but I left Tuesday’s therapy session feeling what I can only describe as “in shock”. I had told T about the dream I had Saturday night about being outside one of my childhood homes and the feeling it left me with all day on Sunday (feeling shit). We spoke about the dream and T said she felt there was something that I needed to “revisit” and I told her what the house meant to me, the things that happened there.
Time ran away as it often does in therapy and before I knew it I had spoken in detail about the sexual abuse stuff and the grooming, about how I felt that evening when I went to bed and how petrified I was when he came up the stairs and started sending me disgusting messages from the bathroom opposite my bedroom.
I had spoken in detail about the man that was violent and had started to physically abuse my mother and how I had found her on her bed naked and covered in the glass from the large mirror he had pulled off the wall and smashed onto her. How I had to get him out of our house. Again, how bloody scared I was.
I spoke about the times I ran away and where I went and what it was like when I went home again.
About how I lost my virginity in that house at a young age and how that guy dumped me and told my mother it was her he loved…
Blah blah… there is more but it’s going to end up retriggering me if I carry on. The point is, as the session wound up and I had a couple of minutes left I just sat in silence and found myself in a bit of a daze. I was just staring at the floor and was aware that T had two clocks which were ticking out of sync and suddenly seemed SO loud.
I usually hate the “awkward” silences but I didn’t have anything to say. I was feeling weird. After a pause T said “it seems like its washed over you” and I said “erm yeah I guess I’m just processing it all” and she agreed. Anyway, I left and in the car home I felt weird.
When I got home I still felt weird. I keep writing weird because I genuinely don’t know how to explain that feeling.
I sat on my bed for a minute and stared into space again. I felt the weight of the things I had just spoken about. I felt like my adrenaline was pumping through me and I felt anxious and kinda on my guard or something. I felt like I wanted to cry, but nothing was happening…
I felt so uncomfortable that I decided to distract myself and went and put the tele on and started to cook my dinner. Every now and again I would “remember” and feel that same feeling.
It was like… I was scared or anxious or shocked.
I had fleeting thoughts that lasted half a second where I thought “shit, that’s big” or “why the fuck do I feel sorry for her when she let all that happen to me?”. Then I would banish it all again.
When I went to get into bed I caught a glimpse of a photo on my bedside cabinet of my 3 stepchildren which was taken about 5 years ago. The 3 of them smiling and looking so young and cute and innocent and I thought to myself “oh my god I don’t even know how a childhood like that feels – one without fear or trauma”. It sounds awful but for half a second I hated them for that. Then I nearly cried again but didn’t – why weren’t the tears coming out? I could even feel the lump in my throat.
One thing T said in the session that has stuck with me is that in most cases of childhood sexual abuse from a partner of a mother, the mother is a narcissist. She explained that the men were clever and knew the mother would be so wrapped up in herself and that the child wouldn’t be protected, would be vulnerable. She said he was with her to “get” to me. That made me feel sooo sick.
She also said that although what he did was awful I had a close call. I know she’s right, it certainly could have been worse. I’m grateful they split up after that happened – though they did get back together a few months later and i came home to find him back in my house again. Luckily it didn’t last that time.
I’ve thought about this feeling a little since Tuesday though admittedly not a lot because it’s a horrible feeling that I find myself trying to block out. I think it’s shock.
I know that sounds weird but it’s like the severity of some of those things suddenly sunk in. Like I heard myself properly for the first time or something.
It FEELS awful. It never used to. How can you feel shocked about your own memories years and years after they happened?