Thursday, December 20, 2007

A hurtful story

I dragged myself to my therapy appointment this morning, kicking and screaming. I tried to do everything I could to put it off. I don't think that it was just the therapy appointment ... it was just that feeling of isolation that made me not want to show up for life, much less the appointment today. But despite my best efforts, I went and I shared. I told her how horrible the past couple of days have been inside my head and how frustrating it is to want to curl up in a ball one minute and then excited about decorating my house for Christmas the next.

After I posted here yesterday, I went through the painful process of getting myself out of the house and to the store to buy the final part of my husband's anniversary gift. When I got to the store I found all the Christmas stuff on sale half off and started buying up stuff to decorate my house for our guests next week. These are the same guests that honestly I don't want to entertain at Christmas. But ... I will and I will do it graciously.

So, my therapist asked me a bunch of hard questions this morning, things I didn't want to answer and things I feel inept to answer about what it is that is holding me back, causing me to sabotage myself again and again. I don't know the answer. I don't connect to the emotions I am trying to avoid. It's hard to even find them. But then she started asking me about trauma and traumatic experiences. I repeated the story of how at age three my stepfather called me into the bathroom and asked me to touch his penis. That same year or maybe the next he locked me in the family's underground cellar and told me I was going to have to sleep there all night because I had been bad. He walked around outside making noises like a panther or an angry lion to terrorize me. My future sexual abuse all seemed pretty "routine" ... I don't really connect to the trauma, except for one incident. It is horrible to relive and when I told the story today I thought to myself, "I don't want to have to tell this story to another therapist ever again."

I told the therapist that I always knew when the molestation was coming. I never had to guess. I felt it coming. It was no different that day when I was 8 or 9 years old, my stepfather was doing some plumbing work underneath the house (there was no basement). He asked me to crawl under the house with him to help him. I knew immediately that was not what he had in mind. He told me that he was going to teach me something new. He then began to stroke himself and told me that when he told me to to put my mouth over him. He said some stuff was going to come out and that I was not to spit it out. He wanted me to learn how to swallow it. I remember being terrified of the whole thing, but followed what I was told. When he came in my mouth, the taste was bitter and I couldn't hold it. I spit it on the ground almost involuntarily. He told me, "I told you not to spit it out." He said it sort of angrily, but not with the same voice that I was usually spoken to "in the light of day." He didn't beat me or hurt me. I just felt his disappointment in me and I felt like such a failure.

I often wonder if the men I act out with knew what fuels my enthusiasm for giving oral sex ... would they still be willing to enjoy it as much?

No matter what was done to me, it does not give me the right to use other people, and other people's husbands to fix my stepfather's mistakes. I continue to build the shame and guilt.


vicariousrising said...

That must have been difficult to share. It was courageous of you, and I hope it helped you in some way, even as it was painful to remember.

Maybe you will be able to feel some power over what was done to you by cognitively going through it now instead of acting out. You deserve some peace.

Mary P Jones (MPJ) said...

How very brave of you to share, with the therapist and here. Hugs, Rae.

Kathy said...

Rae, thank you for your honesty. I'm going through the same thing right now ... sharing about the secrets inside. It will get better.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry for what you have been through, Rae. I believe that acknowledging past terror, though, is the 1st step to putting it in its place. You are very brave. I feel that keeping trauma like that inside - to fester - forces you to fall victim over and over again. My husband has already begun to find peace and heal some of his childhood wounds (by finally admitting them out-loud) and I wish nothing less than the same for you.

The Hurting Heart