So, after publishing that beast of a three-part post (“The Search for Healing”), I thought I’d give you a glimpse of what I’m actually going through right now.
Tuesday morning (yesterday) I go to therapy. I talk for a little while about all the stuff that’s been coming up since my last session—all these amazing insights that I’ve probably had at least once or twice before and since forgotten. Insights that, however brilliant (if I do say so myself), don’t really seem to be impacting my ability to move forward. We spend the rest of the session doing EMDR around my experience of feeling powerless and not being taken seriously and the repressed anger I’ve felt as a result. The memories that come up are from childhood, but the issues have had a deep hold on me my entire life. It’s emotional stuff, but not too bad. Not like some sessions where I go through half a box of Kleenex.
I’m okay when I leave. I spend the next few hours working from home, publishing Part 3 of my post, and cleaning the kitchen. In the late afternoon I suddenly become overwhelmingly tired. I really wanted to get some exercise, but now all I want to do is sit around and read. So I do.
The rest of the day is uneventful.
At 4:00 in the morning I wake up sweating. I drink some water and go back to sleep.
I dream that I’m at a gathering of family and friends. A friend is supposed to be teaching us a song, but we kind of drift off to sleep. When I wake up (in the dream), someone is touching my foot. It feels nice. The hand moves to my leg. I start to wonder whose hand it is. Is it my friend’s? I open my eyes and find I’m in bed—and my brother-in-law (my sister’s partner) is lying next to me with his hands on me. I start to panic. What is he doing?? What is my sister going to think? I try to move away from him, but I feel trapped by the covers. I start pushing him away from me, really pushing, HARD, but I can’t seem to move him. I say “What are you doing?! Get away from me! STOP TOUCHING ME! GET OFF OF ME!” All these wonderfully clear, articulate “no’s” that are so hard to say in real life. He doesn’t seem to be taking me very seriously. He tells me he’s going to come back later. We can do more then. He rolls out of bed and gets up. I get out of bed, but somehow I’m on the floor. He pulls open a drawer and takes out a gun. I’m scared and tell him not to shoot, but he does. He shoots me in the leg. It looks like just a scratch and it doesn’t hurt, but I can’t seem to move. Then people start wandering into the room. No one notices that anything’s wrong. To them, everything seems fine, normal. I’m trying to shout and tell them I need help, that someone needs to get me away from him or him away from me, but it’s like I’ve lost 90% of my voice. Not much comes out. No matter how hard I try to speak, to articulate, I can’t seem to get anyone’s attention. I’m just croaking. My sister comes into the room and I start waving my arms, pounding the floor, but she just looks at me from across the room and smiles. I need her to come closer, I need to grab onto her and have her help me, but I can’t seem to communicate anything to her. I feel desperate. What else can I do??
I wake up. My body is in its usual tensed, contracted state. (I don’t remember the last time I woke up feeling good.)
On awakening, I am left with this visceral sense of PUSHING. Of the effort required to get that man (who is, of course, quite nice and respectful in real life) AWAY from me and how hard and impossible it seemed. I never pushed Dr. T off of me, but oh how I wish I had.
I wish, for the millionth time, that I had a punching bag.
I am also left with the feeling that the people in my life have no idea what I’m going through. How, after almost four years, I am still really struggling with all this, and only just starting to wake up to having been violated. Everyone assumes that I’m “okay.” I’m fairly functional, I don’t freak out in public, I rarely have panic attacks anymore, I don’t suddenly start screaming at people (though sometimes I’d like to) and I no longer cry for what feels like hours. But I am still figuring out what happened to me and trying desperately to move forward in my life. I often feel like I’m failing.
I know I’m processing some major stuff, so I’m going to try to take it easy on myself (and others) for the next couple of days. I imagine that I’ll be feeling better soon.
I wish I didn’t have this “thing” to deal with in my life. I HATE that I have this. I wish I could give it to someone else to deal with and have a different kind of life. But I can’t. It’s mine. I have to deal with it.
So I do.
The clouds are beautiful this morning. It’s a good day for a walk.