Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Waiting (and the best explanation you're likely to get)

I want to have this next talk with Dr. Mind about oh, yesterday. In a perfect world I would try to see him Monday for an extra visit, because the current burden is a lot, but work is so insanely busy that I already know that both Monday and Tuesday are going to involve a lot of hours and a lot of insanely hard work. And that means waiting until my scheduled Thursday appointment because I at least have work trained that I don't do extra that day.

I made the decision that it was time to talk about this stuff. I am ready. Part of my session with Dr. Mind was him telling me at first that I could choose to talk more about it or not. But after we discussed that for a few minutes he said we needed to talk about it more, did I want to bring it up when I was ready or did I want him to initiate it next week. He's to initiate, it's all I could do to do that once. (Pulling out the papers from my purse when he asked what we needed to talk about this week was one of the hardest things I've done in the last few months. I must have looked so unsure because he asked if I would have done that if he hadn't started off that way. I would have, I didn't want that burden any longer, but I can't be that brave again.) Obviously I could say no. Except I don't want to. I think that the reason I've so adamantly stuck to what I told him in the first month I saw him, that he was not allowed to talk about this unless I brought it up, was because I was too sick to think about it. I'm not now, and so this is probably a huge thing I need to do.

What I'm most afraid of is that I will remember more. I want to, in a way, but the memories that I have just sorted out indicate that more memories may contain some scary things, and that things that I have only had these vague memories of that I hoped weren't real are probably real. I don't know what else it's going to be time to remember, and at this point I don't care what I do or don't remember because I know for sure I can handle it. However, it feels like taking the first steps into a very cold ocean. The thing is that while the result of this is good, there is nothing pleasant to be remembered.

I won't be going into details here. Because that seems somewhat unfair when you are all so supportive and I usually follow a fairly open policy when writing here (why I'm fine writing about suicide but not this is a question I'm asking myself), but here's the basics. I was molested from a very young age by my grandfather. I have many memories of this that are unquestionable because I have always remembered them, and it occurred for the entire time he was alive until he developed a number of horrible health problems all at once and died soon after when I was 10. As a very young child I told my parents something about it. A lot of yelling happened and threats, but the ultimate outcome was that I was supposed to never be alone with him, yet continued to spend much of my time at his home, alone with him. At that time, and especially in that place, there just wasn't much information available about such things, and very few resources. There was no way to prosecute on the word of a child my age, and culturally these things may be a bit more accepted in Appalachia. I never talked about it and so nobody else did either. I had a tendency to completely freak out in school during "stranger-danger" education, which was done a lot when I was in grade school, and I'd wind up with a guidance counselor, but I didn't talk about it there either. The reason I would freak out is that it was not until we watched this movie that I remember in intense detail in 4th grade about what to do if someone tried to molest you and it hit me that "that isn't supposed to happen?????that's a BAD SECRET? And I've never told! I'm an awful girl" and from then on all those things did was induce guilt and make me feel sure I was wrong because I kept letting it happen. Ultimately my mother talked to some psychologist who told her if I didn't talk about it that I didn't remember and that she should never mention it to me. I was 22 when I talked about it to her. Even then she has no idea of much of it, and is convinced that it stopped when she found out originally.

The other thing that happened was that my father, who was physically and emotionally abusive, was also a pedophile in his free time. We know of several girls he molested, and mostly I've remembered a lot of things that he did to me that were very inappropriate and definitely sexually abusive, and I've got a store of bits of memories that support the idea (also supported by logic) that he also molested me in some manner. I even had some psychologist, one of the ones I dumped, tell me that more than likely he molested me. Which while likely to be true, she shouldn't really have said because the ultimate result is that no matter what I remember I always wonder if I'm just filling her prophecy or remembering. What I referred to yesterday means I did experience more serious abuse with him than I've previously known.

In the long run this is not earth-shattering news. I actually am very glad that the memories that I put into context yesterday finally are not what I told Dr. Mind "this happened and something is missing that makes it worse but I don't know what", but are more facts. All memory is suspect and memories like this may include me filling things in, but to be honest after having mushed 2 memories together for years it is a lot easier to understand what made it seem wrong. I've developed a pretty good ability to sort what I remember into "definite" and "this memory may not be totally as I recall", and so I'll go into this labeling things accordingly.

Regardless it's not easy. Partly this is because it is so hard for me to to say the words that parts of this involve, and so I'll probably be writing down things from time to time. Partly it's because that feeling that I was wrong because I didn't know to tell never fully goes away. I know better, but it still is there.

On the other hand, it is such a relief to not have this be my burden alone.


Jean Grey said...

I'm glad you are finally able to share this burden with someone else- and someone who will be helpful with it. You are really taking care of yourself right now.

Michal Ann said...

You're so right that this isn't your burden alone. You have Dr. Mind and many silent (and not so silent) witnesses to your blog.

Gal. 6:2 "Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."

YOU made the decision. YOU chose. YOU are ready. YOU don't want this burden any longer. YOU keep chosing to share the burden and I believe that multitudes are benefiting because of your story. Why NOT you?

YOU have a mission and YOU are more than worthy. All things are working together for good.

Julia said...

This is such an example of how well you care for yourself - because this step/phase is where you are in the process and you methodically move forward.

You always gives me hope for Gage to move past his trauma from his medical/develpmental issues.