At my session yesterday I decided to put my cards on the table and tell her why I’m really doubting myself and questioning whether certain abuse took place in addition to what I know really happened. I told her that since I can perform certain acts sexually, I didn’t believe that this particular kind of abuse could have really happened. I said I believed that I instinctively would have balked at it even without remembering what had happened. Second, I told her that because I’ve compulsively viewed graphic sexual imagery in the past, things that show what was done to me (involving adults not kids) that maybe I was pulling a particular image that I see from what I’ve viewed. So, she addressed these two issues. I purposely did not mention what happened with my husband the other night at that moment, I was saving it for later in the session. I wanted to see what she said first without her knowing about my reaction to the other night. First she said that sexually what works for a person differs. She didn’t think that my being able to perform an act meant that it didn’t happen. I then told her that in this situation my position is reversed from when I was abused. I am in a position of control. She said that changes everything anyway because the situation is completely different from what happened to me. I’m not on my back for one. And there are other things that I won’t mention so as not to needlessly trigger other people. As for what I’ve seen, we talked about that and she noticed that my reaction to what I’ve seen isn’t the same as the body memories surrounding this particular memory that’s in question. She said that you can’t fake a body memory. Whether I think I remember or not, my brain has held on to that reaction. She said a person can’t just decide to have that kind of reaction, it happens for a reason. She noticed that I don’t have an instinctive repulsion type reaction to what I viewed so to speak. What I’m saying is that, viewing that stuff served other purposes and brought up different feelings and was also connected to another alter in my system. While I was repulsed by myself for viewing such material, I wasn’t reacting the way I do to this stuff. Again I don’t want to trigger unnecessarily, so just trust me on this one. Anyway, we determined that the image I see is not based on the bad stuff I’ve looked at. And, you can’t fake body memories.
At this point I told her about what happened with my husband and my horrible reaction to it. I told her that I didn’t know what to do with this information because I know I didn’t fake that reaction and it was so strong and the situation so close to what I think happened to me that I couldn’t ignore it. This reaction was not something that I could brush off. She of course agreed and discussed the fact that my physical position in this situation had been exactly like I remember. I told her how I felt my younger parts absolutely freak out in terror. She said to remember to tell myself that it’s ok if I don’t understand everything right now, to just keep myself open and to not try to “figure things out” all the time. When she said “Tell yourself it’s ok that I don’t know where this is coming from.”, I said “But I do know, don’t I?”. I was very calm and I felt nothing. I said, ‘What happened the other night, my reaction? I do know why and I do know where it came from, don’t I?” She said “Yes, you do.” I told her that I knew I should be reacting but I felt nothing. It was like we were chatting about the weather. I laughed and made jokes, I was sarcastic and made fun of myself for not reacting properly. She’s very sage sometimes and she kind of just gazed at me while I thought and she said ‘It’s ok. Your default is to disconnect from your feelings. You had to do that your whole life to survive all this horror. It’s not surprising that you would go to your default and that’s ok.” When she said ‘horror’, I immediately thought, “It wasn’t that bad” and I told her so. I told her that I could hear how silly that sounded but that I also knew that it felt true. I really felt that it wasn’t that bad. It wasn’t horrible. I scoffed. My mother hitting me over and over, calling me a whore, and leaving me alone in a dark house as a child? Being sexually abused in ways I’m just remembering? Finding my grandmother’s dead body? None of its horrible. And I still mean it. It’s like I’m not feeling what a human should be feeling at a time like this. Weird huh? I can write about it and sit here in my chair like it’s nothing. Well not quite nothing, I feel something but I don’t know what it is. So… I go on. There’s a gaping, wide gap in my brain where the connections are just not happening. that’s where my feelings should be but they’re gone.
So what do I believe? I believe that I’m probably right about what he did. I think that I must have been at his house at some point because it couldn’t have happened anywhere else and that would explain the images of the hallway and his wife leaving. I say probably because acceptance hasn’t come yet. But, the reaction I had the other night shook me bad enough to make me pay attention and I can’t ignore it. As my therapist said, ‘ There a difference between knowing something intellectually and knowing it.” When I finally know it I don’t know how I’ll react or how I’ll feel, but…whatever.
During therapy I also put into words something that’s been on my mind for a while now but I didn’t want to tell her because I thought she’d be disappointed. I told her that I’ve read about different therapists views on younger parts and how to deal with them. There seems to be extremes of either treating them like real people too much (even though mine feel quite real sometimes) or ignoring them which is not good either. I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with mine and I asked her what her philosophy on younger parts was. This was important to me because I’ve sensed for a while now that my younger parts want to come out during therapy. It’s been during the last few sessions but I’ve pushed them down. I didn’t like doing it though because it felt like I was suppressing emotions that go with these parts and therefore I wasn’t completely being myself during therapy. She said that she understood what I meant about extremes and that she views every part as part of me and she accepts them and listens to them and deals with whoever shows up. That’s what she’s supposed to do. I told her that I know that as a therapist she wants me to move forward not backwards and that I had been suppressing my alters out of fear of disappointing her. She was surprised and she assured me that all my parts are welcome to come out whenever they want. She said her goal if for me to be “whole”, however that happens. Then she said something that surprised me because it was like she was reading my mind. She said that she understands that I have to test her to see if it’s safe for them to come out, and I was like ‘Whoa! How did she know that’s what we were thinking inside!?” That’s exactly what my younger parts were doing, testing her and they needed me to ask her if they could come out or not. So weird! Of course I understand that they’re me and I told her that, but I also told her that I feel like the reason I can’t show emotions about the sexual abuse is because they’re the ones holding them. She agreed and she noted that when we were dealing with my mother, having my parts come out helped me to work through that. So, that was good to know.
Well, I’m done for now. I’m nervous and not quite together but, oh well.