I had therapy yesterday and we were talking about everything that’s happened in a week’s time. I accepted that I was raped by my cousin/uncle. I told my husband what happened to me too, which went very well. My compulsive sexual behavior returned with disturbing fantasies, not good. I had a day where I felt pure rage at the world. And now I’m numb and I have been for a while.
My therapist was super proud of me for being brave and taking the big step of telling my husband. She apparently already knew that the word for what happened was “rape” but she was waiting for me to catch up. 🙂 I told her that I looked at the definition from the state it happened in because I wanted to know what they would call it. She asked me to read the definition to her since I brought it with me and I found it a little difficult to do but I read it like reading the newspaper. When it came to the compulsive sexual behavior (I’m not physically hurting myself) she said that it’s an understandable behavior and that I shouldn’t come down on myself for doing it. She said we’ll have to find something else for me to do in the future when I have anxiety etc. As for being numb, she said that I’m in shock. She said that I would’ve been in shock when I was four years old too, and I that I probably just dissociated away and went numb and now I’m doing the same. She said that it’s normal and ok for me to be in shock, it’s my brain’s way of protecting me from overwhelming emotions. She said that my brian’s giving me a moment to get ready for the feelings that will come. I didn’t like the sound of that but I was honestly too numb to even believe her. I still don’t believe her, I feel nothing except disconnected, like part of my brain has simply flown away somewhere else and I’m too numb to care.
When she started talking about how I must have felt as a child, I got uncomfortable. I’ve noticed that any time she says something about my feelings as a child, I shutdown more than I already am. I should probably mention that to her now that I think about it. Anyway, I said to her that I had looked at some pictures of myself from that time period and I couldn’t pinpoint anything in my expressions that showed that something had happened to me. I lived with my grandmother then so I was happy. I told her I just couldn’t see anything. She wasn’t worried, I guess when you dissociate bad things, you can look “normal” to the outside world. Then out of nowhere I laughed and said, “All I did was run around in this football helmet all the time.” She stopped and looked at me for a moment and said, “You ran around in a football helmet?” I said yes, and I couldn’t get why she was looking at me like that. I said that I did that for a long time. I wore this football helmet and that there were pictures of me wearing it all the time. She asked me how old I was at the time and I said ‘Oh around 3 or 4 years old, you know about the time it happened.’ And then I was like “Oh.” Then I scrambled and I said, “Yea but I was just being weird.” Then she asked, “Did the football helmet protect the mouth like the real ones do?” I said yes, it had a little part that went in front on my mouth (of course it was too big for me but it was close enough). She just looked at me again and I was like “Oh.” She said that kids throw off all kinds of signals that something’s wrong, especially things that go on for a long time, but people aren’t educated to pay attention to the signals. I said that I felt very protected ( we said “protected” at the same time) inside that helmet and things kind of came together for a moment for me. You know I wore that thing all the time and I only took it off to eat because it blocked my mouth and I couldn’t eat with it on. So, I’ve decided to put one of the many pictures of me wearing the football helmet up on my blog. No one knows who I am and no one could identify me from this picture anyway (it’s almost 30 years old) so it doesn’t make any difference and more importantly, I want to for some reason. I don’t know if I was a normal size little girl at this point, I’m very tall and as I got older, people would mistake me for being older than I was, either way this is the right time period. Oh, I had to add that I’m smiling in this picture, ha!