I wanted to write about this today before I lose the grasp on what I’m feeling.
I went in to therapy this week feeling highly frustrated and disgusted with myself and confused. I felt unable to explain or understand my actions and thoughts and what I feel are qualities or capabilities that I lack, like the ability to enjoy intimacy like a normal person. Since I doubt everything, I can’t connect abuse with my actions or lacking.
During therapy we ended up hitting on an illustration that I found useful to describe the internal debate I have with myself over whether I was sexually abused or not. Actually let me clarify that statement by saying that I acknowledge that I was molested once (the “kissing” incident most of you know about, but in my head I define being sexually abused (for myself, not others) as being more…malignant perhaps? Or at least as needing to have occurred more than once if the first instance was not…yes I’ll say it knowing I shouldn’t…not that bad.
While talking my therapist once again told me that I would be a great lawyer. I have a nature that demands facts and proof and can argue in an almost endless manner if those factors are missing.
Today I once again presented arguments to deny that I was abused:
- I’m a huge lair.
- I’m looking for attention even if only from myself.
- I want something to whine about.
- I have a confirmed vivid imagination and therefore made up everything I’ve seen and felt.
- Her suggestion many months ago that it was unlikely the “kiss” was the first instance, caused me to spin a tale to support that hypothesis.
- I’m trying to explain away my deviant behavior and thoughts by making up a tragic story to make myself feel better about being perverted.
I laid out all of these arguments and we discussed them, with me trying to be as truthful with myself and her as possible. I’ll try my best to repeat what was said with accuracy but there’s bound to be somethings missing when trying to recall a conversation perfectly.
For the first three issues my therapist said that to have that kind of goal I would have to have some kind of Personality Disorder. She went on to explain how she knows when a person has a Personality Disorder and the kind of clients they typically are. She said that signs of any of these disorders would have shown up when I was young and would be reflected in many areas of my life. She also said that most people with a Personality Disorder don’t seek out therapy on their own, instead, what usually happens is that family members come in while trying to deal with the individual and that leads to them coming in personally.
Putting that aside, I had to honestly say that I do not fit any of those profiles and believe me I would be looking for confirmation that I did so I could have an excuse not to believe I was abused. My therapist pointed out that she and my psychiatrist have known me for eleven years and they know for a fact that I do not have a Personality Disorder. I have to agree with her.
The next point was my vivid imagination which is a confirmed fact. I write fanfiction and my dearest wish is to write a scifi/fantasy novel. I also live in a fantasy world for most hours of my day, with made up people like imaginary friends I should have given up as a child but was unable to cope without.
My therapist pointed out that I know the difference between fact and fiction though. I know when I’m making things up and when things are real. I don’t confuse the two, like say someone with schizophrenia might. Alright, I’ll concede that point.
The next point was addressed by her talking about my reactions and feelings. She said that this concept is hard for me to accept because, according to Myers/Briggs, I’m a Thinking Type, BUT I’m also Intuitive. She said that I have the ability to make a judgment based on the abstract but that my Thinking side stomps on it. She said that you can’t fake feelings and that as a therapist she takes those things very seriously. To her they’re proof. She said when a client comes in and they’re in pain, her goal is, how do we stop the pain? Then she has to look at the person’s experiences and figure out what’s causing the pain. She said that what I’m dealing with, the things that cause me pain, like my compulsive behavior and problems with intimacy, didn’t come from nowhere. They were shaped by experience.
And yes, I do have problem accepting feelings as proof but I’ll get to that later.
Actually her points about experience shaping how I think and feel etc. goes along with my last argument about trying to excuse my perversions. She said that people don’t just come up with this stuff on their own. I argued that isn’t true because people seem quite capable of coming up with sexual fantasies on their own. She agreed that was true but she said that A) many people read things or view things that give them fantasies but more importantly B) the fantasies make them feel good not bad. My fantasies make me hate myself and never make me feel good emotionally or mentally.
It was somewhere around here that I embraced the idea of being a lawyer in a courtroom. this courtroom is in my mind and would never operate in the real world because the real world requires evidence that I cannot provide. In the real world, my uncle would get off scot-free because I wouldn’t be able to prove anything.
*****I’ll add a trigger warning here just in case and mark when it’s over*****
In my mental courthouse however I am putting together a case to either support or disprove that I was abused. In this courthouse I have boxes of evidence:
- the kiss on my underwear.
- the memory (I think) of someone blowing on my underwear while I laid on my back.
- the fact that I couldn’t open my legs at my first gynecologist visit.
- the fact that I had vaginismus.
- the fact that an image of my uncle flashed in my head after my husband and I became intimate and I started crying for reasons I didn’t understand.
- my instinctive flinching and subsequent meltdown when my husband’s genitals came close to my face in a particular position.
- My current gynecologist’s agreement that she would suspect sexual abuse looking at my physical reactions.
These are not concrete proof in a normal court of law, but in my mental courthouse I have to consider the evidence.
There was a very strange and disturbing moment during therapy where I had no more arguments. I sat there and I felt some kind of emotion that bothered me but I couldn’t identify it. It felt kind of heavy like when you’re going to cry.
When I left, I was driving in my car and I thought, quite cleary:
“I was sexually abused.” and it felt like truth. That statement has repeated several times since then and it continues to feel like truth because there’s no other explanation.
The proponents false memory syndrome can suck it because I tried harder than anyone to disprove and excuse my experiences. I find myself unable to do so right now and I wanted to write about it while I still felt that way because this may be transient. I may wake up tomorrow full of doubt again. But, today, I believe it.
The current ruling is: I was sexually abused.