Even though I have somehow done a lot of healing on my own, I recently reached out for therapy just to work through how the abuse in my childhood and the family estrangements affected my personality, how as an adult I have a difficult time dealing with authority, dealing with liars, dealing with being verbally or intellectually attacked.
I quickly got hit with what I call the roller-coaster affect. I consider myself an open book at this point in my life; I refuse to hide anymore. My therapist wanted to try art therapy to reprocess my childhood trauma. When she sent the instructions, it was multiple steps/drawings surrounding an incident of my choosing. The problem is, I would need to remember everything about the incident, from just before it happened to after, and how it made me feel. I had to tell my therapist that I couldn’t do it! All of my memories of the incest incidents are only partial memories, no beginnings, no endings, only middles – and I don’t remember how I felt at the time. I know that sounds impossible but it’s the truth. I think my memories are disassociated and in them I am looking down on the little girl. Since I am separate from her, I don’t know how she felt. I have this odd feeling that although she felt uncomfortable, she felt it was normal – and that makes me feel so sad.
At that point, I thought maybe therapy just wasn’t going to work for me. (Up and down the roller coaster – from open and willing to unsure and frustrated). Last night though, while battling insomnia, it came to me that although I can’t use the abuse for the art exercise, maybe I can use the family estrangements instead. Although the abuse formed me, molded me and my personality and insecurities, it was the estrangements that allowed the insecurities to take hold and forge ahead without me. I have a particular moment in the estrangements that has stayed with me, the moment I felt like I died and someone else emerged – that is the moment I want to use.
My therapist is on board and I will be starting the process. I am proud of myself for not giving up when the fear started to seep into my veins. That is already a huge step forward for me. Back up the roller coaster we go!