It’s been a long while since I’ve posted anything new here, and I apologize for that. Everything’s been crazy, including therapy.
Just when it feels like I’m getting closer to being done (is it really ever “done”? I kind of doubt it), something else comes to the surface.
I’ve been working through a few things that don’t directly involve sexual abuse, but more of the aftermath, which led to some introspection on why my anxiety amps up and my frustrations are high around (or even thinking about) certain individuals not involved with the actual abuse, but more the lack of doing anything to protect or help me afterward. Is this person/people a real threat? Or is it more of a perceived danger?
The fact is, I can’t remember much about my childhood or teenage years while living at home. I have vivid memories while at school or other activities, but remembering anything from home is more difficult. I couldn’t recall anything that was “that bad” yet, talking about it, made my energy and inner feelings run wild.
Recently, I reached out to a former teacher/friend who knew me in high school and she filled in some of the gaps, noting that she always sensed that things were “off” and that there were things I wasn’t saying back then, but I had said enough for her to perceive things weren’t exactly good.
But I had created this perfect bubble of a life, one I could control and navigate separate from the life I had at home. I had a job, I was on the speech team, joined some clubs, got really involved with theater–as a cast member on working on multiple crews. I worked hard to have a 4.0 and even played badminton (I wasn’t very athletic, but I made some leaps in this sport. It’s not like what you see in the animated Robin Hood movie. Youtube it. 🙂 ). From the outside, I was a good student, behaved well, and was involved in many positive activities–striving to prove to everyone (and myself) that I had something going for me, that I had worth, and that I was “normal.”
But now, it’s like that perfect bubble is beginning to burst. As little bits of memory push through, the bubble shield that I have controlled, is beginning to get little holes in it and I fear what might be waiting on the other side. As my therapist suggested (and I totally agreed–everything clicked when she said it), it’s like in the last Harry Potter book/movie when they’ve created this magical barrier–a huge bubble–around Hogwarts and as the death eaters cast spells against it, that shield eventually can’t hold them off anymore and all the evil breaks through–all “heck” breaks loose. *cue panic inside my bubble of control*
In some ways, it feels like what I’ve created is all fake, a facade to show everyone just how fine I was, a way I could even control how I saw myself in some ways. What of my life is real? And do I want to remember it? Do I need to know so I can continue to heal? What if I remember it all? Will everything come crashing through, shattering me from the inside out? Will that change who I am or who I think I am?
Sexual abuse has altered so much about me, but the aftermath, the lack of protection and absence of gentle care afterward has also done its damage. I think that’s one major thing people don’t get who haven’t experienced it: just because the abuse is over or was a long time ago, doesn’t mean the effects of it aren’t still heavily present.
Like so many of you, I continue to fight and find more healing and peace. It’s so hard to be patient sometimes, but I keep recommitting myself to having faith and hope in the process. I know that with God’s help, I can make it through.