It’s unlike anything I’ve ever done before. It’s hard to describe. It was hard.
I sat down, we discussed my starting point – one of the most painful memories – a quote from my mother after first being molested by her boyfriend’s son, “If it happens again honey, let me know.” This was the moment, at 7 years old, that I first became consciously aware that I was on my own. That no one was there for me and that God didn’t exist. This was the moment that now, looking back, my mother failed me. She not only was going to ALLOW this to happen to me again, but she didn’t DO anything about it RIGHT THEN. I had no justice. My feelings, experience and trauma wasn’t worth acknowledging. I wasn’t worth it. She didn’t love me, and therefore I was sentenced to feel I didn’t deserve love. How about that for a realization of thought pattern..
I thought about and felt that memory, all the details flowing back, as per usual, this time I was to pay attention to the bodily sensations and all the energy I could tune into. My throat was blocked, like the way it feels when you want to cry but something won’t let you? The way it feels holding back crying – that’s the body’s reaction to invalidation for me. I freeze and stifle my feelings and experience, ignore them and perpetually invalidate myself. I followed the therapists fingers back and forth with my eyes, for several seconds, then she said to take a deep breath, and to let it go. This process was repeated, through several memories, feelings and sensations that arose during the session. Some surprising things came up. I became cold and then oppressively hot. When I became hot, we turned on the fan in the room and as soon as the breeze hit my skin, I immediately was transported back to the room where my step-father first molested me. The memory was not during, it was what I felt afterwards. I was pretending to sleep on the couch under an old blanket, a knit one with large holes. I could feel the fan blowing in that room, through the holes in the blanket, touching every single skin cell on my body. I felt dirty and incapable of moving. It amazed me today that just the breeze from a ceiling fan can transport me back to that moment.
I told her the memory that arose and she did something I will never forget. She said, hold on one moment, I’ll be right back. She came back into the room with a giant, handmade Wonder Woman blanket. She said, “Would you like to use this?” I put it over me and the cold went away. She said, out loud, “See? There are no holes here. You’re safe.” It meant the world, but it also made me uncomfortable. I have a very hard time with someone else comforting me. Hugs when I am upset make me feel very uneasy. It’s almost like even those who do care and trust I have a hard time letting past a certain place before I hole up inside. I have tears in my eyes right now just typing these words. At the end of the session, I said, “I’m feeling like I need to check out.” It just happened to be time to do so.
Today was supremely new, difficult, and intense. Afterwards I still feel uneasy, a little wobbly, and like I need to be careful with myself. These feelings have spaced out throughout the day. I wish for calmness. I decided to cook snacks this afternoon and spend my time in the kitchen after I finished my work with Democracy Matters. Today is also my first day back on the job. I have about 30 students who are or will be starting school soon. I’m glad I’m putting me back together so I can do my best at what I love.