photo by Patricia

Therapy in years past was so scary. For the issues I needed to deal with, they were taboo. To talk about them by breaking the silence took great courage. And mostly I didn’t talk about my childhood, but instead the present, and all the challenging ramifications due to the severe traumas of extended sexual abuse.

Real healing began years later after my mother died at 91, me in my mid-fifties. I didn’t have to protect her fantasy idea of family, and spoke the truth of what my little girl had to endure that should have been attended to when it happened. Chapter by chapter rose up, and with it warm tears of relief.

Going to therapy all those years prior was terrifying; the fear of telling what wasn’t supposed to be told; but so needed telling, needing regurgitation. The black tar needed out. But it sat deep inside for decades.   

Family disapproval kept it locked down. How it would make the family look. No concern for me, just the reputation of the family. That has never changed. I have nothing, or very little to do with any of them.

Be pleasing, be quiet, be invisible. Don’t be here at all. I am here. I am alive, and I will live. I have lived these past years with more peace than I’ve ever known. It is still not easy, but so much better. In the telling went the shame. 

So often I think therapy would be helpful now; a soft place to fall, a place to unload. But then the reality of having to go. Night to night, I never know if it will be a night of sleep. Last night, all it took was an extra trip to the bathroom then a sudden unusual noise making my heart leap. A towel had slipped off the rack. 

That extra jab was all it took to bring me fully awake. It had nothing to do with my failure to control my thoughts, though the tendency is always to do that. It is damage done that won’t be undone. All bodily systems were taxed beyond endurance after the abuse because it went unprocessed, and some of it cannot be repaired. So I limp along, at times blossoming, at other times managing somewhere in-between.

Breaking through to the truth was my path, a very long journey that keeps unfolding with both beauty and pain. 

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