Posted by: Marie | May 6, 2010

(307) This day finally arrived – Part 3 of 4

Post #307
[Private journal entry written on Thursday, January 7, 2010 – 3pm – continued from previous post]

Then, he stood next to my chair and touched a magic marker (cap on) to the top of my head. He asked me if I was okay with that. I was.

He touched the marker to my shoulder and asked if that was okay. It was.

He touched the marker to my lower arm and asked if that was okay. It was.

He touched the marker to my knee and asked if that was okay. It was.

He touched the marker to my abdomen and asked if that was okay. It took my breath away just a little bit, but it was okay.

Then, with his index finger, in fairly quick succession, he lightly touch the top of my head, my upper arm and my knee . . . as soon as he got to my knee, my body reacted very strongly.

Without thinking, I quickly knocked his arm away, said, “Okay, THAT’S not okay!” and rolled my body away from him.

Photo by Martin Chen

I took a second to take stock of what I was feeling. I could very clearly feel the pressure of a man’s arm across the front of me, across my chest, and I could very clearly feel his hand jammed in my crotch. The feeling stayed with me for the next 10-15 minutes, heavy on my body. Mark had immediately moved away from me, but I could feel this arm and hand as if Mark was doing it to me – except I was very clear that it wasn’t Mark – I was very clear that it was just a body memory.

As I sat with the memory, I struggled to breath, I struggled to put into words what I was feeling . . .

I wanted to tell Mark that I had had a moment where I thought he was going to put his hand in my crotch – so he would know what was going on with me . . . but, every time I tried to get the words to come out, my vocal chords froze. I couldn’t find the word to describe my crotch. For whatever reason, I felt I couldn’t use my adult vocabulary – I felt obligated to use the vocabulary of my childhood. But, I didn’t have a word for that part of my four-year-old body – no one had taught me that word – no one had explained to me that part of my body even existed.

I finally convinced myself it would be okay to use my adult vocabulary (“crotch”) and I tried to form the words. However, instead of words, sobs and moans started coming out.

I have NEVER made vocal noise while crying, not even when alone. The first sob made me cringe . . . then, I “took the temperature of the room” and realized it felt safe for me to let the sobs and moans comes out. So, I did – not many, not very loud . . . but little ones that were safely small.

After a few minutes, I was able to whisper to Mark, “I thought you were going to put your hand in my crotch. You moved so fast – I thought you were going to put your hand in my crotch. It’s just that you moved so fast.”

For a few more minutes, I sat with the memory and tried to get more of the picture. The memories I have recovered have all been about “X” raping me from behind – the affectionate touch would occur when he was in front of me, but the rapes were from the back. So, it didn’t make sense to me that I would be feeling a hand in my crotch as part of a touch that came from the front.

So, I allowed myself to “feel” for the location of the rest of his body. I was then able to feel that he was behind me and reaching around . . . which would explain why I was feeling the weight of his arm across my chest. I was able to whisper a sentence or two to Mark about being able to feel “his” body behind me.

As soon as I was able to feel “X’s” body behind me, I was filled with hate for him. Boiling, black, turbulent hate. I put that, too, into audible words . . . I whispered, “I hate him.”

While I had access to this full body memory (as opposed to the little flashes I normally have), I considered trying to remember the parts of the rapes that were from behind – specifically what parts of his body he inserted into me and which of my orifices he violated. I have not yet recovered memories specifically about the rapes, just about the “absent” and “floating” feelings I had during them and the feelings in my body as I laid on the bed, alone, afterwards, trying to put myself back together psychologically.

However, I can sense that I’m not ready to remember that part . . . in fact, I’m thinking it may not be necessary or even healthy to remember that part. (And, Mark later agreed with that thought – he said that he thinks I only need to remember enough to get my head around what happened.)

After quite a while, I started coming back to the present and was able to crack a few feeble wise-cracks. Mark started asking me about what I had experienced while I was in that distant place . . . he asked me who it was that I hated . . . for a second I couldn’t think of “X’s” real name, I could only think of the letter “X” (that is the only name I have used for him for the last year) . . . then, I remembered and spoke it out loud. Another round of sobs and tears followed . . . and then I pulled myself together again . . .

[Continued in the next post . . . ]


Responses

  1. Wow. Well, that experiment certainly worked – a great improvement on the last one!

    I’ll be interested to read the last post about this session – and how this affects you over the following months.

    It sounds like it was a huge piece of work.

    • Hey, Evan –

      Yes, indeed THIS exercise was very effective — it is an example of what I was hoping would happen in our work together. There was a great release of emotion when this happened.

      Thanks for your interest!

      – Marie

  2. Huge piece of work and so good you went through.
    My little Paula reaches out to little Marie, my heart goes out to her, understanding what she feels yet teeling her that there will be time where she feel better.
    A safe distant hug from this side of the pond.

    • Hey, Paula –

      Thank you for your kind and supportive words . . . I really appreciate the long-distance hug!

      – Marie

  3. Sorry for not posting in AGES, but I have been following and when I read this and go to the point where he touched your knee and you said “that’s not okay” I wanted to yell GO MARIE! You found your voice! I know it was hard at other points to find it, but at that point, when your fear was you would just go passive, you managed to speak out!

    I have a similar problem of freezing when triggered (be it physically or just because of something someone has said) and not being able to tell someone what is going on. But when I’ve done/am doing similar work to this with my T, she is very aware of my breathing. When I’m triggered I hold my breath and stop breathing. She knows then that something is going on. She will ask me what I’m feeling, or where I’m going, or what I’m seeing, or what I’m hearing. Sometimes I can’t say anything but it’s a first step in just acknowledging something is happening.

    Another way of “unfreezing” my voice, is for her to ask me really simple questions that I can answer. Like when I’ve really got stuck, she might say what day is it? what colour is the sun? Just anything to get my voice working again. Then sometimes I can manage to slip out what I need to say, when there is enough momentum. I don’t know if that makes much sense! But it works for me.

    • Hey, beautiful stones –

      You know . . . within the last month or so, I, too, have learned that I stop breathing when I am triggered. I am learning to pay attention to that sign, and then to breath through the emotion and the body sensations as a way to clear them . . . very effective!

      The frozen voice is a big thing for me . . . I think it is for many people, for many different reasons . . .

      Thank you for your valuable input!

      – Marie

  4. I think that I held my breath when I was reading this. How brave of you to be able to do this exercise. Interesting that you were able to give voice when you reacted and didn’t freeze. I think it’s great that you were able to let some of the emotion out and give voice to it. Wow…what intense and hard work.

    • Hey, lostinamaze –

      It is good to hear from you!

      This was a powerful exercise . . . it allowed me to experience a “childish” body memory with the logic of an adult.

      Thank you for your kind words!

      – Marie


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