Posted by: Marie | March 29, 2011

(529) Thoughtful conclusions

Post #529
[Private journal entry written on Saturday, October 23, 2010]

Today is a quiet day and I’m taking some time to document what has been whirling around my brain since my therapy session a few days ago . . .

In the middle of Wednesday’s session, Edward took advantage of a natural break in our conversation to run to the restroom. At the time, I didn’t think much of it . . . it is something that he has done before during our session and I no longer am surprised by it. He is careful to position his trip to the restroom at a point it doesn’t not disrupt the natural rhythm of the session. And, he is always quick to return. I have come to the conclusion I’d rather have him being comfortable and focused rather than uncomfortable and distracted during our work together . . .

Anyway . . . after the session, I got to thinking about the break he took today . . . and the thought crossed my mind that he might have needed to excuse himself because he found himself being aroused by what I was reading out loud.

At first, I felt disgusted by that idea. If that were the case, I doubted I would be able to continue my work with him. But, then, I wondered if it really mattered.

Photo by Martin Chen

I mean . . . I don’t know his personal history. Maybe he has a similar history and a similar way of handling that history. I’m sure, if the shoes were on the other feet and I were the therapist and he were sharing this kind of story, I probably would be aroused at some level, even if I really didn’t want to be – even if I had done a significant amount of healing. I’m sure I wouldn’t have total control over how my body reacted to deep-seated triggers.

I realized, if it was the case that he was becoming aroused, at least I have to give him credit for handling it in a way that never caused me discomfort. I didn’t even think about that possibility in the moment. If that were the case, he did what he had to do to deal with it without causing me additional stress or discomfort.

What else could I ask of a therapist? It seems that would say a lot about the quality of his character.

And, on the other hand, it may not be the case. He may simply have had to go to the bathroom.

Either way, I’ve concluded that I’m okay with it.

———————————-

And, in another direction . . . concerning my uncertainty about whether my memories of being molested are accurate or not . . .

One reason I am so hesitant to proactively choose to believe myself is because I have this voice in my head telling me that doing so would be morally wrong – it would be the equivalent of falsely accusing someone – which, of course would be breaking #9 of the unfaultable Ten Commandments. That would translate into eternal damnation, don’t cha’ know . . .

But, when I step out from under the shadow of my fundamentalist upbringing, I can see that any reasonable person would not fault me for choosing to believe myself. The evidence is overwhelming. Three therapists, a handful of close friends and a multitude of blog followers all believe me. Only my family doubts me. Only the molester himself denies anything happened. Everyone else believes me.

I’m not publicly naming this guy; I’m not hurting his reputation. I’m only naming my own experience and my own injury. I’m not causing harm to anyone else (unless confronting him in a private conversation could be considered harmful).

At some point, I have to choose to believe myself. No magic video of my rape is going to appear. No witness is going to come out of the shadows. I have to choose to move forward, anyway. And, moving forward necessarily means choosing to believe myself.

So . . . here is how I choose to move forward . . .

From this day forward, the only place I will entertain the notion I might be remembering inaccurately will be in my therapy sessions. Outside of therapy, I choose to speak as if I know for sure I was molested by “X”.

Maybe, in time, by speaking with confidence, I will learn to actually believe what I remember.

This is the best I know to do in this moment. And, I believe it is good enough.

Furthermore, I choose to no longer hate the part of me that preserved my story through violent sexual fantasies. Instead, I choose to extend gratitude to that storytelling part of me. I am grateful that part of me preserved a pivotal piece of my history until I was in a place where I could handle knowing the truth. It is amazing the level of detail that part of me was able to preserve.

Thank you, Storyteller Marie. Thank you.

———————————-

I continue to be immensely grateful for the non-judgmental space that Edward has created in our therapy sessions. That space is so very vital to my healing. It is my intention to create such spaces in a variety of places in my life – with a variety of people who are close to me – so I am not forever dependent upon Edward for that kind of support.

When I think back to my work with Mark and the healing that was accomplished there – especially around the assault by my boss – I find myself wondering if that healing “stuck” with me. Much of that healing was predicated on the relationship I had with Mark. When that relationship disintegrated, it feels like the healing dissolved with it . . . maybe not all of the healing, but a large part of it.

I think the disintegration would have been substantially less if my relationship with Mark had ended for positive reasons like one of us moving away . . . where the relationship just ended but was not destroyed. The way things ended caused me to question if there had ever been a non-judgmental space . . . maybe that intimacy never existed, maybe I never was really heard and seen and validated . . .

And, if that was the case, does that invalidate the healing? I think it does to some extent. If I would have had time to recreate that in other parts of my life before things fell apart with Mark, I think more of the healing would have survived.


Responses

  1. It sounds like you’ve done some big stuff in the time you have been away from the blogosphere.

    I wonder if you and Edward have examined that voice in your head, whether it is a particular person’s voice for instance.

    Very many congratulations on deciding to move forward.

    • Hey, Evan –

      I have discovered that I have a few voices running around in my head, LOL! But, seriously, almost everytime Edward asks me, “Who taught you that?”, the answer is, “My dad”. I’m learning that my dad taught me all kinds of unhealthy beliefs.

      So . . . I have been continuously choosing different voices and words and thoughts . . . it takes time to shift these beliefs!

      – Marie

  2. I had the same feelings of disbelief as you for the memories that came back to me as flashbacks Marie. It just didn’t seem possible that this had happened, and I felt bad about myself for even entertaining the idea – as if I would want to make something like that up. But it seemed either the choice was that I was insane, or that his abuse had happened to me.

    I believe you. Good for you for taking that step of self-care and self-belief.

    However I would find the idea that my therapist was aroused by my abuse disturbing. I trust it is not the case with Edward. Though it is very disturbing material for therapists to deal with, so no doubt they have a bunch of confused emotions about it. Perhaps. Take care

    • Hey, Ellen –

      I think the “therapist getting aroused” thing is very unsettling and I’m sure every person is going to have different thoughts/feelings about it. I think I’d have that same fear, regardless of with whom I shared the details. For me, it just comes with the territory.

      Thank you for the kudos . . . it is a gift to believe each other and to believe ourselves!

      – Marie

  3. when i got ready to tell my therapist my dark fantasies she asked if was hesitating because i was worried that she might get aroused. it hadn’t occurred to me. i was more worried that *i* would become turned on. so i told her that. when i eventually read out my fantasy to her (yay me) my worst nightmare happened, i did get turned on. so we talked about it and it was okay. i think if you think edward might be getting turned on you should bring it up with him. i’m sure he’d want to talk it out with you and come to some resolution. i wouldn’t leave it unspoken.

    ps glad you are back!

    • Hey, Catherine –

      Way to go, girl! (On reading your fantasy aloud) That took guts! I’m proud of you!

      I think your approach of putting everything on the table seems a very healthy approach, especially when it comes to therapy. I mean, if we can’t do that in therapy, where else could we ever hope of doing it?

      Thanks for your support!

      – Marie


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: