Posted by: Marie | September 27, 2012

(718) The effect people have

Post #718
[Private journal entry written on Friday, November 4, 2011 at 11:00pm]

A couple of days ago, I had a lesson with the little autistic boy, Matt . . . he’s not so little anymore . . . he’s eight years old now . . .

I played a YouTube video on his mom’s laptop for him – two college-age gals playing Poulnec’s Sonata for four hands on one piano. It is quite entertaining . . . very dramatic . . . they reach over each other’s hands to play all over the keyboard.

The piece is very rhythmic with a plethora of dissonant sounds. I had a feeling that Matt would really enjoy it.

The Island by Martin Chen

I was right! As it was playing, he laughed and laughed and laughed . . . a big, full-bodied laugh . . . loud and unconstrained . . . he was all but rolling on the floor, LOL. I guess the video tickled his funny bone!

When the video was finished playing, he went over to the piano and found some of the notes and started playing the opening lines. And, he laughed and laughed while he was playing . . . I couldn’t keep from laughing myself . . . such unadulterated joy!

What a boy!

——————

Yesterday, I had a lesson with Sara – the daughter of the cop and paramedic. Her mom, Cindy, brought her. They came a bit early and we sat around and chatted for 15 minutes or so before the lesson.

She didn’t come right out and say that she read “my story” but she did make some vague reference to my “experiences” – I’m guessing she was being careful to keep Sara unaware that I had shared my story with James and Cindy – that I even had a story to share.

However, Cindy told me a bit about her own family of origin. She shared some of their issues and how the lives of many of her family members still reflect that trauma. I got a clear sense that she was reaching out to me and saying “I understand and support you.”

That felt good.

——————

This week, Dr. Drew Pinsky has been talking quite a bit about child abuse on his show. Yesterday, he showed parts of a video of a Texas judge, William Adams, beating his daughter, Hillary, with a belt for being disobedient. It includes verbal and emotional abuse, as well.

At the time the video was taped, Hillary was 16 years old. She knew the abuse was not okay, so she secretly taped it as a way to gain a bit of power. She kept it a secret until now – she is 23 years old now. She recently published it on YouTube because her father continued to be verbally abusive, even now that she is on her own.

(Here are clips about the story on the Today Show and on Anderson Cooper’s show.)

As I watched the clip on Dr. Drew’s show, and I as watched the YouTube video, I was surprised that I felt very little emotion. It portrays a scenario that was much like what I experienced as a child. I wasn’t shocked by what I saw . . . it seems “normal” to me on an emotional level.

Logically, I know that it is abuse. Dr. Drew and all his guests seemed horrified by what was on the video. Anderson Cooper and the reports on the Today Show talk about how horrifying it is. But, I feel nothing. I guess that comes as a result of being around it – of being brainwashed about it – my entire childhood.

In this show, Dr. Drew said that abuse changes how the brain develops – it shatters the upper limits of the brain’s ability to regulate emotions and to tolerate emotional and physical closeness. It causes the victim takes on the belief that trusting someone brings trauma; therefore, trusting someone would be too traumatic to ever do again.

A trust-filled relationship is needed in order for healing to occur – healing occurs only within the context of a trusting relationship.

I think I can handle closeness (and can experience healing within the same relationship) as long as the relationship is not sexual and does not include intimate co-habitation. I think the damage is too great for me to ever be able to go that far.

——————

Tonight, Dr. Drew also covered the Penn State sex abuse case that has broken this week. It seems one of the football coaches, Jerry Sandusky, has been arrested for molesting boys. The details are just coming to light in the public. It sounds like it is going to be a big deal.

Dr. Drew said that predators “test” potential victims by touching “innocently” and then watching for the “freeze” response. Given my tendency to freeze, I must have been an ideal victim.

——————

Finally . . .

Last night, I had a dream that I was in a house with the actors from the show “Criminal Minds”. (I’m guessing that was what came on the TV as I was falling asleep, before the “sleep” timer function automatically turned off the TV.)

In the dream, we were all just waking up from a night of sleep (we were all staying at the house for a few days for some reason). When I woke up (in the dream), I was feeling extremely sad. So, I pretended to cry loudly to see if anyone would notice and would come into my room to comfort me.

Instead of the actors coming into my room, my brother came in. He crawled in bed with me and held me tightly. I felt safe.

He said to me, “I’ll be the dad you need since Dad died and can’t do it for you.” I felt really good – really safe.

[Big sigh . . . ] Of course, that will never happen because my brother is not available for that kind of connection, but it was nice to experience it in a dream.


Responses

  1. Your job really seems like a positive, healing force in your life. I’m a bit envious of you!

    I’ve found in dreams, people are not really themselves. For instance, your ‘brother’ may stand in for some other person who is providing healing comfort, or for some part of yourself. Crying and being comforted does bring to mind your therapy relationship.

    • Hey, Ellen –

      Yes, you hit the nail on the head . . . my job is such an incredible source of healing . . . it seems weird that people actually pay me to do what I need to do anyway for my own healing!

      I really like your thoughts about my brother in the dream . . . I bet you are right . . . I hadn’t thought of that! Thank you for that insight!

      – Marie


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