Posted by: Marie | December 24, 2012

(768) Passive anger – Part 5 of 7

Post #768
[Private journal entry written on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 about a conversation with my therapist – continued from previous post]


Edward: (After a long, thoughtful pause) Do you think these men would be disgusted with your body? With your personality? With the way you keep house?

(That last question was triggering for me . . . it is very important to me that people think I’m a good housekeeper. But, in reality, if no one is going to be in my space, I’m not very motivated to maintain a high level of cleanliness. That’s a fact about myself I really don’t want people to know.)

Me: Yes, all of those things. I am fat and gross . . . and I don’t keep my living space that clean . . .

Edward: In what ways do you not keep up your living space?

Tainun County Taiwan by Martin Chen

Tainun County Taiwan by Martin Chen

Me: When I sit with my computer under the bedcovers, I don’t want to get out from under the covers, so I put my trash and dirty dishes on the floor next to my bed . . . sometimes I don’t get around to picking them up for several days . . . and I don’t vacuum the carpet very often because . . . well, why bother . . . it just gets cat hair and cat litter all over it again . . . along with my hair . . . and all the little pieces of cardboard from the boxes the cat shreds . . . and I don’t clean the toilet as often as I should because I’m the only one using it . . . it’s my own germs . . . no one else has to use it . . .

So, to answer your question, it’s all of the stuff you listed that is disgusting . . . who I am is disgusting . . . I am disgusting at my core.

(Becoming very emotional and struggling to speak) If some man got that close and got to know that much about me – if he had to share living space with me and had to watch me do what I do, he would think, “Oh, my God, what have I gotten myself into!?!?”

He would back peddle as fast as he could because he would realize I’m not who he wants me to be. It has already happened over and over again and I know it is going to always happen. It is never going to be different.

I can’t imagine how to change my being disgusting. It is so engrained. I cannot fathom the possibility that could be changed.

(We sat without talking for a few moments as I curled up into myself and let sobs takes over my body. I was so angry . . . and sad . . . and overwhelmed . . . and hopeless. Finally, I caught my breath, lifted up my face out of my hands, blew my nose, and wiped my face. I briefly made eye contact with Edward to signal that I was ready to engage with him again.)

Edward: I can see that the pain that comes from your believing you are disgusting is overwhelming for you.

(I nodded my head and once again wiped my nose)

Edward: I am so sorry that you have had to endure that pain all by yourself for so many years.

(I again made eye contact with Edward to express my appreciation for his acknowledgment of my pain.)

Edward: You don’t have to endure it alone anymore. I am here for you. If you want me to, I can walk beside you and support you.

Me: That would be nice . . . thank you.

Edward: (After a long pause) I don’t want to hurry you . . . I’m not sure where you are with what is coming up for you. It appears to me that you are ready to move forward with our conversation, but I’m not sure about that . . . do you need more time to process what has already come up in our conversation?

Me: No . . . we can move forward.

Edward: Okay . . .

I would like to ask you some questions about the sense you have that you are disgusting . . . would that be okay?

Me: Sure . . .

Edward: Okay . . . if, at any time, you feel that you need to stop or go back, please let me know.

Me: Okay, I will.

Edward: Let me start with this question: How long have you felt disgusting?

Me: For as long as I can remember.

Edward: Did it start with your dad?

Me: I don’t know . . . it’s just always been there.

Edward: Do you think it started with the sexual abuse perpetuated by your piano teacher?

(He thinks it was my piano teacher, but it actually was our church’s music director, but I don’t really care that he got that mixed up . . . it doesn’t matter.)

Me: Well, I don’t remember what it was like before I was molested – I was too young . . .

Actually, that’s not really true . . . from the time I was molested until I was nine, it seems I was blissfully oblivious to the effects of being molested. It seems to me that I remember being mostly happy up until I was nine, even after I was abused at age four.

But then, things changed when I was nine.

Edward: Is that when something happened with you mom – for example, did she talk to you about sex in a way that gave you a sense of disgust around sex, or around your body?

Me: No . . . it’s just that . . . well, that’s when I figured things out . . . that’s when I put the pieces together in my mind.

Edward: Tell me more about that . . .

Me: It’s when I learned about sex and then I understood . . .

What I mean is that, when I was nine, I think I didn’t have a memory of the sexual abuse. I might have, but I don’t think so – I think I had already repressed it – buried it – by then. At least, I don’t have a memory now of recalling that when I was nine. But that’s when I figured things out . . . things about sex . . .

(Struggling to find the right words) There is just so much that happened at that time . . . I don’t even know where to begin. It’s just when I figured things out.

Edward: Is that maybe when you figured out why you played with your dolls the way that you did?

Me: Yeah . . . that’s when I figured out what that meant . . . what the story I was telling through my dolls was all about . . . it was no longer this abstract concept and I finally understood in detail what that was all about. I started putting the pieces together . . .

That’s when I figured it out. That’s when I started feeling disgusting.

Edward: Can you tell me why the story you told through your dolls would be disgusting?

(I kept thinking, “I don’t want to go there, I don’t want to say those words” . . . I struggled and struggled . . . finally, I pushed through the shame and said what needed to be said . . . )

Me: (With a shame-laden voice) It’s because pain turned me on – it was arousing to me.

Edward: What happened in your life that caused you to assign disgust to that? Was it because your mom reacted negatively to it?

Me: Well, there’s no way I would have ever talked to my mom about being aroused by the idea of pain . . .

Edward: Why not?

Me: She was willing to talk factually about sex, like how the penis goes inside the vagina, and how sperm fertilizes eggs, but she was not willing to talk about anything beyond that – she wouldn’t answer my questions. I guess my parents believed I had no need to know about arousal until I got married – not only was I supposed to not have sex until I got married, I also was not supposed to be sexual until then.

Edward: How did your mom respond to your questions?

Me: Well, for example, when I would hear my mom and dad having sex, I would be curious and I would want more information. So, I would ask her about it and she would deny that they were having sex . . . she would quickly say, “No, we weren’t doing that.” But I knew they were – I think I told you about that a while back. But, anyway, I got the message that you don’t talk about sex in general – that it was shameful.

So, nothing happened with my mom concerning my being aroused by pain because there was never a chance for that to happen. . . . we never talked about that . . . I couldn’t talk to her about it because she was too uncomfortable with conversation about sex in general.

[Continued in the next post . . . ]

Quotes 678

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