On my blog entry entitled Recovering from Childhood Animal Rape, a reader asked the following questions:
I know that discovering what was done to us by our parents when my inside started to reveal stuff etc..with the use of animals knocked us clearly off our healing journey. We felt even more disgusted with ourself and could not get our head round this, we are still recovering many memories of all types of abuse. but the AR recalls always floors us for a long time … I suppose what i am trying to say is how did you get through your memories of the animal rape. Does it still hit you smack in the face or am I just feeling sorrow fro myself and looking for an excuse to feel this way when we recover these memories. To be honest we are more determined to heal than we are to breath at times. I suppose we may push ourself to hard for quick healing. Not sure just wondering to be honest ~ anon
I think the hardest areas of healing are those in which we attach the most shame. For my sister, the animal rape has been the most difficult form of abuse to heal. For me, it was the vaginal rapes. This is because we each felt more shame with our respective areas of abuse.
Don’t get me wrong – the animal rape memories definitely rocked me. In fact, when I experienced my first flashback of the animal rape (while talking on the phone with my sister, who accidentally triggered the memory), I experienced an emotional freefall that I wasn’t sure I would survive. I went into the chat room at Isurvive, and, thankfully, a moderator was there who knew me well. She knew how to talk me down and got me through the night.
I have one friend who knows all, and I would share each memory as it came. I had a very difficult time looking her in the eye after recovering the animal rape memory and even questioned whether there were some forms of abuse that made me subhuman. Fortunately, I had already begun working through my feelings about the vaginal rapes, so I was able to draw from what I had already learned about healing and recognize, once and for all, that nothing that another person does to me has the power to devalue me.
I suspect that is where you are stuck because that was a biggie for me, too. You are a priceless diamond that your abusers buried under a huge pile of manure. Your abusers held a mirror up to you, showed you the manure, and told you that was who you are. However, no amount of manure has the power to devalue the diamond underneath. A diamond is still a diamond and still of immense value whether it is buried under manure or cleaned off and polished. The healing process is how you “unbury” the diamond and polish it.
Today, it does not hurt to talk about the memories. I can even see the breed of dog that was used without getting triggered most of the time. As with all areas of abuse, you can heal from this. You need to recognize that no form of abuse has the power to devalue you. Once you understand that at a heart level, the shame will lose its power over you.
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt