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Archive for December 22nd, 2009

My friend and I had a leisurely breakfast on Saturday morning, and we talked about all sorts of things. I shared some of my childhood experiences with her. She already knew the big picture – mother abused me, and my childhood was really bad – but she did not know the extent of the abuse or the aftermath. I did not get into my diagnosis, but I did tell her about being raped at this college and some of the traumas I endured when I lived in this city. I don’t think about the college years very often, but being back in this college town after 20 years dredged them up again.

In the course of telling her about the rape, I told her that I remembered the aftermath of what happened but only recovered the flashback within the last year. She was really surprised to learn about being able to dissociate to that degree. I explained that the ability to do that is a gift for abused children and that, once you know how to do it, you always have that ability. I consciously choose not to dissociate in my day-to-day life, but I could do it at any time if I wanted to.

I also shared about the early years of healing when the flashbacks first started. I told her some of my stories of how I would act and react before therapy. I was so different back then that I am sure some of that was surprising to her. She opened up about some of her own issues (not child abuse stuff), so it was kind of cool to deepen the friendship through this experience.

I told my sister that I wanted to take her and her children out to lunch. We went to a nice restaurant, and it was funny to view my nephews through my friend’s eyes. They are both sweet boys but “odd.” It is always funny to see a “normal” person interact with my “odd” family and see the reactions.

I learned during lunch that my mother/abuser was planning to arrive at the graduation early, and my sister wanted all of us to meet on the portico after the ceremony. That meant that I would definitely see my mother and have to interact with her at some level. That got my stomach churning. My friend and I had about an hour to hang out before leaving for the ceremony. I had to double my Xanax dosage because my anxiety was getting really bad.

To be continued…

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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