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Archive for June 23rd, 2010

To say that I was an emotional wreck is an understatement. I felt like a pressure cooker whose lid had just blown off, and memories and emotions were bursting all over my life. It didn’t help that I was determined to understand and remember what my mother had done.

I would lie in my bed at night during that “half-asleep” phase and ask Irate to tell me what happened. When Irate was not forthcoming, I would visualize seeing a row of locked doors and would force one to have a key. I would unlock the door, open it, and experience a flashback. I had a new one every night for a couple of weeks. While a part of myself felt relieved to start seeing the pieces, I was completely unprepared for the release of the emotions that I had stored away with each memory.

Each memory was another one of my mother harming me. It felt like I was a little girl again and that the abuse was happening to me right now. I would feel the fear, anger, and shame that I felt (or should have been allowed to feel) then. I couldn’t look anyone in the eye during the day. I was absolutely overwhelmed by emotion.

Despite this, I flat refused to search for a therapist. I was waiting to adopt a second child, and I feared that seeing a therapist would make me ineligible to adopt again. (It doesn’t.) I also feared that a therapist would diagnose me as “crazy” and put me in an asylum, where I would be separated from my child. My final fear was that nobody would believe me that a mother would sexually abuse her child. So, in my mind, therapy was not an option, and I would simply heal myself.

I found a great online resource called the Survivor to Thriver manual. I also found a message board called Isurvive that offered free online support in a message board format for anyone who had survived any type of abuse.
Both of these resources told me to get a therapist, but I was determined to do it alone.

Then, about a month into the flashbacks, I found myself lying on the floor in a full-fledged panic attack, shaking uncontrollably, and thinking through the best way to die to end this pain. I finally realized that anything, even therapy and not being able to adopt again, was better than the place that I was in now. I was not going to leave my child without a mother. So, I decided to find a therapist.

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Photo credit: Hekatekris

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