Can I just scream now? I was almost done with this article and somehow I managed to delete the entire thing. Breathe in. Breathe out.
It has been a rough few months. I got a new therapist, who is great by the way, and I started my PTSD therapy. For those new here my trauma is caused by sexual, emotional and physical abuse, along with several deaths in my family that occurred very close together.
The therapy consisted of writing a narrative with my therapist. This took several sessions (I go once a week) of therapy, then the actual writing the narrative down. So many feelings were stirred up inside me, like the trauma was happening to me all over again. Then I had to read the narrative out loud to her. I made it through, but she noticed one thing. I read about the abuse in a very robotic manner. Like I was just reading words, displaced from the trauma. The deaths however, I became very emotional. The wounds all felt very fresh and I had trouble making it through. She said the next week I would read it to my boyfriend. This made me anxious as hell.
Reading the narrative to my boyfriend should have been easy. He already knew of the trauma. While I was reading to him something else happened. I barely made it through the abuse part and the death part was “easier”. My therapist questioned me, “why do you think it was hard to read to him?” I explained that it was embarrassing to me. I blamed myself for these things happening to me. If these things happened to my daughter or my granddaughter would I blame them? Hell no, they would be the victim and I would blame the abuser. So why is it so hard as a victim to feel like the victim?
The next week was very difficult for me, even more than normal. I did not want to be touched by my boyfriend at all. I felt undeserving and unclean. My therapist called it flash flooding instead of flash backs. Instead of specific instances coming back to me I was having a flood of feelings and they were all negative.
She had a very interesting explanation though. She said that trauma is like getting glass stuck in your hand. Instead of taking the glass out you let the skin grow over it. Yes it still hurts when you touch it but you can’t see it anymore. When you expose and talk about the trauma you open the old wound up and the glass is still there. The goal is to take the glass out and let the wound heal up like it should have in the first place.
I still have a long way to go. I let that skin grow so thick over the glass for so many years. It is stuck in there deep. I am still trying to pull the glass out so I can heal. I can’t imagine a day when I can talk about everything without becoming emotional and having flashbacks. I hope that time is soon.