The One with the Secret Closet

Yay for Friends references! (BTW, I have all 10 seasons on DVD. Jealous?)

Where do I go from here? My session today was much less emotionally taxing, which is what I needed after Thursday.

We talked about how my reactions to Thursday were much less anxiety inducing, but more emotion inducing... which is a huge change for me. That has to be the medication. Even though I didn't go to work on Friday because I was still processing, it wasn't because of anxiety. We talked about how I felt about what I had accomplished, and more so about the fact that even though it was such a huge thing for me, I feel no sense of pride or accomplishment in being able to clear that hurdle. We talked about how I feel that although nothing automatically changed just by me verbalizing what happened, but that I feel now that I am on the opposite side of it. Mostly because I have spent the last 10 years feeling the same emotions and going through the same actions. I would see the abuse for what it was, something awful that severely affected how I lived my life, but yet I couldn't ever get past it to change anything. Now I've taken that first step past it and am looking at it from the other side. I'm still just as close to it as I was 4 days ago, but on the other side. We talked about what is on the "other side"... mainly things in my life that I've never worked on because I've never been able to even clear that first hurdle of verbalizing what happened. Ugh, I have so much to work on. We talked about the 3 things I see are the most pressing for me. My relationships are crap right now. I have so many varying emotions about my mom that I can't even stand to spend time with her because I don't know whether to be mad or upset or let it go. I have so many trust issues with men because of what happened that I don't allow myself to get close to anyone because I convince myself that I can't trust them. How I view myself is unhealthy because I apparently have so many ill conceived notions about the abuse that I have convinced myself that it was my fault it happened and that there was something more I could have done to have kept it from happening, which has transferred into my adult life as second guessing EVERYTHING and always placing the blame on myself. Not to mention my ability to trust my instincts is shot after getting so many mixed messages after being abused. Ugh.

I got a little defensive when she was discussing the fact that the defense mechanism I used to cope at the age of 13 (aka the normal reaction) was to do what I had to do to stay safe and not trust anyone. At age 13, after being sexually abused, how the heck was I suppsoed to take that experience and decide who I could trust and who I couldn't? I knew she wasn't blaming me, but it's one of those unanswerable questions. How was I not supposed to end up like I am now having no option but to either trust everyone or trust no one, because obviously trying to gauge individual people to trust didn't work for me. UGH UGH.

This is all extremely frustrating. I feel like I've just opened the door to Monica Geller's secret closet. Everything looked to be in order, but WHAM here's a whole big new mess to deal with.


Aqua said...
February 25, 2009 at 10:52 AM

Hi Lisa Marie,
Please take a deep breath and approach all the things in the closet one thing at a time. It has taken me literally 7 years to completely trust my male pdoc because of the way I was treated as a child. I think by approaching the trust issue slowly I have gained confidence and faith in the belief that men can be trustworthy. Good things take time sometimes.

Harriet said...
February 28, 2009 at 7:50 AM

It sounds like you took a huge step in just opening up the closet. And you realize the problems that resulted from the abuse and you acknowledge that they are caused by the abuse and not because you are a bad person. You have convinced yourself that it was your fault, but you realize that you convinced yourself of that, and that's a huge insight. I know you have to be patient, and when you only have one hour a week to work with a therapist it seems like it will take a lifetime to clear everything up!

The Real Gal said...
March 10, 2009 at 5:45 PM

Lisa Marie, thank you so much for sharing a bit about yourself and your pain. I appreciate your honesty! I certainly can relate to many things you shared here. I am sorry that you have gone and are reliving this "crap" now. Trust is certainly a BIG issue and one thing that will take a great deal of time to heal.