It all goes back to the summer before I turned nine years old. Everything goes back to then. That's when the somatizing started, when the guilt and the blame started, when the anger and the need to punish myself started.
Because they all acted like it was my fault. Like all the terrible things that had happened and were still happening were all my fault. And I believed them; I was a child, they were the grownups, and I believed them. I believed that the reason my mother didn't love me was that there was something wrong with me. I believed that she pushed me away and wanted R instead because I was somehow defective - missing some critical component that R had. I believed that I had somehow done something that had 'made' my father molest and rape me.
Those were the messages I received, and I believed them. I didn't understand what was happening, I didn't understand how people could do those things - how parents could do those things - so I believed it must be because I did something wrong. Something terrible. That I WAS something terrible.
That feeling, thought, was too big and too awful for my tiny 8-year-old mind to fathom, so it hid. It blocked out the memories, and it created ways of coping with the feelings that wouldn't go away even when the memories did; punishing myself with illnesses and injuries and self-harm, denying myself sleep or any kind of true rest, filling my days with anger and self-recriminatioon, setting impossible standards so the only option was failure, plaguing myself with unattainable fantasies of being loved and wanted.
For 30 years, those feelings persisted; it's only now that I'm even aware of why they're there. Twelve years after recovering those lost memories, uncovering what my father did while my mother sat there, and I'm only now getting to the real heart of it all.
I'm getting 30 years of suppressed feelings all at once. All the things I couldn't feel as a small child, I can now see and understand as my abusive parents' way of 'clearing' their own conscience by passing the blame on to me. Now, I can see that for what I was - further abuse - and I can reject it. But to do that, I have to feel those feelings that 8-year-old me couldn't cope with.
I would have lost my mind if I'd felt it all back then. I understand why my subconscious did what it did in burying the memories and coping with the feelings - it was making the best it could of a very bad situation. I have to praise the resourcefulness of that little girl really, that enabled me NOT to lose my mind - to be as stable and as well-functioning an adult as I am. It's pretty bloody miraclulous, under the circumstances. The surprising thing really is that it didn't turn me into a raging psychopath myself.
But recovering from it now, learning that those coping mechanisms are no longer necessary and can be stopped - including, crucially, the pain - that means feeling those feelings. All 30 years' of them. All at once.
Now you see why it's so overwhelming. Now you see why I feel like I'm drowning. Because there's no 'off' switch, there's no 'pause'. Having opened the door, it's now constant. And the depth and breadth of those feelings - it just makes me want to die. The sense of loss at everything that was taken away from me.
If I had my time again, I wouldn't do the therapy. It's too much pain.
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