I’m tough. I am the strongest person I know. Is that conceited? Either way, it is true. I have endured much and have lived to to talk about it.
I escaped my abuser and I found a good man to fall for.
I am strong.
I’m not sure I always was.
Where did that come from and why does it bother me so?
In therapy we somehow got on to talking about a friend who helped me. Someone, who was his victim too. Someone who saved me more than once and someone I relied on to help me cope with the pain, the panic and the fear. We talked about her for some time. It proved to be very painful and incredibly upsetting. I wasn’t altogether successful at holding back the tears.
I have been writing about her since I got home. I ache. Not for her, I don’t miss her. I don’t want her. She belongs back then. In my memories. But in talking about her, once again I was touching on who I used to be.
It’s a very strange place to be. Not quite grounded, but not “in it” either. It’s scary, but also a powerful, intense place to sit.
I remembered how I used to feel and I do not remember strength then. I relied on her. And most of all, I relied on my abuser.
When it got too much and I couldn’t calm down, I relied on her gentle touch, to bring my breathing under control. It was her closeness that stopped the shaking. I couldn’t do it for myself. Not then.
And then there was him-who could shut down my pain with just a look. It worked. I was grateful for that at least.
Did I grow strong over time?
Is my strength a direct result of what was done to me? That disturbs me. I do not want to be strong because he made me so. I do not want to be able to shut down my pain because of years of his control and fear enables me to do so.
I need this to be mine. Not another result of grooming.
My strength. Not his.
Why after all we’ve talked about today, is this my focus? My T suggested that I may need to talk about her again, however it may be more like how we dealt with disclosure, sometimes once was enough. Perhaps he is right? I get the feeling that we stumbled upon her because she blocks where I need to be (which I am guessing my T suspected too). After talking and writing about her, she is moving out the way and what lies behind her is mountains and mountains of pain.
Pain that includes the reality of his control. And somewhere in all that I am caught up in a desperate need to find something of myself now (or before) in myself back then. By that I mean, something of me, the real me, perhaps that was there before, or would have been whether I was abused or not. Instead of the completely broken child that I am beginning to see in some of these memories now.
I lost so much. He took my body and he took my heart. Did he take my soul too? Was there anything left? Was I strong before? Did that remain and then grow?
I need for there to be something. A spark, a flicker. I badly need to find something he didn’t create. I need to find something he didn’t take from me. I cannot be a result of his abuse. I cannot.
Am I making any sense? I’m not so sure.