Well I should be on my knees with stress right now, because my day did not get easier. My toddler has been challenging- well actually he has been a pain in the ass.
I am not on my knees though, not anywhere close. In fact I feel strong right now!
I want to share the reason. Earlier I posted about my fear of therapy this week, due to different feelings and views towards my abuser which would bring about change for me.
Change is a scary word. No matter how wanted or necessary the change is, I am afraid.
Well today, I noticed a huge change in the way I react/ think/ feel about some of my past. I dealt with this particular issue in therapy over 18 months ago. And I guess, without me realising, this change happened somewhere along the way.
I was at work when a song from the ’90s came on the radio. I have not heard it for years. It was always a highly triggering song for me. I was so glad when the nightclubs stopped playing it. I remember many nights at University hiding in the toilets at a nightclub, trying to figure what the hell was wrong with me as I struggled to keep a grip on reality. I know now I was dissociating. Back then I felt traumatised and afraid.
Avoiding that song became easier as time went on. I have not heard it for 8 years or so easily. So when this song was playing at work today, I mentally braced myself for the dissociation or the flashback. I automatically started to ground. I then left the room quickly. I went to the “Ladies” room and locked myself in a cubicle where I cried a little.
Oh how it hurt.
I felt like I had been pierced with a knife. It was and remains agony.
Just writing about it now is causing a few more tears. It hurts, but something has changed!
Today was different to the last time I heard that song. It used to take me back to that night, I would feel them and hear them hurting me again.
While today I remembered and I recalled some of the details easily, I did not feel traumatised. I was not in a flashback. I was aware of where I was, when and who. I felt safe and grounded.
I do not cry over my abuse much at all, in fact I have a huge aversion to crying over it. But the incident this song used to trigger was not by the abuser- it was separate.
Following three months of therapy discussing this awful incident. I found I could cry over it, though not in the presence of my T (mostly because I was too embarrassed at that point).
One day in particular, leaving my children at home with their dad, I took a walk through town and passed a Church with a sign outside, inviting people to stop by for some quiet time. I found myself drawn in. I sat alone in the quiet and the low light trying to hold it together. I was doing pretty well until a woman there asked me if I was OK. I could not speak to answer her. I was overcome with pain. Then something amazing happened. This complete stranger sat next to me and took my hand. And there she remained next to me while I cried- until there seemed to be no more tears left.
That day, crying in a Church with this perfect stranger, was so healing for me. Finally, I could feel what I needed to and someone I did not even know held that pain with me -enabling me to release it. How amazing is that?
That day remains with me, yet I did not consider that the triggers may have lessened- mostly because I have not come across them in the last two years. Today was not triggering- it proved to me how much things have changed and how worth those months of therapy were.
On that hideous night, a group of men forced me away from my friends. Cold, in the dark and with no escape, they took it in turns to rape me. For more than an hour, they violated me. They left me bleeding and with cuts and bruises and burns from their attack.
I was traumatised for years, reliving it over and over in my dreams at night and in flashbacks during the day. I was chained to them by fear. I remained their victim all that time, I guess.
Today, I see how that has changed. I see how much I have changed. Yes, it hurts. Oh believe me, it hurts- but now I can say something I never thought I would be able. With confidence and certainty I can say that I am finally free from those bastards and what they did to me.
It does not matter what I have to do, what I have to feel or go through, I will embrace any change necessary, so I can know that freedom from my abuser too.
And though I may be soaking the keyboard right now, it is not just pain, but tears of relief too, because therapy is worth it. Change is worth it. I am sure of that now.