Friday, December 30, 2016
Pat Me On The Back
This post may be difficult to read. I don't believe it will be difficult to write. Remember my last post, where I wrote I edited out the negative stuff? Well, now you get the negative stuff. It's limbo time between Christmas and New Year's. Why not?!
A year ago I set my intention to recover from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I have worked SO hard this year. Remember when we thought I had recovered by August? Hah! I hadn't even remembered the EVENT. I'd just gotten the set up. Ages 0 - 5. The EVENT itself happened when I was four, maybe five. Wasn't until this month that I remembered it. Oh, it was real. Just in case, I asked two of the four involved if they remembered it happening exactly as I did. They did. Ha! No false memory in this brain. (Three of the four perpetrators were 'normal' children, my siblings.)
Today, dear friends, the event that seared shame into my heart and my mind, got relived. It got both relived and REWORKED. Ah, there's the healing.
Let me tell you what it's been like living inside this body since I was five. I have lived in a world where one misplaced trust means I will be humiliated beyond belief. Beyond terrifying. I didn't have a clue where this came from. Figured I was abnormal, which made me feel more ashamed. Oh, dear. I have spent my life trying to act normal though I don't feel normal. Meanwhile feeling pretty numb. Except around my sweetheart. I would have been fine if he hadn't died. Truth is, I really needed to get to the heart of this. Love needs my open heart.
Five years old. Maybe four. Kids at that age don't understand cruelty. They get ensnared in the "It was my fault; I brought this on myself." loop and desperately try to find a way to control it from happening again. But it could happen again. I was powerless and helpless the first time it happened. It was entirely unpredictable and unexpected. It. could. happen. again. at. any. time. Any. time. I. let. my. guard. down. and. trust. people. Women. The perpetrator was my mother.
I became reclusive to hide my shame. I doubt my family even noticed, but in 1985 I hadn't any friends to invite to my wedding if I'd wanted to. I have one best friend, and many online friends now. But one, maybe two people to call when I die to show up at my memorial service.
I have spent my whole life covering up a shame I didn't earn, or warrant. Yet it got heaped on me. It lived inside me, closer than my heartbeat. Hey. That's why they call my outlook a 'disorder'. Yet I think of how many children suffer at the hands of their parents.
I read an article about how some parents have taken to publicly shaming their own children on digital media.
Shaming Children on Social Media Has Got To Stop!
What's really fascinating about trauma recovery, that I want to tell you, is that healing requires really, really reliving the trauma. But instead, in a totally safe and loving environment. Can you see why it takes time to feel strong enough to face something like that? I gather that the closer to the trauma, the easier it is to resolve. Oh well. Fifty eight years passed.
There I was in my counselor's office today, five years old in feelings, words and deed. I kicked my feet out. Whoops! They're a lot longer now. What is cool, is that once you are reliving it, YOU get to change how it all turns out. You can make them stop and be sorry.
This is how I did it. I instructed them to turn away, with their backs to me, and hang their heads in shame. Then I made them hold hands in a circle, heads down in shame. They had to circle and sing
Ring-a-round the rosie,
A pocket full of posies,
We all fall down.
All. fell. down.
I'm kind of curious how life will unfold from here.