Today was my 3hr session, and it always amazes me how emotionally exhausting it can be. Tonight the emotional hangover sets in and I begin the process of dissecting what took place. My teenager arrived first thing, which means she drives us there and starts the session. We discovered she had a relapse this morning, which makes me sad for her. After doing so well for the past 2 weeks, it was a struggle to cope with the things she had shared during Tuesday’s session.
I certainly was not upset with her, she did what she felt was necessary. I wasn’t sure what was going to take place in today’s session, but once again, I was blindsided. I had noticed a bruise on the upper part of my leg this morning, in the shower. Surprisingly, I seemed puzzled by how it happened. My teenager talked about how difficult it was to see me so upset and feel responsible after Tuesday. My T spent quality time talking with her about forgiveness, grace, and that letting go of the things, we try so hard to hide, only hurts us in the end. She responded very well.
….enter the blindside…. ****TRIGGER WARNING****
She said that I noticed a bruise and she wanted to tell me what had happened to cause it to appear. She began to shake, almost to the point that seemed uncontrollable. I could feel it as well, and hear what she was saying. I was thankful for her allowing me to listen from the beginning, but I knew it was going to be difficult. My T moved beside her, covered her with a blanket, and reassured her that she was safe. She began sharing about the night I got engaged (college boyfriend, who raped me and later on I returned to the relationship unaware, because of my DID, that he was abusive) to a guy who I didn’t really love. It was the worst proposal ever! He was at my family home, waiting for me to return from a conference. He handed the ring to me while I was opening the cabinet to get a glass, and said, “I thought you may want this so we could make it official.” Really?? Not even on one knee? No expression of your love and dedication? Nope, none, zilch, nada!
My equally abusive parents were in the next room, sitting in their usual chairs, watching TV, when I walked in to say, “I’m engaged.” They didn’t move, hug me, take a picture, congratulate us, nothing! They said, “Ya, we heard.” What??? I’m I in some sort of freaking nightmare? Wow, could it get any worse? Oh ya!
At some point I dissociated and headed to bed. Apparently, I was unaware that he had to stay at our home, since he lived 4 hours away. My teenage part began to share that he forced her/me to have sex and caused the bruising on my legs. As she shared more, she continued to shake the entire time, wondering why she couldn’t “go away” and why he was so rough and mean. The automatic body responses followed and she began to cry and asking for my T to explain what happened.
I wanted to wrap my arms around her, hold her tight, and tell her everything was going to be okay. My T was so good at calming her down, making her feel safe and cared for in that very moment. When I returned to the present, I broke down and sobbed. I asked if I was ever going to be normal again, if this was ever going to end, and why did my parts and myself, have to go through all this suffering. My T must have been crying as well, which is so comforting and validating (in a caring way).
Honestly, I don’t know how any T could hear these kinds of events in clients’ lives and not have some type of reaction. They are strong and courageous people, who have a unique and special gift to work with trauma victims. May God bless them and the work they do!
After about 20 minutes of tears, hugs, and prayer, I was able to gather my thoughts and talk through what I had just heard. I took a break and went to the bathroom, and noticed that my other leg had a bruise in about the same location as my other leg. I knew that it had happened during my teenager reliving a traumatic event and going through the emotions associated with them to hopefully heal and move forward. My T had explained to her before I was present, that it is a process called abreaction. This process gives clients a way to release their unconscious pain and escape from the memories and feelings that have kept them from moving forward.
I hate body memories, reactions, and overwhelming emotions…and this week has been record breaking in all those areas. Ugh! This is the time where I would want someone to walk in, give me a plane ticket for two, to a beach, on an island, where my hubby and me would be catered to for a whole week. Ahhhhh sounds perfect! But for now, I’m going to bed, asking God for at least 4 solid hours of sleep, and trusting that tomorrow will be a new and better day!