**Trigger Warning-sexual abuse causing rectal pain & surgery
This past week I’ve pretty much been, what I am calling: MIT-Missing in Therapy. Last weekend I started having this horrible rectal pain and some bleeding; please stop reading this if it’s at all triggering. This is important for me to get out of my head, even though I did lots of work in therapy this week. I’m only, in the past year, understanding the significance of anniversary dates. Some I catch right away, or anticipate, but others, I still get blindsided. For some reason, I think, if I anticipate them, it will be worse because it’s on my mind. Maybe not.
Anyway, this all happened last week; I’m just getting around to putting it into words. Last Sunday I finally let my husband and therapist know I’d been experiencing the pain and bleeding. That evening the pain was almost unbearable and I couldn’t even sit. My therapist offered to see me Monday (her day off), but in my stubbornness I responded, “No”. I had my usual Tuesday appointment; I thought it could wait until then. As you may guess, it wasn’t a good decision on my part. It took several hours to get myself to work, I couldn’t stay focused, or sit for more than 5-10 minutes and I couldn’t wait to crawl back into bed.
Tuesday’s session started with my 8yr old part, Wendy. I had known that this type of pain was affecting several parts, for different reasons, but each one feeling horrible pain. I had reconstructive surgery, in 2003, to repair all the damage to this area. Every year, during certain months, the pain surfaces. This time of year is the date of the surgery. We have already discussed the trauma with each part, but wondered if there were missing pieces or layers we hadn’t uncovered. For Wendy, it was the memory, she was in pain and it was heart-breaking to hear her suffer. I was able to have some memories of my own and learn more too. I know ultimately this is my past, they are a part of ME and it is imperative I accept and own all the memories- no matter how painful.
I went home, crawled into bed, took some pain meds (to take the edge off), even though they don’t really work, and tried to sleep. I had experienced some relief of pain, but not to the degree that was comforting. My T and I had agreed to meet again on Wednesday, in fact she said, “We will meet everyday if we have to so you don’t have to be in pain.” I think at first I thought she may be kidding, but she wasn’t! We planned to speak with another part feeling the same pain. That night I had some vivid dreams about the relationship with my husband, around the time we had separated (many years ago), that I wasn’t familiar with. My teenage part, K (not her full name), shared some of those things I had dreamed about, new things, and it clearly caught me off guard. Again, the goal is for her to get through the layers, while I listen and support her 100%…no matter what!
I attempted to go to work afterwards, felt some release of pain, but still couldn’t sit in a chair. I worked standing up, but ended up laying on the couch talking through the session with my “damn therapist” friend. These are the days I’m glad I work for therapist’s. They understand what I am going through, they are supportive, encouraging and exude grace beyond belief. I know I couldn’t work anywhere else, I wouldn’t last, but also they show kindness and offer their expertise when needed…or when they think I need it. LOL
My day didn’t last long, since I couldn’t do much of anything at work. The drive home was excruciating, sitting in traffic was uncomfortable, though thankful for the heater in my seat. Back in bed, pain pills on their way down, and praying for sleep and less pain. Even though my pain was a little less, it wasn’t gone. And once again, I was going to therapy the next day for a long session. By this time the pain shifted and it wasn’t in the same place, so I knew it belonged to my other teenage part, B (not her name). I had restless sleep, felt anxious about this next session, being as it is the part who endured violent sexual abuse.
I attempted to go in to work the next day, but again, not able to sit or be productive. Still it allowed me to focus on something other than the upcoming session and the pain (at least that’s what I told myself). Shocking, I know…it didn’t work very well.
This strong, tough, confident, direct, sarcastic, leader, part- B, was not looking forward to going back and uncovering another layer; she made that crystal clear! I hated it for her, but we have all been down this road before, and she knew, as well as myself, what needed to happen.
I was figuring out, from the intensity and change of this pain, exactly what type of abuse she endured. My therapist has asked each one of them, at different times, if this type of abuse had taken place. Each one said no, but I wouldn’t have had this surgery 13 years ago if violent abuse didn’t take place. As B shared, she hated every minute of it, she made it though-so proud of her. She left to vomit, and we sat in the bathroom, on the floor and cried. Finally, we made our way out and back into my T office to somehow settle all this hideous content! B walked back in, my T had a blanket waiting for her (she NEVER would want that-too tough), but she sat down next to my T, took the blanket and slowly, very slowly, curled up next to her and found comfort.
I know I’m leaving plenty out, yet I wanted to close by saying how incredibly comforting it was to listen to my therapist talk to B about how proud she was of her, that she was so sorry, that she worked exceptionally hard, that it was okay to cry and vomit and that God will and has always been there to hold her up. That doesn’t happen everyday, or in most situations like this; I’m blessed to have a therapist who loves the Lord, and mentors my parts…and ME!
We have one more part, a very young one, who needs to talk. She has only been “out” 2x since I’ve started this journey. She is extremely scared, and not very trusting. I know she will be able to do this; I’ve prayed for her to be strong and Tuesday she will have her day. She too, will be pain-free, find freedom and be closer to healing.