I was molested, very many years ago, by someone who was very close to me. Several times. I repressed it, held onto the memory, until one day it just bust loose. Since that day, when as a 13 year old, I remembered what had happened to me as a 5 – 10 year old, I have, at differing times, fixated, ignored, dealt with, talked over, confronted and cried over the mess it made of my emotional health. At various times over the years I was free of the anger, overcome with the anger, anxious, relaxed, in control and spiraling. About 12 years ago I fully removed that person from my life, ,no small task, given the fact that I had already told everyone important to me what had happened, and none of them, NONE OF THEM, had removed him from my life for me. Over the past 12 years I have only had to see/interact/deal with him on one occasion, when my father died. For whatever reason we got through it. No blow ups, no dancing around the subject, just a quiet realization on my part that I did not want to dirty my father’s passing with the filth of those memories. And after the funeral 3 years have passed where I have not had to see/hear or deal with my molester.
So last week when I had this realization that every time any male gets angry or annoyed with me, or looks at me in a less than adoring way — it takes me agonizingly back to that little girl who lost trust, and innocence and the ability to be comfortable in her own skin — I was surprised. Surprised that with all the counseling, and talking, spiritual awakening and physical distance, this still has power over me. A little pissed off too.
So I did what seemed normal to me at the time. I pulled over and bought a soft serve ice cream dipped in chocolate and called my therapist. I started seeing him 3 years ago when I lost my mind and left my husband…..saw him for a couple months until we agreed that, although we enjoy talking to each other, I was pretty much level headed and in control at that point. Saw him again for one visit when I was contemplating retirement ( woo hoo) and haven’t seen him for about a year and a half.
This realization, however, gave me pause, and I felt it was important enough to talk through. Maybe I can finally rid myself of the remnants of the chaos this guy caused in my life. So I saw the therapist last week. Rehashed some stuff and came away with a homework assignment. “Write down what you learned from what happened to you, and what you learned from the relationship you had with your father, who told you you were his reason for leading a good life”. Oh boy. This should be interesting.
I will not however, write those feelings on this blog. Not yet, anyway. My purpose today is to reiterate that maybe its never really over. That you can be moving through your life in pretty good shape, working, loving, taking vacations….and then it can hit you, all over again. And maybe the measure of health is how you deal with that smack in the face. Maybe ice cream and a call to the therapist wasn’t the healthiest way of dealing with this , but it sure beat crying, denying or arguing with my husband or whatever unfortunate man happened to cross my path that day. Progress.