So I saw my therapist today, and as mentioned in yesterday’s blog post, told her I was feeling suicidal even though I’m not actually suicidal, if that makes sense. I described the paradox that is my life at the moment; planning coursework, planning holidays, planning for job interviews, planning for wedding….and feeling an endless sense of wanting to die at the same time. She asked me “but you do want to die?” I shook my head, and said “nope.”
I told her I was frequently experiencing the sensation of ‘floating.’ Of watching myself, from above me or next to me. Literally I see my mouth move, I see the words come out in a meeting, I see my body do all the normal things…I see my eyes are empty and faded…I want to reach out to myself and hold my own hand, tell the faded person it’ll be okay, but I’m too trapped in floaty land to do a thing.
My therapist asked me why I thought this was, because the feelings are important ones however painful and difficult they are to sit with. I shrugged. Mentioned a few little things that have been going on. Then said ‘time of year.’ She knows this, of course. Every single year at this time, I end up suicidal. This is the first year where the feelings don’t overwhelm me and possess my intentions and willpower. For the reason my feelings and intention are so separate, and for the time of year, I told my therapist that I believed the feelings were memories – the despair that would have been too dangerous to feel at the time.
She knows this time of year is incredibly hard – there are a lot of hideous memories and events that took place around end of Feb/beginning to mid March, almost every year without fail. We have talked through a few of them before but there’s always been one I’ve held back on, one where I’ve told half the story and not the rest. How I was made to fully believe the pain and abuse was my fault, that it was me making the abusers like that.
I told the rest of the story today, because my heart flickered when I thought of it. I took that as a sign that my body knew I needed to explore it, however painful it was.
So I told her the same beginning, the same horrific event and how for the weeks that followed I was psychologically beaten into believing it was all my fault. How my brother had called them abusers and I’d been horrified, angry even, at him saying such an outrageous thing. It was down to me that this was all happening. I was made to apologise to them all, plead with them for forgiveness, and one asked “what will you do to prove you’re sorry? What punishment will you take?” So heartbroken and guilt-ridden that I wrongly was, I hysterically cried “anything.”
And that’s always been the point where I’ve stopped. Where I’m asked “and what was ‘anything?'” and my throat has locked up, a sharp pain in abdomen, and I just cry. I can never find the words. I feel so guilty.
I said it. I looked at her and said “the rest of the story was this time of year. Some of the suicidal feelings belong back there, I think…” she smiled at me, encouragingly, and I summoned up some courage…
Looking at my lap, I murmured “I believed I deserved the worst punishment. They told me I needed to feel the pain I had caused them. They told me I deserved to feel pain.” I paused, my eyes filling, nausea stirring in my stomach, and I knew I had to either say it fast or not at all. “I agreed to be made pregnant and have a forced abortion” I whispered, fast, gagging. I looked up, expecting to see cold judgement in her eyes. Judgement at what I had done. It doesn’t matter to me that I was a teen, who was being seriously abused, what matters to me is that I agreed to such a thing.
There was no judgement in her eyes, just terrible sadness. “I’m so sorry…” she said. Not shocked, just sad. I blinked, and the tears came properly. Finally it was out, the guilt was out and there. We sat in silence for a bit, and I murmured “I don’t know how far I was. I was never taken to a doctor. Maybe just under 3 months. I dunno.” I stared at my hands again, and held them against my very empty abdomen, murmured “knitting needle…”
She didn’t need me to go into more detail, she understood. I closed my eyes, the wash of remembered pain rocking through my body. “I can’t describe the pain. I remember the cable ties around my wrists. I remember how the pain made my body jolt so hard my shoulder dislocated…I didn’t notice for ages…I was just in so much pain…”
More silence. Now I’d started, now the floodgates had opened, I just wanted to get the whole sorry story out. “They told me off because I didn’t bleed enough. There was so much blood but it wasn’t enough. They told me I must be working with the devil, and that they were therefore doing the right thing. They used to say that a lot. That they weren’t really children next to me, we were all the devil wearing a mask, trying to trick people, and that they were helping the world by hurting us.”
My therapist had heard this kind of thing before too, and we discussed how perverted this was, how entirely upside down the logic and reality was of it all. How wrong it was.
“I’m sorry you were ever put through that…” (re the abortion)
“I agreed to it.” I felt sick with guilt, sick.
“Yes, yes you did. But you didn’t have a choice…you did not have a choice in accepting that, do you understand? They’d have done it anyway, they just made you think you chose to do it, so you destroy yourself with guilt afterwards. And it should never have been a choice to make – nobody should ever demand that someone does that. You didn’t do anything wrong. The extreme physical trauma and psychological trauma to you needs to be soothed…”
She told me to wrap blankets around me, to allow myself to rest when I need to, to let myself go through the shock I dissociated then, the intense grief and guilt, to process it, to allow the understandable suicidal feelings to be there, but to be soothed too. She told me to breathe, not to keep holding my breath and freezing with the memory – but to try and shake it out, to physically move, and hum.
I still feel guilty. Horrendously guilty, and part of me is nervous to share this story on this blog.
But also, I can see how sick and twisted the whole thing was, that they had me so convinced that it was all happening entirely due to me, and convince me enough that I deserved a punishment so extremely traumatic and brutal.
And then I think back to the surgeons a few weeks ago, who said they found countless scars in my inside pelvic area. And I think…is it little wonder?
I feel so guilty 😥 And stuck between worlds, floating in grief and years ago, and participating in present life, with emotions from present and emotions from past… so disconnected, not here, and yet here, and just so exhausted…