What we fear doing the most is usually what we need to do.
The sun is shining, not a cloud in the sky. Birds are singing their song in the trees and butterflies hover by. Kids laughter floats on the breeze from the park around the corner. My friends and their children are all out enjoying themselves in the sunshine.
3.30pm and I can barely keep my eyes open. Therapy this morning was the worst session so far.
Going in I knew I had to try. I knew I had to try to carry on telling her the memory from the week before but I was afraid. Afraid I would be triggered into feeling him touching me once more. Afraid another flashback would occur. Afraid my therapist wouldn’t be able to get me back. But I knew I had to try. For it is the only way I am going to recover.
The fears we don’t face become our limits. The way we grow fearless is to walk into our fears and face them head on.
However, unless you have lived through childhood sexual abuse, unless you have been through or are going through trauma therapy, you cannot imagine what it is like. You can have no idea how it feels knowing that the only thing that is going to help you, is reliving what the monsters of your past did to you.
It is like I am in a nightmare wrapped up in a daydream.
Therapy is the daydream, my safe place. My therapist is my lifeline, the one who can save me from the torture of my past.
And yet it is also the nightmare. The place where triggers happen and flashbacks occur. The place I go to relive every little thing those monsters did to me.
I was right. I made it to “it hurt”…. “it hurt when he was inside me”…. and then I was gone.
My tummy hurt. My eyes glazed over. I was back on that blow up bed in his mothers house. He was on top of me. He was inside of me. He was crushing me. Suddenly I could not breathe. The child inside was experiencing it as if it were happening today.
I was shaking. I was scratching. My therapist couldn’t get me back. I didn’t know the year, the month or the day. She had to work extra hard to get me back but eventually she managed it. She was finally able to ground me.
By the time the session ended I was exhausted, emotionally drained. I managed to make it home but I don’t remember how – dissociation helping me get home without completely breaking down.
Now 3.30pm and it hits me; exhaustion, pain, sadness, fear.
Instead of living a normal life, mine is full of pain and trauma. Full of flashbacks and nightmares relived.
I do not have a choice. Please don’t assume I do. The effects of childhood sexual abuse last not just a day, a week, a month, a year. They last a lifetime. Believe me, I know.
I do not have a choice. For without therapy, without facing my fears and the trauma of my past, I will not survive. The pain and sadness would kill me. It nearly has several times before. I am terrified but I have no choice.
Sometimes the fear won’t go away so you have to just do it alone. For our largest fears carry our biggest growth.
The deeper I go into myself, the more trauma I face, the stronger I become because I am realising that my real self is much bigger than any fear.
We cannot be brave without fear and I am trying so hard to be brave. For this road is mine and mine alone. Others can walk it with me but nobody can walk it for me. I have to be brave enough to travel this scary, unknown path and learn what I am capable of.
I may be frightened and vulnerable, I may be full of pain and sadness, I may be exhausted and emotionally drained and even broken, but I do have courage.
Courage means I can be strong and brave and broken all at the same time. For she who is brave will eventually be free.
But, right now, I have to keep living this nightmare wrapped up in a daydream.
I have been through hell once already. I have already lived through one nightmare. I can do it again.
I have to be brave.
I have to be bold.
For eventually my bravery will set me free!
Thanks for reading
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