Daybreak - Meditations For Women Survivors Of Sexual Abuse written by Maureen Brady and copyrighted in 1991 is one of the books that helped me to heal from my incest issues. I would highly recommend it to any survivor of sexual abuse to use in your healing.
From Daybreak February 5 reading:
"As I go through changes, I notice how much more readily I see gifts and opportunities than I did before beginning to heal.
Change is not easy for us. We want something to hold steady. We have difficulty reconciling with the notion that all life is dynamic and that things change. Much of our pain comes from our resistance. 'Oh, please, please, don't let this be so,' we plead when we've been given information we know will have to be absorbed. We may have started crying out like this at the time of our abuse, hoping that we could put up a shield that would let us cling to the sense of safety we had before.
In my healing I realize I can turn my forces to being a participant in change rather than a resister to it. I discard old notions of how long a change will require me to suffer. I discover there is excitement in change that I no longer need to push away. I remain present for my life today and look forward to and appreciate change as part of my unfolding."
As I read the above page from Maureen Brady's book, my mind went back to images of the first time when I was 11 years old that my dad raped me in the hayloft of the dairy barn where he worked.
The whole experience was surreal - like it was happening to someone else. This was about two months after I had been molested by an uncle - my mother's oldest brother. My mind could not accept that it was happening again and, most important, that my own father was the one doing it.
As Maureen Brady quotes above, a part of my mind was saying, "Oh, please, please, don't let this be so." The shock is so much to handle, especially if you are a child. I can easily understand how some children split into different personalities in order to deal with the physical and emotional pain of this betrayal and ravaging of your physical body.
My way of dealing with it was to go inside of my head. I would close my eyes so that I wouldn't see what was happening. I would go inside with my thoughts. It was many, many years before I reconnected with my body. I never made a sound, no matter how much I was hurting physically or emotionally. With my ears, I would become so hyper-vigilant to sounds around me because I was so afraid that someone would come and see what was happening. I didn't see that discovery as a way to stop the abuse. I saw it as everyone then would know my shame. My fear of discovery was so intense that I would feel sick to my stomach.
I feel that today just writing these words. No matter how much work I do to release the shame, a part of me still carries that shame even though I know I did nothing wrong.
What surprises me as I am writing this is the intensity of the feelings that I feel right now bubbling to the surface. It is difficult to let myself feel these feelings in my body. For so many years, I refused to feel anything. My first reaction to these feelings is to stop breathing. I have to force myself to breathe. Breathing tends to stop when I am in the middle of these intense emotions.
I want to be real and stay with the emotions but I can't. My stomach hurts. I want to throw up. I have to stop. I don't know how to deal with what I am feeling.
This is a day in the life of a survivor who is making an attempt to reclaim her life as healthy and worth living. Sometimes she can do the necessary work and sometimes all she can do is run away from the feelings. I honor any survivor who reads this. I honor the support of my many friends who have been there for me as I do my own work.