I am putting a Trigger Warning here because I don't want you to go on if you are already having a bad day with your own stuff if you are an incest survivor. The following is a very important piece of my puzzle that has been missing since I was a little girl being raped first by my uncle and then for years by my dad. I don't know how young I was when I made the decision to shut the visuals out of my mind. Please proceed at your own risk.
I just had one of my biggest ah-ha moments of my entire journey through recovery from incest. A big event that I had totally forgotten or just didn't get the significance of until now. This came about because of a post that Darlene from the blog Emerging From Broken made on her Facebook page. I am going to share part of that post here to set the scene for my ah-ha moment and then I will share my comment back to Darlene. Here it is:
Emerging From Broken "She packed up her potential and all she had learned, grabbed a great pair of shoes and headed out to change a few things.". . . .
There was more to the quote from another person but this is the part of the quote is was the catalyst for my understanding. Now here is the comment that I made to Darlene.
Darlene, rereading the above thought "She packed up her potential. . . " just gave me an ah-ha moment. I am not a visual person. I don't usually see images in my head. I can imagine what the image looks like in my mind but the pictures don't form for me. I just realized why. I have always wondered why I don't get the visuals that everyone else does when I shut my eyes. It is because as a little girl, I shut my eyes to the abuse. I literally closed my eyes so I couldn't see what was happening to me when I was being raped. I not only shut my eyes but I went deep inside so that I couldn't "see" or feel it. I must have closed a door when I did that. Someone told me to see a big movie screen in my mind with pictures flashing on it. That doesn't work for me either. I see nothing. I can imagine in some far away place that it is there but I just don't see anything in my mind's eye.
Wow! is what I keep hearing over and over in my mind. This is really big and is going to take me awhile to process. Thank you.
Wow! When I recently said that I was starting a new chapter in my recovery, I had no idea (I still don't.) what that meant or what would be coming out when I opened the door to the abuse from my uncle.
When I was typing the above comment to Darlene and these thoughts were coming into my head almost faster than I could type, I could feel panic and a part of me quit breathing all together. That part is still holding her breath. It feels like a part of me died that first day of the abuse. Before that I may have been a very visual person. I have no way of knowing. Tears are just out of reach, slipping in and out. I know there is some crying and grieving to do with this new chapter and I am open to it. I can't push the tears out of hiding and I will allow them their expression when that child feels safe and needs to let go and just howl out her pain. As I am typing, I have to keep telling myself to breathe. Some part of me is so afraid of this whole thing being exposed to ???? Exposed to the world? Exposed to me? Exposed to ???? I keep going blank. That door isn't opening yet. I know the little girl, the inner child has to feel safe for that to happen. She gets frightened each time that we do something like this.
Today I will stay as open as I can to these feelings that are trying to come out. In order to do that, I have to let go of the tight, tight control that I held over my feelings as a child. I could not feel these things as a child and survive. It was just too much to feel. The pain - both the physical and the emotional pain - was just too much for the little girl that I was to feel when it was happening. I don't think that I formed different personalities as some survivors did. I think that I just shut down certain parts of myself. I let them die.
This is still so hard. I have the tools today to do this. I will not go off and binge eat like I have done in the past. I will face this head on. I will call people. I will email people and ask for support. I will cry when needed which makes it very hard to type. I will not run from this.
I want to share this process here because, again, I hope that it will help some other survivor to open up and see maybe something similar in themselves. I want to show you that this work can be done. Also in sharing, it gives me the feeling that I am not alone in doing this myself. Sharing my pain eases it for me. It gives it and me value. I will go back and put a Trigger Warning at the top of the page. I don't want to set off anybody else with triggers. If you are having a bad day, I don't want to add to it.
The tears are gone for now. I think this is enough for now for you and for me. I need to sit with this awhile and see what else comes.