Into the Fire

It’s the title of a Sarah McLachlan song that fits well with the upcoming new twist in my therapy journey:  ‘I will stare into the sun until its light doesn’t blind me.  I will walk into the fire until its heat doesn’t burn me.  And I will feed the fire.’ 

At a recent session, it occurred to me that I’m through part of the trauma processing.  I can think of the physical abuse and not shrink back in horror (most of the time).  When memories get triggered, I’m good at picking a coping skill to lean on (most of the time).  And most of the time is the best I’m going to do.  Therapy is about learning to cope with memories, not erasing them.  The scars of my past will always come back to haunt me.  The thing I’m proud of now is that, when flashbacks and negative feelings about the physical abuse surface, I can force them in to submission before they take over.

All of that said, I asked the therapist if we could re-assess my treatment plan and go over new goals.  A major part of our journey together is done.  Now, the time has come to deal with the sexual trauma.  Even thinking the words causes me to feel nauseous.  Saying them aloud makes me physically ill.  Still, I’ll never get past this if I keep avoiding it.  When there was so much physical trauma to contend with, trying to deal with this bit was too much to consider.  I go kicking and screaming in to this new part of my journey, but I go nonetheless.

Already, I feel dirty inside and out.  I feel hopeless and want to shrink away from any source of light, lest someone notice this secret of mine.  Any time I think closely about this journey I’m taking on, the memories swirl all about me, and I start to feel like a spoiled little child who is whining because things didn’t go her way.  I feel like hiding somewhere dark and quiet so that no one even notices my existence.  Shame.  Fear.  No good.  Hopeless.  Alone.

Wish me luck, folks.  This could get interesting.

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