Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Out Loud

I have posted quite a bit about my inability to vocalize certain things. About 1 year ago, there were some memories/events that were really fuzzy. Some of those became more clear, after I stopped instinctively blocking them. Usually they start out as pictures - no sounds or words. Then I would either start hearing words/speaking words in my head or write them down. Usually, if it was intense, I’d write it out first - often with my eyes closed and not looking. Freestyle writing where I just let the words come without conscious thought - which is why typing is better than writing because I can keep up better with my thoughts. After that is when I’d "practice" saying it to myself in my head. Sometimes I’d take the extra step and say it out loud in the car. Then, and still not then sometimes, could I even think about saying it to someone else.
Before I could even think about talking to J about the abuse memories, I had to go through all these steps. Even now, there are certain words that get stuck. I can think them but can’t say them. J mentioned today a connection between my lack of a voice as a child and my inability to vocalize things today. DUH. That makes perfect sense, now that I think about it.
Skipping ahead through the abuse to when I first told someone – I told my Mom. She didn’t really believe me at first, until he admitted it. I don’t remember a whole lot about that conversation but I remember feeling sorry for her - as if I had destroyed her world. That I was responsible for throwing her a curveball that she couldn’t handle. I don’t remember how long after that, but there were at least two more occasions where I was told by mom to "get over it," ‘move past it," "put it behind me" and "forget about it." Toilet got counseling. I got nothing. I don’t remember Mom ever talking about it with me again, at all. I was forgotten.
I don’t remember who I told next. At some point I told my friend. She had been raped by her grandfather. So I felt somewhat like my abuse was minimalist compared to her. I told my boyfriend. I think maybe I told a guidance counselor at the same time I told them I was pregnant. Maybe? I know that I told a different guidance counselor at school later and I started talking with her some and later, attending a group type session with her and other abuse victims. I don’t have any idea how that happened without someone reporting all of our cases to DSS, but I remember she only lasted with our school less than 2 years. From that occasion I remember anger. This counselor was angry at the world it seemed, and especially men. I know the focus wasn’t on expressing what had happened to me or how I felt.
I’ve told other people over the years. No one in detail about what happened. I usually stick to the word "fondled." A former GAG word that I’ve resigned myself to using because it is the least bad of the bad. And because it’s nice and generic, and most people don’t ask any questions after that. I am at the point where I can (although I don’t) say I was sexually abused. But to vocalize what that means - not there.
This online group/forum I’ve been posting to is called After Silence (
http://aftersilence.org) It’s logo is the lotus flower - "the lotus is a flower that rises from the mud. The deeper the mud, the more beautiful the lotus blooms." I like that. Anyway, it says that "breaking the silence is the first step to recovery." I know silence is the power that abusers hold. I know I need to take that back. I’m just not sure how and I’m a little afraid (okay make that terrified) of the process.
So, we started today with my talking out loud about the incident where Toilet confronted me on the stairs and told me it was "mutual," "I liked it," etc, etc. J had said we were going to work on talking about things. Rush of panic. I said a quick prayer that this first one would be easy. Okay, it wasn’t as easy as I would have liked to start with - but, I could tell it without using any GAG words, so I survived okay.
So we talked about why Toilet said those things. My first response was that it was to alleviate his guilt, but I’m not sure he ever felt any. Then either J or I said it was to keep me silent. And that’s it. To make me feel guilty (well, continue the guilt since I already felt guilty) and therefore not tell. Same reason probably that he said all those things during the actual touching about my liking it, feeling good (GAG), etc. (the ‘etc’ part is so I don’t have to write them all out - yuck). So it worked. I kept quiet.
Sometimes I wonder why I never told my Dad. He hated Toilet. The one person who would have loved to "get revenge" against this man who "stole my mom" from him. Then again, he would have found a way to make it about himself. Same way he made Sister’s suicide attempt about himself.
I read something somewhere that said to write down my list of GAG words - I’ve done that. Then to say them outloud in any context, fast, loud, soft, somehow, anyhow they come out - just do it over and over until their power is gone and you can say them looking at yourself in the mirror and realizing they are just words. Easier said than done (no pun intended). I tried - can’t do it. Even out of context. I don’t even want to hear someone else say them.
We talked a bit about what would happen if I ever saw/talked to Toilet again. I have nightmares about that. Waking nightmares too - not sure what they are called. Not flashbacks, because it’s not something that happened. More like uncontrollable thoughts while awake. Sister & I have talked about it too. I’m not sure what I would do. In my "whatever you call them" sometimes I remain silent. Other times I "go off" on him. Funny though that when that happens it’s out of anger at something he said. Which is the same reason I told my mom in the very first place - all because I was mad at him. The outcome varies - usually Mom walks away with him. Sometimes he acts like I got to him. Other times he says something nasty that just cuts me to the quick - something along the lines of what he said in the prior hallway incident. I’m not sure I could handle hearing that again from him. That thought fills me with fear - nightmare material and has been for awhile. The first fear that comes to mind is that someone will hear him and believe him - my mom, DH or anyone else around.

1 comment:

Tina said...

I think, at this point, if you ever confronted Toilet, he would not get the same reaction out of you. Now that you are beginning to really own how you feel and even attempt to say your GAG words, you have power back - he can't reclaim that.

You are really doing a great job at handling this and trying to work through it - you just can't see it yet. I just hope that the people in your life who are helping you now will always be there for you, unlike the counselor who flew the coup.