In the previous post from Thriving on the Other Side, the discovery that her man has betrayed her leads our writer to seek therapy to open the trap doors beneath the betrayal. And what lies beneath is a shocking form of abuse.
TRIGGER WARNING: This article or section, or pages it links to, contains information about sexual assault and/or violence against women which may be triggering to survivors.
At the ripe old age of 50, I learned that every single thing I believed about my childhood was a bald-faced lie. It was a cover story created by a child so overwhelmed and abused that I couldn’t cope with reality — so I made up a fantasy. The truth was too horrifying to comprehend, much less deal with. So my powerful protective subconscious created a Beaver Cleaver small town childhood to save my soul.
For the entire week after that session I was in shock. I spent hours wracking my memory for clues, glimmers, anything that would show me more details of the truth — not my made-up fantasy. Inside my head a war raged between my ‘known’ and my newly discovered truth.
It just couldn’t be true. I had to be making it up. This was yet another instance of the madwoman that was taking over my life — I was hallucinating about my past. That had to be it. The insanity was making this whole thing up. I was crazy!
But deep down I knew better. A tiny fragment of me knew I was finally opening a closet door, one of many closet doors where I had stashed away the ugliness of my truth for decades. I struggled to open more doors, needing to remember more details, craving truths to correct all of the lies that were the very fabric of my being. But any other memories were hidden from me in the light of day and the dark of night.
The pain of it all — the explicit memory of my Grandmother hurting me, the truth about my love — overwhelmed me. I’ve always been a positive person. Now I was depressed beyond belief. I laid awake all night, replaying tapes, trying to heal my heart, grasping for any light of hope in the darkness. My love called, begging forgiveness, making up even more stories to cover his lies. A piece of me wanted to believe him, but another piece, a new and slowly strengthening voice refused to let me return to that fantasy.
The door was open and I was walking forward, even if it was dark on the other side at this moment. I would find the light. I had to find the light. I didn’t have a choice; it was the only way I could survive.
“Door” A Surroca @ Flickr.com. Creative Commons. Some Rights Reserved.
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