I’ve definitely got that post-therapy been-through-the-mangle feeling. I am tired and feel emotionally bruised.
I wasn’t great at self care this morning, found it hard to drag myself out of bed so I didn’t shower or eat, just threw clothes on and got on an overcrowded, anxiety provoking bus.
I’m having something to eat now, and a quiet sit down to reflect before I have to attend my volunteering job this afternoon.
We talked today about my feelings of self hatred and I shared my experiences of my mother taking me to the hospital all the time and giving me medications. As a child I idealised my mother as being perfect, even though she failed to protect me.
I did have some medical problems as a child, but now I’m wondering:
– How much of it was caused by my psychological reaction to the abuse* I was experiencing?
– How much of it was my mother desperately seeking a cause for my symptoms in me instead of admitting the way things were at home or standing up to my dad?
I was underweight and very short for my age so they measured and weighed me regularly. I didn’t eat properly as a child and my mum used to put it down to me being a fussy eater, but I think I was distressed and therefore didn’t eat. My mother fed me (prescribed) laxatives. I now suffer with IBS and I wonder if this is why.
I was a bed wetter, I even wet myself at school sometimes and this was another reason for hospital visits. At school I was often scolded by teachers and shamed for this. Turns out I am prone to kidney and bladder infections, but I think some amount of the bed wetting was probably caused by fear and bladder infections could have been because of inappropriate sexual contact.
I had a brain scan when I was 6 or 7 because they suspected epilepsy. I realise now that the ‘blackouts’ they thought I was having weren’t blackouts at all, it just tells me that I had already started using dissociation, even at the age of 5 or 6, to distance myself from my painful reality.
I didn’t even know I was unhappy. I didn’t even have the ability to be unhappy because I had been reduced to a creature of survival. I ask my therapist now, is there enough left to grow a human being from this?
I also feel sad and angry that no one recognised that this child was being abused. I was terrified of everyone and I think how could I have had so much hospital contact and no one recognised some really tell tale indicators. I think “why didn’t anyone help me?”.
I am still struggling with feelings of self blame and disgust with myself. I’m alone all this coming weekend and I’m worried about how I’ll cope.
*Abuse: I still find it really hard to use this word, as though the definition will always be “something a bit worse than whatever happened to me”. This is part of me minimising what happened to me so I am attempting to own this word and use it (from now on?) without apology.