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Slowly Suffocating

This afternoon I had a session with my trauma professional. It was a hard session. I got so frustrated because it is so hard for me to feel safe (the safest place I have is the back seat of my car) during my sessions, well, basically all the time...


It's been even harder lately because I have been feeling like I need to figure it all out on my own despite having a handful of people for support. Not only do I want to heal but I'm currently trying to find a living situation that will fit with the program I got approved for which is a very hard thing for me to do. Plus my hours are getting cut every other week to 8 hours instead of 12 so my financial situation is weighing very heavily on me as well as I try to get my affiliate marketing set up and going. With all these things going on, I've been running on empty, exhausted, and my brain is usually so fried I can hardly focus. Because I feel all alone in trying to get these massive areas taken care of with what little I am able to do...


Then when the time comes for another session I find parts of me being so resistant and scared that I can't hardly make any progress. It's so hard to trust anyone. It's been even harder because since I have ended up in the shelter more sexual abuse memories keep coming to the surface of when I was a toddler. Not only do I not feel safe but I have to deal with these terrifying memories coming to the surface out of nowhere. In the last several weeks there's been 2 and now I believe another one is coming to the surface. When I feel so unsafe all the time it is even harder to face them. Even if I have my trauma professional on the other end of the phone supporting me...


Today was one of the hardest ones I think I have yet had to face in some ways. I tried to get grounded. My chest felt tight. My breathing was shallow and fast. I felt like my lungs were filling up with fluid. Like a part of me had just given up. Like it was no use trying. My whole body felt like it needed to shake uncontrollably. My jaws felt like they needed to make my teeth grind. I felt naked. Unable to hide. Everytime I tried to ground a little bit I felt like I would just break apart into uncontrollable sobs and screams. It felt like something was about to be done to my body that had happened before and I knew it was coming. And yet there was a part of me that somehow felt like I should be trusting this person and I wanted to please them and yet I felt so confused and bewildered by what they were about to do to my body. As I felt the terror and bewilderment and confusion, I felt myself fighting the tears so hard. I wanted to hang up the phone. I don't know why except that I felt so scared and I didn't trust anyone and I felt like I needed to figure it out on my own even though I was scared to try to face it on my own.


Through the encouragement and presence of the person on the other end of the line I was eventually able to get past the frustration and cry. I didn't know why I was crying but the tears just kept coming as I squeezed my rainbow colored teddy bear as tight as I could. I felt so alone. And scared.


In a tiny voice I asked my trauma professional if she would sit with me because I didn't want to feel alone and unprotected. In imagination she did. And it helped a little bit but it still didn't comfort the 3 year old part inside of me.


In a tiny voice again I asked if she would hold me close. I felt so alone. So on my own. With no one I could ask for comfort. She reassured me that yes its it's ok. It's ok if her shoulder gets wet with my tears. That nobody can hurt me now. That I'm safe and it's ok to cry.


With that reassurance and comfort I was soon able to stop crying.


I know that there's a lot more memories hidden below the surface of my cognitive brain. Things that only my body remembers at this point.


I find it interesting that since I have moved to another state and cut contact with my parents so that they cannot find or call me the sexual abuse memories have started coming to the surface.
Every time that I am able to process another puzzle piece to my toddler and young child years I feel a little lighter.

I didn't realize I was carrying such a heavy load. But when I look back over all the horrible years I've lived through, I see it. It's like a dark heavy cloud that hung on me, pressing me lower and lower into a robot, a slave, a piece of trash for others to kick around however they feel like, a piece of humanity that was only a shell of what I could have been had I been:


~Cared for instead of neglected.

Respected instead of kicked around.

~Taught with kindness instead of yelled at and punished.

~Given compassion when I hurt instead of being told to shut and punished if I didn't.

~Loved for who I was instead of being pressured to become someone I wasn't.

~Treated respectfully for my limitations and mental capacity instead of being pushed to do things to big and heavy for my young frame.

~Allowed to be a child instead of being treated like a slave.

~Nourished with good food instead of food being withheld as punishment.

~Able to connect and be nurtured emotionally instead of being pushed away and punished because I didn't move fast enough to go do what I was told to do.


As the session came to an end, I said I had a picture I wanted to paint. My trauma professional was so excited. Me not wanting her to be disappointed, said, But it's not a pretty one.


She said, that's ok.


Trauma isn't pretty.

In part it is depicting how I felt in session when my lungs felt like they were filling up with fluid. As I painted it though, I realized that it also depicts how sexual abuse and neglect affects very young children. Most of my sexual abuse memories that have come to the surface are from before I was 6 years old. Up until these memories started surfacing, I had no memories of my dad before I was 8 years old. The sad part is, is that now I do but they're not good ones. Now I understand why I didn't and despite how painful they are, it is a relief to finally be getting answers to some of my questions.


The puzzle pieces are falling together in a painful, yet freeing way.



See the little girl? She's very young. Maybe 2 or 3 years old. She feels so bewildered and alone. The people who should be nurturing her and loving her aren't. When she is hurting she has no one to go to. On top of that, she's so young that she has no words for the sexual things being done to her body. She doesn't understand what is happening when her body responds to touches and penetrations.


She has no words. No safe place. She's drowning. Drowning in the neglect and the abuse. She doesn't know she's drowning though. But looking back, I see it happening. How? Because as a teenager, life was such a hell that she wanted to unalive herself. Why didn't she? Because she was too scared of the pain she might have to feel before she dies. Or what would happen if her attempt failed. So she existed. Just existed. Drowning. And she didn't know it.


But somehow...


She isn't drowning anymore. She's healing.

Not drowning like she was as a child. Only lately has she gotten any kind of safe, supportive help. That's a looonngg time of fighting alone. A looonnnggg time of being weighed down by all the memories and pain and grief she didn't know was part of her story.


She is me. Me is she. We are going to heal as painful as it is. Somehow I hope to find a safe place to rest. For all my parts to rest and regain their strength as they heal and the heaviness of the grief and pain and fear is able to be released.


I am afraid of the memories and body sensations that come out of nowhere.

Triggered by things that never triggered me before. I am in survival mode, trying to just somehow survive til I can get out of the shelter. This week marks 5 months since I ended up in the shelter. Its been a very hard week. Somehow I'm going to survive. I don't know how. But in my head I know I won't be at the shelter forever. Somehow I will survive...I just can't see it right now. But for a few moments this afternoon I enjoyed a little bit of relief, peace and comfort before I have to face another day despite being scared of the next memories that will be triggered by some unknown thing and hit me out of the blue...

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