Friday, October 30, 2009


I am angry! I am angry at my therapist and my mother and my past. I think this is a good thing, although I don't feel good about it in the present. I think it is good because I am at least feeling feelings and attempting to work through them.

So - after talking with my mother, she called back yesterday to let me know how horrible her life has been, etc. It's the same as usual. Alhough I know she is sorry for what happened to me in the past, it has now become about her and how little she is sleeping and how she could kill herself, etc. This of course makes me feel awful. I would feel awful if she actually did harm herself. But I also feel awful because I really don't care right now. She laid a lot of things out for me and I am trying to deal with it. I can't deal with her at the same time.

Now for my therapist - I journalled about everything my mother told me and how I felt. It was raw and painful. I wanted to email it to her so she could read it ahead of time. I am really afraid I will go in next week and clam up and not want to talk about it. Plus some of it is SO awkward to talk about. So I left a voicemail for her asking if there was some way I could email it to her - that I wasn't worried about privacy issues since she lives alone. She could print it off and delete it.

She doesn't work Thursday or Friday and I left this voicemail early yesterday. She called me back this afternoon and left a message on my phone. Basically that she thinks I need to print them out and bring them in at my usual time and we can talk about it in the moment and talk about the awkwardness. That email really didn't work for her. That really pissed me off - to the point of wanting to cancel my appointment next week and perhaps forever. Childish I know. I thought -
1) she doesn't want to have to think about this awful stuff outside the office
2) I am angry that I couldn't vent to her - she is one of three people who know my history and she knows the most. I called one of my friends and her child was home sick and she couldn't talk and I had no time alone with my husband.
3) I am angry that she doesn't work on Thursday and Friday - again silly. She called me back from her house. I was tempted to call her back at home. She's never given me her number, but it comes up on caller ID. I hate going through her receptionist, leaving a voicemail and waiting for her to call back.
4) I don't abuse the above - I think now I have called her 4 times in a year and a half outside of appointment changes (which are also not frequent). We have talked about my bringing this up with my mother to see what she would disclose. Unfortunately - I didn't time it on Monday night before my Tuesday appointment.

Having ranted about all of the above, I know that part of my anger is related to her not being there in the same way that my mother wasn't there for me when I was young and isn't there for me now. That doesn't make it easier to deal with. I rarely lean on others for support - now I want to and she is not available.

For the record - I left her another voicemail to tell her that I was angry. Now I am embarassed that I did that, but in the long run, probably not a bad thing.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Phone call to my mother

I've been working my nerve up for some time and finally I picked up the phone yesterday to ask my mother about my abuse. T said I likely needed some validation that the abuse had happened. I disagreed with her - I had no doubt that it happened - I do have some specific memories. I guess I wanted to hear what she would say AND try to figure out how long she knew about it before doing something. Needless to say, the question was a surprise to her and she at first danced around the issue for a few minutes. To put this in perspective - I am 50, my mother is 75 and this abuse happened between the ages of 5 and 11. So this has been on her mind for some time. She was confused about the dates - she said she discovered it when I was 5, but they divorced when I was 11, so she was wrong about that. In no way did she make it seem like the abuse was my fault, but she did seem to blame me for not telling her. Comments like - "You didn't say anything. Things happen. I'm sorry." and "He's dead now so you don't have to worry anymore." and "You have to watch your kids like a hawk." She disclosed that she "could have sent him to jail" but didn't because his mother begged her not to. I've always thought she got a better divorce settlement because she had this to hang over his head. She told me that he had abused "a lot" of girls including two of his nieces. She apparently didn't know this until after the fact, although I remember spending time with this family during my childhood. She said that the girls' father "ran him off". This is not true - because as I said, we spent time together as children.

The worse thing about all this is that she disclosed specific things about the abuse of which I have NO memory. So I know there is more buried in my mind. I wasn't prepared for that part of this. I phoned the T yesterday to let her know I had called her. I didn't specifically ask for her to call me back, and she hasn't :(((

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Disclosure and healing

Although much of the time, I don't feel like I have progressed much in the last year, when I sit and assess where I am today, I realize I have come a long way. Compared to a year ago when I first disclosed to my therapist I have -

1) Told my husband about my childhood abuse
2) Slept better - although I still don't feel well rested most days
3) Told one other friend about my abuse
4) Discussed things in this "anonymous" forum
5) Continued with therapy on a weekly basis
6) Read a lot about abuse and its effects

I feel like I am nearing another step in the process, because I am -

1) Thinking about who else I might share my story with. I was with two friends over the weekend, chatting about kids and life and I started wondering about what their reaction would be if I disclosed my abuse history to them.
2) I am seriously thinking about a dinner out with a friend that I might share my story with.
3) I am thinking of telling my 16 year old daughter.
4) I am thinking of bringing it up to my mother - I called her once last week and if she had been home, I am certain I would have asked her (in a non threatening way) about what she might tell me.
5) I came across a local support group that started recently. Almost like karma - I was at the hairdressers and saw the ad in the paper. I have emailed to ask about it and I have done some research on the founder of the group. I have considered this but am not sure I ready for the public.

Just wondering about others on their journey - have you shared your story with others? How did you choose your audience? Any advice on how to proceed?

I have a session today - this seems like a good topic to fill 45 minutes :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Thanks for the comments

Thanks to those who commented on how they might prepare for therapy. My T has responded to some of my concerns and brought up a topic she feels might need some exploring at our next session. As I feel myself nearing the end of therapy, I find myself missing her. I do feel "close" to her.

I'm sure I have more issues related to the abuse to work on. It just doesn't seem to be a high priority for me right now. In fact, at one point, it seemed like all I did was think of the abuse and related things. Now, I rarely find myself thinking about it. Perhaps avoidance.