Monday, February 28, 2011


   The morning of the second time I went to see my therapist, I nearly threw up.  I kept running to the bathroom.  I kept blacking out.  I had a headache.  I was dizzy.  My father was going to be reported for incest.  As my sister drove me to the rented office buildings, I sat slumped by the window in a daze, knowing my world was going to end.  I hadn't told her, of course.  She didn't want to know, and I didn't want to tell. 

    Of course that was the big dilema of going to see a counselor, was that within a certain time frame they were required to report it.  You couldn't tell any kind of professional confidentially, no matter how desperately you needed help.  That was what had kept me waiting a year before trying to get help again, I didn't know exactly the rules of what would be reported.  So I ignored it, until I started seriously considering trying to throw myself through a glass door, and I decided it was either that or therapy.

   Most people wait 14 years on average before telling anyone about sexual abuse.  I waited 14 years before allowing myself to remember sexual abuse.  I constantly waited until it became a choice between telling or running a risk of dying in silence, and to be honest I didn't know which was worse.  The first appointment I had with my therapist, I didn't tell her many details just why I was there, but apparently there was enough concern for her to tell me she was going to report it.  She ended up putting it off, and allowing me to make the decision of whether I would report it myself.  By now I wanted to do it, I didn't want to go back.  I was going to tell.

  I lied to my sister about it being my decision.  I told her what I had heard initially, that they were required to report it and there was nothing I could do about it.  We didn't talk about it, we never have, but her face was ashen.  I would be required to report it in the same county as it occured, which made me even more nervous.  I was very familiar with the law enforcement in my home county, and they were the last people I would expect to stand with me instead of my father.  I was told what to expect if they took the case.  I was told I would lose nearly all my family, all my friends.  The opposing attorney would do their best to put holes in my argument.  No one would believe me, I would start to believe I was crazy.  Did I still want to do it?  As it turned out, they did not take the case.  I was disappointed but relieved at the same time.  It didn't work but it did have the effect of setting my distance, something I needed.

   Of course there are other things that are hard to tell.  Any of it is hard to tell, but some more than others.  A few months later I was diagnosed with DID, and the more I learned about my alters the more I learned about my life, things I had never wanted to know.  Many of these alters were under a strict rule of silence.  Many times I would go in to tell something I had found out and switch so I didn't remember what it was.  Sections of my memory were blocked out.  Even things I tried to process in the present, such as some of the research I was trying to find in books, was blocked from my vision so I could not see or understand, or remember certain paragraphs.

   The result of being unable to talk about some of these things have been constant panic attacks, insomnia, difficulty breathing, and worsening of a myriad of health problems I am convinced is connected.  Who do you tell about this kind of thing?  Trauma is hard to process, it's not the type of thing you can just drop in a conversation.  And if you do, no one knows what to say.  Many times I would open my mouth, and nothing would come out, so I just closed it again.  I'm sure for anyone who has survived abuse or trauma trying to figure out what to do, this problem comes up.  It is not something you can keep to yourself, yet it is difficult to share, and equally difficult to find someone to share it with.  The painful truth is that that's the only way to continue healing- keep telling.

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