I feel a bit like Dorothy in the wizard of oz. I’m walking along a road, one that I’ve been told leads somewhere great, and I’ve been facing my “lions and tiger and bears, oh my!” It’s just that my lions and tigers and bears happen to be reading, drawing, and talking.
Reading about sexual abuse. That’s right. I have avoided reading, studying, learning. I’ve been afraid. In all other aspects of life, I tend to become a “human google” for whatever it is that I am interested in, or needing to learn about. When Kat was diagnosed with a milk allergy, I lived vegan recipes. When she was diagnosed autistic, I learned all about autism. When we fought for autism insurance, I learned more about insurance policy and hubby’s company and various board members than I ever wanted to know. But……to become human google for sexual abuse? To acknowledge it and to be knowledgeable about it? To recognize myself on pages of a book? No. Just no. Except, I am currently reading my first book I’ve read about childhood sexual abuse.
Drawing for real. By that, I mean not drawing little things for Kat with crayon or marker, but using charcoal and drawing in a sketch book. I haven’t drawn in almost 17 years. I put down the charcoal when my parents decided I was smarter than I was talented and I needed to focus on my smarts. So, I focused on my academics. I did well, too. I was smart. They weren’t wrong about that. I missed sketching. I’m very stiff with it now, it doesn’t seem to flow the way I remember. It’s scary to do something just to do it; for no other reason but because you enjoy it. I haven’t done any amazing sketches. Nothing my parents would deem “good enough.” The best part is, I don’t care. I’m proud of the fact I am drawing, and I don’t care how good or not good my sketches are. Hubby is being supportive and proud of me for it, too.
Talking to my osteopath as openly as I possibly could on Thursday was hard. It was good, but hard. I was able to tell her my week had been full of trauma triggers and flashbacks, nightmares, and no sleep. I was able to tell her I thought my week long migraine was a result of that. Her response reaffirmed why I love her.
“Did I give you my little booklet on dealing with flashbacks?” She asked me.
“No,” I said, “but I wasn’t really talking last time I was here. I practically ran out of here.”
“Well, today is a different day. Tomorrow you might not be talking either. And then again you might.” Dr. B handed me a little orange booklet entitled “Living with Traumatic Flashbacks. “My sister had flashbacks for years. Her kids were older than Kat, but they knew when mom was in the corner crying, to call Aunt Lynn. As they got older, and she healed, she had a list of things that helped on her fridge, so they could help her. You can do the same with Kat, one day.”
I nodded, shocked. She really got it. She had loved through this with her sister; she didn’t think I was crazy at all. No wonder she had recognized dissociation, and had known how to handle it.
“You get this, you didn’t think I was nuts last week,” I finally said.
She looked surprised. “Think you were nuts? No. No. I thought something was very much not okay. I was worried. I did not for one minute think you were nuts.”
We talk about my sleep, my nightmares, and she makes a few homeopathic suggestions. And we begin treatment. We talk off and on.
Dr. B asks me something about therapy, and about the abuse, of which she still only has a general idea.
I responded to her, slightly dissociated now, “Well no one knew until just a few weeks ago when I told my shrink.”
“Surely Hubby knew.”
“No. He knows now. I told him last week,” I said.
“Oh sweetie.” She says. And then, “fuck.”