This is part two of this post. Part one left off with me talking about how he could be fun, and Bea saying that wasn’t surprising. There could potentially be triggering stuff in this post, so please take care when reading. Xx. .
“Did they leave you with him a lot?”
I nod. “Friday’s. Friday nights were date night.”
“Was Jackie at your house?”
I nod again.
“Where did she sleep, and did she stay over?”
“Her parents move her when they get back. She sleeps in my parents bed usually. My brother had bunk beds. Sometimes she would sleep in there. She was kinda a tomboy. They got along better most…usually, better than she and I did,” I explain.
“Did your parents leave dinner for you?”
“Pizza.” I gag slightly. “I don’t eat pizza anymore.” Well, that’s not fully true. I eat it if I’m planning on purging. But that’s it. It’s a food that has to be thrown up. But I don’t say that, because it seems like it’s too much to explain on top of everything else.
“I don’t blame you. But pizza is pretty great. You might have to give pizza another chance,” Bea tells me.
“Do you know what time bedtime was and what time your parents got home?” She asks me.
I shake my head. “Late…after TGIF. It was dark when they’d get home.” I think, when I was older, maybe 7 or 8, it was maybe 10 chapters of a Nancy Drew or Babysitters Club book. But when I was this young? I don’t know. Late. “For all I know, it could have been 10:00pm, that would have been late to me.”
Bea and I both kinda chuckle over this a little. “Yeah, anything could be late when you are that age,” she agrees.
“But it was just normal. He’s tuck us in. Rub my back, sing to me. I don’t know….” I have to stop talking. Bea says something, but I’m not really hearing her. I interrupt her, saying, “He didn’t leave.”
She’s quiet for a moment, and in retrospect, I think how confusing it has to be to try to piece together someone else’s memories, with the stress of knowing that because that person is talking it’s a big deal, and saying the wrong thing could shut them up. “What?” She finally asks me, needing more clarification.
“He stayed. He sang, he should have said good night and left!”
“Yes, he should have.”
“But he didn’t. He untucked the covers. I didn’t understand, why tuck me in, just to untuck them? It didn’t make sense.” I shake my head. So much of this is all confusing. I’m not sure I’ll ever make any serious sense of it.
“Almost like he had to be the good boy before he could violate you.”
“But it was so normal before. I don’t know.” I sound a little whiny, insistent, I’m not sure what it is I want, maybe a reason why things flipped like that.
“It was normal mixed with scary, unspeakable things. Like a horror film, everything is ordinary and then a monster jumps out,” Bea says. She’s right. It’s like the scene with group of kids in a horror film, calm, peaceful, everyone happy and then something awful and scary happens. I don’t know.
“I don’t watch scary movies. I never can…I just replay the scary parts. Expecting to see the actual bad guy, ghost, whatever…I don’t know. I get too scared,” I tell her. I’ve never watched scary movies. I’m afraid of the dark, afraid of so many things, I never needed scary movies to add to it.
“I’m not surprised. You already lived through a scary movie, but Kenny was the monster.” She doesn’t sound the least bit judgmental or surprised. Most people think I’m childish for my extreme fear of horror films.
“Or maybe I’m just being stupid, and silly. Hating a song, not eating pizza. That stuff. I don’t know. Over sensitive.” The words sound cruel, my tone of voice is as mean as I can be. I’m angry with myself for feeling like this.
“Oh no. I don’t think so. I think it very normal under the circumstances. It twisted things together, contaminated normal stuff for you. Did kenny ever seem different to you?”
“Well….I don’t know. I told you about that summer. The pool?” I pick at my fingers, bury my face as much as I can.
“Yes, I believe so. People were there, right?” Bea asks softly.
I nod. “Outside. In the back. We were on the porch. Really a sunroom. But…he wasn’t. He wasn’t my friend then.”
“Was he scary? Mean? Threatening?”
I shake my head, I don’t know. “He hurt me.”
“Yeah. He hurt you.” She sounds sad as she repeats my words back to me.
It’s quiet, and I sit crying. I hate this.
“Did you say anything, tell him he was hurting you or were you so far gone you had no voice?” I love that she accepts that I could be so gone I couldn’t talk or do anything, that there isn’t any blame. I feel safe knowing she doesn’t blame me for anything no matter how much I try to convince her otherwise.
“No…I couldn’t..I cried….like rip off a band aid tears. Quiet.”
“Those tears from that stinging pain, you mean?” She gets it, almost right away. I don’t know how she does that.
“Did he notice?”
“Did he say anything?”
I nod again. “He said. He said.”
“What did he say?” She asks gently, prompting me.
“He said….. I can’t repeat it.” It’s too awful, the words sound dirty in my brain, I can’t say them out loud.
I hand her the iPad back, because it is one of things going through my head this morning and yesterday, and it’s written in my crazy journal of thoughts.
She reads it. I’m imagining all sorts of things, bad things she is thinking about me, because of what he said. “He said it mean, not nice. He wasn’t my friend. He hurt me. He knew he hurt me, he didn’t care.”
“This is something you might say to a young child…” Bea is thinking out loud, but she doesn’t sound appalled by me, she’s not disgusted with me. “You were older…it’s almost like he sensed or knew some part of you was still stuck in the young child part. It’s about power, talking to you like you are a little child. This is how you would speak to a little girl.”
Something in me feels ripped open, too raw. “No. No, no. I wasn’t little. Not when. No I was big, my memories of you know…I’m big.”
“Of what?” She asks gently.
“That word!” I practically scream it at her, shove the words in her direction. She has to know what word I’m referring to, I can’t say it, can’t name it. It’s too bad, too big, too scary.
“Oh, yes. I know what word, okay.” She knows what I’m talking about. Thank God.
“They are older. I wasn’t little. I was big. In the memories. They are older. I was not little,” I repeat myself, going around in circles, panicking.
“Well, you were little,” Bea tells me. Her voice is quiet, and neutral.
“No, not little like little little. Like almost a baby little. I was older. I am 9 at the youngest memory I have. Not little.”
“No, it was all when you were older, too old to be talking to you like that, but you were still little. Nine is still little. You were just a little girl. But…..It’s almost like he knew….that this part of you that got struck in the trauma when it started, like he saw that part even when you were 9, 10. It’s like this was about power and control. Anger, he is raging at someone. Not you. But who, we won’t ever really know.”
I think it’s like a mystery to Bea, one she wants to organize and understand as much as I do. And maybe she is a frustrated with the pieces I’m missing as I am sometimes. It’s comforting to me, to think that she is curious about the missing pieces like me, but she isn’t judgmental about it like I am. But it’s nice to know she wants to understand and make sense of it….and I’m reminded of one of the first things she told me: our job is to understand and make sense of your story together.
5 thoughts on “Small (part two)”
I love how out therapists are not judgmental. How they gently push us yet also let us set our own pace. It makes it so much easier to accept this part of ourselves that we have spent years and years so ashamed of, so fearful that others would judge or hate us…and we never even did anything wrong. It still isn’t easy for me to have self compassion even for the little girl me. I think I’m afraid of the rage that often seems to be stirring inside me once I lose the fear.
Me too. I don’t know what I would do if Bea didn’t try to give me as much control over things as possible– well, I probably wouldn’t be in therapy! It’s so hard to have compassion for little girl me. Especially when I identify more with her than grown up me. Ugh. I totally get the fear of anger….so get that one. Xx
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Wishing you so much peace and comfort as you continue on this journey. Excellent work.
Thank you Andi. I wish the same for you (all of you). Thank you for saying this was excellent work….its just really validating. I don’t know. Its funny, because i never understood until i started seeing Bea why people called therapy hard work. But it is very hard work. Thank you. Xx
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You are so very welcome xo
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