Monday morning after the wedding, I walked into Bea’s office, and I was rather, well, closed off. I was in shutdown mode. I know I told her about the wedding, but it was done rather woodenly, and I don’t have a lot of recollection of our session. I wasn’t really there. I think the manager was running things, in this very strict, very closed down, very harsh boundaried way. My clearest memory is of Bea suggesting I may have felt some things on Saturday, and her telling me that would be okay and wouldn’t make me bad, and the little girl becoming extremely enraged at Bea not only for saying those things, but for knowing them.
Right now, I’ve been in this very up and down place, of either needing to be completely closed off and following a scheduled written out to the minute, or I’m in this falling apart, not in control, really scared, wanting to die to make it all stop, unable to even find words or function, child part. And it’s scary. Really, really scary to be in that head space. So I am working very hard to follow my schedule. It’s literally written out on paper, with days and times and everything is scheduled from when to wake up, and doing dishes, packing Kat’s lunch, to letting the dogs out to potty, to doing laundry, dusting, sweeping, checking email, doing yoga, taking a shower, giving Kat a bath, going to the grocery. I know it’s rigid and awful. But I can’t function otherwise. Not right now. And that scares me too. So, here is Saturday’s story, as I told it to Bea:
We got to the country club early, to double check finishing touches on decorations, and get dressed and then do some photos before the wedding. When we got there, I could see the wedding planner hadn’t set up the entry way correctly, and she didn’t have the isle runner covered in rose petals either. I busied myself with those tasks, and then just continued on with decorating as it appeared the decorator and wedding planner were really behind.
Almost an hour or so into decorating and fixing what the decorator had done, my mother stormed up the stairs and yelled at me for not being dressed, and for getting messy. No thank you for fixing the disasters the decorator keeps making, just a good old fashioned berating for not being dressed yet. Later, when the assistant director met me, we shared a laugh over the fact she had fought I was maybe 6 or 7 by the way my mother had been hollering at me to get dressed— she never would have guessed I was 32 years old. It’s not really funny, but well, you know. Family 😕
Once pictures were done and wedding o’clock rolled around, we headed outside to our seats. Hubby and I sat down, and then noticed the decorator was still putting roses in the arch, and she did not have the runner secured so it was blowing all over the place. I set hubby to work with putting roses in the arch and standing on one end of the runner to hold it in place. I sent my dad to stand on the other end, and then I spent the next 25 (good thing my brother and his bride always run late!) minutes running around looking for a staple gun or duct tape. Neither of which could be found. I ended up using saucers to hold the runner down, spacing them along the edges. By this point, the wedding still hadn’t started, and guests had been sitting in the hot sun for over 30 minutes. I went to the bar to get pesticides cups and pitchers of ice water, and set those out, having people pass them around. I didn’t want anyone getting dehydrated.
The wedding finally started, and it was beautiful ceremony. After, was cocktail hour with champagne punch and hors d’oeuvres. My grandma’s boy friend, who I don’t even want to name for my blog right now, was in line behind hubby and I. He is a horrible man, who is always telling dirty jokes and making innuendoes. He said something about me and my dress, and my chest and my behind, and hubby laughed and agreed. I know I had strong feelings about that, and became angry with hubby because I left the cocktail hour and headed to the club’s bar. I remember telling hubby to just stay faraway from me, and I went and bought a glass of wine. It was a friend of my mom’s who came and sat with me, and let me vent a bit to her. I calmed down and went back to the cocktail hour.
When we moved into the reception room, I discovered my table– with my mom, dad, grandma, her boy friend, HIS parents, my mom’s sister and her husband, and hubby and I– was right next to HIS table because of how the numbers worked and he was almost sitting next to hubby. I wanted to vomit. I ran to the bathroom and texted Bea in a panic. She told me to leave the table as soon as I could and talk to people far away from him, and then made suggestions for whom I might want to talk to. I don’t really remember dinner. I had a vegetarian dish, and my mother had a moment about the cheese on my noodles, and I felt horribly ashamed and guilty and like I wanted to crawl under the table and hide.
After dinner I got up, moved around, talked to people. It was okay. I danced a lot. Hubby danced with me, but a lot of my uncles and mom’s cousins and dad’s cousins and my cousins, too, danced with me. Which was good, it kept me away from him. Until. Until he approached hubby as we were dancing and asked hubby’s permission to dance with me. And hubby said yes.
I froze. I blanked out. I don’t know what happened. I just disappeared. And then the next thing I know, the thing in my memory, is HIM, a hand on my back, and a hand holding my hand, whirling me around the dance floor. Because if you grew up where we did, you know how to dance. And I followed. I followed because it’s the thing you do when you dance, you follow and dance and move, and it’s easy and mindless muscle memory, I followed because I was frozen, and had no idea what else to do. So, I followed and danced. And then the song was over, and he kissed my cheek and thanked me for the dance and left the dance floor. I presume I was meant to follow, but I didn’t. Instead I ended up standing there, in the middle of the dance floor, half frozen, as the next song played.
I don’t know how long I stood there, but Hagrid’s dad saw me, and came to dance with me. He spun me around a few times, and then, before the song was even over, walked me off the dance floor, out of the reception hall, and to the club’s bar. He ordered two glasses of good white wine, and asked if I was okay. I nodded, yes, of course, I’m fine. He maybe wasn’t convinced but let it go, only saying I could talk to him if I ever needed to. And then he sat with me until I was ready to go back inside. Later, I was embarrassed because it was the little girl talking to him, and he was behaving towards me much more like a care taker or protector than just my mom’s smart cousin whom I have many intellectual discussions with. This means that he saw something was wrong, and as a shrink, he may have even realized I was not there, that something had triggered me, that I wasn’t okay. It means that the central though I didn’t tell, even though I followed the family rule as best I could of putting on the show that all is fine, I sort of told, because Hagrid’s dad realized something was wrong. So, I broke the rules after all. I don’t know.
(Side note– Bea told me that she really liked that Hagrid’s Dad rescued me, that it sit seemed fitting and right. She also said that if I ever do get to the point of wanting to tell, then maybe he would be a good first person to tell; that he is far enough removed from immediate family, but close enough to see the dynamics, and that while he is going to be sad about what happened because he is my family, that he will understand it as a therapist, but also know the family well enough to know all those nuances and be able to help me break the story to my mother and father. I understand what she is saying, and can even agree with her. I just wasn’t hearing it the day she said it, and I have no plans to tell anyone in the family anything at all ever.)
So, after that, back at the wedding reception, I just drank a lot of wine. Like, a bottle and a half at least. Way more than I ever drink. And I was really drunk. I texted Bea, freaking out and wanting to go home. I think the little girl parts wanted her to come rescue them, I don’t know. In the end, even though she suggested I go back to my parents and go to sleep, I insisted hubby take me home. I didn’t want to sleep in my childhood home. I didn’t want to be in that house where everything about me is wrong. I didn’t want to have to fake anything anymore, for even one more day. So. I insisted on being taken home, and at some point, hubby gave up arguing and agreed to do so.
Since then, I’ve seen Bea 3 times, and aside from that first Monday where I told her the above story, I’ve more or less avoided talking about myself. I’m in the middle of dealing with a bunch of crazy business from my daughter’s school, and possibly looking for a new school. So those things have needed discussing. And the teachers/administration at Kat’s current school all behave as if I’m crazy to say she is on the spectrum, or to think she needs these extra supports, or anything else. So that dynamic is very triggering as well, to the point where I’m feeling anxiety every time I take Kat to school or pick her up.
I finally did give me Bea my journal at yesterday’s session, and that was probably a good thing because now she is aware how screwy the inside of my head is, and how some parts of me are on a scary ledge, and how I’m holding it all together by having this very set schedule but that isn’t going to be able to last long, simply because the crud is leaking out in places and I’m struggling in ways I refuse to admit. And I’m terrified of the couple’s therapy session that is set on October. As I told Bea, I’m afraid because I’m the one saying I can’t have a superficial marriage for the rest of my life, but I am also the one who is too afraid and too damaged to go deeper. Bea says that is fine, that the therapist should start where we are at, and it’s okay.
So, now Bea knows how screwed up my head is right now. She asked me if I could continue with my schedule for another two days until I see her again, and I said yes. She said on Wednesday, maybe we need to start unpacking all that yuck, little by little and we could do it however I wanted, talking, coloring, writing, sensorimotor, a combo of all three. So, the lan is on Wednesday to titrate the mess and just deal with tiny pieces that won’t overwhelm me to the point of the suicidal parts or the little girl running the ship. I’m sort of scared, because well, it all feels overwhelming if I let even some out– which is why I’ve kept it very locked down and separate from me.
24 thoughts on “The wedding and the aftermath ”
Bea sounds absolutely wonderful and clearly cares deeply about you. I’m glad you have her supporting you and solidly on your side. Sending you warm thoughts.
Thank you. I’m glad I have her on my side, too. I’m really lucky to have found a therapist like her. 💟
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Your brother and sister in law are so lucky to have you – so kind of you to be fixing everything.
Oh man the country club esque scene you describe, and knowing how to dance – I could really identify with you throughout this.
I am glad you have Bea and it is no wonder you are feeling the way you are right now. I am so happy you’re keeping yourself safe – even if it is in a rigid, scheduled way. It’s okay xx
Thanks PD. It’s funny, I think the land of perfection and labels and country clubs and ladies who lunch is the same everywhere. Have you ever seen Gilmore Girls? I love that show, but Emily Gilmore is soooooo like my mother. And I want to be Loralie when I grow up. 🙂
Thanks for saying my crazy schedule is okay. I haven’t managed to break it yet. 💟
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If it is what you need to feel safe and stable right now I believe it’s totally okay.
And legitimately I love that show so much.
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I cannot believe “he” came over and asked for a dance WTFFFFF? Just wow.
I am so sorry. You did amazingly well. You still are. I am so glad Hagrid’s dad was there. He sounds like a lovely guy.
Thank you for saying this, Sirena. For all of this. I’m glad Hagrid’s Dad was there too and that Bea was on texting. And of course, I had all my blog friends, too. 💟
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That f—-ing scum. I want to tear his face off. I am sorry you had to suffer that.
Thank you for this. Maybe I shouldn’t be grateful for this, and even though I know in real life this won’t ever happen, it makes the little girl feel very protected to know people hate him and want to hurt him. Thank you for this. 💟
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More than that it brought tears later more than once, that you should suffer such injustice…that all those attacked when only little girls carry it loaded onto their backs and for life. Families seem to make it so, at least in my case. But also society in general. It needs to be a topic talked about, not hushed up. I felt so bad for you and the tears came. Dear, dear Alice.
This really touched my heart. Thank you for this. It isn’t fair that little girls carry the burden. It does need to be talked about. It needs to be changed. Xx💟
This is not our load to carry. As much as others make it so, it’s not. The secrecy for the sake of others kills so much in the one carrying what is not hers to carry. What about ‘her’? You? Me?
The secret of it all is what makes it all the more painful. But the need to keep that secret is still so ingrained. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever break free.
I am still learning how to put myself first. Because when I do, and do so lovingly, all else that follows is also with love. If that means finally speaking my truth, and for me it does, then others will either come along or they won’t. But I have me finally, though others are lost along the way. It is not so much breaking free but putting the pieces back together. Others, so called ‘family’ resist, abandon and attack. The ones who really love me stay. My sons, my husband, and my cat…also one close friend.
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I thought about my response yesterday on the way to a matinee. It surely is about breaking free, breaking free of any judgement or feeling of wrongdoing. And it’s not place to switch other’s words.
I so wish that for you, and hope that you can disgorge such feelings, no matter how entrenched they might be, and be able to do so a lot quicker than I did. I hope years sooner than I did. I wish I had a map for it, but each person seems to find their own way at their own pace.
Maybe it is both; breaking free of judgments and feelings of wrongdoing AND putting the pieces back together to fix what others tried to break.
A map would be lovely, but I think you may be right– every journey is different. 💟
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Wow, what a read. I can’t even imagine Him walking over to your hubby and asking to dance and hubby saying yes. I’m trying, really trying to stay positive and not judgmental. Possibly he was confused or maybe he hasn’t been listening. Maybe you’re just such a great actress?! But ughhhh, really?! Why did he let that happen.
Bea is so right, it is beautifully ironic that Hagrid’s dad saved you. How does he fit into your family again?
You survived. It is over! I want to be angry at your family for inviting Him. I want to be really really angry. But I suppose they just don’t know or understand. Possibly even if they knew that wouldn’t understand. It’s just so complicated.
Yeah. It sucked. A lot. I want to feel betrayed by hubby– and parts of me do– but I really can’t. Hubby has no idea who the guy was. I’ve never given a name to hubby. The only place HE has been named is here on my blog and in therapy with Bea.
Hagrid’s Dad is my mom’s cousin, who breeds dachshunds. He took care of and showed Hagrid for the first 4 years of his life. Then, when he was looking for a home for Hagrid, Hagrid and I bonded right away. He says he believes I was meant to have Hagrid. 🙂
It’s over. I can’t be mad at my family because no one knows. I’ve never told. It is so complicated. And something I likely will never tell. *shrug*
😊 I’m glad to hear from you, and thank you. 💟
I also had a hard time reading that he touched you, kissed your cheek. Just imagining how your poor body must have felt and reacted; I am actually glad you have dissociation as a coping strategy.
Hang in there Alice, I am really sending support and care your way. This was a really intense experience, fucking awful, really, and I am glad it is over. Thank goodness for Bea’s presence in your life.
Thank you for getting how ick this was. I know things haven’t been easy for you the last 30 hours, so you taking time out to write to me means a lot. I’m glad it’s over, too. Xx
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I love how kind and thoughtful you were about making things run smoothly for the wedding, but I see little bits of Miss Perfect and the manager in there trying to keep you busy and distracted and it makes me sad, that you weren’t given the opportunity to just enjoy your brothers wedding. And I feel so upset about having him anywhere NE AR you – I want to step in between you and push him away. And I am sorry for the little girl parts, that Bea couldn’t come rescue them. Hope you’re doing okay, Alice.
Thank you Rea. It makes me feel less “wrong” to hear that you are sorry for the little girl, that Bea couldn’t come rescue her. 💟xx
Alice, I have been thinking of you and not seeing any new posts. Are you okay?
I’m sorry I didn’t comment on this post before. I was so blown away by the nerve of the the JERK to come and ask you to dance, to touch you and give you a kiss. I hate him so much. I wish he’d been struck by lightening, right there on the dance floor.
I’m so glad Bea is a great resource to you, though sometimes I wish she were not the person also helping Kat and helping you with Kat. It means that a lot of your therapy time doesn’t get focused on you. I used to spend a huge amount of time with E on my son’s issues or on challenges of being his mom (my older son has autism, if you remember). No wonder it took so, so long for us to go deep with the trauma stuff.
Anyway, I hope you are doing okay. Know that I am thinking of you and sending my love.
I just haven’t had words. Even journaling hasn’t happened, because the words just aren’t there. Thank you for hating him. I think he just asked me to dance because it would have been weird for me to dance with everyone but him. Idk. Maybe he just doesn’t even think about the past or have any awareness that it effects me. I don’t know.
It is sometimes hard that Bea is the one helping with Kat and seeing Kat for therapy, because I can use that to avoid my stuff. But it is also helpful at times because when I’m terrified I’ve damaged Kat emotionally in some way, I trust Bea when she says I haven’t, and I also trust her enough to be honest about how I yelled at Kat or slammed a door or behaved like a second 5 year old. So Bea has a full picture for Kat’s therapy. It’s a catch-22 I guess.
I’m maybe not okay, but I’m getting there now. Xx