Friday, July 25, 2008

An Invisible Thread

"The thing about healing is that I have no control over the twists and turns it takes. Don't know what I'm going to feel until it's too late."

I said this through tears to Fr. Charlie yesterday. There are times when 'oh, for fuck's sake' seems far more appropriate than 'glory, hallelujah' to describe the healing process.

A few weeks ago I was writing away - working on an article about women and their struggle with sexual addiction. I was free writing - typing every thing that came to mind, not having a particular direction I was looking for. Often writing is akin to playing for me. I was writing in a "let's see where this will take me" mindset. Playing with fire was more like it because in the midst of this came a paragraph from my own journey. A paragraph that, when I saw it in black and white, left me stunned. It had been 30 years since the incident had happened and seeing it converted from thoughts in my head to words on a page, stopped me in my tracks. It left no room for denial, showing me that despite a black hole in my memory when I was being sexually abused, my response in this particular situation confirmed what the black hole had tried to hide.

Instinctively I knew the paragraph would make an opening paragraph of a book. It's a sick, twisted paragraph but gut honest and pivotal to my story. I promptly printed off everything I'd written, stuffed it into the clear plastic sleeve with other material for the article, and shoved it under a pile of books and papers on my desk.

I haven't looked at it since.

But it's contents have been haunting me.

Yesterday I shared the specifics of that paragraph with Fr. Charlie, the first time I'd spoken of this particular incident to anyone. I couldn't look him in the face as I spoke because I still feel some shame about it. It makes me look more like a whore than anything.

I told him how seeing it all in black and white on the screen had stunned me. How it forced me to face that what I suspected had happened, had. That my involuntary response in the incident showed me that my subconscious knew all along what my conscious mind didn't want to. I could see an invisible little thread tying my whole story together from the sexual abuse to this incident to every other bit of my sexual story. No wonder I felt like I really need a punching bag yesterday. When we talked about forgiveness I told Fr. Charlie that I wanted to beat the shit out of this person first, then I might consider it. He gave me a 'that makes sense' look and left it at that.

We talked about how was I going to honour my story. Fr. Charlie talked about the responsibility to that little girl within me to set her free. Into my mind popped a picture of her coming and sitting in a chair beside my computer. She talks and I type. She isn't sad, she feels important and listened to, and she's ready to tell it all because there's someone willing to listen, to validate her story, to not try and shush her up for speaking the truth.

I looked at Fr. Charlie and told him of the picture in my head.
Then I said, "I can do that."
I don't feel brave, just determined.
It also scares the shit out of me because I have no control over the mix of emotions that may come but I know that until I let her tell her story I will continue to be haunted by that paragraph.

Oh, for fuck's sake.


lucy said...

let her tell her story.

i could say more about this moving post, but that is my initial and solid response. let her tell her story. don't have to feel brave to be brave :-)

p.s. thank you so much for your gutfelt response to my post on indifference. much of it resonated deeply with me! for some reason i have been hesitant to respond directly at my blogspace, so i wanted to thank you here.


Hope said...


Thank you. I sense the little girl in me is looking forward to finally telling her story without censorship.

I could only comment on your post as I did because it's all things I need reminding of, too. I'm glad it could be of help. I tend to second guess myself when I comment like that, not wanting to offend or hurt yet wanting to be honest.

lucy said...

i am so glad you did not choose to censor your words or second guess yourself in responding to me. hopefully, you will do the same for your little girl.

i find writing much like playing too and often am stunned at what comes out when i just let it flow.

Heidi Renee said...

the little girl, and the 16 year old too...


love you and am so proud of you for showing up to the page. keep doing it hope. you lived through it all - and look at you. they can't hurt you any more.

proud of you, so very proud.

(and you are NOT a whore!)

annie said...

I agree, let the little girl tell her story. I think your vision of her sitting beside you as you type will help you tremendously.

(I know I have an email from you to respond to and the package is not yet in the mail. I hope to get it ready to go this weekend--more later.)

Black Pete said...

More for your sake, I'd say.

Jim said...

You've got me deep in thought here, my friend, but I'll leave the scuba-diving to Fr. Charlie. The "co-writer" endeavor sounds like a healing in the making. Go for it.......

Anonymous said...

It seems the more resistance we have to telling a story, the more it is important that we do. Crap, eh? :)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this Hope, I am going to try it too. My little girl is still majorly pissed of. I need to go to the woods and let her vent, but I keep stopping myself. My sponsor tells me to trust God. If nothing else trust God, that's all He wants me to do right now, and by giving her a voice, I am trusting God.