Two and a half years ago I tentatively began attending counselling at a women’s centre. I can’t begin to describe the fear I felt about going to therapy. More often than not I would take co-codamol just to get myself there and on many occasions i found any excuse not to go at all.
Fast forward to the present and for almost a year I have persuaded myself to go every week other than when holidays and closures are involved.
I have come to rely on my weekly sessions and have formed a strong relationship with my therapist. Something which scares the shit out of me. Like many people with BPD I have issues surrounding attachment and relationships. At times I am gullible and naiive, believing people are more honest than they really are, but over the years this stupidity has been broken down and destroyed and I trust very few people.
It has taken a long time to get to the stage where I trust my therapist enough to actually feel able to open up about my feelings and about events from when I was younger. Face to face I find it so hard to say the things which I’m thinking or feeling, to discuss events which happened. Finding my voice is often traumatic and frightening. I’m scared of being rejected and judged as well as all the other feelings and emotions which are inevitably going to be brought to the surface.
Over the past few weeks or so I have begun the task of opening up about some of the things I experienced between 6 and 10.
Talking about these things face to face is embarrassing, I feel a huge sense of shame and guilt. From some level I know that what happened wasn’t my fault, but I also feel highly responsible and that I am to blame for what happened.
From my much earlier posts you will know that I was sexually abused from the age of 5/6 until I was 15. About 6 weeks ago I talked to my counsellor about one of my abusers. He was 17 and I was 8. He started by touching me inappropriately and moved to having me touch him. One night my parents were out and he was babysitting me and my siblings. My brother and sister were upstairs and I was downstairs. The boy came into the room where I was. I had a new record which I was listening to. He told me to turn the light off. Next he instructed me to kneel in front of him. His hands brushed my chest and one moved down under my skirt to my underwear. This wasnt really anything particularly new by this point, but other experiences of abuse told me that this was wrong and that I was scared. Very scared.
He told me to move a little closer and he did the same. I remember my heart pounding and fear building up inside of me. I heard the sound of a zipper being undone but thought perhaps i was making it up in my head. The room was fairly dark but there was enough light to make out the faint outline of his shape. I could see this object low down coming towards me. I was terrified. I screamed and ran to turn the light on. As the light came on I saw him tuck his penis back into his trousers and do up his zip.
I remember the sound of my heart pounding in my ears, my legs felt like jelly and I wanted to vomit.
When my parents came home I told them about what had happened. But he told them I was lying. They believed him over me. No one bothered to check if I was Ok, no one hugged me or talked to me. I was totally alone and abandoned.
When he came round I tried to avoid him but it was easier said than done. He continued touching me but he didnt try to have sex with me again for several months.
The next incident like that happened when my siblings and i were playing hide and seek. I hid in the basement where we kept the washing machine and tumble dryer. He came down and found me. My brother and sister thought it would be funny to turn the light off and lock the door.
I blame myself for what happened next. I was provocative. I told him to kiss me. Things had happened with someone else and kissing had been a big part of it. I was only just 9. He kissed me and took off my lower garments. He performed oral sex on me whilst i was sat on the washing machine. My memory of this is like im watching it happening to me. When talking to my therapist about this she suggested that I had dissociated myself from what was happening. I remember not wanting him to touch me but my body responded and the whole thing left me feeling confused and disgusted with myself. He stopped and wanted me to put his penis in my mouth but i didnt want to so he made me wank him off.
It felt like we had been down in the basement for ages, but looking back on it all now I don’t think it was very long, but it was enough time to be made to feel totally powerless and at his total mercy.
Given what happened the last time I tried to tell my parents what had happened I knew that they would never believe me. He had everyone believing that he was a good guy. So I never said a word. I went to my room and shut the door. I sat on the floor and I remember banging my head against the wall again and again and again.
Talking about this out loud is something I’ve never done before and telling my counsellor was hard. However the hardest thing to deal with was the array of emotions I got over the next few days. Anger, shame, guilt, embarrassment, humiliation and disgust combined and knocked me sideways.
Sharing this unleashed flashbacks and nightmares of other things which have gradually made it hard to sleep or focus on much.
I feel intense anger as I have been encouraged to look at this from the point of view of me as an adult. It’s hard knowing what to do with the anger im feeling. Im trying hard not to turn it inwards on myself but its getting harder not to.
I haven’t slept properly for days and keeping control is getting more and more difficult as the days pass by.
Explaining what’s going on isn’t easy and writing this makes me feel vulnerable and scared.