2. A complicated wish to let go of.
I spent the first several years of my therapy work literally running back and forth between the two roads of knowing and not knowing about the abuse. I would go to therapy and tell a detailed memory of my father raping me- feel a sense of freedom and relief- then run home filled with terror and anxiety over all I had said. I would call friends and write in my sketchbooks over and over asking the same questions: "Why am I saying these things? Why can I not stop saying them? Why would I be saying them if they were not true?" I would literally sit on the phone with one of my closest friends telling her the stories about my father that I had been spewing in my therapy and then go on to say: How could this be true? And if it wasn't true- why weren't my parents responding in a different way? Why weren't they helping me somehow understand that this never could have happened? When I first told my parents that I was going to start telling about what they had done to me- my mother acted scared for about three or four days. I told her first and she did not say anything to my father. She said she was unsure what to do, she cried, she asked me how it could be true that my father had raped me. Then I told my father- I told him I was going to tell what he had done to me. And I always remember that phone call- mostly because of one thing my father said. First he denied that he had ever raped me, then he got extremely angry and then I said this: "Don't you remember when I was in high school and I used to burn myself on my skin with cigarettes?" My father quickly said, "Oh I remember burns all over your arms and legs." And my mother said, "No, I don't remember that at all." And I remember thinking/knowing that the reason my father knew about the burns but my mother did not was because he was raping me and would see me naked.
This was one of the first sickeningly painful confirmations which would begin to crack forever my wish that they had never raped me or harmed me.
Also- after I had told my father that I was going to tell what he had done to me- my mother went from behaving like a scared child- to yelling, being angry and saying that none of the abuse ever could have happened.
I know I have written this here before but I feel it bears repeating. One of the things I hate the most about the incest, rape and trauma that I survived at the hands of my own parents- one of the worst parts is that they acted like it did not happen and that made me feel worse and crazier than all of the abuse ever had. They would hurt me and pretend they had not. My father would rape me and act like he didn't. And when- by the time I was in high school- I was a drinking, class skipping teenager who was starting to have sex and put out cigarettes on my flesh- they said I was a failure- a fuck-up. But really- the real reason I was "acting crazy" was not because I was crazy at all- I was doing those things because I was in terrible terrible pain and I was in that pain because they were hurting me.