I'm struggling today; mostly trying to reconcile how to not hate myself for what happened. I wrote on here yesterday about the events of the past week or so which was about the trauma from when I was age 17 to 25.
When I first started talking last week about the fact that the abuse had not stopped when I was 17 one way of my thinking immediately started thinking: I am not going to hate myself over this. I started thinking right away: I have suffered so much and for so long about the Stockholm Syndrome issues from when I was teenager and the rape was happening. I thought: I am not going to go through all of that again over the fact that the RAPE kept happening. The word RAPE is in all caps because today I am busy busy busy- mostly reminding myself every minute or two that it was STILL RAPE EVEN THOUGH I WAS... older. It was still rape even though I was no longer living at home.
My art therapist was helpful with this today. She listened to me talk about all of the struggle I am having over this and my guilt and shame and pain and then looked right at me and said: "It was more than rape, Jenny. It was torture." And she is right. I so much did not want to be having all of these bad feelings about myself- like it was my fault that the abuse kept happening. I was on the phone with Eve this morning and I was telling her all of this. I told her how I had thought last week that I did not want to be going back over all of the guilt and shame of the Stockholm Syndrome parts of this and now I am. I feel guilty and sick with shame and horror. Then I keep thinking: It was not my fault. Right? No. But how could I have...? Ugh. It is awful.
Just a month ago I wrote this and it was in part about Stockholm Syndrome. I wrote about how when I was growing up my mind was divided amongst the road of knowing, the road of not knowing and the Stockholm Syndrome road. The not knowing is/was painful; undoing and learning to understand and know about the Stockholm Syndrome is hell. I've struggled with it before and for a long time- from the perspective of how it was to live and feel with the man who was raping me when I was a teenager... the fact that it continued on into my twenties- it is awful. I did not want to be hating myself for this- but as I said to Eve this morning- I feel like I am on the third road and can't even see anything else. I feel like I am laying out in the full sun on the Stockholm Syndrome superhighway to and from hell and honestly, I am thinking: I feel dirty and ashamed.
I keep trying to remind myself that if this were the story of anyone but myself- I would look right at them- like my art therapist looked at me today- and I would know and say and tell that person: IT WAS NOT YOUR FAULT. So that is what I am going to keep reminding myself. Even though I feel sick about it all. Horrible feelings and memories from the time when I was in the first half of my 20's and on top of that a big heap of shame.... which now as I write that I think: It is easier to have the shame feeling than it is to have the feeling/knowing that I was hurt. That I was tortured. That the reason I was driving home from college and still continuing a sexual relationship with my own dad- was the result of a lifetime of torture.
I am dealing with this in the best ways that I know how and writing here has always helped me. I am struggling a lot though right now and while I keep trying to remind myself (literally every few minutes) that IT WAS NOT MY FAULT.... I do have a small fear that someone may read this and think that I am a liar or a whore or both. I think those are really the feelings I am having towards/about myself and probably because it is easier to think that than it is to fully know with my honest and honestly broken heart how terribly much I was tortured and abused.
Today as I drove to art therapy this was on the radio and even though I am struggling with all of this; this made me feel glad I'm alive:
As I drove back home from art therapy I was listening to "Tell Me More" on NPR and they were discussing the attack on Chrissy Lee Polis. You can listen to it here. It is horrifying that people can be so grotesque and violent. Listening to the story of the assault made me feel sick but it also made me think that people have to keep speaking out against every kind of violence.
Oh NPR... I do love you so. Here is one more thing for today; kind of silly but much needed. ART NOT VIOLENCE PEOPLE!!!