Personally, I am now in a better place than I have ever been.
Things that have always been true don’t feel true any more. Very little holds fear for me. I have friends that will come and give me a hug. They will say “I know you don’t like this, but I’m going to hug you anyway”. But I’m ok with hugs now. Not just coping, but properly ok. I no longer have painful memories from childhood, or triggers. After court I ran round Caernarfon castle and imagined all those painful moments dissipating in the breeze. They are gone now.
I am not broken. I am not evil. I do not hate the child version of me. I feel sorry for her. I do not hate the adult version of me. I admire her. For the first time, I can see how amazing it is that I have done so well for myself given my first 18 years. I can see what so many others were seeing all along. I haven’t just survived. I have fought. I have achieved. I have become something.
And all I have been through would be totally irrelevant for my life right now if it wasn’t for the fact that I am a therapist and can help others. My experiences don’t help me empathise. Empathy is irrelevant to helping others because we all live in our own reality. Experiences can’t be compared. But it very much helps me with belief. Belief that I can help any one get to a better place. Belief that anything is possible. Belief that we don’t have to carry our past with us. Belief that anyone can be happy. That’s the purpose my past serves now and nothing more.
The future is limitless.
However, right now, in this moment in time, I am not in a good place.
I know it’s not even 2 weeks yet but I have not recovered from my court ordeal. I have to remind myself that if I was to work with a trauma client, I would wait at least 2 months until after the trauma – to allow the brain to do the necessary processing.
And it was traumatic. It was an ordeal. It was a shock.
I spent 2 days shaking, sobbing and having to shut down to cope. The verdict made everything I had been through twice as traumatic. The first thought as I heard not guilty was “I have been abused all over again, I have spoken out all over again, and I have not been listened to all over again”. Everything felt like it was for nothing.
I’ve moved on from that belief now. Not guilty was better for me. It allowed me to fully let go. Nothing more to do now. But the trauma was already locked in.
So I’m exploring how to release it. I need to heal.
I am really scared because I am feeling quite broken at the moment. I can’t hold on to a thought. I get halfway through a sentence and reach a dead end. I am seeing one or two clients a day and am very aware of my diminished mental capacity. Yesterday I let a client walk out without paying. I totally forgot to ask at the end of the session. I’m scared that I won’t come back. I’m scared the wiring is broken after the trauma of reliving being abused again and again. Of being shut in a video room and not allowed to move. Not allowed to escape. To be forced to sit and listen to my video evidence of the most horrible things that were done to me. I remember being desperate to get out of there but there was no escape. I had to watch. That helplessness, that desperation to be anywhere else but there and not being able to escape, that was horrific.
Today I am playing Squash. I love Squash. When I was at University I used to play 2-3 times a day. It’s been 10+ years since I last played. It should be quite a workout and should release some of the stress. I am not running the Loch Ness Marathon now. I don’t want to do that to my body. I will run for fun from now on.
Next week I am going for a Shiatsu massage. A friend and fellow therapist suggested this might be a good way of releasing the trauma from my body. I am still buzzed up. After spending 2 days shaking intensely, the adrenaline is still in my body. I am still shaking. I have never had a massage. It’s never been “safe” for me. Shiatsu is done with clothes on and is a bit more like acupressure. I’m actually really looking forward to it.
I will get there, I’m sure. As much because I have the most amazing support. My friends and family (the ones I live with, not the ones from my past!) are brilliant. Where necessary they remind me what I am capable of. Other times they suggest practical ideas to help. Sometimes they dive in and are part of it with me. Other times they are ideas that I can try on my own.
How can I possibly not get to a better place with so many amazing people around me? I am incredibly lucky.