Since moving, I am a lot calmer. I have a lot less anxiety. Less flashbacks. Less nightmares. The one thing that I cannot seem to get rid of, is the body memories. The physical pain with no physical explanation. I hurt. Its hard when I know there is no reason to hurt, and it still HURTS.
With flashbacks, I have learned how to go into them, stay present enough to "watch" them. (Like I'm watching a movie. Paying attention to what happens, how I feel, what thoughts and emotions stick out to me.) I get a blanket and a pillow, curl up on the floor, and go through it. There was a time when they were so intense, I would get "stuck" in them. For hours, my body would shake as if I was going through a seizure. I would be lost in the past. Reliving horrible scenes over and over, and I couldn't bring myself back to the present. That's not the case anymore.
So, last night as I was getting ready for bed, I realized that body memories are just a form of flashbacks. The key is "giving in" to them just like I have given in to the flashbacks. Its just so easy for me to push them away. Its just PAIN, and I can work through, push through, and ignore physical pain pretty easily. Since I want to get better, its time to stop ignoring it.
So I got my blanket and my pillow and curled up in front of the fireplace. I took a deep breath, and felt the pain. Immediately, the only thought in my mind was, "I held my own legs out of his way."
With Larry, if I fought him or said no, he fought back, and I lost. The bishop told me a good wife keeps her husband happy. (To his credit, I didn't tell him what was happening to me. I didn't know that what Larry was doing was wrong. How could I explain it to someone else?) Larry had talked to him about his "sins", and the bishop called me in to talk to just me. It was a great conversation...
So, I stopped fighting.Out of what I thought was love, or duty, or trying to be a "good" wife... I adapted a position that brought the least amount of pain to me, and still let him do what he "needed" to do.
As I laid in front of the fireplace last night,
I felt the pain of that complete and total betrayal of myself.
I felt the pain of realizing there was no love in that experience whatsoever. Not him for me. Not me for him. And not the bishop who told me what I needed to do. Zero love.
I felt the pain of understanding that my experience was nothing like what most people experience.
Mostly, I felt the pain of betraying myself. I helped him rape me. That hurts.
I cried. For about forty-five minutes. I apologized to myself for letting him hurt me. I apologized to me for helping him hurt me. I held myself in my own arms. And then I felt that piece go away. My body relaxed. The body memory pain was gone, and I went to bed and slept soundly.
I share these things now, because three years ago when I started all of this, I was too ashamed to share with ANYONE. I didn't have the words to describe the nightmare that was my life. For nearly two years, I went through flashbacks like this one, all on my own (except for when BJ was around), and I sorted it out. It was hell. I wasn't sure I would survive. I did.
This is the kind of work I had to do to become who I am today. I had to see the truth that I couldn't see ten years ago while it was happening. I'm still working. HARD. I just don't have to do it as much or as often as I used to. I can write about one singular experience now... Last year, there were too many happening all at once and all the time, and I couldn't pick out one thing to write about.
I hope I didn't trigger anyone. If I did, talk to someone about it? I'm willing to talk any time.