Escaping My Story

dissociative amnesia is considered a mental illness. for me, I consider it a blessing. For without dissociating sexual trauma, I would have lost my mind. For the very people who were my protectors abused me over many years at an age before I knew my full name, much less how to spell it. for over thirty years I lived in constant fear and anxiety, the source of which remained mostly blind to me. Some could see the symptoms of sexual trauma & PTSD; only those who paid attention closely though. I often hid as much as I could in self-protection; my M.O. was to be invisible as much as possible

 

I wanted to be anywhere,
but here.
This is not happening,
roll away,
get away.
Fight with all you’ve got: nothing.
When the body cannot escape it,
the mind does.

I see myself playing
outside in the yard.
Another sunny day.
My body left behind,
defenseless yet with
some feelings of bliss?

Learning now not
to trust my body,
bliss during this?!

~~~

Memories long forgotten,
suppressed,
repressed.
My mind was safer
than my body.
Escape my means to
survive this hell.

This escape proved
to be effective in
times of complete
loss of control.
It happened so much,
sometimes I forgot the way home.

~~~

I spent most of my life
wishing I could not be seen.
Early budding breasts,
I wanted to hide.
Flesh that brought attention
by prying eyes.
In their gaze, I only felt
the shame.

Middle school brought
a new discovery on Halloween.
Dressed as a Beatnik,
I discovered the comfort
of wearing all black.
Practicing playing the Cello
at lunch time to avoid
the students, who drove me back.

High school brought
the black leather jacket,
the combat boots.

Listening to everyone’s woes
about their home lives;
not understanding why my
suffering was so deep.

The truth I hid so well,
I hid it from myself.
Hiding my accomplishments,
hiding my grades,
hiding behind my black armor.

So many then thought I was a lesbian,
looking back it was a kind of security.
I preferred to chase than to be chased.

College brought a return of color
to my wardrobe.  Slowly,
at first I felt so vulnerable
without all of my armor.
Broomstick skirts,
bra-less in thin white t-shirts.
Starting to feel ok in my
sexuality. But only a little;
still wearing the black leather jacket:
my protection.

I still chased the boys,
fading from view from those
who showed interest.

~~~

I could wear a mask.
I could pretend to be happy.
Beneath it all, I was
suffering, silently.
Years of counseling to
raise my self-esteem.
All alone in my suffering.

Strong feelings,
I would suppress.
And like anything pushed back,
held back for too long,
upheaval can be unleashed
with seemingly little provocation.
It was all a mystery to me.

Eventually, when sexual abuse
of my niece was suspected,
I sought the help of a hypnotherapist
to uncover the reasons why I wore
my niece’s suffering as if it were
my own, never able to disrobe it.

The jars in the sand were part
of my healing visions in the
meditations that followed
the uncovering of the abuse.

The first memory was being
abused at four. Held down on the floor,
unable to get away, overpowered,
despite not wanting this,
I felt pleasure, some bliss.
I stopped going when memories
were younger than this.

Never would I have believed, even as a PT
that there would be any pleasure found
in being held down and abused so ruthlessly.
A nerve is a nerve, once stimulated it
will send the signals to the brain it is
programmed to send. Pleasure or pain,
to the nerve it senses and sends all the same.

It was with this memory that I knew it
was true. Locked deeply in my unconscious
before I knew what I had lost…dissociation
saved my life and my sanity,
schizophrenia and severe bipolar disorder
my family’s proclivity.

~~~

Sleeping Beauty: Sexual Abuse

Mental Illness

Namaste
__/|\__ Ananda & Metta

2015.01.15

Image

 

11 thoughts on “Escaping My Story

  1. Wow, Tiffany, this is a powerful piece of introspection you have here. It is interesting the masks we share to hide the truth of things even from ourselves. Beautifully written. I can’t agree more with “Pleasure or pain,
    to the nerve it senses and sends all the same.” once trained, it’s almost like muscle memory.

    Liked by 2 people

    • or even for a young girl who didn’t know what she was feeling. the mixture of the two being quite overwhelming, choosing instead to go with escaping. playing outside. running away while her body was betrayed; betraying her too. no wonder I’ve had so many body issues. (sorry, that just spilled all out in one gush).

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Powerful is an understatement. I can’t imagine the strength it takes to openly share such memories. Sadly, those who have never experienced abuse, cannot understand the reality of being abused and receiving mixed feelings and emotions from the abuse. they have no clue of the psychological damage that stems and lingers from abuse. Knowledge, openness and “quit blaming the victim and believe them the first time” is the only defense against abuse, any type. Sometimes, some of the humans in this world embarrass me so much that I’m almost ashamed to be considered humans grouped together with them. There’s no acceptable excuse for abusing another human, regardless of sex, age or lifestyle.
    Never apologize for doing what’s necessary to deal with your past, just know people out here care for you as you are and wish you all the blessings you deserve in this life. Big Hugs, Tiffany.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you George for your continued support and understanding. It’s relatively easy for me now to tell my story now. The challenging part is I am still healing the “side effects” such as distrust, hyper-vigilance and being overly controlling.
      It’s hard for a child who doesn’t understand what is happening to be able to tell anyone. What I can see is how as a baby I was happy and smiling. At two I wanted nothing to do with the camera and in fact I look quite scared.
      It’s been hardest to view myself sexually, hence delving into the shadows separately. Still keeping the thin veneer between my every day and my sexuality. I’m more bridged than before and yet I can still struggle at times. All in the desire to be more free.
      ❤️❤️❤️ Tiffany
      Feel free to Reblog if you desire.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve always been overprotective of children and old people from the time I was born. Having a temper, somewhat uncontrollable, prevented one of my Siblings from revealing her hubby’s abuse for years until I realized she couldn’t be that clumsy. Her hubby being a fellow Marine made it harder for me, until he made the ultimate mistake. I tended to react and worry about consequences way later instead of immediately, much to my up and down career path. If I’d kept every promotion I’d earned along the way, I’d been a flipping General instead of a Grunt. It all worked out. She has great hubby now, a pal of mine from VNam.
        Since my kids were born, I was always more aware of the other kids whose behavior I’d once dismissed as shy, or reserved being the product of something more sinister. I hounded CPS and Family services in the military and outside later more and more and became “known” as a persistent Pain. 50/50 chance of being wrong felt better than 100% ignoring a possible problem. I’ll still take that chance. People can attack each other as Adults all day, but if I find abuse of children or Seniors, I’m a real Beast, even as a mute. I can write well and fast………………. Feel free to rein me in if I become a Pain…………. Sometimes my humor is dry, othertimes without any controls at all…
        …..
        … 👀 ♥ * ͜ * ♥ 👀

        ᕙ(💓▿💓)ᕗ

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow Tiffany. This makes me so sad for the little girl you were and yet happy for the woman you are because you are strong and beautiful despite it, In the face of adversity you overcome and its so inspiring. Something to respect.

    I’ve never really heard of dissociative amnesia but it does seem it was your blessing. I never had that. I have always known/remembered the times of my abuse. Perhaps I haven’t remembered every detail of each assault over the years but the general memory, the memory of how it made me feel and thoughts I may have had, stay with me always in some corner of my psyche. Not up front, not thought of daily, and in fact I am able to do some dissociating with it because even in this space, hearing your story it doesn’t really bring out my own pain or make me relive it as you’d think it might. I’m allowed to genuinely feel the pain and tragedy for you without it being my own tragedy.

    In many ways never being able to forget it has maybe just given me more years to heal from it or come to terms with it. Whatever the case, I’m glad you are on the path to healing and recovery and may you contiue. Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Amy for all of your kind and supportive words today. Here and on other posts. I don’t know if there’s a good answer re remembering or not for the long term…For a long time I didn’t understand my fears and anxieties towards men. Frigidity and fears re my sexuality … My need to eat to feel complete or comfort.
      I’m sorry this happened to you and yet like me, there’s not too much you can do other than to keep healing. ❤️💕😘

      Liked by 1 person

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