We talked about the box in the attic, and then the dream I had after the attic thing happened. I told her that I wished I could look inside that box, and be filled with just the happy memories. And how I got angry at him because I couldnít enjoy the memories.
Dr H said good for me, for being angry, for putting the blame where it should be. Then she asked me if I could separate the two--the good memories, and the memories of him and the rapes. I was able to talk a little about the good memories.
As to separating the good memories from the bad, I said I didnít know if I could. They seem to be all tangled up with each other. When I think about the good memories, the bad ones work their way into my mind. But when I think about the bad memories, thatís all I can think about.
Dr H wants me to think about that. Separating the good and bad memories. She wants me to be able to enjoy those good memories, and not have them controlled by him.
I told her about my dream, and all the running in my dream. She asked me what I thought my dream meant. I told her that I think the running is me trying to get away from him, away from the control he has over my life. We talked about the fact that the dream wasnít all scary. There were good parts, like the field with the butterflies and sunshine.
She said maybe those good parts signify that Iím doing better, having more good days. That Iím better able to handle some things now than I did 2 years ago. Then she asked me how I would have liked the dream to end. I thought, going through that door and seeing him in a prison cell. Or seeing him run over by a bus. She said I can try to rescript the end of my dreams, so that I can have anything I want happen to him in my dreams.
We talked about my mother, again, and the anxiety I felt before she even showed up. It seems she comes up a lot in my sessions. I told Dr H about Aís party, and the remarks she made about the strawberries. We agreed that she can be pretty ridiculous at times. And very overbearing.
I told her I anticipate the way my mother will be before I even see her, and thatís why I get so anxious to begin with. And then how I worry so about having to stand up to her.
We talked about that. Of all the people in my life, she is the one I have the most problem standing up to. Then we brought up her molesting me when I was 10, and her rejecting me after that.
Dr H said maybe I have the most problem with her because my emotions and reactions to her are all tied in to the molestation and what happened after. She said that it was such a horrible, difficult, painful thing for a little girl to go through. That Iíve never really had a good, healthy relationship with her.
So thatís why I react the way I do toward her. It makes sense. Her words and actions hurt me the way they do. Iím still that little girl, looking for love and acceptance from her. She rejected me after I stood up to her while she was molesting me. And because of all of that, I get full of anxiety and I canít stand up to her now.
Then we talked about the cop I saw on Main Street. I told her how much he looked like the man who raped me. How he stared at me. How all I could see was him.
She asked me how I reacted. I told her I had a panic attack. I told her how I went home and lay down for a while, and tried to sleep, but nothing made me feel better. How I then busied myself to keep distracted. I told her I did the best I could.
She assured me that I did, and said she knows Iím trying really hard to get past my PTSD. I told her that Iím getting a little better seeing pictures of men in uniform, but that it is still so difficult seeing men in uniform in person.
Dr H reassured me that if I keep working on it, it should get easier over time for me to see them and be able to handle it. She said she knows it takes time, itís nothing thatís going to change overnight. She was very encouraging, and understanding.
Then she asked me about men in general. How I felt about them. I told her I still donít trust men at all. That I avoid them as much as possible. She asked me if my mistrust was personal, like that they might harm me, or if it was for another reason, like being ripped off by them. I told her it was personal mistrust.
She asked me how I was handling the mistrust. Weíve talked about it in the past, and she wanted to see if I still felt like I did back then. I told her that I still avoid men as much as possible. I try to stay as far away from men in a grocery store, or anywhere really. She remarked that it must be hard for me when Iím in line somewhere. It is.
I told her that I handle it the best I can. I know thereís no way I can keep men away from me forever, so I just deal with it. But itís so hard sometimes.
Then she brought up personal space, and asked me to show her how close I let people get in respect to my personal space. I thought about it for a minute, and then said the distance she is from me during a session. I donít know how far away that is, in measurement. But I would probably say about 4 people would be able to stand between us when we are in session.
I told her that if I was sitting in a waiting room, or any other public place, and someone sat next to me, I would get up and move if I could. Next to me is way too close, for either men or women. But that itís different with my family, especially A. But with my mother, I think her being at least as far away from me as Dr H is during a session is good. Maybe farther.
We touched briefly on other things. Going out after dark. Sleeping with the light on. Sleeping with my back against the wall. In public, sitting with my back against a wall. Not wanting anyone walking behind me or coming up behind me.
I told her that I felt pretty much the same about those things. I donít know if Iíll ever be able to sleep in the dark. She said she understands that. She hopes that maybe someday Iíll be comfortable going out after dark, especially if itís for something fun, like that party I went to.
I also donít know if Iíll ever be able to sleep without my back against the wall. I feel vulnerable at night, when Iím laying alone in bed. Lots of times I curl up, and hold myself and my stuffed caterpillar. I guess that makes me feel like Iím protecting myself. But if I donít keep my back to the wall, I canít relax and let myself fall asleep. I told her that every once in a while I move my bed around, because after a while I get tired of always sleeping on the same side, night after night.
I also told her I donít think Iíll ever feel safe with people walking up behind me, or with me sitting without a wall behind me. Dr H said feeling safe is important. She asked me if there are any places I go that I think are unsafe. I thought about it for a moment, then said no, I donít.
She said that over time I should become more comfortable in public. And maybe not have to sit against a wall every time Iím out.
She said just to give myself time. To realize Iíve made progress. And to keep trying, and not give up. Because all the trying Iím doing is helping me.