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Just today she reacquainted me with the story of Demeter and Persephone. I love, love, love the name Persephone and oddly enough it's been ringing in my head for the last couple of weeks. I didn't however realize the impact that story would have on me or that I would react so powerfully to it this time around.
Our fourth therapy session was a little intense as I brought up that which brought me to her. This included my parents and upbringing as well as my relationship with my ex-husband and his relationship with my children. Most of the carnage is in the past and I have done what I have been able to to practice the "Serenity Prayer". However, just because there are situations I cannot change does not mean that they do not affect me.
I woke Saturday morning with a dream. A nightmare in fact. One where my daughter had vanished, been sucked into the earth; through a manhole into a sewer. This happened in the custody of her father and he kept her disappearance from me. When I learned that she was missing I went to the place where she disappeared. I called into the sewer grate with no response. I didn't even hear the echo of my voice. And I panicked. My ex-husband had no explanation as to why she disappeared or why he did nothing to help her. My dream ended in panic and it was hours after I woke that I was able to shake the feeling that she was lost to me.
I met with my therapist today and we discussed my dream and it's meaning. I knew that I had had the dream because of our prior sessions and the feelings that are awakening. I have been thinking for years that my greatest emotional pain has been that of the sexual abuse I endured during my marriage to my first husband. Today has caused me to think that my greatest suffering has been my lack of ability to keep my children safe from him. My daughter in particular, who I believe was sexually abused by him in some way.
I have done all in my power to keep her safe but my power is limited by the courts and child protective services. Meanwhile she spends 3 days per week with a person who I know is capable of forcing himself on others who are weaker than he is.
At the end of our session my therapist shared the story of Demeter and Persephone with me. That Demeter was a loving and devoted mother to Persephone. Then Hades sucked Persephone into the earth to live with him. Demeter's heart was broken and she grieved intensely for her lost daughter; outraged that Zeus would condone the act and not restore her daughter to her.