Jump to content






Photo

Day 97: Standing Behind a Foggy Window

Posted by intrepidshe , in Healing Work 17 March 2014 · 146 views

Mar. 17, 2014 (26 Days Into Becoming): 
 
St. Patrick's day is pretty much always a day of joy in my life. Today has been no different. I am proud of my heritage and my home country. Though I live in the States, I am still an Irish citizen. I have a fantasy of one day moving back. Perhaps I could end up where my family is from or wind up in Dublin. Who knows what the future will bring.
 
Every day I read a number of others' blogs here on Pandy's and elsewhere. Every day I encounter the courage, wisdom, and determination of other survivors. I am moved and inspired by the things I read. I learn so much from the great work done by everyone else that I feel sometimes as if I'm cheating. On the other hand, I don't think through my work alone I could achieve the level of understanding I gain from others. I just wouldn't get there.
 
And that, really, is the beauty of this community!
 
I have learned something again today that touches a cord deep within me. Here is the excerpt of an exchange in comments from another blog that gave me a new understanding:
 
"It is a hard road to keep on working to fight an invisible enemy, knowing that healing, as it comes, will also be invisible to most people" (Susanna).
 
"The enemy is invisible.  The wounds are invisible.  The fight is (mostly) invisible.  The progress is invisible.  The healing is invisible; others only see ghostly reflections of it in the effects" (Yarnfoolishness).
 
Quotes used with permission.
 
The notion of being invisible is a deep-rooted pain for me. Having invisible wounds insights my inclination to create visible wounds. Engaging in an invisible fight insights my tendency to respond aggressively when given an appropriate provocation. Being invisible makes me feel like the real me is hidden behind a foggy window, with the moisture on the opposite side where I can't wipe it away. I'm not invisible at all, I'm just on the other side of a window that needs to be cleared.
 
When I read the exchange between Yarnfoolishness and Susanna I realized, with a sense of irony, understanding invisibility is like clearing the fog from the glass.
 
Also, I know without a doubt I am visible here. Here the glass is clear. When I come to Pandy's I stand on the inside of a completely clean, clear window. In my offline life, I stand on the inside of a dirty window. I can see this window. The dirt is caked on. It's dusty and forms a hard, thick surface.
 
TheWindow

 
The thing is, I get to choose which window I stand near.
 
And, as I am able I can clean the other windows. I can put up curtains if I like. I can open and close the curtains as appropriate. I like that idea.
 
 
Oh, I nearly forgot, I had something else to share . . . something that happened this weekend. I've been a bit in denial about it.
 
Last Thursday a group of us from my office were scheduled to go out after work to celebrate a major accomplishment of one of the team members. But, that day I had therapy and also had a bad week of insomnia. That was the day I went home early because I just couldn't work. I completely spaced the fact that we had plans. I didn't excuse myself or apologize.
 
The next morning the co-worker whom we intended to celebrate stopped in my office first thing to ask if I was OK. I said I was. She didn't mention anything about the missed event. I still didn't remember there had been an event scheduled.
 
I did remember about two hours later.
 
I was mortified.
 
I forgot the event. I completely forgot. But, they had decided to go on Friday night instead. So, we knocked off about 30 minutes early. Suffice to say I was feeling like a complete heel. Furthermore, I know my leaving work several times recently, my being sick for multiple days, and my coming in late one day a week is noticeable. I realized that I cannot 100% conceal what's going on with me and they might start to form their own story.
 
As much as I prefer to keep my secret, I can't stand the rumor mill. I also felt like I owed them an explanation, not only for my behavior the previous day, but for likely future behavior.
 
So, while we were out having a drink, I gave them a 1 minute explanation of what's going on with me. I told them I had been raped multiple times and one of the perps was a doctor.
 
I felt horrible afterward. But, they were really great about it. Very supportive. No one acted any differently toward me today.
 
I don't know how I feel about it now. I feel relieved? I won't have to work quite so hard to keep my secret, to appear totally "normal." I won't have to struggle as much to maintain a façade. But, I still worry about how they'll use this information.
 
On the other hand, I have become a little more vulnerable.
 
I have cleared a bit of the crusted dirt from the glass.



Intrepid- you are one of the most inspirational writers. Your clarity of thought and insight never ceases to amaze me. Thank you. Your bravery about telling your co-workers.....I have vaguely told two colleagues- like you, I didn't want rumours- and they have been brilliant. I felt physically sick afterwards though, and worried I had done something wrong. But I guess this is how abuse continues. The seed is planted so young, that we must not tell, that we must stay quiet, and we learn it so thoroughly that to break that silence is, quite frankly, terrifying. (((Safe hugs)))

What Mand said about you. Your words are your art.

You rock!!!

 

I will read and re-read your post about invisibility. I don't think I ever so clearly admitted it to myself before, but I do have more of an issue with this than I knew.

 

Thanks, Intrepid, for being one of the people who works so hard on her healing, who shares it, and who allows others of us to benefit.

Photo
beautifulblogger
Mar 18 2014 09:13 AM

I am so beside myself with the amazing-ness (if that is even a word) of your entry. I just couldn't agree more with jiva.7106- you words are absolutely your art! You are being heard through your thoughts and comforting others with your words. 

 

I am so happy that you decided to share your thoughts because it has offered my own an enormous amount of clarity.

 

 " And, as I am able I can clean the other windows. I can put up curtains if I like. I can open and close the curtains as appropriate. I like that idea."

 

 I LOVE that idea!

Those words are ones that I will be holding onto very tightly. What an amazing way to view the healing process.

 

And as for your second entry, I am still getting used to the whole "vulnerability" thing as well. I try to remember that vulnerability is a place for creativity, growth, and strength. I hope you use this experience and continue to allow your creativity to blossom,  grow into the best version of yourself, and continue to remain strong. You deserve it.

Photo
yarnfoolishness
Mar 18 2014 11:21 AM

Intrepid -

 

I love your analogy with the window and the curtains.  I'll be thinking about it. 

 

There is strength in vulnerability, the strength that comes from flexibility.  If we don't allow ourselves to be vulnerable in healthy ways (as you did with your co-workers), then we become stiff and brittle and actually less strong.

 

Not that it's easy.  I have also disclosed a bit here or there and then "forgotten" that I had disclosed because it frightened me.

 

Sending good thoughts.  :metoyou:

Photo
intrepidshe
Mar 18 2014 07:26 PM

Intrepid- you are one of the most inspirational writers. Your clarity of thought and insight never ceases to amaze me. Thank you. Your bravery about telling your co-workers.....I have vaguely told two colleagues- like you, I didn't want rumours- and they have been brilliant. I felt physically sick afterwards though, and worried I had done something wrong. But I guess this is how abuse continues. The seed is planted so young, that we must not tell, that we must stay quiet, and we learn it so thoroughly that to break that silence is, quite frankly, terrifying. (((Safe hugs)))

 

Mand, I have to confess, it's hard to hear such praise of my writing. I don't know why exactly. Something about not feeling worthy, I think.

 

But, it means a whole lot to me! While we're on the subject of writing, I always find yours to be inspiring!

 

I'm glad you also have been able to open up a little to some people in 'real life.' It's incredible that experiencing such vulnerability makes us feel sick. But, fear does that. You're absolutely right about the seed being planted at such a young age it's very difficult to eliminate this type of reaction.

 

That's why it is courageous that you opened up and told them.

Photo
intrepidshe
Mar 18 2014 07:28 PM

What Mand said about you. Your words are your art.

You rock!!!

 

I will read and re-read your post about invisibility. I don't think I ever so clearly admitted it to myself before, but I do have more of an issue with this than I knew.

 

Thanks, Intrepid, for being one of the people who works so hard on her healing, who shares it, and who allows others of us to benefit.

 

Jiva, thank you for all of these kind and encouraging words. I really don't think of my writing as anything artistic. I'm feeling choked up reading that.

 

And, thank you for also being one of the people who works on the healing process and shares the learning with the rest of us!

Photo
intrepidshe
Mar 18 2014 07:30 PM

I am so beside myself with the amazing-ness (if that is even a word) of your entry. I just couldn't agree more with jiva.7106- you words are absolutely your art! You are being heard through your thoughts and comforting others with your words. 

 

I am so happy that you decided to share your thoughts because it has offered my own an enormous amount of clarity.

 

 " And, as I am able I can clean the other windows. I can put up curtains if I like. I can open and close the curtains as appropriate. I like that idea."

 

 I LOVE that idea!

Those words are ones that I will be holding onto very tightly. What an amazing way to view the healing process.

 

And as for your second entry, I am still getting used to the whole "vulnerability" thing as well. I try to remember that vulnerability is a place for creativity, growth, and strength. I hope you use this experience and continue to allow your creativity to blossom,  grow into the best version of yourself, and continue to remain strong. You deserve it.

 

BB, I will adopt that word, "amazingness." What a great word! I can't get over how healing it feels to be heard and accepted. How sad it makes me feel that this kind of support is so hard to find offline in 'real life.'

 

I appreciate your insight about vulnerability. I will be holding onto those words.

 

Thank you!

Photo
intrepidshe
Mar 18 2014 07:37 PM

Intrepid -

 

I love your analogy with the window and the curtains.  I'll be thinking about it. 

 

There is strength in vulnerability, the strength that comes from flexibility.  If we don't allow ourselves to be vulnerable in healthy ways (as you did with your co-workers), then we become stiff and brittle and actually less strong.

 

Not that it's easy.  I have also disclosed a bit here or there and then "forgotten" that I had disclosed because it frightened me.

 

Sending good thoughts.  metoyou.gif

 

Yarn,

 

Susanna and your words inspired the idea about the window. Thank you for being so generous in sharing your journey!

 

I am going to be thinking about what you said just now about becoming stiff and brittle because of resisting vulnerability. I am really starting to see how that results in weakening. I'm envisioning a tree. When a tree is dried out, it is much more likely for branches to break or for the tree to get blown over in the wind. When the tree has enough sap, it is able to bend in the wind.

 

Thanks again, Yarn, for your perspective!

About Intrepid She

This is a moderated PUBLIC blog. This blog is a therapeutic tool I am using to help me get over my fear of doctors, which is made difficult by a history of abuse by them, to learn to grieve, and ultimately to integrate my dis-integrated heart.

 

View postings specific to health care.

View postings specific to touch.

View postings specific to crying.

 

The content of this blog is not appropriate for children or for anyone who might be triggered by reading about sexual abuse.

 

To the many others walking your own version of this path, I wish you well on your journey. -Intrepid

 

More Healing:

 

- Framed and Unashamed

- Yarnfoolishness' Journal

- Susanna's Blog

- What's Inside my Head?

- Healing Resources

Search My Blog

December 2014

S M T W T F S
 123456
78910111213
14151617 18 1920
21222324252627
28293031   

Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. is not intended to be a substitute for professional assistance. All members and visitors are encouraged to establish a relationship with a trained counselor, therapist, or psychiatrist. Pandora's Aquarium, Inc. offers rape and sexual abuse survivor-to-survivor support only. Despite any qualifications staff or members possess, they are not engaged in a professional relationship with any other member. Survivors in crisis are urged to seek local help by contacting 911 or their local rape crisis center. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Service located here.