I want to start this post off by saying that I absolutely do not condone the behaviors that I am going to describe. I fully acknowledge that they aren't safe and that it isn't in my, or anyone else's, best interest to be doing these things. This is, however, an account of what happened for me a week and a half ago after a really difficult counseling session. As has been suggested by others on this site, I am going to try to sort out my thoughts and clear my head by writing it down. Advice and insights are always welcome.
First, it is necessary to give you guys some background. When I was a small child - ages 4-6 as best I can guess, but I don't entirely know - my father sexually abused me. It started out with inappropriate fondling and moved on to forced blow jobs. While what he did to me was bad enough, it was the treatment I received from the people who were supposed to help me through it that proved to be most damaging.
I was sent to a state-mandated therapist who demeaned me and patronized me and couldn't for the life of her get me to give her enough information to legally keep my father away from me. I wasn't being a particularly stubborn child; I was just scared and she was incompetent. Instead of earning my trust so that I would choose to tell her what my father had done to me, she threatened me. She told me that unless I confessed to her what had happened to me that she would send me back to my father. I grudgingly gave her information until she let me know that it was enough to keep my father from seeing me ever again.
Unfortunately, it was not enough enough information to convince them that he hadn't vaginally raped me. No matter how much I tried to tell them, they wouldn't believe me. So I was sent on to get a rape exam. This was in 1988 and at the time it wasn't standard of practice to sedate children during sexual assault exams. Despite my protests they went ahead with it. As a child, they explained, I could neither consent nor not consent. What happened to my body was not up to me.
From my vantage point, I was being assaulted by the people who were supposed to be protecting me from being assaulted. The irony of that was not lost on me. When I acted out, I was told to stop being angry- people were here to "help" me and were not harming me is what I was told. From this I learned to trust no one. First my therapist insulted me and patronized me, then she resorted to threatening me, then I was told I was lying about being vaginally raped, then I was assaulted by doctors and nurses who were supposed to be helping me.
As a result, I learned to trust no one. Despite that I was doing surprisingly okay. Even when I discovered at age 11 that I enjoyed wetting myself and playing with diapers, I was doing okay. I understood my sexuality was different from other people's but I didn't feel scared or ashamed. Yet. Then, for reasons unbeknownst to me, at age 12 I was sent back to that same therapist for a "check up."
I never told her about diapers or pee or any of the other interesting stuff that I fantasized about. I didn't have to for her to screw me up. She spent an entire summer explaining to me how I would be messed up because of what my father had done to me. She explained how I would hurt those around me, how I would never have a good relationship, how I would likely drop out of school, end up an addict, and be a drain on society. I objected to every word she said, but eventually she broke me down. By the end of that summer of "therapy" I was depressed and severely anorexic.
It was then that I started repressing my sexuality. I repressed it so well that I didn't even know I was repressing it. I even managed to go 16 years without realizing I was DL. This, however, isn't what is relevant.
The important part of the story is that these experiences left me with a sort of PTSD around therapy. I know that many of you out there know I am a big advocate for therapy, but it doesn't mean I don't struggle with it myself. I do okay talking about most things in therapy. Unfortunately the thing that I struggle with is my sexuality. My first experiences talking about sex were beyond traumatic. They drove me to repression and self hate as a teen and as a child were connected with being assaulted by medical professionals.
So Wednesday of last week was all about my sexuality. Really, that's all therapy is anymore, but that session was particularly hard on me. While I normally have a hard time during therapy, I perk right back up once out in the real world with all it's beautiful distractions. But 9 days ago I didn't. Instead I continued to feel more out of control, more hopeless, and very unaware of what was happening inside me.
I ended up at home laying in bed in the dark unable to move or do anything at all. My mind spiraled downward until the only thoughts that comforted me were those of pain and blood. [removed] I still felt awful inside, but I could finally function again.
Over the next week friends here on ADISC and the one friend I have in real life who knows what is going on tried to get me to not harm myself. When I knew I would be alone for too long, my real life friend babysat me by bringing a party to my house. [removed]
On Wednesday I went back to therapy. My therapist knew what was going on because I had been e-mailing and texting him. We just worked on breathing exercises and better coping strategies instead of talking about the hard stuff. While he wouldn't call it "normal" he said it "isn't unexpected" for someone to have this much difficulty when processing repressed sexual feelings, especially someone with my background.
In truth I am scared of going back to therapy again. As I have come out to him as DL I have stopped being able to repress who I am sexually. [removed] I worry that I will continue to experience the same out of control emotions and behaviors. I also worry that because of my anxiety around talking about sex that I will not be able to make any real progress.
As always, thanks for listening.