By Paula Bianchi –
The thing about Treatment is you have to be willing to face your fears, and the unpleasant things that happened to you when you were young. It’s for that very reason people run away from it. They don’t want to confront their past especially if it causes them any pain. They know treatment will make them face what they’ve been running from, and many can’t cross that line. They get trapped sometimes in a loop of self-abuse as a way to have some control over their lives. They get bogged down with negative dialog in their heads causing them to make negative choices.
An example of this is addictions. These people know quitting their vise is what it’ll take to get better, but they refuse to give up their lifestyle to achieve it making the people who love them throw up their hands as they give up on trying to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
For me, treatment was like someone finally handed me the key to a door that had been locked for so very long. I gladly took it, unlocked it, and ran in head first. At first it wasn’t easy dredging up all the memories I worked so hard to block. Some visits I left feeling lighter, while others left me in tears.
My main, and most important, supporter was my husband. He would hear all about my visits as soon as I came home. It wasn’t easy for him I’m sure, but whatever the doctor needed him to do for me, he followed it to the letter. My doctor loved him and wished she could clone him for all the women dealing with what I was going through. When she told him, I would have to go without sex for 6 months, he said, “Whatever it takes.” I also had a couple close friends who helped me cope with my new discoveries, and who would just listen, and be there for me.
Now one of the things my doctor explained to me was why people have panic attacks. It’s a reaction from your fight or flight response to things outside of your control. It’s your animal instinct to either flee from the threat or turn and stand your ground ready to fight. The day of my panic attack I was confronted with something that overwhelmed me and took me off guard. When I was safe at home, it hit me like a ton of bricks by giving me symptoms of a heart attack. Panic attacks have sent me to the hospital 3 times now. They’re very scary and very real.
During my time of abstinence, I worked with my Therapist on healing my past, so I could free my mind from my molester’s daily intrusions. She explained to me how it was up to me to take care of my inner child because she was neglected and left to her own devices while I was growing up. I had to reassure her that I was taking care of her now. I wouldn’t let anything bad happen to her again. The Doctor suggested that I write my inner child a letter explaining that. This is the letter I wrote:
Come sit with me, my sweetie pie. You have been alone for far too long now. I’m here to make it better for you. To teach you that not all people are bad. It’s okay to let people into your world. If you let someone in, and they turn out to be bad, it’s alright to cut them out of your life. It’s up to you to like or dislike whomever you please. I’m here to protect you just like my sister did so long ago.
You can see now that person was a bad man. He shouldn’t have done those things to you. He lied to you about everything, and I am trying to make it all better now by telling everyone what he did to you. Oh, don’t cry. It’s going to be alright now. I know you’re scared that he’ll get mad at you, but he can’t bother you ever again. I stopped him a long time ago. The more I tell people about him, the more his memory will fade. I will teach you what love really is, and what it’s supposed to feel like.
I know you feel like you were a bad girl, but you’re not. That was one of his lies to you. The only thing he was right about was if you told Mom and Dad, they wouldn’t believe you. They didn’t want to see what was happening to you. They believe me now though, but they probably won’t say or do what you wish they would. They do feel bad though; I can see it in their eyes, and they don’t know what to say or do for you.
You are a very brave girl. I know you wished you would have said something to someone else, but it’s alright that you didn’t. You were too shy and also fearful of what would happen if you did tell. You question that choice because you had to suffer though 10 years of him touching you and telling you all those lies. He made you feel scared with no place to run and hide from him. He gave you the panic disorder that you never understood before, and with my help, we can make that better too.
My one regret that I couldn’t do for you is: I wish I would have confronted him while he was here. Tell him what a jerk he was and how what he did hurt you so much. I would have enjoyed getting in his face and seeing his reaction to me yelling at him and telling him what a sick perverted man he was, and that I was never his girl. I didn’t belong to him, and he had no right to continue touching me while claiming it was out of love for me. That wasn’t love, honey. You know that because true love is in your life now. Love should make you feel special and important; not dirty.
So, take my hand and don’t be scared. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel. Being scared and alone is in the past. You have the help of so many people in your life, and they will help you get through this. No more hiding, no more blending in so you won’t be noticed. I will help you get through this, so you will have a clear head with no more regrets. What will be, will be. We can’t undo the past, but we can make our future a whole lot brighter. Sending much love and protection.
Writing that letter was such a turning point for me. That was the day I took my life back into my own hands. I became more outspoken. When we went to family functions, I no longer tried to blend into the background following my husband around as he mingled with family and friends. Now suddenly, he was looking for me. I was mingling on my own. I even sang karaoke. My doctor was impressed by how much I had progressed over the 6 months I was abstaining. I was ready to get my molester out of my head.
After going over my doctor’s instructions to resume intimacy, we had another honeymoon. With the steps she laid out before us, I understood exactly what her end game was. She was helping me reprogram myself, and it worked. By the end of 3 months, my molester was out of my head. If he tried to creep in, I pushed him right out again showing him I was in control. His power over me was gone. I felt so light and free.
With the help of my doctor, I accomplished my goal, so we parted ways. Therapy worked for me. I would highly recommend it to anyone in need of help from outside influences or from themselves. One of the most important lessons I took away from my time in therapy was, I can’t control what others do, or do to me, but I can control how I react and deal with the situation. It’s up to me to take care of my inner child. I have to make sure I honor and protect her. After all, she’s the one that influences my life the most.
I’ll talk more about everyone’s inner child in my next article. Hope you’ll keep reading. Bye for now.