It started the Monday before the New Year. I went into my therapist’s office just like any other Monday. I did not feel I would have much to share so I wasn’t planning on staying the entire time. Some days we had short days like these and they were a welcome reprieve from the craziness of being in treatment. I entered her office and I just got this gut feeling that something was wrong. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I knew something was about to happen.
I got comfortable on my special chair and relaxed and started a quiet banter with my therapist. She said to me she needed to address something with me that day and it may be hard. I don’t know how she started the conversation. That is still lost in the shock and disbelief of it all. All I can remember her saying was, “You smell.” All at once my world was shattered. What do you say to something that deep and cutting? I tried to excuse it away but nothing could make it go away. She continued to talk to me and discuss the changes I needed to make in my life. She said my abuser was no longer controlling my life and it was now my turn to take over care and control of my life. To be honest I didn’t realize how out of control it had got. All I wanted to do in that office that day was curl up into a ball and cry my eyes out. I think I was more embarrassed and ashamed than mad. Who did I have to be mad at? My therapist for being honest with me?
I got home that day and realized I would have to conquer my fear of taking showers. In my mind’s eye the shower was this little confined space that would swallow me up whole if i got in it. I played tricks in my head the rest of the day as to why I could not tackle a shower just yet. I finally decided after over 7 hours of debate to just go take a shower. To my surprise it was not as tiny as I had thought but it was also not a fun experience.
What many people who have not been abused don’t realize is that the simplest of tasks can be the hardest ones for survivors to get through. After years of being told my body was ugly and it being used for other peoples pleasures I never wanted to have any connection with my body. I had developed a very clear line between my body and my mind. If you looked at me from the outside you would say I am grossly overweight but to my mind I am just a little overweight. I do not want to see myself as having sexual feelings or needs because they always got me hurt as a child. I am just starting to learn about my body and not neglecting it like I have all these years.
So yes I am moving forward in treatment but Pandora’s box has just been opened and I feel there are many more painful but liberating moments to come