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Slightly Broken: New Year; New Me

It’s been quite a long time since my last post. I am still alive, in case you were wondering. Before Christmas I felt that I had reached some critical point in my counselling and understanding of myself in relation both to the abuse that I was the victim of and the convolutions of emotional distress that resulted from it. It was like turning a page to the next chapter in a book, the lightening of the sky at dawn, the opening of a box of chocolates… I don’t know. Similes fail me. I felt different, untroubled by the past, or at least untroubled by this specific aspect of the past. I knew that I’d be having a three week break from counselling. So that was a test of sorts, while my sleeping tablet prescription ran out I had two weeks of holiday over Christmas, in which I’d be with the Lady M and really very few other people. An excellent test of whether the stress of my past had simply been overtaken and displaced by the various stresses of work (fucking crazy leading up to Christmas) and whether it would resurrect itself in my mind, some hideous Lazarus monster reawakened and wreaking havoc.
Perhaps inevitably I slept very strangely over Christmas – lacking both the routine (hey, it’s Christmas) and the reassurance of drugs. That was okay though; I was prepared for that, and mostly it really didn’t matter. I can deal without sleep, I just forget that I can. I was delighted / didn’t really notice that my mind was mostly clear. I wasn’t troubled with thoughts of Ric and all that shit. On the rare occasions that something drifted up to the surface I found it easy to bob along to other matters. I don’t really know why. I put myself through a lot before Christmas. I suppose I was ready to do so, and I knew what I wanted to force myself to do. It seems to have worked.
My mind is… different. I feel like a different person; one unbound by the past. I can conceive of the future – I don’t know what is in it, or what I’m supposed to do with it, but it doesn’t feel impossible. I could be in it. I have to decide how. I’m already looking forwards to shows, and writing and activities. It doesn’t fill me with horror to fill a date in my diary.
I was supposed to see my counsellor on the fourteenth of January, but it was delayed a week by the snow. That was a slightly tense week as I waited for the awfulness to rise once more, and worse still as I anticipated the session: I feared that having to talk about abuse and things would bring back the feelings. My hope was for one session, maybe two to assure myself that I was on the right path and that Christmas was alright and so might the future be. We met on the twenty-first and it was fine. I had been fine. There was no reason that I ought not continue to be fine. So that was our last session.
I can go back if I want to, if I need to, if that submarine terror rises again. I don’t know whether it will or not. I hope it doesn’t. But if it does I know that I have all the material I need to make it go away again. The experience of counselling has been fascinating; as my counsellor pointed out – I have painstakingly retained all of the items (diaries, letters, photographs) I could need to revisit, relearn and comprehend what my mind had misplaced, forgotten and misunderstood. I don’t know what I would have done without that ghastly archive. I was looking after myself all along by retaining them, wrapping them and hiding them from my prying, forgetful eye. Our minds care for themselves? I’m not sure.
Whatever sorting and sifting I needed to do has been done. Now I just have the ordinary worries and concerns; I suspect I am still shielding myself from some of them. I have not fully grasped the concept of future. I feel the tension of work, and of working and socialising with people I don’t trust or like in a different way. They aren’t cloaked in the shadow of abuse; that’s not my overriding paradigm anymore. I don’t know how to deal with those problems, but as I said and felt with my counsellor, those aren’t the problems that I needed help to resolve – those are ordinary, standard problems; sexual abuse and the destruction of self are rather different. So I’ve freed my counsellor – an excellent and wonderful person – to go and help someone else, someone who needs what I needed. I’m free.

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