The dreaded ‘R’ word

🖤🖤 ‘Secrets behind the collar’ is my story. It is the account of the traumatic events not only of 2020, but also of the abuse suffered during my childhood and teenage years.  If you are reading my ‘Secrets’ blog for the first time, you may wish to go back and begin reading from where my story begins. My first post was back in January of this year and can be easily accessed on this site 🖤🖤

2020

From the moment of disclosure in February 2020, I’d used the terms ‘sexual assault’, ‘sexual abuse’ and ‘emotional abuse’ and ‘control’. But there was one word I had yet to bring myself to use. I couldn’t say it, because I didn’t want to admit it for what it was. I knew, of course I knew, but to give it its name would not only make it real, it would make it worse, for everybody. It would also perhaps prompt others to try to persuade me to take matters further and I knew I could never put myself, or my family through that ordeal.

It is July and with the support of my counsellor, I’ve decided to return to the EMDR processing. The decision has not been taken lightly following my previous experience in May and June. But, as I cannot verbalise in much detail what happened to me to anyone, even to my counsellor, it is my best option. The focus upon feelings and emotions won’t require me to go into graphic details. They will be in my head.

I have to say at this point, that my counsellor was amazing throughout. She just gently encouraged and I found myself telling her more than I’ve ever managed to say in my life. And when I’ve not been able to say it out loud, she encouraged me to write to her between sessions. She was also wonderful at reading between the lines. She had already worked out much of which I was struggling to say, before I reached a stage where I was able to be more open. I realise now that the relationship between a counsellor and client is a long process of growing trust. And if that trust is not there, then I don’t think the process can be as successful as it might be.

There is a time of preparation before we begin this second round of EMDR and it is during this time that the ‘R’ word is used for the first time. I don’t say it. I describe, as much as I am able to, what happened and my counsellor puts the picture together and uses the word in response to that  description. I know she is right, but somehow to actually say ‘he raped me’ is too difficult. It is still so difficult and I’ve only been able to say it out loud to those in my closest circle.

Over the next few weeks, using EMDR, I process what happened, what he did and what the recognition of it really means to me.

The first session sees me break down in uncontrollable tears. I can’t help it. I am completely knotted up inside and then the flood-gates open and I have no power to stop them. The feelings I experience as the tears fall are of the deepest shame and hurt. Forty five plus years of pain and shame rain down my face. My counsellor encourages me to let it out. I’ve never cried about it like this, not ever. I’ve learned, like I have with everything else, to keep it pressed down, to squash the anxiety and upset it has causes me. Until now…

🖤🖤🖤

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