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#424208 - 02/04/13 06:44 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
crazy gecko Offline

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
Matt, I can identify with a lot of what you wrote here. Not all, but a lot.

I too, remembered what had happened, but it was like watching a documentary. There was no emotion. I could recount how I had reacted, but even that was devoid of any feeling. Last year, I post about "meeting" my younger self. It was as your T described - she had me picture "him" sitting in the chair opposite me, and I had to describe what I saw, what I thought he felt, what I thought he wanted.

I too, hated that boy. He was ugly, disgusting and weak. Above all - weak.

But as I was describing him that day, I realised that he was scared, hurt and desperate. He wasn't weak as much as he was ill-equipped to deal with what was happening to him. He was just a terrified child.

Since that day, two things have happened. I have started to let go of the anger I have always felt towards myself, and the guilt I have always felt for the ways in which I tried to cope. I know now that I cope as well as could be expected. I wasn't weak - I was simply ill-equipped to deal with what was happening.

But the second thing that has happened is that the flood-gates opened. Someone mentioned existential terror - yes, I felt that. I feel that constantly. I dream it. I have vivid dreams, both asleep and awake, of THAT moment...

It is heavy duty, that's for sure. But I do believe that it will result in more complete healing.

That young boy deserves to be acknowledged. He deserves to be told that yes, it happened. Yes, it was worse than horrible. No, you could not have done anything different to make it better. Most importantly - yes, you are allowed to feel whatever you feel about it. It's ok - it's not your fault and you don't have to bury it and deny it any more. He needs to be validated. You need to be validated.

He is part of me - I cannot be healed if a part of me is still broken. You cannot heal until you allow that part of you the space to heal. The good news is that he is only a part of you - he isn't all of you. You are still smart, likeable and above average looking. But you are also hurt. You don't have to be either/or. You are not a character in a badly written book that has to play only one role - you are a three-dimensional person. You are allowed to have more than one side. And as that little boy heals, the pain and the terror will become and ever smaller part of you, until it no longer overwhelms every day. It will be assimilated into the rest of who you are, and make you into a deeper, more multi-dimensional person. And you will be happy again. I have to believe that, because I have to believe that I will also be happy again...

God knows I'm not there yet. But that is why we are all here. So that we don't have to walk this road alone.
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

#424321 - 02/05/13 04:31 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: cant_remember]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA

I feel an amazing amount of empathy with what you're sharing. It sounds like the path I've been on.


#427423 - 03/08/13 02:25 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 929

So with my T I'd begun the earliest stages of this re-integration role-play. It turned out to be more involved than I'd expected: not only is there grown me talking to 8yo me, there's vice-versa, and then at both ages / mentalities I'm supposed to talk to the perp. We've basically done test runs: what to expect, if it's ok to "break character," how long it might take, etc. She also introduced me to the props - proxy stuffed animals - that I'd be addressing. I honestly expected to laugh upon seeing them but they looked strangely somber and dark. It reminded me of a Chuck Palahniuk short story about a CPR training dummy that the lifeguard cadets used as a fuckdoll instead - "these things shouldn't exist for this purpose, the whole thing is damaged and sad." Compare with the Teddy bears in hospital gift shops: hairless chemo bear, body cast bear, breathing mask bear. Their false-knitted smiles broadcast the children's damage.

I suggested changing things up a bit because there was something that meant a lot to me that I KNEW I would never be able to do in front of a T or anybody else. I described it to her and she agreed.

The attack left me cold. Not metaphorically, actually cold: soaked wet, naked, fully exposed for who knows how long, I have no memory of getting dressed... the memory of cold, of exposure, is painfully viscerally strong.

I mentioned earlier I asked my mom to give me a certain artifact. When I was 9 she went on a knitting "kick" and made blankets for every member of the family. Mine was based around my favorite superhero - Astroboy. This might seem dated but actually there was an Astroboy "revival" comicbook in 1987-89 and I loved it. I wanted to be Astroboy, except when I wanted to be his friend and super-sidekick with powers and a secret identity of my own. So mom knitted this awesome blanket of Astroboy flying, even got the contrails from his boot jets just right. I was the coolest nerd ever, I slept with that blanket for years.

(Yes, T thinks it is incredibly significant that my hero was a kid. I can only speculate on what she'd think of the rather graphic and grotesque violence heaped upon that kid - abused and abandoned by his creator/father, whippings, electroshock, dismemberment, detonation, and being parasitized by a freaky evil spider that tortured him. He was a robot, he could deal with it. I'm a bit more nonplussed by how I had Astroboy posters up in my room through my late teens, as he's basically a little boy in boots and a speedo - that's his costume, I didn't invent the thing. When mom made the blanket she deliberately made his chest door hatch dark red instead of whiteboy-skintone, making him look less human and less unclothed, I think to remove some of the NAMBLish undertones. As an adult, some of the comic book covers now strike me as... questionable.)


So before, during, and after the attack I was sickly freezing, and there I was with my superhero blanket I'd asked for like a year later. And T and I agreed it might "mean something" if I, well, tried to warm up my younger, victimized self.
This would also have the secondary benefit of allowing me to imagine wrapping that revolting creature up in the blanket to conceal it and not actually looking at it. No WAY was I gonna trot out my childhood security blanket in front of another living soul, so T made some suggestions and it became, you could say, a homework assignment.

I took my son's largest doll: a 4-ft Elmo. Yes, I know about Kevin Clash, but nothing else humanoid was the right size. I could have opened my Transformers crates and dug Fortress Maximus out of the bubblewrap, but he's heavy, rigid, and sharp-cornered. No, it would have to be Psychically Comfort Me Elmo.

Don't know if this is good or bad but... I didn't hold up long. I felt that huge doll wrapped up in my childhood blanket and let the old cold sink in. Remembered the cold. Remembered my warm blanket. Gave it a hug, tight. Lots of shit happened then. I think I needed it. I massively self-triggered and just turned into a bawling snotty mess. I had to warm up. It had been the last pain I'd consciously felt, that naked soggy-footed bitter cold. I could understand being cold, a child being cold and needing to warm up. The assault was over the human event horizon but I could understand and focus on warming up someone who was shivering scared and cold.

General themes:

-It's okay
-It wasn't your fault
-He shouldn't have done it
-He was a bad man
-I know it hurt; he shouldn't have hurt you; you didn't deserve it
-It's over
-I told mommy and daddy (not "mom and dad")
-They still love you
-I love you
-Don't try to talk
-Don't be scared
-This will warm you up


-I'm sorry nobody helped you
-I'm sorry nobody knew
-I'm sorry I never told, thought I could deal
-I'm sorry I hated you
-I'm sorry I called you horrible things
-It's not really you. He did that to you, he turned you into it
-You're a good boy and I love you

With me descending quite rapidly into an out of control hysterical fit, the above tete-a-tete took something like 40 minutes; you can take ample repetition as a given too.

I still couldn't bring myself to look that thing in the face. And note that while it was ongoing I treated it as human, as myself, now hours later and in a different medium I'm using inanimate terminology. It's just how I write it, would be forced and impossible to seek out and change every use. Actually during, "it" was a "he / you / me." I could identify and sympathize when choosing to directly confront and comfort it; after the fact, viewed more clinically, more distantly, well, you see the words. There was other stuff I said that I just can't write down here, the implied binary nature is too pronounced and bizarre. It had a powerful effect while it was happening; hours later is too far out of context.

I cleaned myself up but felt raw and unstable and volatile and very edgy much of the rest of the day - like a huge pimple had been ripped open and all the blood-tinged lymph was oozing out to cool.

Hours later, I feel... different. I won't say I feel particularly better but I feel different. This is exactly what happened when I first disclosed to my emergency psychiatrist, and that ended up having a huge positive impact.... months and months later.

I'll do whatever I have to do. I have to feel better from this. And since I've addressed the problems in my marriage and job, that leaves the abuse itself as the last, worst enemy. It's like I'm being cued up to fight it and my T has faith in me. I have to keep going.

Not that I'm at all eager to have even a remotely similar meltdown in front of her. "Matt talks to the rapist" is going to be.... not exactly what I conceive as being possible.

But I have to try, I guess.

My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#427428 - 03/08/13 04:31 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4284
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
Matt -

thanks for having the intestinal fortitude to write and post and share this. it was very hard for me to read - so i can't even imagine how tough for you to live it. once again, i am amazed by the depth of trauma produced by CSA and by the strength of survivors.


my hat is off to you, man!
How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#427433 - 03/08/13 06:23 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
crazy gecko Offline

Registered: 10/04/12
Posts: 309
Wow, Matt - that took some courage to write, I'm sure. Thank you for sharing with us. It sounds like you drained a huge lot of puss from that would you opened. I hope that this can be another step on your journey back to happiness...
I guess what I'm trying to say
Is whose life is it anyway because livin'
Living is the best revenge
You can play
-- Def Leppard

My Story, Part 2

My blog

#427447 - 03/08/13 10:25 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1070

Since your arrival at MS, you have grown so much. You're doing such great work on yourself with a lot of tough things happening around you.

Bravo, brother.

I'll be just fine and dandy
Lord, it's like a hard candy Christmas
I'm barely getting through tomorrow
But I won't let sorrow get me way down.

#427491 - 03/08/13 07:29 PM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
Farmer Boy Offline

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia

This IS huge! You are such an over achiever. wink

This update turned me into a 'bawling snotty mess' (the good kind). I have read it like six times ...trying to work out how to respond.

I am so proud of you for facing 'IT'. There WILL be an end to your fear! That is so apparent now more so that ever before. And a return of the happy, well adjusted Matt of 33.

You know I am a HUGE Astroboy fan too - so the references to him were EXTREMELY touching to me. 'ASTRO SAVES THE DAY AGAIN!!!'...... feels like it should be the Headline.

It struck me .... the older Matt is the hero here too. Astro's super-sidekick with power and a secret identity (well secret from everyone else but us here at MS). It was both your empathy and the notion of all that Astroboy stands for that saved that little monster and will return him to his rightful state. A state that you can look in the eyes and feel no fear.

Now you have me feeling somewhat 'nonplussed' by why Astroboy appealed/appeals so much to me. ..... Thanks. smirk

Looking forward to see the next adventure of Mattman and Astroboy. "Mattman and Astro defeat the Bad Man!!!".


BTW Elmo was a WAY better choice than Fortress Maximus ...Duh!
More than meets the eye!

#427514 - 03/09/13 12:14 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
concerned_husky Offline

Registered: 08/30/12
Posts: 766
The part under 'general themes' made me cry. Thanks for your post.

"Only the solitary seek the truth, and they break with all those who don't love it sufficiently." - Pasternak

#427524 - 03/09/13 02:09 AM Re: Inner child, inner monster (OMEGA TRIGGERS) [Re: SoccerStar]
txb Offline

Registered: 02/03/13
Posts: 416
Thank you for sharing this. It's really an emotional rollercoaster to read. I don't usually do crying but reading what you wrote, yeah... I'm so bad with words but I think you are doing amazingly well. And you come across as really strong and determined, like stuff you know will hurt you do it anyway. It's good to read, and makes me think I need to (and can) get it together and do therapy properly.

Something happened to me where I was left really really cold. And sometimes now I have a feeling that I can only describe as cold. Usually I wear thermal base layers and I have these certain kind of sheets on my bed that are extra warm. I spend a lot of time in bed just being warm. Of course everyone else thinks I am lazy.

Good luck with the next part of your therapy.

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