My therapy appointment

My therapy appointment was really, really awesome today. Unfortunately, I didn’t really sleep at all last night and so the rest of today has sucked (and tomorrow I have to wake up early to get Dyl from work.)

But anyway. I told my therapist that I got high and was very disturbed by what I realized during that experience. She actually thought that my realization was deeply profound and wholeheartedly congratulated me on diving so deep into my subconscious mind to realize what was really at the root of my “sleep disorder.”

As I pieced it together for her, I recalled that my “sleep disorder” took root when I was pregnant with Amy. That’s when J told me about how his Uncle Gary was in federal prison for killing two of his wives.

On some very deep subconscious level, I never felt 100% safe after that. Apparently Uncle Gary had a ton of suppressed rage over having been abused in childhood by J’s grandfather (whom I always knew as a “nice man,” albeit racist as hell) and when he unleashed it, it led to his wives being murdered.

To say that I feared that something similar might happen to me or one of our kids was not at all unreasonable. And given the fact that I was pregnant with Amy at the time, I’m sure my hormones were on overdrive and I was trying so hard to protect not only myself but also the kids from the unknowns that were J’s unresolved traumas.

According to my therapist, I was reacting in much the same way as someone who’s grown up with abuse; I could only relax and go to sleep when I knew it was safe and I didn’t have to be on guard for the kids.

Fortunately, J maintained very tight control over his anger through sheer force of will alone. But I never shut off that deep and instinctive fear. After all, it was buried so deeply within my brain that I didn’t even recall it until a couple of days ago.

But that is precisely WHY his childhood abuse can’t just be covered up or swept under the rug, like J’s sister wants to do. She herself is very strongly holding on to her denial that what happened to J was “just those scars from childhood that we all have.”

Bullshit! No, what happened to J was NOT just some stuff that we all have. Her experience working as a teacher of very troubled teens is skewing her perception of what’s “normal” and she flat-out directly told me that she doesn’t want me to convince her why she’s wrong.

But what J suffered affected him for his entire life and in turn, affected the rest of us, too. It’s not an exaggeration that it robbed us of a normal life with him.

I am legitimately incredibly angry and disgusted that his mom is continuing to deny it, even to the point where she told J’s sister when she came down to visit us when J died that she (MIL) had to be kept away from me. What the hell? I didn’t even say anything to her at that time, it was all Amy. I waited several months, until I knew MIL wasn’t coming to J’s memorial service, to go public about the fact that he’d been violently and repeatedly physically abused.

And MIL had to be kept from me?!?! Little did she know how much I was holding myself back even then. I have still treated her with incredible gentleness compared to how truly vile she is.

But my therapist also said that I’m already “building a tool kit” of therapy skills plus my own insight that will definitely come in very handy when I become a therapist myself. She said most therapists take years to start looking at such underlying issues, though I don’t know if that’s true or not.

What I do know is that apparently I do seem to have a gift for making connections between things that might be relevant to understanding people’s problems.

And she also said that it was extremely insightful to recognize where my sleep disorder actually began. The only thing that makes me wonder is what else might be hidden away in my brain, waiting to come out and unpleasantly surprise me?

When I told her about it, my mom said that on some level, I’ve made enough emotional progress to start dealing with this stuff now. But man, it seriously sucks so bad.

I loved J with all my heart but he was also so very broken for most of his life. And I’m only now beginning to realize all the steps my brain took to protect me when I didn’t really feel safe. I don’t know where this will lead me and that honestly has me feeling pretty scared.

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