I had another EMDR session yesterday. This one focused on my resistance to moving on–why am I feeling stuck and unable to let go? To feel anger?
Near the end of this session, my therapist said: “They have had a free pass for years. They have moved on and been off the hook for years. Who is still on the hook?”
Who is still hanging on, caring that all this stuff happened?
Why, me, of course.
Yesterday, I pulled up three old photos of myself as a child. One as a baby, one as a preschooler, and one when I was about 8. I looked at each of these photos through the lens of motherhood. I wanted, so much, to pick up that sweet, chubby cheeked, curly haired baby, and hold her close. I wanted to tickle that mischievously grinning four year old. I wanted to hug that 8 year old, brush her hair, and remind her of what a sweet girl she is.
Instead, I closed my eyes and allowed the tears to come. Why? Why didn’t my mom do these things? What was wrong with that poor little girl that she couldn’t get those things?
The logical answer is NOTHING. Nothing was wrong with that little girl. That little girl was sweet, innocent, and going through way too much for her age.
Something was wrong with her mother, her father. The people who should have been taking care of her. Protecting her.
Logically, I know this.
Subconsciously, I have the worst time really believing it. Really knowing that it wasn’t me. That, no matter what I did, or didn’t do…who I was or wasn’t, it didn’t matter. They still would have been the same.
I flashback to this last summer, sitting on a bench outside of a restaurant, and emotionally telling my mother about the man who molested me. I remember a shocked look on her face and the immediate denial. The justification against it.
There was no comfort. No sense of anger for what happened to me.
There was, instead, avoidance. And, later, a report from another family member that made it back to me–she must be remembering wrong. There’s no way that really happened.
…I have felt a powerful need for vindication. I have held on, subconsciously thinking that, if I did, somebody might acknowledge what happened. Might confess. Might apologize. And then…foolishly, what might happen?
Foolishly, hopefully, I have wished that it would change. That, maybe, if it was acknowledged and a real apology was given, I could heal. I could have a mother I could laugh with, share with, grieve with, rely on.
It will never happen!!
I will never have that person. I have got to let go of that hope.
I can cry about it (and, boy, I am). I can stomp my feet. I can feel utterly, utterly pissed off that it happened to me.
I can realize that, no matter what I do–no matter how hard I work to please her–them–it won’t make any difference. It won’t.
No matter what I do, it doesn’t matter.
…And, if that really, truly is the case, then how can it be my fault? I can’t make it better. No one action from me will solve the problem and I cannot control their actions. I can’t make them change.
But, I can work to change myself.
I can work to let it go. I haven’t, yet. But, I can.
I can, somehow, let myself off the hook, too.