9 day roller coaster...trigger

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Registered: 10-13-2000
9 day roller coaster...trigger
Fri, 04-24-2009 - 9:41pm

When I last posted I was learning so much from what I had remembered my mother doing to me. Water-boarding little children is not a good way to bring up a child but it taught me about where all my coping mechanisms came from.

But I knew I was fighting off some other ghosts that were trying to come back but I was determined to handle 1 ghost at a time. Didn't work.

Last Thursday I woke up feeling really strange, like I wasn't really here. I just curled up under the covers and stayed there waiting to see what would happen. It's my safe place. Then all of a sudden I was back in my old home town being molested by a bunch of neighborhood boys in the cemetery across the street from our house. I had been having flashbacks every time I passed a cemetery so I knew something happened there. It came roaring back. Within minutes of remembering that I had multiple flashbacks of more sexual abuse by my mother. I knew she had abused me I just never realized how young I was when it started. I thought I was a toddler but it apparently started at about 6-7 months. I knew that was coming too. Had a couple of flashes in the prior weeks. And then the surprise.

With no warning or warning flashbacks I suddenly found myself kneeling on the oven door with my head in the oven. The pilot light was out and the gas was on and my mother had just put a big heavy blanket over me. Without even thinking I picked up the phone and called my T. He called back within 15 minutes and by then I had remembered that HER head was in the oven with me. She was trying to kill us both. I was about 3. My T had just had a cancellation at 5 pm so I had to hold myself together from 10:30am to 5pm. It was a hell of a day as the memory became more clear. It was a tough session but I got as much out as I could. My T kept say my mother was "absolutely f@#$ing nuts". I wasn't sure how I was going to live with this new info.

Saturday night the emotions and thoughts that went with the attempted murder/suicide showed up and I started to collapse emotionally. What also came back was that I was the one who broke her hold and pulled the blanket off of both of us. I saved her life and for it, I got a mother who just checked out on motherhood. Her depression got so bad after that she hardly acknowledged my existence. But remembering the fear and smelling the gas and trying to breathe became exhausting. But I needed to hand in there until Tuesday's session. Thank God for email...my T knew what was going on.

Monday evening I was almost through it when I got one last memory. She shut me in the oven while she went to get the blanket. It was only for about a minute but it could have been a lifetime to me. No little window or light in the old gas stove, just warm and smelly(pilot light was out). I was afraid the burners would come on and I was going to be cooked. The panic over being burned was overwhelming. I started to imagine I was going to be cooked and served to the family for dinner with my father carving off my legs like a Thanksgiving turkey. That's what a 3 year old thinks of.....flames, a Thanksgiving turkey and big carving knives. I was about the same weight as a big turkey and I was shoved in the oven. It was terror beyond anything I've ever felt since. Then she came back with the blanket, opened the door, turned on the gas, put the blanket over us and got under herself.

My panic started to overwhelm me. I emailed my T that I was going to have to hurt myself just to distract myself from the emotional pain. Then I grabbed a rubber mallet and started whacking my hand and arm. I chose the one with the most arthritis so I'd get the most pain for the least damage. But I made it to Tuesday PM. It's hard to believe that was only 3 days ago.

My T hadn't read my email and was somewhat upset with my self-injury but blown away by my memory. But I had the feeling I had gotten to the bottom of my Pandora's Box of memories. I felt tired but okay. Once I told him everything I felt strangely calm. I went home and thought all night about what I had remembered and what I needed to do next. If I accepted that my mother was "absolutely f@#$ing nuts" then I felt I was hated and I knew I would have a horrible time living with this. So I made a conscious decision.

I looked back at my grandmother and then my mother and realized my mother was probably as badly abused as I had been. She was probably suffering from the same flashbacks I've had for so many years but didn't know what they were and didn't have the coping skills to deal with them. I knew she had suffered from postpartum depression with my 2 brothers and I think with me it became postpartum psychosis. She was no different than I was.....suffering from major depression and PTSD but without any help or support. I got help, she didn't. There WAS no help back then.

So I took the big leap and forgave her. It felt good. Between Wednesday night and my session today I did a 180*. And after writing all this to my T Wednesday he wrote back telling me that his grad students have never put as much thought or work into any of their cases as I had put into my own. He was proud of me.

So in 9 days I've gone to hell and back and find myself laughing again and enjoying the burst of summer weather we're getting right now. It just remains for my bruised hand to recover.

I started remembering in 1985 and here, 24 years later, I think I've finally remembered just about everything I can remember. My T suspects that I actually do have more memories but they are hidden in another personality/ies....that I actually began to develop multiple personalities around age 6 and that is why I began to black out with some violent sexual attacks. My other personalities may know what happened but I don't and probably will never remember. The only thing that saved me from staying a multiple was that we moved to Canada when I was almost 8 and away from all the abusive relatives.

I hope this is the end because if at age 81(24 years from now) I start remembering again...well.....I don't know what I'll do!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brenda....thank you....it's appreciate your CL week and I do!

Love and hope to all................JennyB

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-18-2008
Sun, 04-26-2009 - 4:26pm



iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2000
Sun, 04-26-2009 - 7:04pm

Thank you, Brenda. That means a lot to me.

I think what my mother was doing was stopping herself and preventing me from having as miserable a life as she had had. She had been abused and then abused me so I think she felt she had doomed me to the same fate as she. The reason I think this is that when I went behind my parent's backs and arranged to be readmitted to a long term facility way back in 1971, she signed for the admission and insurance without telling my father(he was on a long distance, 6 week, business trip around the world). He was not happy but she felt I deserved every chance to make it. Mind you, just months earlier she and my father had tried to force me into committing suicide by locking me in the house when I OD'd....an OD they were warned about by my departing shrink. So she had a lot to feel guilty about when she did this but at least she did it. And her dying words just 15 months later were to the rest of the family to leave me alone and stop all the rancor.

We all make choices about our abuse. We have facts/memories but they need to be interpreted. We can chose to think our abusers were horrible people and then we are left to wonder why me? I am choosing to see my mother as a victim just like myself so I can forgive her and be at peace. I am doing this for me, not her. I learned many years ago that forgiveness is so absolutely necessary in the healing process and we CHOOSE to forgive.....we don't wait for our abusers to apologize because they may never do it. By choosing forgiveness we can move on. Better than waiting forever for something that may never come.

Happy Appreciate Your CL Week...................Jenny