Do you know GraceD? I have always loved her Twitter name because if you make the “D” lower case it’s “graced.”
Have you seen her Community Keynote presentation from BlogHer this year? Prepare to be emotionally humbled.
As for me, I was more like emotionally staggered.
The tears started burning in my eyes when she talked about hating May – June. See, until I gained a loving father-in-law and had a reason to celebrate Father’s Day, I had always circled around that particular holiday with my eyes narrowed, wondering what was so great about it anyway.
Why did I hate Father’s Day?
OK, deep breath. I am going to come out and say something I have only hinted at before on this blog.
I was sexually and emotionally abused by my father.
Here’s the rub, I don’t remember a lot of it because of a condition called disassociation. But I promise, there’s enough there to really mess a person up for pretty much the rest of her life. Even given the fact that my father died when I was 11, and I have, luckily, and thanks to a lot of hard work by my mom, lived a normal life since then.
Before then wasn’t so great for us.
All things considered, we limped out of there pretty OK.
Enter my night terrors. This I have talked about pretty frequently. But in a nutshell, I used to have huge, grandiose, screaming, flailing night terrors where I was a harm to both myself and my husband. I used to have these night terrors several times a week. I wasn’t sleeping. Bryan wasn’t sleeping. This had gone on for a decade.
I finally found a therapist several years ago because we were starting to sleep in separate beds. That may have worked for Lucy and Ricky, but not for us. I had found a wonderful man to spend my life with – and I wanted to, well, spend my life with him.
I assumed the night terrors were related to my dad, everything always was, right? So we talked. And talked and talked. And I felt better. I understood more. I forgave. Not my dad. ME. I listened to Grace before Grace even entered my life. My dad is still in purgatory with me, but at least I don’t hate him anymore. Hate wastes so much of your energy; I just was so tired of hating him.
My, the night terrors didn’t stop. So off I went for the weirdest night of my life, and finally turning to the crazy meds. In the three years since starting taking them – I have had TWO, count ’em TWO, full-blown night terrors. Compared to the several per week I used to have, I’ll take those odds and I will take my pills. We’re kicking post-traumatic stress in the ass.
As I watched Grace’s presentation, though, I was mezmerized. I ticked off on my hands all the things she mentioned that I struggle with. Towards the end, I was smiling through my tears, thinking, SHE GETS IT. She really understands.
And that’s why I decided to post today. To let Grace and other victims know I GET IT. I understand. I am here for you if you want to talk in the comments or privately (aimee at greeblemonkey dot com).
There is also an AMAZING site run by Maggie Dammit for victims of abuse called Violence Unsilenced for people to share their stories and be there for each other.
So, thank you Grace, and Maggie, and my therapist, and my family, and my friends and my amazing husband for helping me make the steps on this journey and feeling pretty OK at this end of it. THANK YOU.