Phantoms howl at night.
There are many within the walls of my chest and they haunt me. You know, that lonely sound when your own thoughts rattle your walls and shake the window panes of your heart on cold nights. It isn’t so much frightening as it is lonely. The loneliness is more powerful than the fear.
Something of a cross between a zombie, a vampire and a wronged, hurt, vengeful ghost with a story to tell and a need to make things right or extract revenge; wiedergänger seems to be the only metaphor I have found that fits the haunting of the abused person. The ghost – zombie digs it way out no matter how much you want it to stay buried.
The last two sessions this week of therapy I came unglued which is very unlike me. Crying and discussing things, getting upset, all that is normal and I’ve done that just as others do. These sessions, though, my insides came out. I completely unraveled in front of people. Gasping, rocking, sobbing, covering my face, lights flashing, being back at those places, afraid, it’s night, we’re alone … It was like being a ghost or a phantom and I couldn’t hide the terrible stories when asked of them. There is no guise for phantoms to hide behind, it simply doesn’t exist in tandem with them. The experiences were compelled from me with the emotion as raw as the days they happened and I only do that behind closed doors. Loose bowels do not have the kind of force these times have and we still find a way to keep up composure, even to say “I have a headache and need to lay down.” but we find a way out. But not this time. This time, it was like a burst appendix. There was no warning, no way to cover or buffer. There still was little cognizance of each particular situation or each time or experience because as I sit here there have been two more traumas that came to mind more primitive and earlier in the timeline than the ones attributed to the reactions. It was more a pure emotional reaction or recollection and not an intellectual remembering.
Anyway, it thoroughly sucked, was unanticipated, yet intriguing and is emotionally exhausting.
My therapist runs both group and my one on one. I will simply call her Aa. here. Aa. is young, as are all the facilitators, and I was kinda’ standoffish at first. I’ll admit I’m a bit of a jerkoff about young people handling my brain. Respect is really flowing in as the time passes, though, they are good at their job. Very quickly, almost against my expectations, parts of me come running out from behind my walls most of the group sessions each session. I want to shove them back in, like the fat that overflows the top of our jeans, but, like that puffy tube of skin, it just won’t stay put.
We discussed D.B.T. (PyscheCentral’s article. Great site, I may add) as well as C.B.T. (again, PyscheCentral), the possibility of another diagnosis, which we will only discuss here if that comes to fruition. It wasn’t a real palatable idea though not surprising to me at all since the thought has crossed my mind many times in many years. I just never brought it up to any clinicians because I wasn’t giving them any ideas because I didn’t want that label. I have enough, thank you very much. But, if that is what it is, then acceptance and realizing that my definition of that diagnosis is a stigmatization is my answer. Aa. gave me another description and view of that disorder which made me less apprehensive about it. She used the term survivor and I said how I hated that term, I liked surmounter … she reminded me that survivor was a hell of a lot better than victim.
My foray back into the forest of my mind was instantaneously met with ghosts, monsters, bugs, boogey men but also with tools, helpers, magic spells and heroes.
Maybe wiedergänger have a story to tell and we must listen to their frightening tale, no matter how scary they are, to put them to rest in their graves. Maybe trying to kill them isn’t the answer, maybe they aren’t my enemy.
Maybe I am wiedergänger.
P.S. For those who aren’t part of the Facebook page: the Thyroid biopsy came back and it was negative for any malignancy as we hoped and assumed, so yay! We will just ultrasound it yearly. ~ E.G.