I’m sitting here in my cave of an office…not really hiding, but glad to be alone just the same. I can hear in the distance my daughters, my dogs and my husband…the sound of the sprinklers and the fans cooling our house and the muted noise of the tv as well. It is peaceful and my favorite way to wind down for the night. I love knowing they are here and love knowing, as well, that they will leave me alone for a bit.

Tuesdays are my therapy night. Yes, I have a standing appointment at 6:30 every Tuesday with Sarah…the therapist sent from heaven for this time in my life. My first therapist was perfect for the traumatic time in my life when I was seeing him. I am sure now that he would not be perfect for this time in my life and isn’t it interesting how we get what we need even if we don’t realize it at the time. Chris was there for the dramatic and traumatic memory work I needed to do. It was painful and scary and necessary. He was a rock, a savior, a friend when I most needed one. He held me up when I was in so much pain emotionally that it was reflected in my body with pain so severe I couldn’t sleep or move much some days. As the pain I had held inside me and blocked for so long finally found it’s outlet, he was the perfect soul to hold my hand as I found my way through. It ended up that Chris gave too much of himself and needed to stop working for awhile. He took all the pain of others so well and helped them so much, he forgot to take care of himself. He is better now and I love him dearly. I am also grateful not to be working with him now.

Sarah arrived at a time of great change. I was done with the memories for the most part. The physical pain had subsided mostly. I was newly single and newly alone in the world save for my three daughters and a few friends. I had a new apartment and a new tatoo that symbolized my metamorphisis. Ugly caterpillar to lovely butterfly. I was finding my way and taking care of my children and Sarah worked at their school. It has taken me a long time to trust her. She is a special soul. She now has her own private practice and my space on the couch is mine for an hour on Tuesday nights. Sometimes I don’t want to go…at all…ever again. Most times I go anyway. I tell her it’s hard for me and she asks “Then why are you here?” I reply the same way I always do “Because I know I need to be here.”

I want to feel normal some day. I rant about how long I’ve been in therapy. I cry and bitch and piss and moan and always she reminds me of how long I lived in horror and abuse. “It took you 28 years to say Enough, is it any surprise it’s taking a long time to get through it all?” It’s like being born again and I don’t mean as a christian either. It’s like starting from the beginning again and having to relearn it the way I should have been able to learn it the first time. It’s about learning that all the programs and input were wrong information and not really understanding what to do about it. I asked tonight “Do you think it’s possible that all the fear and anxiety are really a part of me that I will never get rid of? Were they made part of me physically because the abuse started so early?”

I wonder sometimes what the lesson is in all this. Why did I end up in a family like mine? What did I do in a previous life and why did I have to learn whatever it is that I’m not learning? One of my daughters asked me what I thought my purpose in life was recently. The answer is “I have no idea.”

Sarah asked “Why do you come here Traci? What is it you hope to get out of all this work?” My answer tonight: “I want to feel lovable. I want to feel safe. I want to feel ‘normal’. I want to have someone say to me “You suck!” and be able to reply “You have no idea how wonderful I am” and mean it. I want to feel… something besides numb. I want to believe.”

Therapy is hell. There is no way out but through. Onward…and upward… please god. Peace.


7 responses to this post.

  1. Seeking out all the pain inside, grabbing it and putting it on the table. That is really hard.
    Your tatoo was a perfect symbol of where you have been and what you have become. One day, you will be able to say “You have no idea how wonderful I am” and mean it. It will come, I know it will.
    And Traci, I think you do believe it deep down, buried in there.
    You are the butterfly in flight, finding your way. When you finally land, you will find it.


  2. I think that even though the input was bad, the information wrong, your “computer” is hard wired to know how perfect you really are. Warm, wonderful, a kind loving soul. I know that someday you will know what I have known since the first day I met you, you are wonderful in every way!

    I love you Traci!


  3. If you didn’t know you were worthy, deep down, you wouldn’t be seeking the help you’ve gotten to find it. You’d have given up long ago. Thank God you didn’t.

    One thing to keep in mind…there really isn’t any such thing as “normal.” There’s no standard to measure up to. Just go by how you feel, and not what you think other people are feeling. None of us are “normal.”


  4. Traci – I speak to you as a friend – I put my Bible down. I am speaking to you as Stephen Bennett, a regular, every day person like everyone else.

    I have read your blog. I am so sorry for the years of pain, of abuse by family, by “religion” and more.

    I am so thankful you are in therapy – getting all of that “garbage” on the inside dumped out – for good.

    You DO have worth. You DO have value. You DO have a purpose. Turn the negative into the positive.

    You ARE a butterfly emerging, growing, changing.

    You are a beautful person, woman and mother of three who has kids who look to you as their role model.

    You are a precious individual, and don’t EVER let anyone ever tell you that you are anything less.

    In our ministry, we deal with adults who have suffered abuse by family members early on. I know EXACTLY where you are coming from.

    Without this being misconstrued, I love you as a fellow human being – a person created in the image of God.

    You WILL overcome and be a source of strength for many some day, people who believe there is no longer any hope.

    Keep up the good work. It’s painful and you may be in the valley at times, but when you are on that mountain top and the word “Hallelujah!” just comes right out… you’ll KNOW.

    Blessings to you amd your family.


  5. Just something I think you might appreciate…

    1 Corinthians 13:1-13

    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.


  6. Traci…
    my goodness your history reads a bit like mine and many others. One must not compare. My saving therapist was Gwen.
    Thank God for her literally. She took all my crap and came back for more. It was with her that I learned to move forward and let the past be.
    No person telling you that you are worthy is going to help.
    One day I know you will look in the mirror and know it. Because you do the work to get there.
    Honor that.


  7. Traci,
    One of the first things I told my therapist years ago was:
    One day I want to be normal.
    Her reply to me was:
    What is normal?
    My reply….well you know…normal, like other people.
    She said like normal on a dryer setting…..that’s about the only normal I know. It’s a setting on your dryer….Is that what you want to be Jan.
    I have come to believe that statement…..Normal is a setting on the dryer and not a setting for humans, individuals.
    Not a term for people with true life experiences, feelings, hurts, and the greatest love.
    This is my 2 cents worth.

    Congrads for sticking with your therapy!! The end result will be well worth all the pain endured to get there.


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