Feel like I’m under pressure to report how well the healing process is working and wear the survivor badge with pride.
Mostly that’s kind of true. If you compare how I am now to how I was seven years ago, you’d only see improvements. But as I adjust to my new reality, I find myself as a stranger in a strange new land. The attempts to rebuild a functional new self keep running into difficulties.
A recent blog has caused a new set of memories to surface, not of the actual abuse, but of a reaction that happened because of it about 3 years later. At 13 I started experiencing headaches, stomach aches and nausea. I was subjected to an array of medical tests, but they could find no physical cause and as I was displaying other psychological traits, like depression, I was referred to a psychiatrist.
This was too much for my parents or school to take. I was read the riot act over and over again. There had been a history of mental health issues in my family and it was assumed that I was choosing insanity as a path to escape personal responsibility. “Pull yourself together boy, don’t give into it.”
The Headmaster of my school was instrumental in the white wash, writing to the consultant that I was a well adjusted and happy pupil. True I had been in school plays, but apart from that, his letter was pure spin, ignoring all the trouble I had been in for schoolwork, anti social behaviour and bad attitude.
I, too, was complicit in the cover up. I did not want to be labelled with a mental health problem, but moreover I did not want to come clean about how disgusted I was with myself for having had a sexual relationship with a teacher. I would rather have died than tell anybody.
So with fake proclamations of how happy I was and resolutions to get my act together, I fooled the psychiatrist into discharging me with a clean bill of health. I am not sure if he believed me, I was a good actor, but I sensed that he signed me off with regret.
This memory is like a wrecking ball and has made me so angry. Angry with my parents, the school and myself for obstructing the help I needed.
The truth should have been forced out of me. Then not only could I have had the scars in my psyche treated, but I would have had a far more solid case for getting justice against the teacher.
Now it is too late. I have successfully managed to forget so much and have lived with a false core identity for so long that I make a lousy witness. It’s one big mess.