Memory Like a Wrecking Ball

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.

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