I've done this. I'd like to say I'm finished with it, but I'm not. There is so much of me that rebels at accepting the fact that I could be hurt by anyone. It's defensive, I know, but it's also very real. However, I believe I'm making progress. Even though I hate it, I acknowledge much of what I used to ignore, and even though I don't want to, I'm accepting that many of my beliefs were incorrect.
Things I no longer deny:
1. The abuse I endured was a big deal. It was important and significantly changed my trust and fear instincts. It shaped my feelings about men and reactions to them. It makes me sad.
2. The feelings and aftermath of the abuse are not "over". I've said they were over for many years. They weren't--they were simply ignored because addressing the issue was overwhelming to me.
3. The abuse affects me every day. It filters into work, play, family life, sexual interactions, friend relationships, impulses, sleep patterns, and health issues. I don't want it to, I don't invite it, I wish it was gone. It's not.
4. I cannot continue alone. For many years I was isolated. Thank God for a husband who understood and loved me in spite of me. He simply waits for each wall to come down and loves me more every day. Thank God for friends who don't leave me when I'm irrational and scared, or when I act delusional or vulnerable. Thank God for those friends who let me talk about the most frightening and hateful aspects of my life and don't run away from me or treat me differently. I need people now more than ever--those who will recognize that there's someone of worth inside the freak on the outside.
5.I'm sad about what happened to me--deeply, agonizingly sad. It tears me up and makes me cry. It was terrifying and painful, and what hurts more than anything is the loneliness that still lingers, the certainty that I will be horribly hurt by someone and then abandoned, and that betrayal is an inevitable part of any relationship.
This is a good thing, right? No longer hiding or denying? It doesn't feel good. I don't like admitting these things. I'm trusting Therapist--but only because in my couseling he has never guided me in the wrong direction. In the meantime, acknowledging all these things makes me feel very small, weak, insignificant--and I don't like it.