I used to despair of ever finding a listener as good as me. Someone I could talk to for a change. Not that I knew how to talk at this point. Writing became my medium for expression. So isolation became my life and I would swing through bouts of horrible thoughts and emotions too overpowering to control, to bouts of absolute nothingness, and end up in bouts of just trying to cope through the day without killing or hurting myself.
I knew, deep down that this was unsustainable and really not what I wanted in life. I knew I had to do something to get rid of the depression, suicidal thoughts, and everything else, but what? A dear friend of mine, who happened to be my boss at the time, finally gave me the information for a place in town called Child Safe. They specialize in helping sexually abused children.
So I finally called them up and made an appointment. At this time I was also seeking help from my ward’s bishop who gave me the LDS family services counselor’s information for the area. Now I had very little hope that either would pan out. I’d seen about three LDS family services counselors by this time, trying to work on my life-long addiction, and none of them were very helpful. Plus, through the LDS family services, you only get a max of sessions.
I’m sorry, 12 hours to figure out 27 years of abuse just wasn’t going to cut it. But I went to both in the same day anyway. I knew I couldn’t do this alone and I knew I couldn’t keep it up. The only reason the suicide attempts hadn’t worked was the possibility of it not actually working, and someone, not corporeal, consistently shoving me off the train tracks or rooting me onto the side of the road until traffic cleared or reminding me of the reason why that form of suicide would not work.
So I went to Child Safe and the woman was amazing. Granted she’d had over 25 yrs experience. Still it did not translate into my brain as someone who would understand me. So when I stuttered for about ten minutes trying to explain why I was there and she told me exactly what had happened to me, what I was feeling and why and that she could help me, I was floored.
I then contrasted this visit with the LDS counselor. She told me that together we could figure out what I needed. Well F that. I was gonna go with the lady who knew what she was talking about. The best part was they have a sliding scale and I was broke.
And so I figured I was actually starting on my path to healing. But nothing much changed. I went and talked to my therapist once a week. And when I say I talked, I mean she did a fair amount of the talking. Now she figured out that I was one of those quiet ones that you have to leave space for talking in order to get them to open up. So she was good at giving me that space. But, like most people, I kinda hoped things would just move right along and I’d be all better in half a year or so.
It took some convincing from her that I would need more time than that. So I started looking at myself for the first time. And it was very very difficult to do. I wasn’t just a broken mess, I was a mass, unrecognizable as anything remotely human or myself. I couldn’t figure out what this thing was supposed to be or who. And I knew that if I started picking the pieces apart I’d find nothing but pain. And as yet, there was no promise of peace on the other side.