The week of Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) that I first had to write the details of my rape, and then read it daily, hurt like hell. And I started to feel vulnerable. But slowly reading it became, kinda, more mechanical. I started feeling more, blissfully, numb.
Last week I felt numb.
This week it has been full on rage every time I so much as start to read it. One sentence and I feel my blood pressure rising, pounding in my neck and temple. Nightmares are back. I feel tense all the time. I’m on that edge.
In CPT group today our fearless leaders (there are two) asked me what was under the anger that I’m avoiding feeling …. Well damn. Are we really going to go there?
Not that I don’t have a right to feel anger toward my rapists. Not that the anger isn’t justified, because it IS. But what ELSE is there hidden under the anger? And I know what it is. I know because I’ve been stuck in this pattern for awhile now. I feel anger, and when I exhaust myself I feel depression. I know how to handle both of those feelings though I don’t particularly like either one. What’s under them is fear. But what am I afraid of?
What I can’t handle, what I avoid, is that big black sucking hole of hurt in the middle of my chest. Maybe I don’t know what to do with it. Maybe I’m afraid if I let it have it’s way it will overtake me. Maybe I’m afraid if I let myself feel all that pain I’ll never be able to feel anything else because I have so much in my life to feel that kind of pain for.
There’s also the vulnerability. Allowing myself to feel the hurt means allowing myself to feel vulnerable. Much as I don’t like feeling anger or depression, I REALLY don’t like feeling vulnerable. In fact, I would probably do almost anything not to be or feel vulnerable.
But I’ve been here before, processing other things. I know the only way out is through. I’m committed to the process, and to my own growth, even when I groan (real or implied).
So damn. Here I go again.