Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Writing as therapy

Wow! What an intense week it has been here at I'm so overwhelmed by the supportive comments about my last three posts and thank all of you who have left these words for me. Writing about this time has been a really interesting and therapeutic exercise and your support has made it all the more worthwhile.

If you missed the first three posts of On being a victim of rape culture check them out here:

Part 1: The day before
Part 2: Where am I?
Part 3: The day after

Me and my beautiful boy almost
six years to the day later

The last session I had with my psychiatrist was about a month ago. In that session I had to discuss with him the freakout I had when I attempted to go back to work in an office. Rather than tell him verbally how I felt about the whole thing I gave him a printout of this blog post. Easy!

From now on, whenever I need to see a new mental health professional, I think I'll just hand them one of my business cards and say "analyse this!". My backstory is nearly all here and I find it easier to express myself in the written word than in person. The ADHD in me likes to chop and change around the story all the time which makes it difficult for anyone listening to follow.

There is something incredibly cathartic about organising past events and the emotions around them into words, sentences and paragraphs. I've re-read the last three posts so many times I can almost recite them verbatim. Something has happened to me during this process. I could almost be letting go of it. The pain I mean.

Until very recently I haven't even been able to say the 'R' word. Just saying it made me feel so uncomfortable, nauseous actually. Whenever I talk about what happened to my family or friends I refer to it as 'The Assault'. I guess it deserves capitalising because it was the one pivotal event that changed the my course of my adult life.

You might think I'm fucked up in saying this but I don't regret it happening. It was horrible, it nearly killed me, but I survived. My life was fucked up and heading towards Rock Bottom anyway. I had been trying for six months previous to get clean but nothing was getting through. Not that I was getting the right support (more on that later) but I was trying. At least I had taken the first step to recovery: I had acknowledged to myself and three other people that I was in active drug and alcohol addiction.

Something major had to happen to get me out of the toxic waste dump of a life I was living. The way I rationalise it is even though this path lead to the complete deconstruction of my soul, it gave me an opportunity to rebuild and it led me to Noo, my beautiful boy.

While I still have my many demons and my battles with mental illness continue, my life is a million times better than it was before The Assault.

Do I thank the person for doing what he did to me? Absolutely not. But I guess I forgive him. Hating him like I did for so long, just hurts me which hurts Noo.

I've had enough of hurt.

The next part of the story will continue with the 13 hours I spent with the Metropolitan Police. That was almost as bad as the Assault itself.

To be continued...

Do you write for therapy?


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bachelormum said...

Strong beautiful woman. You are making your life work and you will reap amazing rewards through raising a son who is empathetic, strong and grounded. Vanessa I read a book last year called parenting from the inside out which talks about the process of writing to help us make sense of our worlds - the upshot of it was no matter where we come from and our experiences, we can raise resilient kids if we can make an autobiographical sense and connection of what has happened in our life. I read it because I didn't understand why some things my daughter did pressed really strong buttons in me. I'm still working it out but I recognise when it as its happening and its helped me understand me as a mum and woman. I think it's only about $10 on amazon. It's incredible and I think you might get a lot out of it coz it's what you are doing now xx said...

Thanks for this recommendation. I will download the book to my Kindle. And thanks for the compliments. V.

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

I have drafts full of my stories. Stuff I can't publish because I can't bear for my daughters to read.

Writing is cathartic even if there is no one to read it.

Keep writing sweetie, and I will keep reading.

Salwa said...

Love you lots.

mumabulous said...

I find your stories absolutely compelling and I have so much admiration for the way you've turned your life around.

Jeanie said...

I read this wrong when it first came up in my email feed - I was wondering why you were writing "wine as therapy" - Freudian slip of my eye? Yes I write excellent poems when out of love...

Nee Say said...

Wow V, this is the first time I've read your story and I'm speechless, nauseous and heartbroken for you all at the same time. I'm glad that writing helps you process things. It's always helped me. You are an amazingly strong woman x

Rachel @ TheKidsAreAllRight said...

Was it Lori Dwyer at DPCon13 in the Blogging Through Adversity panel who said the only treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was to keep going over and over the event? I might be wrong, but that comes to mind for some reason. Perhaps that is what is helping you V, writing then reading your posts, over and over. said...

Lori did say that. I agree and have heard a lot of psychs say that writing it out and reading it over and over helps. The story/memories then become words rather than feelings that hurt. I guess I am becoming desensitised by the constant exposure. V. said...

I really appreciate you reading and commenting. Thank you. V. said...

Thank you. Your comment means so much. All the comments of support have really helped.

Kylie Purtell said...

I often write posts that I never, ever intend to publish, but that just feel good to get out. I would keep a journal but I type quicker than I write and so that's where they go. As a draft blog post. I often end up deleting them too, after a while, in case something should go wrong and they accidentally publish, but its like when I'm pissed off with someone at work, I write them an email which I never intend to send, and I always feel a little better afterwards getting it all out.

samstone76 said...

I most certainly do write for therapy!
I am very glad that I have found your blog through FYBF :)

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