I'm really sorry to hear about your pal Precious the little cat. This grief will pass and s/he'll be a wonderful memory for you. I'm sure s/he was a great guy. Strategy - Cheap and Cheerful Immersion
On your going 'deeper' - Immersion is a cheap way to go.
- You've got excellent advice and more importantly, comrades here.
- You've got literature that deals with the subject.
- You've got a therapist that you trust.
So going deeper is kind of an intellectual challenge that hasn't been very well 'defined', at least here. So I'll take a shot.
I define it as maybe 'immersing' yourself more into the topic and into you. Why? Because you've got all the necessary ingredients to 'immerse' yourself in your own healing for a while and there's no need for any more outlay of cash. People do this when learning a second language (which is sort of what recovery and learning to feel again is about). The idea would be: You 'become' a new you through your own self guided recovery and depth investigations. You become more interested in your own life history (narrative) and reconstruct as you go along, making sense of detail by detail. The depth will follow the immersion - that's what you've got to trust and believe in order for it to work.
- If you don't find it too triggering, try coming online here more often.
- If you can stomach it, read areas of your books AGAIN that interest you.
- If you can take the effort, try journaling and maybe that'll start to open things up for discussion at the therapist.
- If you can discipline yourself, don't go to the therapist without first going through your journal and really focusing in on areas that are of concern or interest for you.
- If you can do the discipline, keep a dream diary and interpret them yourself. It's hard at first because you don't remember many dreams, but if you start writing as soon as you DO remember a dream, trust me, you'll be writing quite a lot after a few months of keeping track. Don't lean on others too much for interpretation.
- Ask specific questions - ask even stupid questions here - get a feel from other survivors about specific things they might have experienced - use this as a touchstone to test your reality or to see how your own reality was shaped in common ways with other survivors - gives a sense of belonging and "I'm maybe not all that different, which is comforting sometimes" but, in my view, not worth buying a book to discover and is more effectively done by making friends.
- Maybe keep a second journal - one that your inner child composes and writes. You probably know enough about the theory underlying the inner child notion to make great strides.
- Free healing circle sounds like a great idea.
Look, I'm not into the inner child thing. But if you are interested in learning more about your inner child, maybe you don't even need a book beyond what you've read to help you along.
I think you're doing great and asking excellent questions. Keep going!Resources
Decide for yourself what kind of books are really of value to you. I, for example, hate reading about some other guy and his personal journey and how he healed. And I don't give a fuck how highly recommended the book is. Why? Because it's all about me.
I don't believe one man's string of experiences are going to be touchstones for me, because my life (and I) am so weird/special/unique/fuckedup and the odds of his life and mine lining up like Venus and Mars with cozy coincidences all over the place are pretty small. Best to make friends and learn from friends - saves paper too.
Besides, if you touch base with friends on a bulletin board, you've got 7000 life narrative experiences to compare against, instead of a book which has 1 life narrative experience. You can do the math - my approach is far more rational. Once you drop a line here, the odds of getting a nibble are far greater than relying on some dude and his little book. Besides, when you have friends, you can ask questions. Books aren't really good at answering specific life questions.
I read books that back up what they say with numbers and/or excellent clinical case history. I feel I generate the 'depth' myself when I'm armed with knowing how the traumas I experienced shaped my perceptions and thoughts. I work from those generalizations back to myself as a man.
I read books on trauma. If child sexual assault wasn't traumatic, it probably wouldn't be illegal - it's the trauma of it that fucks us up, and probably not the act of sex per se. It's the trauma OF the sex that makes us crazy. So my advice is stay close to understanding trauma and you'll get a deeper understanding of what happened to you. It's at the core of this 'thing'. It's what causes us to obsess, and it's the psychophysical underpinning for our basic biology, which got perverted by the perversions done to us. Disclose to the one you Love
Keep the person that you love the most close to you and on the inside track with your depth investigations. Let him/her in on the secrets. I have been surprised again and again by my wife saying "You know, you mention this...well I felt what you said makes sense when you consider what you did here and here and there...remember?" They have historical personal knowledge that none of our friends on the bulletin boards will possess. So even if they don't understand the abuse per se, they can understand you probably better than anyone else in the world, and they have the historical knowledge to back it up, plus, they have the intellectual and emotional distance needed to remember pretty objectively what really happened, even when your own memory fails or your own perceptions have been skewed.
The people we love in our life know us best. When we share with that person, we have a real touchstone that can help us harken back to things we've done, things we've said, and help make us make sense of our history.
PS I agree - living a good life IS the best revenge - but tying your perpetrator up to a tree and kicking his nuts comes a pretty close second!