So, for those who haven't been following my other thread - Since my last post here, I have tracked down some photos in an old yearbook from the school I attended. I went to look at those photos yesterday.
It was an incredibly emotional experience.
At the school, while looking at the yearbooks, I had a very hard time staying present. Basically, I could not look at them without dissociating. In the end, I asked my girlfriend (who had fortunately gone with me) to take photos of the applicable pages with the digital camera I took with me. We took those photos straight to a print shop and did a few prints. I didn't look at them again until my T session, which was late yesterday afternoon. My T was able to help me look at them while staying present.
Looking into my own eyes, age 15, I saw myself for the first time as an innocent victim. I saw the blank stare in that young boy's eyes and realised that I had been judging that boy by a rational adult's standards. I blamed him for rebelling and provoking his abusers. I blamed him for not fighting harder. I blamed him for turning to drugs and self-injury. People have always told me that I was just a child trying to cope, but I had never felt it before. Yesterday, I felt that young boy's pain. It was a physical ache that overwhelmed me, body and soul. At the end of my 90 minute T session, I understood that I had always chosen to cling to the shame and the guilt because it was safer.
Admitting my own innocence left bare the real emotions - mostly the unbearable pain of knowing that nothing I could ever do or say, would have earned me the relief or the love I craved. I think believing that I could have had a better life if I was a better kid was easier than accepting that I would not have been loved, regardless.
I feel so deeply sorry for that boy.
But you know what? "Unbearable pain" isn't strictly accurate. I bore a piece of it yesterday, and I survived. It didn't kill me. Yesterday, I cried more than I have ever cried in one day before. Today, I feel stronger than I have ever felt. For the first time ever, I feel that I can look in the mirror, remember the boy that became the man I see there, and be gentle with him. I want to be kind to myself today. I deserve it. That young boy that became me, deserves it. He has suffered enough cruelty in his life. He doesn't deserve to be blamed for it.
This is a post I wrote last night, in an attempt to make sense of my emotions:To the boy in the picture...
That young boy has a lot of healing to do, but the sun is shining today. It's a beautiful day.
It is the first day of the rest of my life.
PS: Yesterday was also the first time my girlfriend say me dissociate, and the first time she saw me completely fall to pieces, emotionally. She handled it with so much love and compassion, and yet managed to not make me feel emasculated.
I am in awe.