Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Guest Post - Up in Flames: Burning my Traumatic Words & Memories linked to my Child Abuse

Guest Post by @shinybluedress

I sometimes get flashbacks & body memories relating to the child abuse images & cine film images that my uncle got me involved in and when this happens I can't speak. I am completely mute. I have a fear that if I open my mouth all the vile stuff will come out of it; the words I was made to say as an eleven year old little girl when things were being done to me. It's unspeakable; disgusting; sick. I am sick to have uttered them.

When I explained this to my counsellor she asked if I could say the words to her; I knew I couldn't. I said I needed to be spared some dignity. She replied that the hold or power that these words have over me needs to be broken, so she suggested the alternative could be writing all the words down and then burning them ceremoniously. It needed to be symbolic, she said "write out that inner dialogue that you experienced - and then to burn it."

SO…a bonfire day!

I lit the fire pit and sat alone in the garden looking at the several pieces of paper on which I had written a different word or phrase. I decided I was going to take each piece of paper and try and say the words OUTLOUD and to then burn that piece of paper simultaneously.

Everything went to plan...the fire lit first time (a miracle) and I put on the Coldplay song "Up in flames."

But...I could not say ANY of the words out loud. I got really upset with myself at first, but in the end I thought - “well my counsellor didn't say anything about saying the words” - she only suggested writing them down and then burning them ceremoniously.

So that's what I did, I couldn't speak them out loud, I just watched the words burn…it was very emotional and cathartic; up in flames they went, words destroyed. They are no more.

I still remain mute during the flashbacks but I actually feel less "dirty". I can also ground myself more effectively and separate myself from the events. I now KNOW deep inside, that those words I was made to say are not only lies but that the shame & responsibility for them lie with the perpetrators who made me say them.

Thank you for reading this.
Guest post published by Mrs Teacup with the kind permission of @shinybluedress

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