Therapy Dump #18 – Facing Off With Bargaining

I’ve been seeing my therapist for over three years, every week. During this pandemic we meet via telehealth. In this series come along with me through each appointment as I reflect on the session and my progress. 

I wasn’t sure where this week was going to go when I first signed into my telehealth appointment. I knew that I was excited to share about the evolution of my advocacy on Instagram. I am doing LIVE shows, videos, and really developing a following and a group of people that I enjoy spending time with.

Some of them I even talk with in real life through the video chat option on the Instagram platform.

I have really been coming into my own, embracing the direction of the energy, and countering any self-doubt that creeps up when I second guess if I am good enough to be this person for others.

Other aspects of my life are falling into place as well as my husband and I have become an unstoppable team when it comes to balancing our daughter’s schooling with the work we need to do outside the house. 

We are getting a handle on our stresses and it feels good. I guess it makes sense that as every-day stresses calm down, my trauma issues would come knocking now that there seems to be space for them

Daddy Issues

My daddy issues aren’t anything new, or a secret. My father was the worst type of parent – calling me a liar for speaking up about my abuse, making me available to my abuser, and his final act of betrayals was his sworn deposition for the defense team representing my grandfather in the trial against him.

I have a lot of conflicting emotions around my father. I am so angry at him, yet I miss him terribly. I wonder if he would be proud of my, or what kind of grandfather he would be to my children. Would we have been able to reconcile? Would he have ever apologized?

Wow, I didn’t realize just how deep my grief went or how little I have really truly dealt with it.


Facing Off with Bargaining

As I shared all this sadness I have been feeling this week due to some of the things I have been sharing about my father, I asked my therapist desperately if my tears will ever end or if this is what I have to accept – that I will always be this sad.

As I trailed off, I mentioned the anger I feel when I get sad about him. All the contradictory emotions, and the messy chaos that I feel towards my father – it gets so overwhelming. I am so sad, but I don’t want to be – I am too angry at him to just be sad.

My therapist asked me what my anger towards my dad is telling me – why can I not let it go?

That’s why I realized my anger is my justice.

If I am not angry at him, who is holding him accountable for his abuses against me?

As this realization took hold, as I felt awareness sweep over me – I realized I have been bargaining hard with how I feel about my father’s betrayals.

I have been bargaining my ass off with just how deeply this pain goes.

My anger finally identified itself as deep, deep, grief.

It Feels Near Impossible to Move Through This

As I begin to peel back yet another layer of the proverbial onion that is my Complex Trauma and let my guard down ever so slightly – I feel the discomfort this grief is bringing. It takes my breath, it catches in my throat, I can barely talk about it – it just hurts so, so much.

I don’t know how I am going to find the strength to let go of my anger in a way that I know is not letting him off the hook. I don’t know how to move through this, so I can get past it and heal.

I have always known (in my head) how deeply my father is intertwined in my childhood trauma, I have always known his transgressions did more damage to my sense of self than the physicality of my sexual abuse.

This week I finally connected emotionally and physical to what has been bouncing around in my head for longer than I can remember and it is a reality that is shocking to my senses.

The Next Level of Healing

It seems that I have two choices now that this new level of awareness has taken hold. I can hold on to my anger, or I can find a version of justice within myself that puts my life and my happiness first. Right now, my anger at the injustices of my life feels like a necessity for surviving this pain.

It feels impossible right now. Letting go of my anger still feels like he gets away with it. No one was held accountable for my childhood of abuse, terror, and pain – it is not fair! 

But I don’t want to hurt like this forever.

I trust that my therapist isn’t leading me astray when she says I am on the path to forgiveness (which is a word I have always shied away from). She told me that I  have full control of my direction whether I believe it or not.

Okay then, here I go …

Stay tuned for next week’s post. Related posts: read through my previous Therapy Dumps.

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