- See more at: http://blogtimenow.com/blogging/automatically-redirect-blogger-blog-another-blog-website/#sthash.fBBcEurs.dpuf Casa de Sion: From Sex Trafficked Child To Child Advocate: Therapy With Issac

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

From Sex Trafficked Child To Child Advocate: Therapy With Issac

Therapy with Isaac

Besides being an excellent mother, Vicki was skillful at networking.  After years of dallying with the idea of incest therapy, Vicki had made up her mind earlier that spring to get serious.  After several calls she had found a therapist with an outstanding reputation and to our astonishment Isaac was willing to barter because his fees would be far beyond our affordability.   The problem was that he was two and half hours away.

With the long drive and our busy summer Vicki’s trips to therapy became hit and miss.  As summer receded in autumn the misses began to outweigh the hits.  As the turmoil at home increased, the hits became even fewer.  In those sporadic sessions with Isaac during the summer and fall Vicki had begun to flesh in the one memory from age eleven and because of its brutal nature Isaac suspected that there were probably more.  He wanted to use hypnosis but Vicki resisted.  She was afraid of the loss of control.  She already hated the sessions with him.  He pushed for details, wanting to trigger her memory, but when the session was over, it was over.  She often felt like a basket case when she walked out the door and still had to drive home for 2.5 hours.

Although the long trip and our busy lifestyle were her usual excuse for canceling sessions, both Vicki and Isaac suspected that her aversion to therapy was the fear of more memories.  With Isaac’s help she did come to understand the root of her need to intervene between our oldest daughter and me—it was a simple primitive maternal emotion of protection:  The protection that she hadn’t gotten but needed as a child.  But that didn’t change things at home.  Isaac did promise her that as she rooted out her past, those feelings would subside.

Finally, in late November, Vicki called to cancel one more appointment.   Isaac told me bluntly, “I can’t work with you on this kind of basis.  It’s obvious that you’re running away.  Either you come every other week like we originally agreed or I’m going to drop you.”  I knew Isaac was right; I was running away.  I didn’t know what from, but I was running.  The feeling was not unlike giving birth.  When I got to the hard part of labor, I wanted to quit and forget about having a new baby and walk out of the hospital, but it was too late.  I had to keep going, no matter how painful because the process I’d already started was irreversible. Now I was too far gone to quit, but too scared to keep going.  It was my love for my family and especially my oldest daughter that pushed me to recommit and to make the long drive to therapy that next Tuesday and each long drive after that.  Vicki rarely missed a session afterward. 

A few weeks later Vicki was heading toward Roanoke in the early afternoon with the sun warming the van.  Suddenly she remembered another pleasant afternoon living in Hawaii at five years old.    She could clearly recall the military base housing where she lived that surrounded the playground and the cabana in the center.   In the next scene the pleasing ambience was ruined as she fought and kicked against her father in the cabana while he was trying to remove her underwear.   

Soon the memories came tumbling out like ripe fruit from a cornucopia.  And they never seemed to wait for a therapy session; instead, she got in the habit of interrupting my work at the sewing room.  With a background in psychology I was fascinated with this process of bringing to light buried memories.   I would listen, ask a question or two if needed for direction, and then write down the memory when she was finished.  I was impressed with the clarity of Vicki’s memory work as was Isaac.  There was a sense of release with each memory, and Vicki and I both had the feeling that we were cleaning out her subconscious.  And we patiently (and occasionally not so patiently) endured this sometimes explosive process that would usually upset our home for a few days before and after because we believed that when Vicki was finished with the memories, the reconstruction and healing would begin.

Memories were not just things that popped into my head.  They caused tremendous physical and emotional feelings.  I was overwhelmed with feelings of horrible shame, sweats, shaking, panic attacks, feeling like I was going to pass out, dizziness, feelings of being suffocated.  The words “my father molested me” turned into many, many times of him sneaking into my bedroom at night even from a very young age.  The word molested turned into what it really was “rape of a child”.It hurt both physically and emotionally and spiritually.  My body relived everything and there was a certain amount of uproar around our house.  And then I would review what I had learned in my next therapy session with Isaac and he would push for more details. 

These memories had lived behind a wall of fear.  When I was three years old my father killed my cat and brought him to me.   He said that if I ever told the same thing would happen to me.  So I did what he said, I never told and eventually large portions of my life were placed beyond that wall.  This allowed me to survive and be “normal.”  But at this point in my life I finally felt safe enough to venture beyond that wall.  I was motivated by my love for my children and husband.  But I had to traverse that wall of fear.   That’s what entering into therapy meant for me.   The fear was overwhelming and even now twenty years after remembering these buried traumas, I am afraid to talk about it.  My father has been dead for two years and the fear of telling is still palpable.  

Neither Isaac nor I ever doubted the veracity of Vicki’s memories.  They were clear for Vicki and occasionally I would ask her questions later to see whether she remembered the same facts.  I came to the conclusion that she wasn’t making things up; she was reliving her past and from that point on she remembered as any person would.  Over the years I had observed enough of her father to recognize he had a seedy side; it was just more than I could have imagined.

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