Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fear and Telling

He told me that telling them would make all the difference. My husband and therapist both believed everything I had told them. Why would my parents be any different? 

The day of the meeting I was a wreck. Frantic; nauseated; hands shaking; crying. I knew it was irrational to be this afraid. I’m a grown woman, for God’s sake. Inside I was still the little girl who had been repeatedly told, “they won’t believe you” and “they’ll throw you away like a piece of trash”.

The appointment time finally came. We met at the psychologist’s office. He talked with my parents and then he talked with me. He assured me it would be alright. They would believe me, love me, support me.

I sat in the corner of the sofa, my husband at my side. The psychologist sat across from me. They sat across the room. I told them I needed to tell them some things. I told them about the attack in college. I told them about my cousin and some of what she’d done. I thought I was finished. I looked to my psychologist. He was urging me to share more. I told them about the study.

They murmured placating words -- “How terrible” and “Oh dear”. No emotional response. No rushing to my side to embrace me. The psychologist explained that I would need them; that this was a long road toward recovery and they could be instrumental in my healing. My parents rose from their seats and smiled jovially. They gave me obligatory hugs. They were heading out of town for much needed break. They would call when they got back.

I didn’t get what I needed, but the scariest part was starting. It did get easier. Just not in the way I thought it would.

linking up to RemembeRED and imperfect prose on thursdays


  1. I can't even imagine the courage this must have taken.

    And I am so grateful for the team...the husband and the counselor, helping you take this next amazing step.

    And I hope your parents will someday be able to be completely on your team as well.

  2. i'm so angry at your parents' reaction. from just reading this and not knowing anything more, i'm so angry. :(

  3. You are so brave to do that. I'm sorry they didn't give you what you needed, but I'm sure it was important for you to tell them. For your own sake.

  4. You shared just enough here to bare your heart.

    I am so very sorry that you were hurt, and not heard.

    Thank goodness for the people who supported you and for the strength that you found to move forward.

    Again, I'm so sorry.

  5. This is so familiar.

    Not from my point of view, but from the outside.

    I have a friend who was abused. She needed her parents to be on her team.

    It took a long time for her to tell me. Longer to tell her mother. Even longer for her father.

    I don't think her parents ever gave her what she needed.

    Because she was a child when the abuse happened. She tried to tell them the guy made her uncomfortable.

    But he was a "good Christian man" in their eyes.

    They didn't listen.

    I think they will always blame themselves for this. To comfort is to accept their responsibility in it happening.

    I don't see it happening.

    I don't know your situation, but I hope your parents come on board.

    The first step is always the hardest.

    I'm glad you have a supportive spouse and a good therapist.

    And this telling of it, the anxiety, the regressing to a child, captured your feelings perfectly.

    Thank you for telling it.

  6. This is such a powerful post, in its simplicity. I am glad I found your blog, and will read more.....

  7. So difficult for this mama to understand. You're so brave, as always, for sharing.


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