Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving in Seattle

So tomorrow is Thanksgiving. I know you are not supposed to complain on Thanksgiving, but I despise Thanksgiving. And Christmas. I just realized that I decided to start dealing with the sexual abuse a couple of days before the time of year it would happen. My family would go to my great-uncle’s house on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter, and he was the one who sexually abused me. Every year, I try to pretend like I am fine with it, but I hate this time of year. I hate it even more now that the only friend I had in my family is dead.

I suppose I am being hideously negative, but I feel so uncomfortable in my skin right now. Most of the time I want to either scream or stab myself. I feel nauseous and my skin is crawling. My feelings are raw, and there is no protection from them. Somehow I have been able to put myself right in the middle of my bad feelings and the agonizing over what happened to me, and I feel it everywhere. Reading that book, and making myself think about it has opened the floodgates. My discomfort with my body is like a tingling wound that moves around, so I feel it in my hand, then my head, my stomach, my foot, my hip, then my face. It feels like I am detoxifying. I am detoxing from avoiding this pain. This is just the beginning of working through my worst, most uncomfortable feelings. Agony doesn’t even begin to describe it.

Arrrrg! I want to throw things. I hate this holiday! Three times a year, people put up decorations, cook elaborate dinners, get together with family, give each other things, and celebrate the days I was sexually abused. Maybe you are reading this and thinking I am really sad and pathetic. I feel really sad and pathetic. But if you grew up in a dysfunctional family, maybe you, like me, wish the holidays could be joyful and magical instead of a reminder of how bad things can be.

It is raining here in Seattle. (Surprise!) We've been having record rainfall, as a matter of fact, and it has been really windy too. I have been having the full experience because my car broke down a couple of weeks ago (more like three) and it's still in the shop. I've been taking the bus and walking everywhere. I walked so much today that my calves hurt. It reminds me of living on the streets, and being out in the rain all the time. That's another reason I am not so thrilled about the holiday season. I have also been thinking about the streets because my work is participating in the Teen Feed Secret Santa program. My co-workers are buying 25 presents for street kids. It is very exciting.

In keeping with a least one tradition of this holiday, I am thankful that the people I work with are so generous as to help out a charity that fed me, kept me from dying of malnutrition, and made my Christmas truly magical for a couple of years (big thick socks are a magical, amazing gift when you are walking around in the rain every day). I am thankful that I am not on the streets anymore, and I have a huge apartment all to myself with no questionable people staying here, and a job that I love and learn new things in every day. I am thankful that I was able to go back to high school after dropping out, get into college, and go to grad school. I am thankful that I am almost 35, still alive, healthy; I have great friends and people who care about me, and love myself at least part of the time. I have always had amazing opportunities; my life is always interesting, to be sure. I have hope, and hope is always there no matter how bad things have been.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kristina,

After reading many of your sexual abuse experiences, I can only imagine the pain you went through.

You are a survivor. Give yourself credit every day that you have survived it.

I wish I had good, exact advice to you on how to deal with the reality of sexual abuse, but I do not.

The only advice I may have is to look through inner peace through God.

God has seen and witness the abuse you have endured. He is now wrapping his arms around you, allowing to feel that unconditional love.

In hating the world, you are not allowing yourself the love that is intended for you.

"Helping Victims of Sexual Abuse, repack: A Sensitive Biblical Guide for Counselors, Victims, and Families" by authors Lynn Heitritter and Jeanette Vought may be a good, spiritual resource to help in your healing.

Leslie

Kristina said...

Leslie,

Thanks for the kind words. I don't hate the world. Far from it! I am gratful for every day of my life. I am a very lucky person.

~Kristina

Anonymous said...

Kristina,

I am glad to hear you appreciate life.

Leslie