The other day my therapist asked me if I was afraid of the changes I seem to be heading for.  For one thing, she wanted to know if the prospect I’m facing next, the possible bringing together of two parts of me that were almost severed from one another after the neighbor woman abused me, was scary at all. 

I told her that I was afraid, for I believe the incident of sexual abuse (See “The Day I Stopped Dancing,” February, 2012) when I was age four did more damage than any of the other specific incidents of abuse during my childhood.  Of course, it may be argued that the chronic neglect that allowed the abuse to happen in the first place was more damaging, but the neglect took place over more than a decade of time and was less obvious to me than the sexual abuse.  I had grown used to the neglect. Therefore, I’d say the sexual abuse, being a specific incident that occurred when I was a small child and was trying to find an ally, somebody who would help me, was, in its suddenness and its quality of being totally unexpected, the more devastating. That psychic sucker punch destroyed any trust I had in adults—or in anyone, for that matter—and turned my days into fear-filled abysses of time to be spent in dark closets and under my bed when I was at home and caused me to worry and disappear into uncontrolled daydreams when I went to school.

So why should I be afraid of healing that wound, the gaping sore that has forced me to adapt to that which is so unworthy of adaptation?  First, the wound has needed healing now for about 69 years.  For all that time, I have lived with the damage and have adapted myself to an inner psychic situation that should not be there.  No child should have to go through life with such a deep psychic open sore, one that affects his or her perceptions of the world and her place in it for 69 years.  And yet I have lived with the wound for all this time and built a lot of my inner life around and over it—somewhat like the body builds a scab over a skinned knee. 

Is there health under that psychic scab? Will I come out of this process better or worse for all my hard work?  Will my efforts be worth it?  Will I have to start from scratch and re-adapt to my life?  Will I live long enough to enjoy the fruits of my labors? Having adapted all these decades, wouldn’t it just be easier and less upsetting to continue adapting to the wound rather than to heal the wound even partially and have to change the way I perceive myself and the world in which I exist?  I can’t answer all these questions because I’m not there yet.  I lack the information needed to answer the questions adequately. However, I have experienced enough change already to know that for the most part, I can handle it. 

This next round, though, will be tougher, for the healing I’ve experienced so far has been, it seems, closer to the surface.  Or, at least, the wounds may not have been so deep, so profound.  So what next?  How am I going to handle this one?  With help—that’s one thing I know.  With help.  This is where I am really going to need my therapist as a guide.  She has seen others through this process, and I’m going to have to trust that she can do the same for me. I’m going to have to trust—that’s the heavy part. Can I?  I don’t know and won’t know until the time comes.

Thus, to answer the question “Quo Vadis?”, I have to say that I’m not going anywhere but where I have been going for the past two years.  I must trust that I can handle whatever the process reveals to me, and I must trust that my therapist is a competent guide and will support me. I’ve worked hard for these past two years, and I deserve the rewards of my hard work.  I will trust that my psyche can handle the changes that come with healing, and I will keep on truckin,’ as we used to say in the 1960s. The fear, what about the fear?  Well, fear isn’t anything new to me.  I’ll face the uncertainties and the fears and get past them.  And I’ll keep writing.  That will help. . . Namaste.  Peace.