BOOK FIVE: MAKING LIGHT
…Although it had been experiences with Norman that had brought me to the group, my most conscious reason for being there was to get a better understanding of relationships and the part I did and didn’t play within them, to either my detriment or benefit. Also, because I wasn’t using marijuana as crutch this time around in my therapeutic endeavours, I was hoping that the journey would take me that bit further; that bit deeper into the healing process.
Not that I had forgotten that it had been the sexual abuse and their memories that had prompted my reaching out for therapy again, but at that time, at the beginning and middle of the group psychotherapy, I wasn’t quite ready to face it head-on. It was like I had fallen asleep on the childhood sexual abuse issue again, but then perhaps that was all part of the process, and I had to deal with some other things first before I could go there.
One of the important lessons I learned in the group at the time was how, most of the time, psychological defences- habitual ways of thinking, feeling and behaving when stressed or experiencing internal and external conflict, are developed first and foremost out of the human need of self- protection. These ‘defences’ are self-preserving in development and nature, acting as survival mechanisms that as human beings we have at our disposal as we make our way through this experience called life. Thank God for them.
I also learned that, essentially, these defences – my own, my mother’s and other people’s that I had the mis/fortune to run into – are, rather than being designed to hurt, there to preserve and protect my oftentimes precarious senses of self. The more severe, traumatic, unsafe and reoccurring early childhood adverse experiences are, the more intense and almost insurmountable these defences can be to overcome later on. Contrary to popular belief, I came to see that I could not simply ‘move on’ and ‘put, once and for all, traumatic experiences behind me…
Peace & Love,