Last Monday I had an extended appointment with my counsellor to begin to allow time for me to feel safe and secure enough to begin to go into the details of what occurred and how I felt about it. The extended appointment had been planned and I'd spent the previous week preparing myself. I knew it was going to be hard!
My counsellor grabbed a fleece blanket for me to lie on, on the floor, because she knew I wanted to work with paper and pens and that I'm always happier doing that kind of stuff on the floor.
For the first 20 minutes or so we talked about my birthday and how I'd coped with it. After that she asked me how I wanted to do things. I said I'd be happy to lie on the floor with paper and pens and see how things developed.
I picked up a pen to write and my mind went totally blank. I told my counsellor I'd gone blank. She reminded me that we finished the previous session talking about feeling the feelings and just sitting with the feelings.
So I just lay on the floor with my head on my hands for a couple of minutes quieting everything down and slowly focusing in on the powerful emotions I felt last week when talking about my babies.
Slowly I began to write single words on a piece of paper.
As I did I became aware there was another set of words that needed writing down but they were different words.
The first set of words were “feeling” words. When I'd finished writing the 'feeling' words I went through them with my counsellor.
I then said I needed to begin a 2nd piece of paper and start the new set of words. I realised these words were coming from my fragmented memories.
By writing them down I was beginning to pull those fragmented memories together into more of a whole. As I did so a picture began to emerge. The picture of what happened in the garage that night. A picture formed by single words.
My counsellor said nothing as I lay there and wrote, then went quiet, waiting and listening to myself before writing more words. There was a lovely safe silence in the room with a ticking clock in the background reminding me of where I was and that I was in a safe place.
The words flowed, one after another, I picked up different colour pens at different stages. And then I came to a blank.
I knew that blank was there and it's bothered me a lot that there is such a huge blank in my memory. I told me counsellor I'd stopped writing because I'd come to a total blank in my memory. It was a huge step for me that I reached the blank and had the confidence to tell my counsellor I'd hit it and that I'd always known that particular blank was there. It was good to discuss the existence of that blank. To acknowledge it helped me to accept the blank and feel less bad about it.
The blank goes from my ankles being tied to something right through to hearing my baby's cry.
My counsellor told me that very few women actually remember child birth, so I shouldn't beat myself up about not remembering. And in this case for it to be such a traumatic forced birth/abortion there are even more reasons for there to be a blank in my memory.
She asked me if I remembered anything being said.
Up to that point the memories had unfolded in total silence in my head. But the moment she asked I became aware of angry harsh voices. I wrote a torrent of words after that then stopped and looked at what I'd written. I realised I'd written all the terrible things my mother said to me during the terrible events that unfolded in the garage.
I wrote about hearing a baby's cry and how it forced me back to consciousness and forced me to look. There were also things my mother was saying and doing that also forced me back to consciousness and forced me to look too.
I realised I went in a split second from - “baby? What baby? How did that baby get there?” - to - “that's my baby!”. I had no real comprehension or understanding of what was happening but yet something deep kicked in – my counsellor told me it was something hormonal.
I then wrote about watching my baby being murdered, stabbed, in front of me - then we came to silence, total silence.
We stopped at the silence because it was a good place to stop.
There is more to come beyond the silence but we were nearly out of time then and it's good to sit with that silence.
I will write about that silence at some stage. That silence was a very powerful silence. It deeply impacted me and traumatised me very deeply.
The final words I wrote were “that 13 year girl realised something very bad had happened and that it was ALL HER own fault.”