I don’t usually remember the anniversary of this occasion, but I was supping morning coffee when something on the radio reminded me of today’s date. The kitchen clock eerily read, July 12th 9.20am, the exact same date, and time when the horror began, twenty-four years ago. That may seem a heck of a long time, but in terms of recovering from this kind of crime/trauma, it is merely a blink of an eye.
I’ve already written about this attempted murder experience, so I’ll not go into details here. I posted about the actual incident in, “My Attacker.” If violence and blood ‘triggers’ you, it might not be the best post to read.
The location was rural and as I crashed head first through my assailants bedroom window, the sound of breaking glass was like a bomb going off and people came running from the next street, only to find a blood soaked body lying motionless beneath a 20ft drop. The first neighbour on scene happened to be a nurse.
It was raining heavily that morning and as she tried to keep me conscious, the raindrops were splashing the side of my face and running through my hair. Don’t ask me why I asked the most bizarre question, “Excuse me, but do you have an umbrella?” I’ve always been partial to dissociating from the emotional pain, but the flippancy was a sign of the years to come.
A local police officer arrived seconds later and recorded the time as 9.30am. I couldn’t feel any part of my body and neither could I move. My assailant crouched over my head and for a moment, I thought he might just finish what he started.
This morning, as I watched the second hand slowly tick from 9.20 to 9.30, I recalled the details of those life-changing minutes. Despite undergoing specialist therapy for PTSD and months of sessions over the years, I’ve never been able to connect with the emotions, but today was different.
This experience just happens to coincide with yesterday’s post about our resistance to what hurts the most. In the last 10mths, Paul has listened to my story cover to cover. We encompassed everything that I originally set out to address, but I wasn’t expecting this foreboding sense of emptiness and uncertainty. What now?
I read somewhere that this is where some of the most important work takes place in therapy, when we stand alone with only the emotion. The Therapists already know the details, now it’s time to share the raw feelings. I wish we could just skip this part of the healing process.
Paul is the best Therapist I’ve ever met and if I can get through this with anyone, I can do it with him, but time is not on our side. This is only a Two-year therapy programme and I am already half way through.
There is no room for jostling around with ‘resistance’, but the prospect of actually experiencing those long-denied emotions is not only frightening, it feels like one of the most unnatural things to do.
Yes, July 12th is a day that usually goes unnoticed, but the tears were surprisingly different this year. Maybe this date will go down in history, not as something tragic, but as a new beginning.