Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chapter 3, Part 3

We finished our tea and my husband offered to rub my back. It took nothing. He barely touched that sensitive rib behind my heart, and I was once again plunged into panic, unable to breathe, only this time I was choking, something was clogging my throat.

You know the old story? You can go without food for a good long time, a fairly long time without water, but you can't go long without air. It takes no time at all for the body to react when deprived of air.

I was struggling for breath, fighting for my life. My arms and hands flailed uncontrollably, reaching grasping desperately. Although the witnessing presence within knew I was reliving the past, I was truly choking in the here and now. Some sticky mass obstructed my windpipe. I was choking and started retching, I felt like I was going to vomit. I became aware of a tremendous pain in my back, like that rib had been dislocated or damaged again.

Again the body memory was accompanied with a knowing. I knew I was around the age of eleven or twelve. I knew my treatment had been rough, that I'd been injured and terrified. I knew that my struggle had nothing to do my dignity and everything to do with my survival. I knew it was my father and I knew that he raped my mouth. That psychopath, and I'm sure he fits the profile, had suffocated me to satisfy his sadistic pleasure and ejaculated down my throat, leaving me choking, puking and injured.

I was shocked. He had, most likely still has, a well known violent, sadistic streak. And the truth is, he was a child of six, in Germany, when the second world war began. He was a member of the Hitler youth, then lived under French occupation when Germany lost the war. God only know what may have happened to him. Even so, I was shocked by the brutality that my child self had had to endure. I was also shocked that such vivid, horrific events could be held within me but secret from me, for so long.

The reliving experiences were violent precisely because the experiences themselves were. Reliving them was grueling, terrifying, draining and for a while completely unnerving. My confidence evaporated along with any sense of security or safety. I was in a constant state of agitation that ranged from anxiety to terror, for weeks afterward. I was afraid of my own shadow, couldn't walk down a dark hallway in my own home. I was petrified of what was around every corner, afraid to be alone, afraid to be outside. I became obsessed with making sure that all the windows and doors were locked.

I was enraged as well. My emotions swung like a pendulum between fear, rage and sorrow, but also at times I felt oddly elated. Much had been explained. I suddenly knew where my rage had its roots. It was an awakening. I felt liberated after forty-eight years of bondage.