Thursday, 13 September 2012

My child is healing/teaching me.

I have been meaning to write this post for a while now (about a month) but I needed some time, I guess, to actually deal with and simmer on what I'm about to talk about here. On what happened with my son and myself that resulted in me relapsing once again, but in a very unexpected way.

The love of my life, my beautiful son, Channing Danté Olivier

I had been speaking to a therapist a recently (About two months back) about various things around my abuse and how it was and is still affecting me. Especially about how angry I get at myself sometimes that it is still affecting me. I feel that I have done so much work on myself around this issue that it makes me mad when I find myself relapsing or becoming sensitive or withdrawn. She spoke to me about the fact that relapsing WILL most likely continue to happen, especially as a result of my son as there will be various things I will have to deal with regarding him as he grows up and goes through various phases himself. Like what about when he hits puberty and becomes aware of sex and his own body? When he becomes interested in girls and how I will deal with him as he becomes a man.

Anyway, what happened about a month ago was that he had tonsillitis and had a fever as a result. So we got suppositories from the doctor for him. That evening when we got home, my husband had to go somewhere (I can't remember now where) to help someone or get something. So I decided that I would give Danté (my son) the suppository myself. Not thinking much of it or that it remotely come anywhere close to becoming a relapse trigger, I undressed him and lifted his legs to give him the suppository. He immediately started screaming and crying and tried to protect his bum as I tried to push it in. It didn't go in properly because of his squirming which meant that I had to keep trying to push it in.

I immediately felt like I was on the other end of abuse. As if I was the one abusing my child. His reaction and my forcing the suppository was a massive, massive shock and blow to me. How could I do this, how could I hurt my child like this.

I just left it like that, with the suppository half way in and held him, crying (both of us) and telling him how sorry I am. I am SO SORRY. I wanted to tell him I loved him but then I got worried that he would associate that phrase with hurt to his private areas. I was broken and distraught. Suddenly I saw myself in the same box as abusers.

Very soon my son was fine, running around the room and playing again, but it was taking EVERYTHING out of me to not show him how broken and guilty I was feeling right then. I knew the best was to just pretend to be okay and play with him. But man oh man, it was taking a lot out of me.

When my husband finally came home, I could give Danté to him as I went into the bathroom to cry.
Of course, Julio (my husband) wasn't going to leave me there to cry. He came into the bathroom to talk to me about why I was crying and what happened. When I told him, he assured me that Danté was okay and that I didn't hurt him. That I shouldn't be hard on myself about it. Which was easier said than done. The damage was done (the emotional damage in me - the relapse, in a sense)

The next night was girls night with my girlfriends. I knew I had to talk to them. Robyn and Ashante have always been extremely understanding, caring and attentive, not to mention proactively helpful with me and my issues. I'm always surprised by how, after all these years, they never seem to tire of me coming back to them with the same issue over and over again every time I relapse or have a moment of weakness.

The most amazing women I have ever known, Robyn (left) and Ashante (centre)

So anyway. After a couple of drinks and talking about a couple of other things, I finally told them I needed to talk to them about something big. So I started explaining to them about what happened and how I felt about it. Firstly they explained to me the things I had told myself. That I know I didn't do it with an abusive or sexual intention. It was a suppository for his own good. That his reaction was normal for a child getting a suppository, it wasn't because I did anything wrong, etc etc.

So we dug a little deeper. I started realizing and saying that part of it was that I was angry that this happened to me at all and that it was affecting how I interact with my child. That I was angry about not being able to just be angry about it and get mad that it was unfair. I am always the one keeping it together. Keeping everything together and sorting things out for everyone around me. Pretending that I am always okay, until I get a nervous breakdown.

Then Ashante said "You have every right to be angry and feel that it was unfair. More than anyone I know, you have absolute right to get mad and scream about how unfair your life is."

I immediately broke down and started crying. It was SO GOOD to actually hear someone say that to me. To be told that my feelings around my life is justified. It felt great to actually cry about it and to say to myself "Yes, this is bullshit, it's not right and it's not fair and it pisses me off to no end."

Wow, what a relief and a breakthrough. I always felt that it would just be selfish, not to mention, self pitying to do that. But now to hear that I was completely justified, Wow.

But that wasn't the end. Then it was time for brutal truths, as we tend to do. Both Robyn and Ashante started talking to me about how Danté came into my life to help me heal. That I wasn't done healing, that I still had a long way to go in fact. That I have to start understanding and accepting the fact that through Danté I am going to have many more relapse episodes and that they are there to force me to face many fears and issues within myself around my abuse. They were basically telling me the same things that my therapist had told me, but they had a way for putting it to me much more straight. Much more real.

I can now see that these relapses are actually good things as it helps me heal more and more. That Danté, aside from being such a blessing in my life, aside from bringing such joy and purpose to my life, he is also there to challenge me and heal me. That he is my angel in more ways than one, but it's up to me to decide how I'm going to handle those situations when they come. And my amazing husband is my unconditional pillar of strength. How blessed I am despite all the pain.

My wonderful husband (Julio) and son (Danté).
Some things I might be able to predict, more or less, like when he gets to an age and starts expressing an interest in sex, he may do something inappropriate without knowing it. Even now, me having to deal with his genitals is sometimes difficult for me because of the abuse I've gone through. I have to deal with my discomfort and guilt about that discomfort. But there may be other things in the future that will catch me completely off-gaurd, that I would have no way of knowing that it would happen or affect me. Like the incident with the suppositories.

So now I'm trying to live my life by making peace with relapsing and triggers that may result from my relationship with my son. And I am grateful for it everyday.

Thank you for the challenges
Thank you for my beautiful, wonderful Danté.


  1. giving a child a suppository 'is' child abuse....the medical establishment shouldnt promote this barbaric method...there are better ways of causing a bowel movement...the child can suffer great pyschological damage...

  2. You have a wonderful family and friends to help you. I'm happy you've got a support group like this. Don't feel pressured or anything; the path to healing and recovery is never easy. I hope you'll find the strength and peace that you deserve.

    The Zalkin Law Firm, P.C.