God I hate taking showers. I know that this sounds strange. But there really is a reason for it.
I had finally gotten to the point about a year and a half ago where they didn’t totally freak me out and trigger my PTSD into over-drive. I used to have horrible panic attacks in the shower, especially if I took one in the evening. Mornings weren’t so bad. But at night, forget it.
In the last month or so (in the ever increasing downward spiral) I’ve found myself having the old problems with taking a shower. The avoidance (which is not working right now because I’m taking a class at Tri-C). The panic. The flashbacks. The feelings of shame. Not feeling clean at all when I finish.
Let me take a step back I guess.
When I was a kid, I had very long hair. Hair so long I could sit on it and then some. It was also very thick and heavy. Being young, I had a hard time washing it myself whether in the shower or trying to do it over the laundry tub. So my father would help me.
That wasn’t a problem when I was standing over the laundry tub. But I was a short kid and it was hard to get my head to reach all the way to the faucet, even while standing on a stool.
So the idea of having my hair washed in the shower was born. Not a big deal I guess. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it was just my hair. But that was only the beginning.
I don’t know… I thought by the time I was 6, I was perfectly capable of washing my own body. But I guess I wasn’t. I was washed by my father.
He never used a washcloth. He used his bare hands. He washed me all over. He put his fingers up inside of me so he could get me clean. He rubbed and rubbed my breasts and my thighs and my bottom.
Showers lasted for what seemed like hours. But in reality I guess they were probably 20-30 minutes.
I hated them. I hated feeling so dirty when I got out. I hated the whole thing. I hated my life and wanted to die. I started having suicidal thoughts at the age of 5 and had them pretty much consistently up until I was almost 30. That’s a lot of years living with wanting to die.
This sub-chapter of my life ended when I was about 10 and I got my hair cut and actually got tall enough to reach the faucet of the laundry tubs myself. I also started washing my hair in the mornings because it was so short that if I washed it at night it would stick up in the mornings.
So that’s why I hate showers. The last 3 weeks or so have been really hard and I’ve had to force myself to actually go in there and try to get clean. I always get out feeling like I’ve gotten run over by a truck. Every single muscle in my body hurts. And I end up just feeling dirty. Just like I did when I was a kid.
If it weren’t for that class, I’d continue to hide in my room and not even think about taking a shower.