This week, I’ve been working with my therapist on telling my story. To actually speak the words out loud is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. When I write, I can block out the emotions, dissociate I guess. But when I say it, everything comes flooding back. It’s all there, right in front of me. I don’t know why, but somehow hearing the words makes it more real for me.
Yesterday in my session, I talked about the first time that James raped me. Today, I talked about my father and the shower and a little bit about my father and the bedroom.
I know I’ve written it out before in here, but bear with me. I need to write it again.
When I was a kid, I had long hair. It was so long I could sit on it. It was extremely heavy and extremely thick. It was hard to wash on my own. The first memories I have of my father in the shower are from about age 4 or 5. The memories are a series of disconnected images, sounds, smells and physical sensations.
I can see the bathroom as clear as day. The white wallpaper with the blue sea shells. The frosted globe light fixtures. The blue towels. The big plate glass mirror. The blue and white shower curtains.
I can hear everything. The vent fan. The water. My father’s voice.
I smell it. The dial soap. The cleanser used to scrub the room.
I can feel it all. The water on my skin. The pulling of my hair. His hands on my body. His fingers inside of me.
But, I’ve managed to put everything together into a typical evening in the shower.
About 7:00 or so, my father would call me downstairs to his bathroom. He would help me undress. He would start the shower to make sure the water didn’t burn me. I got in the shower and he would get me wet. He would take the bar of dial soap and lather up his hands. He would wash my body. He never used a washcloth, just his bare hands. He spent a lot of time on my breasts and genital area. He would put his fingers inside of me. I can feel them twisting and turning. Then came my hair. He made sure it was good and wet. He would pour the shampoo right on my head. He lathered up my head. He pulled and pulled. He scrubbed. He used his fingernails on my scalp. And then he rinsed. I would cry when the shampoo got in my eyes. But that made him angry.
There were times when he would get undressed and get in the shower with me. He made me wash him. He made me do it just like he did it to me.
When the shower was finished, he took me in the family room and combed my hair. It was always full of knots because he never used any sort of detangler on it. It felt like the hair was being ripped right out of my head at times. He would yank on it and my neck would snap back and forth. I would cry because it hurt so bad. But that only made him angry. Those were some of the times when I was told “If you want to cry, I’ll give you something to cry about“.
After what felt like an eternity, I was put to bed. But that’s for another time. I’m feeling quite scared right now. I need to get some fresh air. I’m going to sneak outside.