Trigger warning: This post contains some description of the physical impact of violence. It may be triggering to some.
For quite a few months my left hip has been bothering me. Not severe pain, just a nagging ache which often prevents me from being able to lift my leg into the car or to sit comfortably. My massage therapist told me that the surface muscle and the subsurface muscle were very tight and constricted. She has worked on it every month, giving me some relief, but still the hip bothered me. She then suggested that there may be something more structural going on.
So onto a chiropractor. She also noticed how tight these underlying muscles were but also found some weirdness when she tested for range of motion, bending my leg in every possible, and some impossible directions. She asked if I had experienced any sports injuries, to which I said no. And so she sent me for xrays.
Yesterday I went back and was told that my hip shows many old fractured lines, scarred over, filling with arthritis and a pelvis that is out of alignment. The chiropractor just looked at me and said “you don’t remember any trauma to your hip?”
Well when you put it that way . . .
And once again I got body slammed back in time as the memories came flooding back.
I have done a lot of work dealing with the emotional impact of violent gang rape. In fact, this new revelation about my hip would have sent me to a whimpering, fetal PTSD mess just a couple of years ago. Fortunately I am now in a much better place emotionally.
But physically I am feeling it and it is really starting to piss me off.
The first revelation of how much physical damage I sustained came when Martha and I decided to have children and I found out that so much internal damage had been done to my body that I could no longer have children. At the time this news didn’t seem to impact me much as I was still very much in a black hole and numb and Martha was willing to step up to pregnancy. Now, quite suddenly, I am feeling an overwhelming sense of loss.
I always knew I had a bridge on my lower left jaw but I never remembered how I lost the teeth or even having the bridge work done. It wasn’t until I started exposure therapy that I remembered the kick that loosed the teeth and then the horrifying feeling of gagging on the teeth and drowning in the blood. It was that pivotal moment when the dissociation happened and something in me split forever.
Years later I began having a lot of pain in my left foot and found out that it had been shattered and never healed correctly. Exposure therapy also had me remembering the sound of that boot cracking the bones. Today my foot is filled with arthritis and quite painful if I walk on it too long.
And now its the hip. I cannot sit for too long and the pain often wakes me at night.
I am having difficulty with the realization that this will now haunt me to the end of my days and there is no escaping it. For years and years my mind suffered, pulling me into frightening
black holes with every trigger. I put myself through hell to finally get some relief. Now my body is letting me know how much it too has suffered.
I have finally reached a point of anger.
I have already paid the price for this. I have already put myself through years of excruciating therapy. I have already suffered enough loss because of this one event. Why do I still have to deal with this?
Yes, I am having a pity party.
And I am angry.
Not a yelling, screaming, shaking my fist kind of anger. I think I have long been afraid of allowing any anger out. If you asked my family they would have difficulty listing even one time that I have ever raised my voice. Sometimes I think that I have buried anger so deep that to open it now would be terrifying, like a huge dam breaking. But there is something deep inside that is angry. Very, very angry. I am not sure how to handle it but I sense that this may be the final step in my healing.