My girlfriends dad is a registered sex offender. When S was 12, he got caught sending inappropriate messages to a 14 year old girl. Maybe other things happened. On numerous occasions, S has also dissociated with me and had parts come out. They’re very sweet and interesting and they have told me some bad things. One was of a little parts memory that she was made to perform sexual acts with another girl in front of S’ dad and friends. A part also told me she had shit all over her (I’ve had similar memories and it is a common ritual abuse experience). This all happened in our first year of being together and it was pretty full on. I encouraged S to seek therapy as there was a bit of transference happening that my therapist warned me about. She said it was important S lean on her therapist and that her parts talk to them more than me. S dipped her toes in to therapy but was never that committed. To be honest I don’t think she was ready to do the work, timing was not right. She had also been sexually abused by her step brothers and revealed this to me, although the memories were fragmented and relatively amnesic. Since we had so much on and off again in our second year, the heaviness of the affair playing into things, me being so divided and unsure about the gay thing, the multiple thing (two multiples dating), the breaking up a marriage thing (I could go on), well, her parts just disappeared. Likely, they didn’t trust me anymore and it just wasn’t safe to come out. Fair enough, it was a bumpy ride. Since last year, S hasn’t been in contact with her father and recently he got in touch. I read the correspondence and it was an apology about the girl he liaised with, but certainly no admission regarding other stuff.
Today she told me that he had reached out again asking her to consider doing therapy with him. She asked me what I thought. I said that if she were to do this, she should find a therapist who has experience with dissociation, sexual abuse, narcissism and Incest. I said that S should choose the therapist, but I was worried that because she had not done much therapy herself that she was going into some complex territory, not armed with much recovery or support for her inner parts. They could get damaged by this or further silenced. Then S starts suggesting maybe she doesn’t have parts and she doesn’t know what really happened to her and maybe she was picking up on what was going on for me. I’m thinking WTF?! I’ve met her parts, I’ve spoken to them! I believe them. And it’s pressed all my buttons and I feel annoyed that she is denying them voice (it feels like she is denying mine and also suggesting I’m making it up.. I know that’s not true, but it feels like that). We almost fought about it, but I managed to keep things (somewhat) in perspective, but inside I was pretty pissed off and triggered and sad. I’m sad because I feel like I am seeing denial in action and also how shit sexual abuse is, how it keeps you second guessing yourself. And I’m annoyed because I don’t know what it means by her pushing this shit down further. I think it’s detrimental and things just get worse. S is pretty grounded and mature but she also hasn’t fully started life yet. Things got shit for me when I started to try and be an adult in my mid to late 20s. That’s when things started to unravel. But she’s not me, I know that. I was also an alcoholic, drug addict, sex addict, completely avoidant of my emotional and mental state and in a fear based, depressive state. She isn’t a drug or sex addict or alcoholic. That’s a good thing. Her resourcing is pretty good, but I guess I’m still finding out these things. I think she dissociates and flat lines, shutting off when feelings get too hard. That kind of response can work for years and go relatively unnoticed. It can keep one very high functioning.
And then today she texts me and suggests a cool new name for herself and I’m thinking, “mmh, yeah, sure you don’t have parts”. Who does that? Multiples. Multiples are constantly thinking up new names and identities. It’s parts coming out. I just responded enthusiastically (it was a cool name).
I never wanted her parts to come out as much as mine because I don’t think I could cope with that. Now, I don’t know. Maybe. I just want my girlfriend to get good support and be okay. This is painful shit and it takes you on a journey- of massive change and growth. And that scares me, because it triggers abandonment in me and it makes me think she’s going to turn around one day and just reject me. I have a great fear around this. It makes me feel very self conscious and ugly and gross. My shame based identity grows teeth in this space and consumes me. And I do anything and everything to imagine my way out as I don’t want to sit with this discomfort.
I want to run off with someone else and find solace in new beginnings. I don’t want to get hurt. I will strike out and hurt before that happens to me.
I was married and then screwed that up, had an affair, became gay (again); inside me is this feeling that I am bad, so whatever I do now, well…what does it matter? I’ve already proved I am untrustworthy, sinful, a liar and a cheat. Yes I want to be a good person, but I’ve never felt moral. My actions have never really been moral. I feel embarrassed for admitting that, but it’s true. I thought I had changed but I don’t trust myself anymore.