you can’t just get over it

by jen kiley

twice today i was told that i should just get over it. it happened a long time ago when you were a child. just let it go. child abuse just doesn’t go away because you are suddenly an adult and the abusers have stopped their active abuse. the abuse goes on in every part of your life. but today was a particularly unusual day, my middle brother sent me videos and photos of my older brother, the one that sexually and psychologically abused me at the age of ten. TRIGGER ALERT. he started out his sexual abuse by touching me inappropriately in front of the whole family by disguising his abuse using our cat as a cover. i was holding the cat in my lap and across my chest. the next thing he did was to give me snuff pornography to read which was very graphic. that was the beginning. his abuse of me went on for years and happened in the middle of the night or any other time of the day. TRIGGER ALERT ENDED. today i saw him and heard his voice on the videos and in the photos for the first time since 1977 when he tried to french kiss me. which thoroughly disgusted me and i was an adult then and in a lesbian relationship which has continued throughout the years. i’ve never emotionally dealt with my childhood abuse and i have blocked out a great deal of it. my therapist wants me to get in touch with my feelings. not necessarily to go back to the abuse but to feel what i am feeling today in my life. to be able to freely express my emotions which i am slowly beginning to do. but to have a friend i trust and my partner to say in not so many words “GET OVER IT” – “IT HAPPENED A LONG TIME AGO”… for me it could just as well have been yesterday for all the damage that my abusers caused to happen within me. my childhood was HELL with one exception my GRANDMOTHER but i lost her – she died when i was fifteen. that is when i slipped further and further away. but then my alters who were rebels took over and we were out of control. we drank until drunk. we learned about drugs and couldn’t wait to do them and we did them for a very long time. we wanted to bury the past. at nineteen we were lucky to find a therapist who took our case after several attempts at suicide and visits to the hospital to have our stomach pumped. we were so depressed and yet so wild at the same time. we did not know we had DID and that we also were manic depressive – bipolar as they like to call it today. no one knew what to do with me. but our new therapist got us out of our parents home. that was the beginning. but then there came the need to be attached to other people. i/we didn’t know how to do it very well and we got involved with so many people who were all wrong for us but we needed to be loved. we wanted the love our grandmother gave us all those years ago and we still are looking for that love. oct.2, 2007 we met someone who we thought was going to teach us that love we once knew. she made a great start. it took me a while to trust her and eventually we trusted her as much as we could trust anyone. we were very close to her and really loved her but just over 10 months ago she ended our relationship abruptly as though she had died. it was our anniversary of meeting and then i get these videos and photos in my email of one of my abusers and the words “JUST GET OVER IT thrown at me.” i can’t do that. seeing my abuser and hearing his voice and seeing that “he looks just like your father” my partner said. i work hard twice a week in therapy and my new therapist wants me to laugh more but she also wants to exorcise the demons as well. she told me “basically you have been fucked over most of your life and you need to know what it is to be truly loved.” i want to enjoy my life and write and love and be loved but i don’t want to be told that my past is just my past so just leave it there and GET ON WITH IT.” There is too much work left to be done to feel that way about the past. and i continue to move forward trying to pull myself through the other side of manic. yes, depression has a firm hold on me and doesn’t seem to want to let me go. but that is for another post.