Not A Pretty Picture
I turned around at one point while she was writing something down and saw this digital clock with huge red numbers blaring back. Okay, some of my mysteries were being solved.
Too bad I didn't seem to catch on to the mystery of my life as quickly. As I sat there droning on about my life, I was still mystified by so many things that I thought I had figured out or at least didn't question anymore. Not so.
For some reason, talking about this shit, with this woman was different than any other therapy I had before. I had the sense that we were actually going to try and fix my issues once and for all.
"Suzy, can you describe for me please, if there was any change or difference at all when your step father came to live with you. We've talked about how angry and removed your mother was. Were things any better when Big Frank came to live with you?"
"Not too much different," I replied. "I think in retrospect that Big Frank may have provided a buffer between my mother and me, but she treated him as a servant. She always said she married him for convenience, and that they never had sex."
"Do you think that they never had sex,?" TGD asked "I'm pretty sure they didn't. They never slept together," I replied.
"Why do you know that?" she asked. "Because when we lived on Henry Street, she always made me sleep with Big Frank in the big bed, and she would sleep in my lower bunk bed. She said Big Frank moved around too much."
"How old were you when this happened," TGD inquired.
"Probably about 5 or 6." "And when did it end?" she asked. "I think when I was 12 or so," I replied. After a pause TGD dropped another bomb. "Did Big Frank ever molest you"? WTF??? Was she crazy? Why would Big Frank ever molest me? He was the only one in that house that was ever kind to me. I liked sleeping with him. I felt safe, and he never ever touched me. He was the kind of guy who was afraid to be demonstrative, but I always knew he cared. He would stick up for me and not my brother, but to no avail. My mother wore the pants in the family and controlled everything. Sometimes I even had the sense that he got punished or yelled at for taking my side.
Trying not to show my anger at this question I just responded with a simple "no."
"You mentioned that you told your mother once about your brother and the dentist who had also sexually abused you. Why do you think your mother would put you in another situation that could possibly be harmful"?
"But it wasn't harmful. Big Frank was really good to me."
Fuck. Never put these two things together, nor did I want to. In fact, I was tired of digging up my mother and still yakking about her. Why were we doing this over and over I asked TGD? I was becoming one of those classic whiners that blamed the mother for everything.
"Suzy, it is very important for you to understand that your mother put you in constant danger, even when you weren't exposed to it. No girl child or any child for that matter should be sleeping with their father. You were extremely fortunate Big Frank was the kind of man he was. Mothers are supposed to be role models for their children and also protect them. You had no protection and had to learn everything on your own and it's time you realized that you survived on your own and be proud."
Maybe I should have been proud of surviving, but the sadness, loss and loneliness of doing it all on my own as a child was coming into view. This picture was getting clearer and clearer.
And it wasn't such a pretty picture. It was a pathetic picture.