I didn't have much time to reflect on my first voluntary therapy session last week, since I went straight from it to four straight 15-hour days of work and personal life disasters. When I was able to sleep peacefully in my own bed again and not feel like a zombie, there were two things that I am now able to rescue from my fog-addled short-term memory.
It wasn't your fault.
The idea that I was taken advantage of is difficult to deal with, and admitting it loud was more of a challenge than I expected. Hell, I'm tearing up as I write this post in Starbucks, and I haven't said a word. Just thinking the phrase is cracking my emotions.
Fight, Flight, Freeze
I was mugged seven years ago, less than a block from my apartment. As soon as I realized that none of the three guys had a gun, I stopped yelling for help and started fighting back. Got out of it alive and with none of my things stolen (albeit with a black eye and several welts on my stomach from multiple stab attempts that failed to penetrate my army coat). One of the things M told me is that there's a third common reaction besides fight or flight — freeze. Accommodating, and hoping that whatever is about to happen will just end.
I wish I had known then that this was something I should fight against.