Unlocking my 'Iron Vault'


I entered therapy a few years ago. I thought I was going to deal with my issues of anxiety and depression. To rid myself of my suicide ideation (I didn't even realise that's what it was called - the desire to die). My therapist very slowly and very carefully helped me to unpick the 'knot' that was in my brain. I had already decided there were things that I was not going to talk about with her, because I believed I had dealt with them. They were locked up tight in my 'Iron Vault'.

My therapist gave me the skills and safety needed to unlock my vault, and to allow what was inside, out. I am at a stage where I can now say I am proud to be a survivor of incest abuse. Because I recognise the strength, courage and intelligence I had as a child. To protect both myself and my family unit. The fact that I am happily married, have two wonderful children, and have stopped the cycle of abuse that was endemic in my family unit for over three generations that I am aware of, gives me great pride. My children have been brought up with love and nurturing care, not violence, fear and silence.

I can't pretend everything is 'rosy'. I accept that I must work hard to continue healing the hurts that were done to me as a child, but at least, now, I acknowledge and accept my abuse. I now own it in a way I never believed possible. I was rejecting so much of myself, that I was existing, but not really living. Finally, I can see I have a future. One that I am in control of. I am aware there is still work to be done. I have encountered massive internal resistance to change. A life time of negative coping mechanisms are hard to give up. But I am ready to. So I can move forward. Without my therapy, I genuinely believe that I would no longer be here. I think it is not too dramatic a statement to say that my therapist has helped me save my life. And now I am living it for me, my future, rather than looking backwards and being defined by my past.

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