Posted by: Judy | December 2, 2011

Chapter 5 review

Whew! Glad this week of review is over. There was a time when I was part of a group of women that met together, once a month. It was an opportunity to share with people who didn’t know the details, but understood the struggle.

That being said, I also remember when I reached the point when I did not want to be identified as an abuse victim anymore. I was tired of the label. It made me feel stuck. Even writing up the posts for the last few days was beginning to feel like I was sliding into the past.

I pretended I was fine. Granted, now I had a clearer picture of myself, but I still didn’t have the tools I need to establish permanent changes in my life. I kept slipping into old habits. I felt stuck.

Then again, things were changing around me. My sister went into counseling, and started to talk. I had memories that I thought weren’t real, until I shut up and started to listen. I’d come a long way with my two previous counselors, and on my own, but there was such a terribly long way to go.

Blessedly, my sister’s counselor was willing to take me as well. A Game Changer. And yet, I was struggling with the same useless habits. My counselors didn’t give me much homework. Why? Because I kept giving myself so much homework. Yes, I was a very active participant in my counseling.

My third counselor began teaching me about what I needed to understand in order to make the changes I wanted to make. My sister and I would compare notes. It horrified the counselor. He told us different things. We found it incredibly helpful. We understood that we were different people, at different places in the healing process, with different perspectives. Sharing information helped us recognize that we were unique. It also touched us to realize that our counselor recognized it, and treated us differently. We weren’t the twins separated at birth by several years. We weren’t “The Girls.” We were different individuals, and he treated us as such.

Thank God.

Then the time came when I felt like my sessions with my counselor were changing. I was developing my own opinions and ideas, and they frequently didn’t mesh with him anymore. But I was reluctant to let go. I needed a touchstone, someone to remind me what was normal.

My final assignment from my counselor was to write the book I wish I’d had. I thought about it. A lot. I was already doing some fictional writing. Ideas for writing my own self-help book had already been percolating. My counselor gave me my homework, and I realized it was time.

How did I go about it? How did I want to present it? What is it really I wish I’d had access to a whole lot sooner? Tools. The tools healthy people take for granted.

As I wrote yesterday, I realized that I hadn’t been taught even the common courtesies. I was starting from scratch, except there was a lot of mess to clean up along the way.

And so was born: I am The Project.


  1. You are right. We were treated as one unit. They assumed what was good for me was good for you and the other way around. We were interchangeable in their eyes, but not in God’s. Interesting thought this morning.

    • Except that it wasn’t about what was good for either of us. It was about grooming us to be caretakers, their caretakers.

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