The Things That Must Not Be Named (The Opposite of Love is Shame, Part 6)

Do you like the Harry Potter reference in the title? This next section is part of my Voldemort. In the first Harry Potter book, Harry and Professor Dumbledore are having a conversation in which they discuss Voldemort. “”Sir?” said Harry. “I’ve been thinking… sir — even if the Stone’s gone, Vol-, I mean, You-Know-Who —” “Call him Voldemort, Harry. Always use the proper name for things. Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”” So here I am, naming some of my Voldemort.

Some of my earliest memories touch on sexual things that I should not have known anything about until I became an adult, and some of them not even then. My frustration with these memories of sexual abuse is that they are repressed memories and currently I have not been successful at tapping into those memories, and while part of me wants answers and understanding, part of me wants the memories to remain repressed so that I don’t have to deal with them. But then again, that’s dissociation, according to my therapist, and dissociation is not helpful in healing childhood trauma.

I remember my father telling me as an older teenager that psychology was wicked and that if anyone ever offered me psychological help and offered to explore repressed memories, to not do it because the therapist would “put ideas in my head.” I wonder, looking back, what the hell he was so worried about. Why did he not want me to ever explore repressed memories? What is it that he or someone else wanted to hide? When it comes to shame, secrets are not helpful, and secrets keep us bound in shame.

One of the reasons I want to explore those repressed memories, is to be set free, because as the Bible tells me, the truth sets me free. Even without the recollection of those memories, however, there was a lot of sexual shame for me to process, and sometimes there still is. I know there are memories buried because I acted out sexually, playing sexual role-play games with other children, even though I was only six or so. I do not remember how I knew all those things, but I did. I recall knowing enough to know to what “suck my dick” meant and how degrading it felt to me at that age. I have other memories that are coming back slowly, and I guess that is healthy but as much as I want to know, I want to continue in my dissociation as well.

Something inside me told me it was wrong because I never let my parents catch me playing such games, but they were enraged when they caught me pleasuring myself around that same time. I was so young I had no idea what they were upset about but that this felt good and I needed to do it in secret after that. Doing it in secret, however, just made it far more exciting in my mind. I wish I had known what I was getting into. I knew enough to get me into trouble but not enough to understand what I was doing.

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