Tell Me a Little About Yourself

Vickie Linegar began sharing the ups and downs of being a survivor two years ago over the holiday season when it finally occurred to her ...Read More

Well I’m back on the couch. It’s taken me a while to make the call but I finally gave in and decided to give it another try. I can list off all the people who will laugh at me and say “HAHA! I knew she couldn’t handle being a parent.”

I don’t know what to say to those people but it’s precisely that reason that I’ve gone back to therapy.

I’m actually a very good parent. I start out with my list of things I wish my parents hadn’t done. I add in all the things I’ve seen that I thought I could do better. I think of all the things I missed out on because of poverty, trauma and ignorance and then I throw the whole list out the window. And I just love my son.

The biggest hurdle so far is accepting that I am the same person I always used to be and all the work I was trying to do remains waiting to be done. I don’t trust people easily. I’m afraid of dirt and germs. I’m not comfortable in my own skin. I’m afraid of the dark. I’m afraid of the water. I’m afraid of heights. I don’t want to pass all that baggage on to my son. I have to take care of myself so that I can take care of him. What a different life I could have had if…well what difference does any of that make now?

My comfort zone has to change.

So there I am, on the couch, meeting a brand new therapist and he wants to know my history. I’ve learned to condense it for easier note taking.

Funny how I can write it but saying the words “I was molested” still won’t come out. First I say abused. He says what type of abuse. I reply sexual. I can’t go further and just go off on a tangent about the history in my family tree of alcoholism and violence and perversion. This is my fifth therapist in 15 years and I still can’t look this person in the eye and say “I’m a survivor.” What if he hasn’t accepted the vernacular I’ve picked up by running in crisis center circles?

He asks if I get my creativity from my father and something catches in my throat. No, I didn’t get my creativity from my father. I taught myself to play giutar and that’s where our common interests stop. We both like hockey but I never had a chance to share with him when I started covering AHL teams for a mainland website or an American hockey magazine. I wanted to tell him about the NHL games I went to. He would have been impressed if one of his sons had done those things.

The therapist asks about my childhood. It’s easier to tell about my little brother’s childhood. I don’t comment on my older brothers because I wasn’t there. As for my childhood….oh boy….mostly normal except for the sexual abuse and then my little brother was born and I tried to be his mother just to stay on my parents’ radar or be forgotten altogether. Then when I was fourteen I told my parents the guy they used to let sleep over was actually sneaking into my bedroom at night. Although totally unrelated, after that my father couldn’t look at me. My mother denies that he ever called me a slut or beat me until I wet my pants which makes me question my own sanity on a regular basis.

I can hear myself talking to the therapist and the shingles on the roof of the building across from us are mesmerizing for some reason. My life actually sounds pretty shitty when I condense it down and just jump from one police report to the next. The therapist stops taking notes and says slowly “Wow, you’re a survivor. Vickie. You are a SURVIVOR. The way your parents treated you after you disclosed is probably worse than the sexual abuse you suffered.”

Harsh. True but harsh. I think.

He says no wonder you’ve distanced yourself from them. I say well we don’t talk but it’s not by my own choice. Doc looks confused.

My parents don’t talk to me because I helped my brother leave.

That’s all we have time for today. Please see the secretary on your way out and we’ll pick this up next week.

Previously posted on

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