Dear Mrs. Bluth,
I truly appreciate your taking the time to listen to my problems and respect any advice you will render as I have reached the end of my rope.
I have long suffered from depression, for the most part kept under control with medication along with twenty years of therapy. I was always able to keep and hold down a good job in the same firm for almost that length of time, but, of late, I have been experiencing terrible nightmares and vicious anxiety attacks that threaten even this brutal effort towards appearing and functioning normally.
I am a thirty-seven-year-old man, never married and relatively introverted, who is suddenly remembering things from my childhood that I am not sure actually happened.
I have not yet mentioned these things to my therapist, as I think he has lost patience with me and I fear this will compel him to drop me.
In my nightmares I experience excruciating pain, being blindfolded and tied down and there is someone behind me who is raking my back with fiery nails. I am hyperventilating even now as I write this and my hands are shaking and I can’t continue. It is all I can do right now.
I have had these dreams three or four times a week for more than a month and I am a wreck. I can’t eat because I have to fight to keep the food down and sleep is more the act of passing out from fighting it off. And then the dreams come.
Please read between the lines and tell me what you think and what I should do. I don’t think I can keep up the facade much longer and people are beginning to notice the bags under my eyes and the weight loss. Thank you in advance for your kind concern.
I took the liberty of vastly cutting down your letter, omitting the horrible graphics your words convey and still leaving enough for our readers to get a sense of what you lived through as a young child. My deepest condolences go out to you for the loss of your childhood at the hands of this monster who took it from you with such viciousness and depravity.
It is no wonder that you have lead a depressed life, shunning social contact and tempering your daily anxieties and fears with medication for over twenty years. You, like most other abused and violated children, buried the memories deep inside and were somehow able to survive. But those buried experiences only fester and become gaseous, poisonous cysts as they are left dormant to grow and pool, until finally, at some future point they burst forward from their dark, confined prison to be addressed by their terrified hosts. It is a pattern that is repetitive in almost every case of child abuse.
You must tell your therapist everything you told me. If you fear that he will cast you out for “withholding” this information, I will provide you with the name of an excellent practitioner who is well versed in child abuse issues. You must do this as soon as possible as there is no reason for you to deal with this on your own; you have suffered alone and in silence long enough. There are many organizations prepared to help you find and walk the path of healing and peace.