Children need to be loved, listened to and looked after. When these basic needs are met the child is grounded in a healthy reality of belonging, identity and competence. Gabriel Orion Marie’s world of extreme abuse negated the very foundation of healthy childhood development. The impact of sexual violence is not only in the acts which are perpetrated on the victim, but in the damage that is done to the inner self and in the “scar tissue” which results from the essential survival strategies.
In this book Gabriel shares some of the most debilitating distortions and negation of her experience of reality and her sense of self. The abuse created a world of madness and malevolence. It shattered her sense of identity and distorted her perceptions, thought processes, emotions and values. Like a pilot experiencing vertigo, she lost the ability to trust her own reality. Her only hope of survival was to adapt to this dehumanizing environment by learning to negate her own intrinsic self.
Gabriel’s healing journey required a fundamental shift from imposed madness to discovery of her own truth. I witnessed her terror and pain as she found and learned to trust her own reality – often through leaps of blind faith. My function was to serve as a mirror of her true reality – to reflect the whole scope of her emerging self with as little distortion as possible. She needed to see the reflection of her unblemished self as it emerged from the shroud of her abuse. The reflection also served to validate the reality and intensity of her abuse as well as the distortions inherent in her survival mechanisms.
Gabriel Orion Marie’s account of “Going Sane” provides a powerful portrayal of essential healing dynamics. I am honoured to recommend this book to you. It is my hope that Gabriel’s story will help you to reclaim your own sanity and freedom from the legacy of your personal wounds.
~ Dr. A.
This is exactly how it felt one Tuesday as I spilled out more of the truth to Dr. A. I felt like I was hanging on for dear life from a cliff and the vile, horrible story was pouring out of my mouth.
Many, many times I would tell Dr. A. that going to therapy and getting the story out felt like I was vomiting blood. I felt a deep fatigue before, during, and after my sessions for the first couple of years.
The skin on my face and forehead felt numb.
I was watching Dr. A. as I told him about the most awful things in minute detail. I always watched him intently to see if he would flinch or give any signals of being disgusted with me. He never did.
Once in a while, his breathing changed a tiny bit and his nostrils flared ever so slightly, and I could tell he was angry. I always noticed that and would immediately ask him about it. He would assure me that he was not angry with me but that he was angry that my parents had been so cruel to me. Then I could continue talking without worrying. He never once discussed his own processing of my story with me. The office was my safe place, where the focus was on me and what I needed to deal with. It was never about him while I was there. Period.