Filed under: Uncategorized
Last night I was watching that show “The Fosters” on ABC Family. It’s a really great show about a lesbian couple raising four foster children (most of whom they have adopted), and one bio kid. Anyway, on the show there is this one teenaged child – Callie – and she is a survivor of child sexual abuse from a foster brother in a previous foster home.
In last night’s episode, they showed her trying to navigate a relationship with her boyfriend Wyatt. She and Wyatt decided they wanted to try to have sex but after they got in bed and started kissing, she freaked out, pushed him away and then pretty much ran away. She didn’t want to talk about it or talk to him. Eventually she figured out that she had to talk about her rape history with him, and she dreaded it.
I found myself crying through the entire episode. The freaking out in bed thing was so true to life, as was the dreaded talking about it afterwards. I posted about this several times during my marriage, like when I freaked out before we even got into bed together, , when I described it to my therapist as ‘fucking it up’ for us, and when my voice became that of a little girl’s. Each and every one of these experiences was humiliating and embarrassing.
That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids. All intimacy becomes a minefield that we have to navigate while injured.
And an innocent act like watching a tv show becomes something entirely different by the end of it. I thought about it this morning, and cried again. This is where I am. This is what it looks like to survive child sexual abuse. These are the parts that no one ever sees. That’s why I keep this blog, logging every detail about the hidden ways surviving has affected me.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: anxiety, depression, incest survivor, panic, panic attack, survivor of child sexual abuse, survivor sleep
Last night I was so tired. It was well past midnight and I was so tired and I really wanted to sleep. I laid down in bed and I got so scared. I was thinking “What if there is a man hiding in the closet, waiting for me to fall asleep, and then after I fall asleep he will surprise me and attack me?” My heart started beating rapidly, my eyes flew open, my breathing became irregular. I reminded myself that not only had I already checked the closets, but so did my ex. Then my thoughts went to the same surprise-attack scenario, but involving a home invasion. I looked around the room from my vantage point on the bed; no one was there. I listened carefully; I couldn’t hear anything out of the ordinary. I reminded myself that I am safe, just like my therapist and I have been working on for years. She says that you have to recognize safety in order to recognize unsafety. I reminded myself that my home has an alarm that goes straight to the cops when tripped. Plus I have a dog that sleeps next to me. I reminded myself of all this, but I was panicking anyway. The reminders of safety were helpful, and I eventually used thought-replacement exercises to get to sleep. I kept my mind busy with thoughts of a beautiful life with my next husband in a beautiful log cabin, etc.
I have really been hating the nights lately. My next contracted jobs don’t start until the fall, so until then my schedule is willy nilly. Since my work was the only thing I’d been doing in my life that gave me any sort of self-esteem (not to mention a regular schedule), I have been sad and I guess a little depressed.
Depression and suicide is all about a mostly false thought process inside a person’s head that tells them (over and over again) that the situation they are in will be the situation they are always in. That things will always be like this. That I will always feel this way. I know it is false, because life changes a lot, and sometimes it happens very quickly. Sometimes it happens slowly, but the point is, something always happens to change a person’s life.
I have been trying to think of ways to make the night easier. Maybe I should take up a hobby, like crocheting or cross-stitching during the night. The panic-sleep thing totally totally sucks. Maybe it’s time to do a meditation, or some sort of positive affirmation before bed.
Remember that time I went away to that conference with my friend, and I got scared of the imaginary man behind the curtains in our hotel room? Writing this blog post about last night, alone in my own bedroom, feels like that. But I figured I should put it in the blog today because the entire point of this blog is to keep a running tally of the many ways that surviving abuse in my childhood has fucked me up in adulthood.
This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids. We get completely afraid of being assaulted again, and we find inventive ways to be afraid, and inventive ways to manage those fears. I am 40 years old. It’s been 35 years of survivor sleep. When the fuck does this end??
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: affirmations, father-daughter incest, Louise Hay, survivor of child sexual abuse, survivor of incest
So my job ended recently. I knew it was coming to an end, and I was grateful for it. It was a planned thing, because it was kind of a contract position. I have a bunch of new little contracts in the Fall. It was time for that door to close so that new ones can open.
A party was thrown for me to celebrate a successful end to that job, and that boy that I like was there (which makes sense, since he was one of my co-workers). In all of his emails to me, he signs them with the word “Best”. But in a card that he and my co-workers gave me at the party, he signed it “All my love”. Isn’t that interesting? I don’t know what to make of that. And since the party, we’ve had little to no contact. Even if that is the end of us, it’s still fun to think about him. As my therapist says “It’s a safe crush.”
I woke up from another rape dream today.
I keep contemplating (and failing miserably) at losing weight. The night before last I prayed to the Universe for clarity regarding my weight loss efforts. I prayed for knowledge on the right way for me to lose this weight that I am carrying around. I woke up the next morning with a very clear memory of an instance of sexual abuse from my father when I was 5. It was something I have been suspecting for a while, and now I am sure. The whole thing saddened me, as I had always considered him my last perpetrator. Now I have reason to think he was probably my first. I am not sure what to do with that knowledge, but I find it interesting that it came after I prayed for clarity in my weight loss efforts. Apparently I am not going to lose this physical weight that I am carrying until I lose the emotional weight of what has happened to me first. And maybe that is okay. Maybe I can deal with these memories without batting them away like flies that are bothering me. Maybe I can work through the memories until they become something that happened to me, not something that is still happening to me.
I reminded myself the other day ” I am a 40 year old woman. I am not a little girl anymore. I am strong and powerful.” I believe the first two sentences; I am having trouble with the last one.
Louise Hay said that when we say positive affirmations, we are stating things the way we want them and then leaving it up to the Universe to work out the details. I like that. I will continue saying I am strong and powerful, and let’s see what happens.
I heard a lovely quote the other day: “The Universe is conspiring towards my highest good.” I think that is true. I have always said that the Universe takes care of us, in spite of ourselves.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: brother-sister incest, father-daughter incest, first kiss, panic, survivor of child sexual abuse
Last night I found myself thinking about my first kiss. I was fifteen, almost 16. I had been kind of dating my friend for a while. I think he felt that at a certain number of dates (3? 4?) that we should be kissing. So on our third or fourth date, we came back to my house, and he leaned in and kissed me. My reaction to this kiss was – not good. I pushed away from him, got up and ran into the bathroom and locked myself in there until he left my house.
He was a nice guy, not a rapist. He thought I was into it, and he kept apologizing. He was so upset. I was so upset. It was a hot mess.
It sure was embarrassing too. At the time, I understood enough to know that my reaction to all of this was weird, but I wasn’t exactly sure WHY I reacted this way. I figured it probably had something to do with my dad or my brother. At that time, I didn’t even know I had a third abuser (the babysitter) – I found out about her like four years later.
It’s been 25 years since my first kiss. I now understand why I reacted that way to such an intimate act. This is what happens when you fuck kids. A beautiful innocent act like our first kiss becomes a complete hot mess because it’s not our first go-round with intimacy. I had already experienced my brother’s head between my legs when I was way younger, but I didn’t want that experience. Even now, the memory of what he did to me – it’s painful.
This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids. What should be beautiful and pretty and sweet and innocent – like first boyfriends and first kisses and ‘I like you’ – becomes a whole other thing fraught with rape potential in our heads. We can’t separate who you are with who has already used our bodies. Even though we want you – the ones we have chosen – we can’t figure out if you are like the ones who have already hurt us. The piss is – we want to figure it out. We are just like all the other girls and boys; we too want healthy beautiful romantic tangible love that we can feel with our hands and our hearts. But we can’t get there because of what has already happened to us.
I went to sleep thinking about my first kiss last night. This morning I woke up from a terrible rape dream. That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: fear, incest, moving, safety, survivor of child sexual abuse
My therapist once told my Mom, about me: “The sexual abuse doesn’t define her.”
My therapist has been right about a great many things in my life so far, but she was way off on this one. I think the whole problem with me is that the sexual abuse DOES define me. It’s why I keep a blog detailing the reasons you shouldn’t fuck kids. It has defined every fucking thing about me so far, from my choice of jobs to my choice of husbands to the way I don’t leave the house to every other fucking detail. Right down to the dream I had the other night about being in a room with serial rapists.
It’s almost as if it were wishful thinking. If we say “it doesn’t define her”, maybe it won’t define her. But it did before she said it, and it still does afterwards too.
I think the goal of therapy is to get to the point where it DOESN’T define me. Where I am no longer the victim, but the victor. Where I didn’t merely survive it, but thrived in spite of it.
I would like to get there, but I don’t know how. I am 40 fucking years old, and I need to sleep with the lights on because I am afraid of the dark. Her saying that it doesn’t define me is like me saying I don’t like to curse. It’s nice to hear but in the end it’s complete bullshit.
As my longtime readers know, my husband became a woman and my marriage ended. We still live together. We live like sisters and raise our son. It is safe.
My job is coming to an end, and I have a choice about what kinds of jobs to take next. The safe choice is to stay here and take the job that allows me to stay here. The risky choice is to apply for jobs elsewhere and leave safety.
I wish I had the courage to leave safety, but I don’t. This. This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.
Filed under: fear, survivor | Tags: hyper-startle response, hypervigilance, PTSD, survivor of child sexual abuse, survivor of incest
Yesterday I came home from work and I was already hypervigilant because I knew I was coming home to an empty house. My ex wasn’t home yet, and my son was still at school, so I was scared. But I tried to remain calm.
I walked in the house and closed the door. I heard a noise behind me. I let out a blood-curdling scream. He’s here, I thought. He’s here and he’s going to hurt me.
It turns out that the noise was the sound of my dog yawning.
After I realized the source of the sound and calmed down, I looked out the window. Did the neighbors just hear me scream like that? They already think we are nuts, this will just confirm it for them, I thought.
This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids. We acquire post-traumatic stress disorder as a means of surviving such an aberrant set of actions in our childhood. But it makes us scream when our dogs yawn.
Filed under: babysitter, brother, trust | Tags: cognitive distortion, distorted worldview, survivor of child sexual abuse, survivor of incest, trust vs. mistrust
So I had that meeting with the boy that I have a crush on. I am fairly certain he doesn’t like me back, but it just feels so good to like someone, to have good feelings in my head, to have someone to think about so that I don’t think about my own weird life, that I don’t care. Plus, even if he did like me, I think he wouldn’t act on it. He mentioned in our meeting that I was the ‘rockstar’ of our department and that they all looked up to me. I was of course flattered, but it also gave me the impression that he wasn’t going to fuck around with me. Once you put someone on a pedestal, you don’t really want to fuck them.
I told my ex that I think that the boy at work doesn’t like me. She said that it’s impossible to tell about something like that in a work situation. She said that it is difficult for people to act on stuff like that because they get scared in a ‘don’t shit where you eat’ kind of way. I agree with that truth.
But there’s also this truth: If a boy wants you, he wants you. He will do things to be near you, to spend time with you, to talk to you, to breathe the air you breathe, etc. My mantra has always been that you should never have to chase a boy, and if you do have to chase a boy, he doesn’t want you. The most I ever get from him are fairly terse e-mails that get right down to business.
Of course, I’ve spent most of my life running away from every boy that has ever shown me the least bit of attention, so what the fuck do I know. I finally married my husband when I was 31 because he was the first one willing to wait through my long-ass timeline for having sex (which ended up happening after 2 years of dating and many false starts along the way). That right there is why you shouldn’t fuck kids. I was almost 31 when I lost my fucking virginity. I tried so many times to let down my guard and have sex, and I just never could until my husband and I tried for like the tenth time during our courtship. Now I know that probably the reason he was so patient is because he wasn’t all that keen on fucking me in his male body, since he felt like a she inside. Now she is a she on the inside and the outside, and honestly, I think she wants to fuck boys now, not girls anymore. So there’s that.
I suppose the pathetic truth is that if this boy – the one I like at work – did show me attention, I would run away. Once he tried to hug me at a work party we both were at, and I stiffened and only half hugged him. It was weird between us and I just wasn’t expecting him to hug me, but he probably saw me hugging all my girl friends, so he figured I would be cool with hugging him too. I was of course thrilled inside to be near him and hugging him, and thrilled he wanted to hug me, but I was so unsure how to be near a boy or hug a boy that I fucked the whole thing up and now I am sure he thinks I am that weird girl who got weirded out when he tried to hug me.
I asked my therapist if him hugging me meant that he is a rapist. I had already asked my ex if that is what it meant as well. Every time I ask that question, I can feel the energy shift around me. I can feel her feeling bad for me. I can feel them thinking: ‘Poor sick butterfly thinks every man is a rapist because of the males that have already used her body against her will.’ And even though I understand intellectually that every man is not a rapist, and that this new boy hugging me may not mean he is a rapist, it’s not enough to stop me from playing out the scenario in my head constantly. In my head, he is hugging me to gauge my reaction. He wants to see how much he can get away with in public so he can know how much he can get away with in private.
This kind of thought process – where a person believes that because one person hurt her then that means that all people will hurt her – this is called ‘distorted world view’. That is what I have now, distorted world view. Because three people molested me when I was a kid, I am now mistrustful of the entire world, as if everyone is out to hurt me. The therapist keeps trying to counteract this thought process with me by having me think about some men I know that are good men (read: men that won’t rape anyone).
I want to like a boy and have that be all there is. No sex abuse past, no rape future, no constant worrying about letting someone in only to hurt me or my kid. But no matter how hard I try, my relationship with males will always be fraught with the possibility of danger. My introduction to sexual stuff was traumatic and against my will, so as much as I want to just like a boy and have that be all there is, that just isn’t my life right now. But maybe it can be my world in the future. Maybe with this therapist I will be able to get to place of healing where my future won’t have to look like my past.