Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #218: Hot sauce and power

On Good Morning America today, they showed footage of a mother who used hot sauce to punish her child.  Apparently, the child lied to her, and as a result, she poured hot sauce on his tongue, forced him to sit there with it on his tongue, and then allowed him to spit it out.  She was arrested for child abuse.  Thank G-d.

And, of course, as with anytime we begin to think that kids are human beings in little bodies, adults come out of the woodwork to defend the abuser, and in this case, to defend the practice.  People feel this is a legitimate way to ‘correct’ children.

I think one of the many things that bother me about using physical means to ‘discipline’ children is that the people who do it always defend it like crazy.  It’s like they know down deep inside that what they are doing is wrong, and so they have to protest real loud (in a ‘me thinks though doth protesteth too much’ kind of way). Whatever your stance on corporal punishment is, let’s at least admit a few things about it. 

1) It happens because it can.  Kids are small, and we are bigger, and we can force them to sit there and we can force them to open their mouths, and we can force hot sauce down their throat.  No one forces hot sauce down an adult’s throat, and yet we lie every fucking day. (Research suggests that we lie every day, from little ‘white lies’ to big fucked up lies.)  How would this woman feel if someone bigger than her picked her up, put her on the bathroom sink, forced her mouth open, poured some disgusting shit in there, forced her to keep it there, etc.  No one does that to adults, because for the most part, we can fight back.  AND WHEN SHIT LIKE THIS DOES HAPPEN TO ADULTS, WE CALL IT ABUSE.

2) This is all somewhat encouraged by society at large, because there is a general feeling that adults should have power over children.

3) When violence is legal against any group of people, that is a really good indicator of the kind of power they have.  Children are basically powerless.  We are allowed to strike them at will.  Whether we use our hands to slap their bodies, or hot sauce to assault their tongue – people will defend this action.

4) People who have been hit when they were children and go on to hit their own children will defend this practice vigorously.  They usually say some shit like ‘It helped me’ or ‘Better by my own hand than someone else’s’.  Here’s a thought – how about by no one’s hand??  How about if we live in the kind of world where no one hits anyone else?  That would mean us not hitting our kids, and them not thinking this is an option when they have their own children.

Kids live in a world where their body is not their own.  They are powerless over their own body.  They even have to ask to go to the bathroom.  This ‘hot saucing’ example is yet another example of their intrinsic powerlessness.  This child had no choice in this assault on his body. If you allow children to be violated physically, you are creating a world where kids are free to get violated sexually.  Neither type of violation is okay, and both will cause a child to grow up into the kind of adult that is afraid (see all the 217 ways before this reason why that is bad), or homicidal.

You shouldn’t fuck kids, and frankly, you shouldn’t hit them or hot sauce them either.  If you hit a child, hot sauce a child, or fuck a child, you are doing it because you have power over someone who is powerless.  Would you put hot sauce on the tongue of your dog and listen to it cry?  Would you think that is right?  Why is it more right to do this to a child? Sometimes things are just wrong.  The way robbing a bank is just wrong.  The way hitting a child is just wrong, the way fucking a child is just wrong.

One of the things my therapist keeps working with me on is my feeling of powerlessness.  I am so afraid all the time, and she keeps urging me to get in touch with my ‘inner mama warrior’ or whatever.   Every time I have to leave my house, it is a fearful fucking journey.  And nighttime, inside or out, is anxious.  Sleeping has been ridiculous since that session with my mom, with the constant hypervigilant waking, and sleeping right next to the huz for even the smallest measure of safety.  All of this is about me not feeling like I have any power and control in my own life, my own sleep, my own feeling of safety.  This is all a result of me getting fucked as a child and surviving it, and that’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

Reason #217: Bill Zeller
January 27, 2011, 12:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

We lost another survivor to suicide today. Bill Zeller, 27 years old, was pursuing a doctoral degree in computer science, having earned his master’s degree from Princeton in 2008. He had a beautiful, bright future, but he could not get over his history of being raped as a child. Like many of us, he thought his trauma would always be his life, his past would always be his present and future. I wish he had known how much better his life would have gotten.

Most survivors have flirted with suicide, including myself, and this is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

I did not know Mr. Zeller, but I sure do understand the kind of pain that being a survivor of child sexual abuse causes.  I understand feeling so fucked up and ‘otherized’ by surviving the abuse that suicide seems like the most natural answer. Every time one of us loses our battle with suicide, we all lose. When we kill ourselves, our abusers win, and another of us is silenced forever. I beg you, if you are thinking about suicide at all, please, please, please call 1-800-SUICIDE (1-800-784-2843).

Bill Zeller left a suicide note explaining why he decided to end his life.  He asked that anyone who post the letter do so in its entirety.  So, out of respect to a fellow child sexual abuse survivor, I am posting his suicide note in its entirety.

Here is his letter:

I have the urge to declare my sanity and justify my actions, but I assume I’ll never be able to convince anyone that this was the right decision. Maybe it’s true that anyone who does this is insane by definition, but I can at least explain my reasoning. I considered not writing any of this because of how personal it is, but I like tying up loose ends and don’t want people to wonder why I did this. Since I’ve never spoken to anyone about what happened to me, people would likely draw the wrong conclusions.

My first memories as a child are of being raped, repeatedly. This has affected every aspect of my life. This darkness, which is the only way I can describe it, has followed me like a fog, but at times intensified and overwhelmed me, usually triggered by a distinct situation. In kindergarten I couldn’t use the bathroom and would stand petrified whenever I needed to, which started a trend of awkward and unexplained social behavior. The damage that was done to my body still prevents me from using the bathroom normally, but now it’s less of a physical impediment than a daily reminder of what was done to me.

This darkness followed me as I grew up. I remember spending hours playing with legos, having my world consist of me and a box of cold, plastic blocks. Just waiting for everything to end. It’s the same thing I do now, but instead of legos it’s surfing the web or reading or listening to a baseball game. Most of my life has been spent feeling dead inside, waiting for my body to catch up.

At times growing up I would feel inconsolable rage, but I never connected this to what happened until puberty. I was able to keep the darkness at bay for a few hours at a time by doing things that required intense concentration, but it would always come back. Programming appealed to me for this reason. I was never particularly fond of computers or mathematically inclined, but the temporary peace it would provide was like a drug. But the darkness always returned and built up something like a tolerance, because programming has become less and less of a refuge.

The darkness is with me nearly every time I wake up. I feel like a grime is covering me. I feel like I’m trapped in a contaminated body that no amount of washing will clean. Whenever I think about what happened I feel manic and itchy and can’t concentrate on anything else. It manifests itself in hours of eating or staying up for days at a time or sleeping for sixteen hours straight or week long programming binges or constantly going to the gym. I’m exhausted from feeling like this every hour of every day.

Three to four nights a week I have nightmares about what happened. It makes me avoid sleep and constantly tired, because sleeping with what feels like hours of nightmares is not restful. I wake up sweaty and furious. I’m reminded every morning of what was done to me and the control it has over my life.

I’ve never been able to stop thinking about what happened to me and this hampered my social interactions. I would be angry and lost in thought and then be interrupted by someone saying “Hi” or making small talk, unable to understand why I seemed cold and distant. I walked around, viewing the outside world from a distant portal behind my eyes, unable to perform normal human niceties. I wondered what it would be like to take to other people without what happened constantly on my mind, and I wondered if other people had similar experiences that they were better able to mask.

Alcohol was also something that let me escape the darkness. It would always find me later, though, and it was always angry that I managed to escape and it made me pay. Many of the irresponsible things I did were the result of the darkness. Obviously I’m responsible for every decision and action, including this one, but there are reasons why things happen the way they do.

Alcohol and other drugs provided a way to ignore the realities of my situation. It was easy to spend the night drinking and forget that I had no future to look forward to. I never liked what alcohol did to me, but it was better than facing my existence honestly. I haven’t touched alcohol or any other drug in over seven months (and no drugs or alcohol will be involved when I do this) and this has forced me to evaluate my life in an honest and clear way. There’s no future here. The darkness will always be with me.

I used to think if I solved some problem or achieved some goal, maybe he would leave. It was comforting to identify tangible issues as the source of my problems instead of something that I’ll never be able to change. I thought that if I got into to a good college, or a good grad school, or lost weight, or went to the gym nearly every day for a year, or created programs that millions of people used, or spent a summer or California or New York or published papers that I was proud of, then maybe I would feel some peace and not be constantly haunted and unhappy. But nothing I did made a dent in how depressed I was on a daily basis and nothing was in any way fulfilling. I’m not sure why I ever thought that would change anything.

I didn’t realize how deep a hold he had on me and my life until my first relationship. I stupidly assumed that no matter how the darkness affected me personally, my romantic relationships would somehow be separated and protected. Growing up I viewed my future relationships as a possible escape from this thing that haunts me every day, but I began to realize how entangled it was with every aspect of my life and how it is never going to release me. Instead of being an escape, relationships and romantic contact with other people only intensified everything about him that I couldn’t stand. I will never be able to have a relationship in which he is not the focus, affecting every aspect of my romantic interactions.

Relationships always started out fine and I’d be able to ignore him for a few weeks. But as we got closer emotionally the darkness would return and every night it’d be me, her and the darkness in a black and gruesome threesome. He would surround me and penetrate me and the more we did the more intense it became. It made me hate being touched, because as long as we were separated I could view her like an outsider viewing something good and kind and untainted. Once we touched, the darkness would envelope her too and take her over and the evil inside me would surround her. I always felt like I was infecting anyone I was with.

Relationships didn’t work. No one I dated was the right match, and I thought that maybe if I found the right person it would overwhelm him. Part of me knew that finding the right person wouldn’t help, so I became interested in girls who obviously had no interest in me. For a while I thought I was gay. I convinced myself that it wasn’t the darkness at all, but rather my orientation, because this would give me control over why things didn’t feel “right”. The fact that the darkness affected sexual matters most intensely made this idea make some sense and I convinced myself of this for a number of years, starting in college after my first relationship ended. I told people I was gay (at Trinity, not at Princeton), even though I wasn’t attracted to men and kept finding myself interested in girls. Because if being gay wasn’t the answer, then what was? People thought I was avoiding my orientation, but I was actually avoiding the truth, which is that while I’m straight, I will never be content with anyone. I know now that the darkness will never leave.

Last spring I met someone who was unlike anyone else I’d ever met. Someone who showed me just how well two people could get along and how much I could care about another human being. Someone I know I could be with and love for the rest of my life, if I weren’t so fucked up. Amazingly, she liked me. She liked the shell of the man the darkness had left behind. But it didn’t matter because I couldn’t be alone with her. It was never just the two of us, it was always the three of us: her, me and the darkness. The closer we got, the more intensely I’d feel the darkness, like some evil mirror of my emotions. All the closeness we had and I loved was complemented by agony that I couldn’t stand, from him. I realized that I would never be able to give her, or anyone, all of me or only me. She could never have me without the darkness and evil inside me. I could never have just her, without the darkness being a part of all of our interactions. I will never be able to be at peace or content or in a healthy relationship. I realized the futility of the romantic part of my life. If I had never met her, I would have realized this as soon as I met someone else who I meshed similarly well with. It’s likely that things wouldn’t have worked out with her and we would have broken up (with our relationship ending, like the majority of relationships do) even if I didn’t have this problem, since we only dated for a short time. But I will face exactly the same problems with the darkness with anyone else. Despite my hopes, love and compatability is not enough. Nothing is enough. There’s no way I can fix this or even push the darkness down far enough to make a relationship or any type of intimacy feasible.

So I watched as things fell apart between us. I had put an explicit time limit on our relationship, since I knew it couldn’t last because of the darkness and didn’t want to hold her back, and this caused a variety of problems. She was put in an unnatural situation that she never should have been a part of. It must have been very hard for her, not knowing what was actually going on with me, but this is not something I’ve ever been able to talk about with anyone. Losing her was very hard for me as well. Not because of her (I got over our relationship relatively quickly), but because of the realization that I would never have another relationship and because it signified the last true, exclusive personal connection I could ever have. This wasn’t apparent to other people, because I could never talk about the real reasons for my sadness. I was very sad in the summer and fall, but it was not because of her, it was because I will never escape the darkness with anyone. She was so loving and kind to me and gave me everything I could have asked for under the circumstances. I’ll never forget how much happiness she brought me in those briefs moments when I could ignore the darkness. I had originally planned to kill myself last winter but never got around to it. (Parts of this letter were written over a year ago, other parts days before doing this.) It was wrong of me to involve myself in her life if this were a possibility and I should have just left her alone, even though we only dated for a few months and things ended a long time ago. She’s just one more person in a long list of people I’ve hurt.

I could spend pages talking about the other relationships I’ve had that were ruined because of my problems and my confusion related to the darkness. I’ve hurt so many great people because of who I am and my inability to experience what needs to be experienced. All I can say is that I tried to be honest with people about what I thought was true.

I’ve spent my life hurting people. Today will be the last time.

I’ve told different people a lot of things, but I’ve never told anyone about what happened to me, ever, for obvious reasons. It took me a while to realize that no matter how close you are to someone or how much they claim to love you, people simply cannot keep secrets. I learned this a few years ago when I thought I was gay and told people. The more harmful the secret, the juicier the gossip and the more likely you are to be betrayed. People don’t care about their word or what they’ve promised, they just do whatever the fuck they want and justify it later. It feels incredibly lonely to realize you can never share something with someone and have it be between just the two of you. I don’t blame anyone in particular, I guess it’s just how people are. Even if I felt like this is something I could have shared, I have no interest in being part of a friendship or relationship where the other person views me as the damaged and contaminated person that I am. So even if I were able to trust someone, I probably would not have told them about what happened to me. At this point I simply don’t care who knows.

I feel an evil inside me. An evil that makes me want to end life. I need to stop this. I need to make sure I don’t kill someone, which is not something that can be easily undone. I don’t know if this is related to what happened to me or something different. I recognize the irony of killing myself to prevent myself from killing someone else, but this decision should indicate what I’m capable of.

So I’ve realized I will never escape the darkness or misery associated with it and I have a responsibility to stop myself from physically harming others.

I’m just a broken, miserable shell of a human being. Being molested has defined me as a person and shaped me as a human being and it has made me the monster I am and there’s nothing I can do to escape it. I don’t know any other existence. I don’t know what life feels like where I’m apart from any of this. I actively despise the person I am. I just feel fundamentally broken, almost non-human. I feel like an animal that woke up one day in a human body, trying to make sense of a foreign world, living among creatures it doesn’t understand and can’t connect with.

I have accepted that the darkness will never allow me to be in a relationship. I will never go to sleep with someone in my arms, feeling the comfort of their hands around me. I will never know what uncontimated intimacy is like. I will never have an exclusive bond with someone, someone who can be the recipient of all the love I have to give. I will never have children, and I wanted to be a father so badly. I think I would have made a good dad. And even if I had fought through the darkness and married and had children all while being unable to feel intimacy, I could have never done that if suicide were a possibility. I did try to minimize pain, although I know that this decision will hurt many of you. If this hurts you, I hope that you can at least forget about me quickly.

There’s no point in identifying who molested me, so I’m just going to leave it at that. I doubt the word of a dead guy with no evidence about something that happened over twenty years ago would have much sway.

You may wonder why I didn’t just talk to a professional about this. I’ve seen a number of doctors since I was a teenager to talk about other issues and I’m positive that another doctor would not have helped. I was never given one piece of actionable advice, ever. More than a few spent a large part of the session reading their notes to remember who I was. And I have no interest in talking about being raped as a child, both because I know it wouldn’t help and because I have no confidence it would remain secret. I know the legal and practical limits of doctor/patient confidentiality, growing up in a house where we’d hear stories about the various mental illnesses of famous people, stories that were passed down through generations. All it takes is one doctor who thinks my story is interesting enough to share or a doctor who thinks it’s her right or responsibility to contact the authorities and have me identify the molestor (justifying her decision by telling herself that someone else might be in danger). All it takes is a single doctor who violates my trust, just like the “friends” who I told I was gay did, and everything would be made public and I’d be forced to live in a world where people would know how fucked up I am. And yes, I realize this indicates that I have severe trust issues, but they’re based on a large number of experiences with people who have shown a profound disrepect for their word and the privacy of others.

People say suicide is selfish. I think it’s selfish to ask people to continue living painful and miserable lives, just so you possibly won’t feel sad for a week or two. Suicide may be a permanent solution to a temporary problem, but it’s also a permanent solution to a ~23 year-old problem that grows more intense and overwhelming every day.

Some people are just dealt bad hands in this life. I know many people have it worse than I do, and maybe I’m just not a strong person, but I really did try to deal with this. I’ve tried to deal with this every day for the last 23 years and I just can’t fucking take it anymore.

I often wonder what life must be like for other people. People who can feel the love from others and give it back unadulterated, people who can experience sex as an intimate and joyous experience, people who can experience the colors and happenings of this world without constant misery. I wonder who I’d be if things had been different or if I were a stronger person. It sounds pretty great.

I’m prepared for death. I’m prepared for the pain and I am ready to no longer exist. Thanks to the strictness of New Jersey gun laws this will probably be much more painful than it needs to be, but what can you do. My only fear at this point is messing something up and surviving.


I’d also like to address my family, if you can call them that. I despise everything they stand for and I truly hate them, in a non-emotional, dispassionate and what I believe is a healthy way. The world will be a better place when they’re dead—one with less hatred and intolerance.

If you’re unfamiliar with the situation, my parents are fundamentalist Christians who kicked me out of their house and cut me off financially when I was 19 because I refused to attend seven hours of church a week.

They live in a black and white reality they’ve constructed for themselves. They partition the world into good and evil and survive by hating everything they fear or misunderstand and calling it love. They don’t understand that good and decent people exist all around us, “saved” or not, and that evil and cruel people occupy a large percentage of their church. They take advantage of people looking for hope by teaching them to practice the same hatred they practice.

A random example:

“I am personally convinced that if a Muslim truly believes and obeys the Koran, he will be a terrorist.” – George Zeller, August 24, 2010.

If you choose to follow a religion where, for example, devout Catholics who are trying to be good people are all going to Hell but child molestors go to Heaven (as long as they were “saved” at some point), that’s your choice, but it’s fucked up. Maybe a God who operates by those rules does exist. If so, fuck Him.

Their church was always more important than the members of their family and they happily sacrificed whatever necessary in order to satisfy their contrived beliefs about who they should be.

I grew up in a house where love was proxied through a God I could never believe in. A house where the love of music with any sort of a beat was literally beaten out of me. A house full of hatred and intolerance, run by two people who were experts at appearing kind and warm when others were around. Parents who tell an eight year old that his grandmother is going to Hell because she’s Catholic. Parents who claim not to be racist but then talk about the horrors of miscegenation. I could list hundreds of other examples, but it’s tiring.

Since being kicked out, I’ve interacted with them in relatively normal ways. I talk to them on the phone like nothing happened. I’m not sure why. Maybe because I like pretending I have a family. Maybe I like having people I can talk to about what’s been going on in my life. Whatever the reason, it’s not real and it feels like a sham. I should have never allowed this reconnection to happen.

I wrote the above a while ago, and I do feel like that much of the time. At other times, though, I feel less hateful. I know my parents honestly believe the crap they believe in. I know that my mom, at least, loved me very much and tried her best. One reason I put this off for so long is because I know how much pain it will cause her. She has been sad since she found out I wasn’t “saved”, since she believes I’m going to Hell, which is not a sadness for which I am responsible. That was never going to change, and presumably she believes the state of my physical body is much less important than the state of my soul. Still, I cannot intellectually justify this decision, knowing how much it will hurt her. Maybe my ability to take my own life, knowing how much pain it will cause, shows that I am a monster who doesn’t deserve to live. All I know is that I can’t deal with this pain any longer and I’m am truly sorry I couldn’t wait until my family and everyone I knew died so this could be done without hurting anyone. For years I’ve wished that I’d be hit by a bus or die while saving a baby from drowning so my death might be more acceptable, but I was never so lucky.


To those of you who have shown me love, thank you for putting up with all my shittiness and moodiness and arbitrariness. I was never the person I wanted to be. Maybe without the darkness I would have been a better person, maybe not. I did try to be a good person, but I realize I never got very far.

I’m sorry for the pain this causes. I really do wish I had another option. I hope this letter explains why I needed to do this. If you can’t understand this decision, I hope you can at least forgive me.

Bill Zeller


Please save this letter and repost it if gets deleted. I don’t want people to wonder why I did this. I disseminated it more widely than I might have otherwise because I’m worried that my family might try to restrict access to it. I don’t mind if this letter is made public. In fact, I’d prefer it be made public to people being unable to read it and drawing their own conclusions.

Feel free to republish this letter, but only if it is reproduced in its entirety.

Reason #216: Scenes from our session together, Part III
January 24, 2011, 2:21 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Read Part I and Part II here.

Because Mom and I live kind of far away from each other, I felt we should get everything out of this session.  So I felt we should talk through all the things we haven’t ever talked about.  And so I did. I said everything I wanted to say, everything I had been thinking over the years.  It was like I purged myself.

During the session, she said something like “Nothing ever happened in front of me” and other types of untrue statements.  I mean, she’s right – no sexual abuse ever happened in front of her, but shit, physical abuse did.  And plus, she had a complicit role in all that has happened to me, and I felt like we needed to have it out in front of the therapist.

I said “Look, if I am on your resentment list, then at least let me be there for a reason.  If you want to resent me for making you feel guilty, then let me tell you some stuff so that I am least justifiably on your list.”

And so I began.  I looked at the floor and said “You were in the room sometimes when Dad was physically abusive with us.  You were completely dissociated from life, but you were there in the room with us, and sometimes you yelled at me for crying afterwards.”

The therapist said “What do you need from your mom now, Butterfly?”

“Acknowledgement.  Acknowledgement that this happened, that she was there, that I am not making this up.”

Mom said “It did happen sweetie, and I am sorry.  I acknowledge it happened.”

We were both in tears, but I felt I needed to continue through my list of hurts because we were there in front of the therapist and we only had so much time.  So I continued. “You left me alone with Dad and my brother.  You left me alone with them, and it was like being left alone in a crazy house.  You were out at all hours, and you left me there with two of my abusers alone.”

Mom said “You’re right sweetie.  You’re right.  I am so sorry.”

Still I continued. “After I told you about Dad, what he did to me, your response was to tell me to cover up.  And you went to a doctor for yourself.  At no time did you get help for me.”

She said “I was trying to help you, telling you that you didn’t have to hug him so that you understood your own rights in the situation.”

I said “But do you understand the message I received?  That I was responsible for receiving or not receiving incestuous sexual abuse by making a choice not to hug him?” (I feel I need to say here – I did refuse to hug him.  After Mom told me I didn’t have to hug him, I did refuse.  But all that ended up happening was him constantly saying it was his right as a father for me to hug him and I just couldn’t take it anymore, the constant harrassment, and in the end, I did hug him, and that was of course when he took the hug too far and put his head on my breasts and moaned and it was horrible and I pushed away from him and ran upstairs and put on layers of clothing, etc.  I’ve written about that before on the blog, but I just want to make it clear here.)

Mom looked truly stunned and said “No, I didn’t realize that.  I thought I was empowering you.  I am so sorry if the message you received was different.”  She was so sincerely stunned, I know she was telling the truth here. Actually, I think what hurts the most out of all of this is that she seemed so sincere and apologetic, and I feel like I was just fucking crucifying her in there.  I tried to apologize about it later on, by phone, and Mom said “Stop trying to protect me, sweetie.  The therapist explained that you are trying to protect me.  I’m your mom and I can handle it.  I need to protect you.” (Which of course only made me feel more guilty for being the kind of asshole that crucifies her understanding mother.)

Anyway, so I kept going (in the therapy session).  I said “Look, it’s not your fault that my brother molested me.  And I am VERY grateful that as soon as I told you about it, all of it stopped.  But why were we alone in the first place?  We were so young.  Why were we allowed to be left alone on our own like that?  There should have been a rule that we go to grandma’s after school, so that he never would have had the opportunity to molest me.”

Again, Mom looked stunned.  When I said the part about the rule, it was like a lightbulb appeared over her head.  She said “A rule.  You are so right honey, I should have made a rule about it.”  It was so clear to me that she had never thought of it.  I totally understand that – she was a young, single mother doing the best she could on welfare at that point. 

This is the last of the Scenes from the Session together mini-series.  After that session, I was exhausted and just slept for a long time.  And cried for a long time, the rest of that day and the next day too.  It was painful stuff that we exorcised, and it was hard.  Really really hard. And I have been afraid of the babysitter every night ever since.  I feel like she is literally there with me at night as I go to sleep, and I wake up several times a night afraid of her too.  I don’t understand why this is happening, and I really don’t understand the timing of it.  I mean, I did some healing work with my mom right?  Why am I experiencing such heightened anxiety of the babysitter now?  If anything, shouldn’t I be in a more calm place?

At least with my mom though – I do feel calmer with her, closer to her, better about our relationship.  In a way, I feel like I am just getting to know her now.  It’s like all the cards are on the table now, and we are starting from an incredibly honest place.

But I am all fucked up, constantly afraid of the babysitter ever since our session.  What is happening and why?  Every time I go through such a period where I am so intensely afraid of the babysitter, I think to myself that this will be the time when my memory of her magically returns.  In my mind, if I have conscious memory, maybe I won’t be so afraid of the ghost of her.  But my memory doesn’t return and all I am left with is panic and terror.

Reason #215: Scenes from our Session Together, Part II

Read Part I here.

At some point during my together session with my mom, I said to the therapist “You know, here’s a perfect example of my mother and the sex abuse.  About a month ago, I made some reference to my three abusers.  Mom replied “Who were your three abusers?”

And sure enough, at that moment in therapy, Mom said “I was just about to ask that again, and then I reminded myself who they were.”

I said to the therapist “See?  This is what I am talking about.  The truth is, Mom is very comfortable with Dad as one of my abusers, because she hates him and so admitting he abused me is comfortable to her.  Mom is less comfortable with my brother being one of my abusers because that’s her son.  So she admits he abused me, but she minimizes his role, my reaction, everything.  Mom is least comfortable with the babysitter as one of my abusers, because –“

And here’s where Mom interrupted me to say, through tears “Because it’s all my fault.  I hired her and she did this and it’s my fault.”

I said “Mom it’s not your fault.  I’ve told you a million times it’s not your fault.  It’s her fault.  You couldn’t have known she was going to do that to us.”

The therapist looked at both of us and said “Is this what happens every time you try to talk about the babysitter?  Mom feels guilty and then you try to protect her and so you reassure her it’s not her fault every time?”

Mom and I both nodded and said yes.  The therapist explained that this was counterproductive to my healing.  She said that we never get to talk about any of the other stuff regarding the babysitter because we always focus on Mom’s guilt with the babysitter.  The therapist told mom that she needs to put her own guilt aside because it’s not helping me heal.  She said I need to be able to talk about it, and if I am constantly protecting her, then I won’t feel free to talk about it.  Mom seemed to really take that to heart, and agreed to discuss her feelings of guilt with her own therapist.  It was an important hurdle to get through, and it really paved the way for the rest of the session, which I’ll post more about in the next post.

But look at what had already happened in the session.  Mom felt so guilty about all of it that it not only stopped us from being able to talk about it, we were actually fighting about it.  This is what happens when you fuck kids.  It’s like a bomb that goes off and afterwards everyone is just scrambling for survival.  Then once we’re sure everyone has survived, then we begin the real work of asking the tough questions: Why did you do this to us?  Because the truth is, the guilt work always comes first. 

We always start out believing it’s our fault.  The non-offending parent blame the victim or themselves.  See who gets off scot-free?  The abuser.  It takes all of us so long just to understand that it’s the abuser’s fault. 

Look how much time, money, productivity, energy, etc. has been spent on all of us trying to heal from the bomb that babysitter detonated on us.  And then the subsequent bombs that my brother and father set off. That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

Reason #214: Scenes from our together session, Part I

Mom and I had our together session on Monday.  It went well, but I am left with all these feelings that I can’t quite figure out nor am I really sure what to do with them.  Maybe writing all this stuff out will help me figure it out.  To be honest, I have been a crying mess ever since, and the piss of it is that the session went really really well.  Better than I could have imagined.  Today was the first day I have been able to really process some of it and write about it.

We started the session with me explaining the problem (that Mom told me that she resented me for making her feel guilty about the sexual abuse).  Mom said that she always feels guilty about the sex abuse and when we fight she feels extra guilty because she thinks I am reacting in a certain way because I have been abused, and so she feels worried about fucking me up further by fighting with me.  I am not sure I believe that.

The therapist asked her if she had ever apologized to me for her role in the abuse.  Mom said “Oh yes, many times.”  The therapist looked to me for verification, and I said “No, I don’t feel like she ever has.  Maybe mom feels like she has apologized to me about it, but I don’t.”

Mom looked straight at me and said “I am sorry about the sex abuse.”

I said “No. What exactly are you sorry for?”

Mom burst into tears then and said “Because I didn’t protect you from it and I failed you as a mother.”

Wow.  I wasn’t expecting that.  Needless to say, we were both in tears after she said that.

This is some painful shit.  It’s been over 30 years since that babysitter fucked my brother and I.  And now my mom and I are in therapy together to cry about it still.  She feels like she failed me, and I am scared all the time, and this babysitter gets to walk around like nothing ever happened, like she didn’t fuck up our entire world. This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

Reason #213: Me and my Mom
January 12, 2011, 1:49 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

I had an alone session with the therapist, and we talked about my upcoming together session with my mom.  I explained what happened with my mom, how she said she resents me for making her feel guilty about the sex abuse.  I told her that ever since she said it, I can’t help but focus on all the ways that she just wasn’t there for me.  I said that maybe my mom picked up on my own store of anger, and maybe that’s what she resents me for.

So then my therapist came out with this bomb: “Has your mom ever acknowledged her role in the abuse?”

I said “Uh, what?”

She said “You know, has she apologized to you?”

I said “How do you mean?”

She said “Butterfly, she had a role in this.  She says she resents you for making her feel guilty, but really I bet if she examined that guilt, she is actually feeling guilty about her role in what happened to you.  As a mother, she didn’t protect you.”

So I sat there for a minute, trying to absorb this.  This session didn’t go at all the way I thought it would, in that I figured it was a semantics issue, but the therapist understood this issue for what it really was.  My mom covering her true feelings by projecting them onto me, and me covering my true feelings because I am afraid of being mad at my mom.

This is the 213th way that being sexually abused as a child has affected me in the last two years.  That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

Reason #212: The Just World Theory

A few years ago, my husband told me about this theory – the “just world” theory.  This theory holds that people inherently need to believe in a just world, a fair world, where good things happen to good people and bad things happen to bad people.  It’s a theory that explains why people don’t believe us fucked kids, or adult rape victims either.  It’s a theory that explains rape myths, like the one that says that she was wearing something provocative, so that is why she got raped.

What all of us fucked kids know for sure, of course, is that bad things do happen to good people.  We know for sure that child sex abuse happens, and since it happens, we also know for sure that it is not a just world.  However, non-abused kids can sometimes grow up to be adults who don’t have this intimate understanding of evil.  Since they haven’t been abused, they cannot understand a world where adults rape children. This is one of the reasons why we have to tell so many times before we are believed by someone.

I’ve been reading this blog “I Was A Foster Kid“, and the shit she has lived through has been horrific.  Just fucking horrific.  And at this point in her journey, she is probably somewhat physically safe (in that she is no longer living with abusers).  But, like most of us fucked kids, she has begun processing the enormity of what she has lived through, and that brings with it emotional scariness. 

The thing about being a fucked kid is that most of us do not believe we live in a just world anymore; we know for sure that the world is not at all ‘just’ or fair.  But we do buy into the just world theory when it comes to our own abuse. All survivors seem to go through an intense period where we believe the abuse was our fault.  Some die with that belief. We think the abuse must have been our fault, that there must be something fundamentally wrong or inherently bad about us, because otherwise how could this have happened to us?  (That’s the just world theory.) Yet when we hear about someone else’s abuse, we never question the fault.  We know for sure it is the abuser’s fault.

I know for sure the abuse wasn’t my fault.  But it took YEARS of therapy to get there.  And the fucked up part of it all is that once you begin to realize that it wasn’t your fault, you also realize just how fucked up the people around you were.  Your eyes are opened to who your dad was and wasn’t, who your mom was and wasn’t, etc.

I don’t believe in a just world.  I believe there are good people in the world who mean me well, and I believe there are also terrible people in the world who mean me harm.  My husband, who was raised in safety by people who loved him, sees the world as mostly good with a few nuts out there.  I have the world pegged as completely opposite: mostly nuts with a few good people out there.  That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

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