Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #294: The Man in the Hotel Room

You remember that friend I talked about in Reason #152, the one who used to cut herself? The same friend who doesn’t like to go to certain buildings alone. This last weekend, we had to go to a work conference together. We stayed in the same hotel room.  We’re not very close, but we get along.

The reasons she cut herself were similar to my reasons. In her case, she was raped by her then-boyfriend (when she was 15).  In my case, three people used my body for their own sexual pleasure and power, during my childhood.

Anyway, so we were at the hotel this weekend. Knowing that she has a history of trauma, I wondered if she was all fucked up the way I am fucked up.  No one would really know just how fucked up I am if they don’t know me.  I mean, since I succeed at work, people think I am okay everywhere else too.  They are wrong, of course.

The hotel room that we stayed in had two big beds.  When it was time for us to go to sleep, we turned out most of the lights.  She said she liked a little bit of light.  I appreciated that, obviously, and I took it as a hint that maybe her trauma affected her too. (I thought maybe she is afraid of the dark too.)  It looked like she fell asleep fairly quickly, but I couldn’t.  I started panicking at the thought that there might be an intruder in our hotel room with us, hiding behind the curtains.  I couldn’t summon the courage to get up and look, but I also couldn’t get past my fear that he was there.  I laid there huddled under the covers, shaking, for about a half hour.  Finally, I used some positive self-talk to get myself through it. I assured myself that there was no way anyone could have gotten into my room, and I also assured myself that I had been right near that window when I adjusted the curtains.  The self-talk seemed to work, and I finally fell asleep.

The next morning I told her that I had trouble falling asleep because I was afraid there was a man behind the curtains.  I figured if I divulged a secret fear of mine, then she would admit that she had panic as well.  But no, nothing.  She remarked how weird that was, and didn’t say anything after that.  It was quite the “Don’t Share Your Pain With Fools” moment. Then later on though, she said she couldn’t sleep either and had to put in headphones with rock music just to fall asleep.

This whole weekend was so difficult for me.  She and I used to be fat together, but she is now thin.  She is not only thin, she runs outside alone, and has been doing that for a while now. It was like this whole weekend highlighted my fatness and her thinness. I spent the whole weekend comparing myself to her, and it was such a stupid thing to do.  No one is ever going to win that type of competition. But I didn’t realize I was doing it until after the weekend was over.

I just don’t understand.  How is it that she can survive rape and now she goes running.  Alone.  And yet I survived child sexual abuse and can’t step foot outside my house alone without it being a big major decision that scares the shit out of me.

When I used to be in an incest survivors’ group, the group facilitators told us we shouldn’t compare abuses.  They said that everyone’s pain is painful, and comparing is stupid.  They were right, of course, but I still find myself comparing. I think what we were trying to do in the incest group, and what I was trying to do this weekend with my friend, was figure out a way that we are not as alone as we feel. Surviving incest is lonely.  It feels like I am the only one in the world who experienced it, and the only one who is so fucked up from it. And I think the instinct to compare is actually the instinct to see if other people share the commonality of traumatic experience.

Panicking about an imaginary man in my hotel room during a business trip.  That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

9 Comments so far
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oh boy do i compare myself to others and it is constant, and like you said it is so constant i don’t even realize it until later, but it sure zaps energy.
something i noticed is you are very hard on yourself and calling yourself stupid. you are not stupid! you have been traumatized and do what you need to protect yourself…don’t take up the torch of your abusers and abuse yourself mentally.
i know it’s hard not to do, i have the same battle.

Comment by buckwheatsrisk

I definitely understand this and have really random anxiety too. I almost always check behind the shower curtain when I go into the bathroom. Among other things. I often wonder why other people with a similar history to mine seem to have everything together, but I’m a lunatic. I always feel like, what do they have that I don’t have? Why can’t I get better?

I know you’re not supposed to compare but I do think age and duration of the abuse are huge factors when it comes to the damage caused. As does the number of abusers. As does the support and love given afterwords. That doesn’t mean her pain is less, it just means you have had more to heal from.

Comment by Campbell B.

hi just want to say you are not alone. i totally support you in for experience and in your healing. i have been there.

about comparisons, she may seem like she has it together, and that may be what she wants to portray but you never know what unhealthy things lie beneath the surface. maybe she is still cutting, just somewhere on her body that you cannot see. maybe she has replaced cutting with another compulsion, like restrictive eating or overexercising. i have a friend who was sexually abused, like me, as a child and has never had therapy (says she doesn’t need it), never talked to anyone about it, and just says everything is fine. one day it’s all going to catch up with her, i’m certain!

you are doing great in your healing. one day at a time is my attitude!

Comment by me (@onebraveduck)

Hi Butterfly,

I understand about comparing and how negatively that can affect someone. I used to do it a lot; everyone had it so much worse than me, everyone had been abused so much longer and it had hurt them so much worse. I just could not stop doing it. Then I started remembering more and more of my abuse history and realized I had it bad, as bad as it could be and didn’t think that I could have survived one more awful thing and I was finally able to stop judging myself.

Obviously being sexually abused by a family member has the potential for more damage than a one time rape. Not to diminish anything that someone has gone through in being raped. It is traumatic and takes time to heal. But I would be natural that someone who was sexually abused as a child would have more “reasons” than someone who had not.

When I was in college and was taking the class on child abuse and neglect I seem to recall how there was a list of things that could act as mitigating factors to diminish some of the impact of child sexual abuse and it’s aftereffects. One of the things was having someone in your life at the time who was safe and supportive. I really can’t remember some of the others. On top of this all of us are individuals and we weather our abuse the best that we can and heal in different ways and times than others.

I would just like to add that you did self-talk, which is incredibly great. You are seeing a therapist. You have done so much to heal. You are doing incredible healing work. You have a lot to be proud of in that. I am so proud of you.

Good and healing thoughts to you and those you love.


Comment by kate1975

Oh Butterfly! Other people have said it best so I’m not going to be repetitive. I will say this: she could have been more sensitive when you shared your feelings. I’m sorry, but I found that mean and hurtful, and it left a bad taste in my mouth.

Btw: Your self-talk was amazing! Good for you!

Comment by All Time Love

You have a great gift for opening up to others who really need to hear what you have to say. I am sure somewhere inside, you touched a nerve with her, and for some people (me included) returning the sentiment and opening up to show compassion is not in our nature. This is something I learned from you, and I am ever grateful. Thank you, Butterfly.

Comment by sandma1half

[…] Reason #294: The Man in the Hotel Room […]

Pingback by Reason #298: Our Burdens Get Too Heavy To Carry « Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

[…] 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 […]

Pingback by Reason #323: The Man in the Closet | Reasons You Shouldn't Fuck Kids

[…] So anyway , we had to stay in a hotel for this conference. Remember how I had to stay in a hotel for that conference a few years ago with the woman who used to cut herself, and I got scared of the imaginary man behind the curtains? […]

Pingback by Reason #325: The Man in the Closet in the Hotel Room | Reasons You Shouldn't Fuck Kids

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