Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #319: What PTSD Looks Like

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.

Reason #316: One great step forward, one normal step back
September 9, 2013, 4:11 pm
Filed under: fear, night, survivor, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Last week I did something incredibly courageous. I took a shower when no one else was home. I really wanted to take a shower, and gosh darn it, I took one! It was WONDERFUL.  Generally, since the shower is such an issue for me (see this and this post), I have to wait until someone is home so that I can feel safe enough to shower.  But not last week! I fucking showered! And it was fucking great!

With every step forward, there is a step back.  Sometimes the steps forward are like giant steps, and sometimes they are more like baby steps. Last week’s shower was a fucking giant step. But progress is never linear. It doesn’t follow a straight line up.  It’s just not how progress works. Not with surviving child sexual abuse, and honestly, not with anything else either. So this week there was a minor setback.

Last night when it was time to go to bed, my ex checked under the bed and in the closet for me. She turned on the house alarm, and checked all the doors in our home to make sure they were securely locked. Then she said goodnight, and went to her room, and I stayed alone in my bedroom.  This is our usual routine. Even though I saw her check in my closet, I still couldn’t shake the fear that someone was in my closet. I knew it was my own fear, and I knew no one could possibly be in the closet, but I was still so afraid! I kept reminding myself “She checked the closet. I saw her check the closet.”  I reminded myself that when I was in the bathroom, I had my bedroom door closed.  I would have seen someone go into the bedroom. Or I would have heard them open the door and walk in.  No one could possibly be in the closet.

Then I thought about how someone could break into my home and take my son. Or rape us both. G-d forbid, G-d forbid. I am afraid right now even typing these words.

But you see what my mind did there, right?  Once I couldn’t be reasonably afraid of the closet anymore, my anxiety went to the next logical place of fear.

My therapist says that if you have done everything you possibly can to keep safe, like have a house alarm, lock your doors, and own a dog, then that is all you can do.  At that point, since you have done everything possible that you need to feel safe, you can rest assured in your own safety.

But last night it wasn’t enough. No amount of calming self-talk was enough. I was too scared, and logic couldn’t fix my fears last night. It was probably about 3AM when I finally fell asleep, after four hours of trying to calm myself enough to be able to go to sleep.

And that is the rub of being a child sexual abuse survivor.  No one sees this part, the part where we are forever scared of night and darkness and sleeping and showering because those are all things that make us vulnerable, and we understand all too well what happens to us when we are vulnerable. No one but those who live with us or those we let in to our little worlds get to see this part of us. For instance, I am meeting a friend for lunch today. She might think I look tired, and she will assume it is because I have been working so hard at work. I have been working hard at work, but you and I both know that I have also put a lot of hard work just into surviving every day and night.

Being too afraid to sleep, to the point where I only got 4 good hours of sleep last night. This is yet another effect of surviving the incest and child sexual abuse that is hidden from the world. This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

Reason #311: My ex is my mother now?
April 17, 2013, 7:33 pm
Filed under: fear, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

Recently, during two different lunches with two different divorced friends, both friends asked me when I was thinking about physically separating from my ex. In each instance, I immediately felt that same knot of fear I always feel whenever I think about us physically separating from each other. I told them both “I think when it’s time to move out, I will know.” I say that so they will shut the fuck up already.

The pressure is getting to me though, so I talked about it with my therapist.  I said “The thing is, neither of them know about my sex abuse past, or my CPTSD (complex post-traumatic stress disorder) present. No one knows what it’s like to live in my head with me, with my constant fear, or what happens to me when I am alone. They have no idea what it’s like to have your heart beating in your chest so loud, or listen constantly for signs of intrusion, etc.”

My therapist said “Plus, you’re getting advice from two women who hate their husbands and who feel completely whole and secure on their own. That’s not where you are right now.”

I agreed, and said “For me, the whole thing boils down to safety.  I am 39 years old, and this is the first time in my whole life I have ever felt safe. And it’s only been in the last few months that I have been able to even acknowledge that I might be safe here.  Why the fuck would I leave this situation that I finally feel safe in? I mean, like last night, we both went outside and sat down, and neighbors came by and chatted with us.  I went outside.  I WENT OUTSIDE.  I felt safe enough to leave my home and sit outside.”

She agreed, and said “To be honest, what I keep thinking is “attachment”, the developmental stage of attachment.  You never felt safe with your mom, because she was never able to ensure your safety.  So you created all these fears and rituals and phobias in an attempt at keeping yourself safe.  But now you have found a situation where you have safely attached to someone, and she is providing you with the kind of safety you hadn’t experienced before.”

I said “Wait, so you mean that my ex is kind of a mother figure to me now?” (The funny thing about this statement is that I have always joked that I married my mother.  I just didn’t mean it in this way!)

She said “Kind of, yes. It’s not a bad thing.  It’s actually a good thing.  You are exploring safety the way a toddler explores safety.  A toddler ventures a few feet away from their mom, sees it is safe, and inches away a little bit. That’s where you are.  Now that you realize you are safe, you are exploring your surroundings. Since you never learned safety as a child, you are learning it now as an adult, in a healthy safe way.”

This whole conversation blew my mind.  The thing is, she’s right.

I said “So it’s okay for me to stay exactly where I am right now?”

She said “More than okay.  That’s exactly what I would advise you to do. You’re not ready to leave yet, so why are you allowing others to pressure you to do so?”

I said “Well, they think that it’s unhealthy for a divorcing couple to live with each other.”

She said “It would be unhealthy for them to stay with their exes, because they hate them.  But you and your ex love each other, treat each other with respect and love, and co-parent your child together. When it’s time to leave, you’ll know.”

I said “How will I know?  Won’t I always want safety over anything else?”

She said “Well, toddlers grow up and when they reach teenagehood, they begin to rebel.  They want to leave, they want to explore boundaries, they want to see the rest of the world. So eventually you will actually want to go. But right now, this whole safety thing is so new for you, you are exploring that.  Once you feel totally and completely safe, you will want to see what else is out there.”

I think she is exactly right.  Right now, the idea of leaving this safe place is so fucking scary that I can barely think about it without panicking.  But maybe it won’t always be so; maybe one day I will want to explore further than my own backyard. I can’t imagine it right now, but maybe one day it will be so.

And if one day it isn’t so, then shit, where I am isn’t so bad either.  I grew up in a world of shit, of unsafe shit. And now I have at least achieved safety.  So I figure, okay, if my ex is now a mother figure to me, then I am grateful to have found that kind of safety and love at this point in my life.  I will learn what I need to from this situation in order to grow into an independent person.  My goal will be to eventually learn safety enough to be able to learn how to understand safety independent of my ex. (Panic rising in my throat just as I write that sentence.) Maybe that day will come in one year, ten years, or never.  I don’t know what the future holds, but I also never thought I would feel safe and I achieved that, so who knows! The sky’s the limit now. 🙂

Reason #309: The obesity problem in society

I would like to lose weight.  I am unhappy at the weight I am at. The problem is that whenever I have lost weight in the past, I get to a certain point and no matter what I do, I can’t lose any more weight (even though I would be considered fat at that weight on any doctor’s scale).

Two years ago, I began The Sugar Addicts Recovery Program.  Kathleen DesMaisons feels that if you eat enough protein in the morning, you won’t have as many cravings through the day.  I think she is right, so I have been doing that ever since.  Then about a year ago, I found the Jon Gabriel Method. He explains that if you are anything more than 10 lbs overweight, it is because you do not feel safe losing the weight.  He says that as long as you don’t feel safe, your body will never release its hold on the weight because your body simply doesn’t want to be thin.

I couldn’t agree with him more. I have always known that my fatness was about safety.  I didn’t start gaining weight till my brother began molesting me. As an adult, every time I have tried to lose weight, I have mostly failed.  A thinner body is a smaller body.  When I was in a small body as a child, three people used my smallness to their sexual advantage.  They used my body for their sexual pleasure, and enjoyed their power over me.  When I think about being in a thinner body now, I equate it with smallness.  Smallness hasn’t worked out well for me in the past.  These thoughts and anxieties have thwarted many attempts to lose weight, and eventually my subconscious overtakes me, and I have put on more weight than I have lost in diets.

This, of course, is why you shouldn’t fuck kids. You don’t like the obesity problem in America?  Stop fucking kids.  I was once at a conference on incest, and I swear to G-d, every single one of us (and I’m talking hundreds of people) was overweight.  Some of us were massively overweight.  We have all cleverly figured out that weight is a good shield, a good measure of insulation that keeps people far the fuck away from us. And honestly, this has worked pretty well for me so far.  Somehow when I reach a certain weight, I become invisible to men. This weight has kept me safe.

But the truth is that my adult self is unhappy with this weight now.  I don’t feel protected by it so much anymore. Instead, I feel hampered by it. I feel like my weight is holding me back from being my best self.

As you know from my last post, this year is my year of trying to empower myself. I have spent a lot of time working through this issue in therapy, and listening to Jon Gabriel’s visualizations.  And today I had such a lovely thought.  I tried to imagine myself in a thinner body.  And immediately my mind did its usual thing where thinness=smallness=me getting violated again. But today I changed the ending of that thought. The violator still tries to violate me, but in my thinner smaller body, I am confident and fit.  I am strong and I have a good relationship with my body.  My body and I work together and I fight my would-be violator, and I KICK HIS FUCKING ASS.

He will think twice before ever fucking with me again.

Reason #308: Good coming from evil

My mom called today, and she said “You know, I was thinking about your situation with the babysitter, and it’s such a case of good coming from evil.”

I said “How do you mean?”

She said, “Well look how much she hurt you.  Look how that has fueled your passion about child sexual abuse.  You’re doing so much good on behalf of survivors, and I think that never would have happened were it not for that babysitter.”

I think that when bad things happen to good people, we all want to make meaning of it.  I think that making meaning of tragedy or evil is a human way of processing terrible things. But I really do think that good can come from bad, and maybe that is me trying to make meaning of the babysitter, my brother, and my father all using my body against my will.

I think I am passionate about survivors’ voices being heard because of my own painful experiences. At the same time – all of this comes at quite a fucking cost.  It’s true that trauma survivors are much more empathetic to pain because we know what that pain feels like, but the problem is that no one is home with us at night to see what is really happening, so the whole thing seems so seamless.

Can good come from bad? Yes. But generally it means ‘good for society’ but still ‘bad for me’.

I write a blog in secret that details every new time my child abuse history interferes with my adult life. It’s good for society because it breaks the secret, continually.  Generally speaking, I am very empathetic to anyone else’s pain, which is also probably good for society. However, I am still afraid to leave my house, and my nights are punctuated from beginning to end with fear. Even though good has come from bad, I’m still fucked up.  That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

Reason #305: Clark Kent and Superman
November 16, 2012, 1:57 pm
Filed under: fear | Tags: , , , ,

As I mentioned in my last post, I had to go to a conference this last weekend.  I didn’t want to go, but I had to.  Though you’d never know it when you meet me, I have social phobia.  You’d never know it because when you meet me, I am all smiles and sparkling conversation.  Inside though, I am scared you think I am a fat bumbling idiot, and I wish I were at home in the safety of my own bed.

Anyway, I went to the conference with my usual conference friend (the one who used to cut herself), and another woman.  I like the other woman but it’s difficult to get close to her.  She plays her cards very close to her chest.  I realized when the weekend was over that she hadn’t really told me much about her personal life.

Both women are married. Both apparently have satisfying sex lives with their husbands.  Now mind you, I wouldn’t choose either of their husbands for myself, but they each must see something in their husbands that sparks their love for them.

I asked them both about their sex lives.  I know that what happened with my ex is fairly unusual, but the truth is that I married someone who was never going to push me on sex, and I am pretty sure I did that purposely.  I didn’t know she was a woman in a man’s body, obviously, but I did know that I was never pushed on sex with my ex when we were together.  So I asked my conference companions about their sex lives.

They both seemed to really enjoy sex.  One of them was raised in a Catholic household where sex was ‘naughty’ or ‘taboo’.  My friend (the cutter) was raped in her first relationship.  She then slept with a series of men afterwards so that she could ‘take the power back’. I get that.  I went the other way and couldn’t ever get comfortable enough in a relationship with a man to sleep with him (until my husband).

I felt so – ‘otherized’ when we were all talking.  They both know my situation (in terms of being married to a trans woman), and I think they have both guessed that I have a trauma history.  It’s like one of those things that we all tiptoe around but no one ever says ‘I was fucked when I was a kid and that’s why I am fucked up now’.

The conference, as usual, was a difficult experience for me.  It’s kind of like being Spiderman or Superman.  They have to be one way in front of people, but they know this enormous secret about themselves that shapes everything about who they are. In front of people, especially at work, I am put together, polished, smiling, funny, etc.  In my own private world though, I am a survivor of incest and child sexual abuse, and it has informed every single aspect of my life.

I did some courageous things at the conference.  Well, courageous for me.  A few times, I walked to my hotel room from the lobby alone, and I stayed in the room for a few hours by myself too.  Normally I am so afraid of rape that I refuse to be alone in hotel hallways or hotel rooms.  But this time I told myself there are a lot of people at the conference and at the hotel; I am not really alone.

So even though I felt like shit about myself because I was measuring my sexual unsucesses with their sexual successes, I still did some courageous things at the conference, and that’s pretty cool.

Reason #302: My Son Started School

My son started school last week.  I cried my way through most of the week.  Lots of mothers get fucked up when their child first enters the school system, so this in itself would not be a reason not to fuck kids.  For me though, the whole thing brought me to my knees.

All I could think was ‘I couldn’t keep me safe, and now that he’s at school, I can’t keep him safe either.’  And then I cry and pray and cry and pray. Tears and prayer are what you do when you have nothing else you can humanly do.

The whole thing seems unsafe to me.  The school bus, the school building, the teachers, the bigger kids.  And then there’s my sweet beautiful son, who is so innocent and sensitive.

I have no memory, but I would have had to have been his age or younger when the babysitter fucked my brother and I.  I have no memory of being five, or of kindergarten.  I realized that yesterday, that I have no memory of kindergarten.  Nothing in my mind about the teachers, the school, nothing, nothing but a big black hole where the memories of life should be.  Isn’t that rather odd? I asked my ex if she had any memory of kindergarten, and she said yes.  Not only kindergarten but nursery school too.

I once read a study that found that adults that have survived child sexual abuse tend to lose big chunks of their autobiographical memory.  I wonder if those adults are actually kids like me who have no memory of the abuse and thus big black holes in their memory of everything else during that time period?  Or are there adults who remember the abuse but still have the big black holes in their memory about everything else?

My sweet beautiful son is now out there in the world. I feel like he is alone out there, and when I was left alone, a babysitter came into our home and raped my brother and I. And I’ve been fucked up ever since, and so has my brother.  And then he fucked me too, because that’s what he’d been taught by that horrible person.

I keep telling myself that it is okay for children to go to school, that they have to go to school, that this will be a growth opportunity for him.  My ex told me how much she loved kindergarten. I swear to G-d, I had no idea what the fuck she was talking about.  “How could you have loved it??  It was school!” I said.  She said she loved it.  My memory begins at age 6, and where I grew up, it was a city environment, and the teachers yelled at us a lot.  I saw one teacher pull childrens’ hair a lot too.  My grade school felt inherently unsafe to me, probably because I had already been unsafe in the world.

I pray about my son and his school sometimes, but I feel that prayer is useless in this situation.  How can I ask G-d to protect my son when He couldn’t even protect me? It seems to me that G-d doesn’t intervene in things like this. He will hold your hand through it and through the healing process, but He will not step in and stop you from being abused.  I don’t understand that, but in order to keep surviving, I tell myself that the pain that came with surviving was all part of my life journey.  I tell myself that it fueled my growth. I don’t want my son to grow like that.

I don’t understand what G-d is thinking.  I mean, yeah, a lot of growth happens in painful times. But shit, a lot of growth happens in loving, nurturing times too. Why did You let me get hurt like that?  Why did You let her hurt me like that?

And now I am supposed to just put my son out there on a bus, in a school, in the world, as if it doesn’t scare the shit out of me?  Am I supposed to trust the world to take care of him and keep him safe when it couldn’t do that for me?

This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.  Because we grow up and have kids, and the already-painful first day of school brings with it a layer of terror.


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