Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #306: The Astonishment that People Cut Themselves

I was watching Sunday’s episode of The Good Wife, and in this episode a teenaged female character had a history of cutting herself.  The Good Wife was astonished that someone would do such a thing, and exclaimed “Why?? Why would she do such a thing?”  The daughter character responded with something like “I think sometimes people like the feeling of healing”.

My immediate thought was ‘Idiot’. That is so NOT why we cut, you idiots. It sure as shit ain’t about the feeling of healing.  It’s about there being such a fucking shitload of pain inside us that we have to cut ourselves to let a little bit out.  It’s about the fact that you can’t see how much pain we are in so we cut ourselves to give you a glimpse into our pain-filled world.  It’s about the emotional release that comes when the blade touches our skin.  Sometimes it’s about being so dissociated that the cutting feels good.

I can’t stand the astonished ignoramuses who have never been exposed to cutting.  I, of course, used to be one of those judgmental idiots who couldn’t understand why people would cut themselves.  ‘They’ve been hurt so much, and now they are hurting themselves?‘ I used to think. But that is very much the point, unfortunately.

It’s been 20 years since I first cut myself, and over 15 since I last cut myself. But shit, I sure remember how it felt.  Honestly, sometimes I miss it.  I know it doesn’t sound good to say that, but it’s honest.

You shouldn’t fuck kids; that’s a given.  But as you can see from the 305 reasons before this one, there are many reasons not to fuck kids.  Here’s #306: Sometimes the pain gets overwhelming and we can’t take it and we cut ourselves.  And then we watch people talk about us cutters on tv as if we are freaks.

I’m not a freak.  I am a survivor.  I have survived the child sexual abuse.  But this is what surviving looks like, unfortunately.  It’s cutting and secrets and blogs filled with little and big events in my life that are evidence of this survival.


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 #298: Our Burdens Get Too Heavy To Carry
July 31, 2012, 12:34 am
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You remember that work friend I was telling you about, the one I went to that conference with?  She’s having a rough time. Her boss set up a meeting with her, and we kind of sensed in advance it wasn’t going to go well.  Unfortunately, our senses were right. Her boss ended up screaming at her, apparently.  I wasn’t there for this, but my friend texted me about it when the whole thing was over.  After that, a bunch of people from work talked to me about it. I’m not sure if they talked to me about it because they know we are friends, or if it because I am a more seasoned member of the team (since they are all kinda newbies).  I guess it really made an impression, whatever transpired between my friend and her boss. My friend has been totally fucked up ever since, avoiding our normal work site like the plague.

Anyway, my friend and I had to go to an off-site meeting the other day. She arrived wearing a dress we bought together on the way up to the conference.  It’s a sleeveless dress, and she was wearing a pretty black sweater over it.  I told her she looked really pretty, and complimented her on her dress.  She said that she usually wears a different sweater with it, but she lost that sweater so she had to wear this one.  I told her it looked good, and we went into our meeting.

It wasn’t until much later in the day that I realized that my friend was wearing a long-sleeved black sweater in the middle of a hot summer day. And then it hit me – she’s probably cutting again.  That’s why she felt she had to explain her sweater, because she was self-conscious about it..  She has never explained her clothing choices to me, nor has she ever worn long sleeves in summer. This is what happens when you rape people – they end up finding terrible ways to cope with terrible things.  She copes with her pain by cutting herself.

I asked her to go to lunch with me this Wednesday; I told her if she needs a shoulder, I have one available.  I don’t feel comfortable telling her I know why she is wearing a long-sleeved sweater.  When I was cutting, I would have been embarrassed if someone I didn’t want to know had found out and pointed it out to me.

The piss of this whole thing is that about two weeks ago, I had some serious urges to cut.  I thought about cutting my arms, which was always my place of choice.  But I didn’t feel comfortable doing that because it is summer and my workplace would totally judge me for that.  Then I thought about cutting my stomach, but I didn’t feel comfortable with that either.  (Less than a year ago I had multiple gall bladder surgeries, and I just didn’t want to re-traumatize an area that has already been traumatized.)  I thought about cutting my breasts, but I fed my baby with those, and I don’t want to cut them up.  So I thought about cutting my legs.
I couldn’t find a reason not to cut there, so I thought about it some more.

Finally, I decided that that was the old butterfly, not the me I am now.  The old butterfly used to cut myself when I was hurting as a way to relieve the pain.  I am not that butterfly anymore. I have learned things since then, and one of the things I have learned is that emotional pain sucks shit but it won’t last forever.  The urge to relieve emotional pain by cutting yourself can be obliterated just by sharing that pain with someone else.  I talked to my ex about my urges to cut, and we explored all the emotion that was driving those urges.  After that, I didn’t need to cut anymore.

I am worried about my friend though.  I know what it’s like to feel alone and scared that things in life are not going well. I wish I could tell her that it’s okay and that I wouldn’t judge her for cutting.  I wish I could share that sometimes I still mentally go to those dark places too.

I once read that if you’ve been traumatized, you are much more likely to be empathetic to trauma survivors than if you hadn’t been traumatized.  I am sure that I feel some sort of allegiance to her because of that. I almost kind of feel like a big sister to her, if that makes any sense.

I hope she finds her way, and I hope I do too.  We are both good people who have been hurt by malevolent people. It’s not our fault, but it is our burden to carry.  I hope both of our loads lighten in time so that we can walk straight again.  I will sing a prayer of healing for each of us tonight.

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.

Reason #172: The trauma dictates our job
May 2, 2010, 12:03 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , ,

You remember I posted in this blog about my colleague, the one who used to cut herself?  Well, part of her job requires her to travel to certain buildings around the city. 

Another colleague was complaining to me about the fact that “Woman-Who-Cuts-Herself” doesn’t want to go to these buildings alone.  She said “I’ve been doing it for a long time now, and I haven’t had any problems, nor am I afraid.”

I thought to myself “Yeah, that’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.  We get terribly afraid of going to places that you don’t even think twice about.”  Out loud, I said “Why do you suppose she is afraid?”  My colleague looked at me and said “I don’t know. I want to tell her to stop being such a baby.”

I was disgusted.  It’s not enough they have to fuck us, you have to as well?

“Woman-Who-Cuts-Herself” had already confided me in me that she had been raped by her boyfriend when she was a teenager.  When you are on intimate terms with evil like this, you get afraid to go to places by yourself.  Her job is on the line now because she is being forced to do something that makes her uncomfortable because of the fact that she has survived rape.

This could easily be me, and it usually is me.  Many, many times I am forced to do something that makes me terribly anxious because of what I have already survived.  This can be as simple as walking into my own home alone, or it can be as daring as doing something at night.  Since “Woman Who Cuts Herself” and I know for sure that people are willing to hurt us without regard to our feelings or our bodies, we also know for sure that other people might do this to us again.  Are we supposed to feel safe just by virtue of us being alive?  Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true.  The fact that we survived evil means that we are now damn afraid of the world and the people in it.  Consequently, we are willing to do anything to keep ourselves safe.  Even if this means losing our jobs.

For me, this living fear has always dictated the kind of job I am willing to get.  I have turned down jobs due to parking, for instance.  If the parking lot doesn’t look like something I will be able to walk through alone for whatever reason, I will not take the job.  This hasn’t happened just one time to me – it has happened many times.  And that is just one example of why I might not take a certain job.

I have a hard time taking night jobs.  I am afraid of the dark.  How could I possibly walk to my fucking car in the dark at night??

When I do have something I must do at night, I usually ask the huz to drive me to and from the event.  My husband, sweet beautiful man that he is, never shames me about it, and usually drives me around like a fucking chauffeur just because he is a nice guy.  If he can’t take me, then I have to make a bunch of different safety plans and worry and worry until the least scary plan emerges.  Least scary usually involves me shaking and breathing weird, but all the other plans would be worse, so I settle on that one.

This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.  People may fool themselves into thinking that it doesn’t have lasting effects in tangible ways, but it does.  We don’t take certain jobs, and it limits our pay.

Reason #153: No one said a word
February 16, 2010, 1:32 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

One summer when I was 20 and pretty suicidal, I went with my aunt and cousin to a local pool.  We sat there with my aunt’s friends.  I took my shirt and pants off, and sat there in my bathing suit.  I had very recently cut my legs up, and there were angry red criss-crossed scabs all over my legs.  I was sitting right next to my aunt’s friend, and that woman stared at my legs pretty hard.  I knew what she was looking at, and I felt uncomfortable.  I am not sure if she understood what she was looking at, but I could tell she was uncomfortable too.  No one said a fucking word.  The whole thing was so surreal.

I often think about that day.  How could all these people see my legs and not say one word to me?  It’s kind of like with sex abuse – you know good and damn well that people suspected that shit was happening to us.  But no one said a word.

This is the after-effect of surviving child sexual abuse. We cut ourselves and it shows on our legs when we are trying to just spend a day with family at the pool.  That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

Reason #152: My friend cuts herself
February 13, 2010, 2:05 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

When I was around 20 or so, I went to a restaurant with some friends, and our waitress had so many patterns of scars on her arms that I recognized her as a fellow cutter. I had been cutting myself for a year by then.  I wanted to reach out and touch her arm and tell her she wasn’t alone, but I didn’t. 

I would put money on the fact that she was a survivor, like me.  At the very least, some bad shit had to have happened to her to make her have such a shit relationship with herself and her body.

This week, a colleague and I were deep in discussion and I noticed similar white scars on her arms as well.  I touched her arm and looked in her eyes.  She wasn’t quite sure what to say.  She started to stammer “I thought you knew about that.  I thought I already told you about that…”  I could see she was uncomfortable, and  I said “I used to cut too.”  We locked eyes then and just shared that intimate knowledge, the kind of intimate knowledge that you only get when you are in such deep pain that you feel like your only outlet is to hurt yourself.

It saddens me that after all these people have hurt me and my body, that I chose to hurt myself and my body.  It saddens me that this was the only outlet I had, the only way that pain felt real, the only thing that even felt somewhat good to me at the time.  It saddens me even more to know that my friend felt the same way and bears the scars to prove it.  We were both recreating situations where our bodies were used for terrible reasons.

I no longer cut, and haven’t cut myself in about 10 years.  She says she has stopped too, but who knows.  The truth is, we are scared of talking about this sort of shit to outsiders because we don’t want you locking us up as if we are nuts.  We aren’t nuts.  We’re in pain, and since our kind of pain isn’t visible, cuts on our arms are.

She said it was about control, and I agreed.  I wish we had control over our bodies when we were children, when others assumed control for us.  Maybe then we wouldn’t have had to assume control in such terrible and destructive ways as adults.  That is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

Reason #32: Cutting
December 23, 2008, 1:16 am
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It was a week before my nineteenth birthday when I first cut my arms. I was in such emotional pain, and it seemed like it would be such a relief to cut my arms up. I knew that I could see a cut on my arm and say “Yes, this is real”, whereas when I said I was hurting inside because my brother molested me, no one could see that was real.

In my senior year of college (when I was 21), I lived with my two best friends. One was my roommate, and the other was my housemate. One day I cut my legs since my arms were already all cut up. I had just finished cutting when my roommate walked in and exclaimed “Oh ‘Butterfly’, not your legs too.” She looked so sad when she said it.

If you are unfamiliar with the world of cutting, you would probably consider it weird to inflict a physical wound for the relief of an emotional one. And you would be right. It is weird. This is yet another reason you shouldn’t fuck kids. We grow up and cut ourselves to make ourselves feel better about the disgusting ways that you cut us first.

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