Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids


Reason #325: The Man in the Closet in the Hotel Room
September 16, 2014, 3:19 pm
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I had to go away to a conference again, and this time I went with someone from my new job. A new friend who seems very nice, but kind of plays her cards close to the chest. I have told her a tiny bit about my childhood, opened up a little bit to share my world. She has been safe to confide in so far. I haven’t ever said anything about my PTSD though, because it’s work and I don’t want work people to know that I am so fucked up because then they will think I can’t do my job, and so far I have been able to do my job no matter what. If anything, my job has always been the only place in my life where I have experienced success.

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?

So this time I remembered to check the fucking curtains. We settled into the hotel room, we both got changed for bed, talked for a long time, and by midnight we laid down in our respective beds. We turned the lights out except for the bathroom light. You know, now that I think about it, my friend was the one who left the bathroom light on and the door opened. I wonder if she doesn’t like sleeping in the dark too? Or I wonder if it was her way of being kind to me?

So I laid down in my bed and I went through a mental checklist. I had already made sure that the door was locked in every possible way, and I checked behind the curtains. We were on the first floor, which is inherently unsafe, but I couldn’t control that. I didn’t check under the beds. I shifted in the bed so I could see under her bed. It was way too low to fit a human being under there. THE CLOSET. I didn’t check the fucking closet. I started panicking. He could be in there right now, waiting for us to fall asleep so that he can rape us by surprise.

I tried to talk to myself in a soothing way. There’s no one in there, Butterfly. There’s no one in the closet. I had such a strong vision of a man hovering over me in bed, breathing on me, me paralyzed with fear. He’s here. He’s waiting for me to relax and lose my attention on him and then he will pounce on me. I can’t. I can’t go to sleep like this, knowing he is in there. I just can’t. I leap out of bed and check the closet. I am breathing heavy and scared, and I hurriedly open the closet door. There’s no one in there, thank G-d.

I walk back to my bed and I see that my friend is staring at me with a WTF expression on her face. I am too tired to make something up. I explain that I have to check the closet or I wouldn’t sleep all night. Her face changes a little bit, but it’s an unreadable expression, and I can’t tell what she thinks. It almost seems to confirm something for her, but I can’t be sure. I don’t care.  I am just so grateful that I was able to check the closet and that no one was in there and that I can go to sleep already.

This kind of humiliating shit is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.



Reason #320: The sexual abuse defines me
March 11, 2014, 5:39 pm
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My therapist once told my Mom, about me: “The sexual abuse doesn’t define her.”

My therapist has been right about a great many things in my life so far, but she was way off on this one. I think the whole problem with me is that the sexual abuse DOES define me. It’s why I keep a blog detailing the reasons you shouldn’t fuck kids. It has defined every fucking thing about me so far, from my choice of jobs to my choice of husbands to the way I don’t leave the house to every other fucking detail. Right down to the dream I had the other night about being in a room with serial rapists.

It’s almost as if it were wishful thinking. If we say “it doesn’t define her”, maybe it won’t define her. But it did before she said it, and it still does afterwards too.

I think the goal of therapy is to get to the point where it DOESN’T define me. Where I am no longer the victim, but the victor. Where I didn’t merely survive it, but thrived in spite of it.

I would like to get there, but I don’t know how. I am 40 fucking years old, and I need to sleep with the lights on because I am afraid of the dark. Her saying that it doesn’t define me is like me saying I don’t like to curse. It’s nice to hear but in the end it’s complete bullshit.

As my longtime readers know, my husband became a woman and my marriage ended. We still live together. We live like sisters and raise our son. It is safe.

My job is coming to an end, and I have a choice about what kinds of jobs to take next. The safe choice is to stay here and take the job that allows me to stay here. The risky choice is to apply for jobs elsewhere and leave safety.

I wish I had the courage to leave safety, but I don’t. This. This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.



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 #315: One Step Forward, One Step Back
August 27, 2013, 2:15 pm
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So you know how last week I was so courageous and I did things that scared me?  Apparently I got too cocky because G-d said “No, no, butterfly, how about fuck you instead.”

So I was feeling all good about myself because I drove myself to hard places, went to social gatherings, and didn’t let scary parking lots stop me, right?  I put up that blog post and as I was sitting there that night in my room patting myself on the back for being THAT fucking great, a spider crawls up my fucking wall.

As my long-time readers know, bugs fuck me up to no end. It all has to do with the fact that I don’t like being touched without my permission, and bugs – those fuckers – could give a shit that I am a survivor.  They don’t care that I am afraid of them, that I don’t want them crawling on me, that I will lose sleep over them, etc. They feel they have the right to exist, and apparently they feel they have the right to exist in my room.

Remember the motherfucking shithead of an ant that fell on my face when I was still married? That miserable piece of shit left me with survivor sleep for a year. A year. Last night, I was sitting up in bed frantically checking the ceilings and walls for signs of more spiders. I thought about how nice it would be to have a man beside me right now, and about how much it sucks being afraid of a spider all by yourself.

You know how you meet some women and you think to yourself “I don’t know how she does it!”  They seem to have so much on their plate, things that seem like they should break her, and yet she seems so together?  I was thinking about those women last night, and I said to G-d “I don’t think I can do this.” Last night everything seemed so hopeless. Being afraid of night and the spider seemed so overwhelming, and there didn’t appear to be an end in sight. I kept thinking about how this was going to be the rest of my life, spent anxious and afraid and hypervigilant in the middle of the night.

Eventually I put earplugs in my ears (so that spiders wouldn’t crawl into my ears) and after staying up way too late out of fear, I fell asleep. I woke up two hours later afraid of spiders.  I checked the ceiling, watched some tv with the earplugs still in, and fell asleep again. I woke up two hours later. I did the same thing again, check ceiling, tv, then sleep.

I woke up two hours after that and met my ex in the hallway, and she said “How did you sleep?” I had to swallow back tears and couldn’t answer her.

This is how surviving child sexual abuse in my childhood is fucking me up again as an adult.  This is one of those hidden ways, the kind that almost no one would ever know about unless they lived with me in my room. I can’t tell anyone about this sort of thing because I seem crazy.  But I am not crazy. I am having a reaction to terrible things that happened to me, and my fear of bugs is one of those reactions. I want to co-exist peacefully with all of G-d’s creatures, including bugs, but unfortunately I am unable to do that at this time. This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

 



Reason #314: My Courageous Week
August 25, 2013, 9:16 pm
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Last week, I had two social events scheduled that I couldn’t get out of because both were work related.  I have always had social anxiety, and social events (like parties and gatherings) scare the shit out of me. 

I was really proud of myself though because I knew I was afraid and I did it anyway.  In the past, I have made many excuses to my co-workers as to why I didn’t or couldn’t show up to their events. This time  was different.

I took stock of the situation.  I thought about how in the last two years I lost my marriage and almost my life in a hospital.  I got through that. And as I told my ex (who I am still living with), “They already know me.  They know I am fat.  They seem to love me and they don’t think that what I look like is not a reason to love me. They seem to like who I am.”  She said “Yes, that’s right.  And eventually you will realize that this applies to EVERYONE ELSE as well.”  That made me laugh, because she is of course right. But I have such a negative self-talk going on in my head that it makes it hard to hear anyone else.

It is me who thinks I am some sort of fat bumbling idiot.  The fat part is correct, but the truth is that being fat is not a bad thing about me nor does it make me a bad person.  In my estimation, it makes me someone who has cleverly figured out that I feel safer in a fat body because three people used my body against my will when I was a child. Likewise, surviving the abuse didn’t make me a bad person either, nor does it mean I have anything to be ashamed of.  I didn’t do anything wrong by being a victim of child sexual abuse, and I also didn’t do anything wrong by putting extra weight onto my body in a bid for self-protection.  If people judge me for being fat, it is like judging water for turning into ice when it gets cold.  I am not a bad person for being fat or for being a survivor. I am a good person who survived something terrible and also carries extra weight on her body.

I have been reading this blog called “Dances with Fat“, and it’s about this professional athlete who is fat.  She is a trained dancer, as well as a fat activist.  I really like what she has to say.  She feels that people have the right to take up as much space as they need to take up in the world.  Literally, my body takes up a lot more space than my thinner counterparts, and I am learning through Ragen’s activism that being fat is okay and being thin is okay, and everything in between is also okay.

Anyway, so back to my bravery. Courage comes when you do things that scare you.  Thus, courage is not the absence of fear. I mean, it’s not brave of someone to do something if it doesn’t scare them in the first place. Since almost all of life scares the shit out of me, I am already brave.  But as my long-time readers know, this is my year of empowerment. This is my year to find my inner butterfly, and to empower myself to become the kind of butterfly I really want to be. I am trying to “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

So I drove myself somewhere hard, twice, and I patted myself on the back when I got there, twice. I went into a social gathering, twice, and I am just so fucking proud of myself. For the second social gathering, I had to park in a parking lot by an apartment building, and as my longtime readers know – parking lots are enough to stop me cold in my tracks. So I did these really hard things, and they both made my stomach hurt pretty badly, but I did it anyway. Whenever I scared myself silly with negative self-talk, I made myself feel better with positive self-talk.  When I told myself “They will all figure out I am a fat bumbling idiot”, I stopped that thought and replaced it with “These people already love me. And I know you can do this.  You’ve done way tougher things than this.”

May we all have such courageous weeks, and may the next generation never have to exhibit such courage for such terrible reasons.

 

 



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 #274: The Parking Lot

I really hate the parking lot where I work, and I don’t like the entrance to the building either. It just seems like an awfully easy spot for rapists to hide. Sometimes I work from home so that I don’t have to face that parking lot. Or I will make plans to go to the building with a friend so that I don’t have to face the parking lot alone.

Today I had a meeting at work so I had to go in, but my friend decided to work from home. I got to the parking lot, parked the car and got out of the car. I looked around. Where is the rapist hiding? Or is he behind me? (Turn around to look behind me.) Start walking to the building. Try to look confident, so that if he is thinking of attacking me, he’ll know that I’ll put up a good fight. I already took my gloves off in the car so that his skin will be under my fingernails when they do the rape kit on me.

I get to the elevator. I look around. Is this where he’s gonna jump out at me? Elevator doors open, I hurry in, press the ‘Close Doors’ button again and again really fast before he jumps in with me. Why do these doors take so long to close? Hurry, please hurry doors and close already.

Ok good, doors are closed, I am safe until they open again. They open on my floor, I run out. If someone is waiting by the elevator door to catch me and rape me, I have thwarted them. This time, I remind myself. Walk down the hallway where no one ever is, and then I sit in my cubicle where there are at least people.

My friend isn’t there today, I remind myself, so I will have to brave all of this again to get back to my car. No, wait, my other friend has to come in today because she will be at that meeting! I will walk back with her, I reassure myself.

The meeting comes and goes, and I am back at my desk, busy with a project. My friend suddenly stands up, puts her coat on and announces she is leaving. Shit!! Why is she leaving now, in the middle of the day?? SHIT!! Should I shut own my computer and leave with her? I can finish my project from home. If I don’t leave with her now, I will have to face the elevator and the parking lot by myself. She is in a hurry, and I am too embarrassed to ask her to wait a few seconds for me to shut my computer down. She leaves.

I am getting more freaked out as each minute passes, and finally I give up, shut the computer down and leave for the day. I get to the elevator. Why, why didn’t I just leave with my friend?? Then we could have walked to our cars together! Already I am starting to shake. This is so embarrassing. I hurry into the elevator, hurriedly press the ‘Close Doors’ button, and wait. I hate leaving this building. The elevator stops, I step outside. Look around, put on same act of bravado as I did coming in here.

Please, I pray, please let there be someone else out here, a co-worker. If someone else is out here, he won’t have the chance to rape me. I am shaking with fear now. I see the bus stopped in front of the building. He appears to be waiting for someone. Thank you G-d!! I rush to my car, check for rapists in the back seat, get in car, immediately lock doors. Try to act like I am normal, like all the shit that I just thought and did didn’t happen.

This is me walking to my car, or walking from my car to work. This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.




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