Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #291: Creating safety

When you go to therapy, do you ever try to edge away from the tough stuff and talk about fluff instead?  It’s kind of stupid to do that, but I do that sometimes.  The reason it’s stupid is that I am paying this person to work with me through my tough stuff.  But then shit gets scary and I spend the next few sessions talking about my job or some shit.  Then a few weeks later we’ll get back to the sex abuse.

Yesterday I asked her if there are child sex abuse survivors out there who come out of this okay.  She said that some are more okay than others, but no one comes away from an abusive experience unscathed.  So then I said “Why am I so afraid then?  It seems like I am more fucked up with the fear and phobia than any other survivor I know.”

She explained that I was never safe.  She said that I lived in a house with a mom who was, for whatever reasons, unable to keep me safe.  I lived with two of my perpetrators (brother and father), and mom hired a babysitter that molested us (unbeknownst to her). Since mom lived in her own little world, she was unable to fathom my abused life and was also unable to protect me and create safety for me.  Consequently, I had to create safety for myself.

As a child, my means for making safety was a child’s way.  I became afraid of the dark in an attempt to create safety.  I put the covers over my head to sleep at night.  I used three blankets in winter, with the thought process being that if someone stabbed me in the back, the knife wouldn’t make it through all those layers. I used to get so hot and sweaty under all those blankets, but I refused to use less blankets. I became afraid of my windows, afraid someone out there in the dark was watching me.  Et cetera. All of these things were attempts at creating safety for myself.

I guess the problem is that I never feel like I have achieved true actual safety.  And all these childhood coping mechanisms stayed with me through adulthood. I still have all those coping mechanisms and I have added some over the years.  Like my OCD rituals, or deciding people are good or bad based on their names. Or adding layers of fat onto my body to insulate myself and become unattractive to men.

This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.  We create our version of safety, but all it really does is keep people out. We become like turtles, insulating ourselves from the world by hiding inside ourselves.

Reason # 246: We’ll Get Through This
June 14, 2011, 1:37 pm
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The huz/(wife?) and I had to go to a wedding for a family member recently.  Most of the people at the wedding didn’t know our unique situation.  My mom and close family knew though.

It was an incredibly painful day for me, watching someone else’s marriage begin as my own is coming to an end.  I didn’t handle it well.  There was a lot of crying and sadness on my part, and some drinking at the wedding as well.  I am not generally someone who drinks, since I am really the slave to only one master (which is food).  But shit, if ever there was a time for a drink or two, that wedding was it.

At some point during all of this, my mom looked at me and saw what was happening for me.  She took my hand and squeezed it and said “We’ll get through this together, sweetie.”  I can’t even say how grateful I was to hear her say this.  One of the many difficult parts of all of this is how overwhelmingly alone this situation makes me feel.  When you imagine yourself divorcing, it happens in a hundred different ways.  Your husband telling you he is a woman inside is never one of those ways.

My mom said she needed her mom a lot when she was divorcing. I have always needed my mom a lot.  As you know, my quest for safety is constant, and elusive because it never truly comes.  When something happens to a kid that is contrary to survival, like sexual things with adults, there are many reactions to it.  One of them is the need for safety and love in the form of ‘mother’.  In my incest survivors’ group (20 years ago), every one of us had a strong need for our moms.

The thing about getting fucked, of course, is that a lot of times the moms are complicit in the abuse, by either staying on the side of the guy who is abusing you, or by not believing you.  Or, worse, she is the one doing the abusing.

I wonder what the world would be like if, upon hearing their child disclose abuse, instead of the usual shitty reaction, moms took their childrens’ hands and said “We’ll get through this together, sweetie.”

Reason #225: Unhealthy coping mechanisms
February 25, 2011, 4:27 pm
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In the not too distant future, the huz has to go on another business trip, so my mom will be staying with me when he goes away.  I am really really grateful that mom is coming to stay with me, since I am a complete panicked mess when alone at night.  This will be the first time Mom and I have seen each other since our together session.

My husband always tells me stories of how the other guys at work have these wives who are thrilled when they go on business trips.  I always tell him “Yeah.  You didn’t marry that kind of wife.  You married the kind that got fucked as a child, and now can’t stay by myself because I am all fucked up.”

Even though mom will be staying with me, I am stressed.  I am afraid.  And I am beating myself up for being afraid, even though the therapist told me not to.  This whole thing is so embarrassing, and even though Mom now knows some of the extent of it, I am always embarrassed when there are witnesses to my life of protracted panic.  Still though I would rather swallow my pride and have mom witness it than sit here alone and frightened for an extended period of time.

I had a bulimic episode last night, first time in a while.  I am sure it was stress related.  The force of it broke some blood vessels over my eye.  When I came to bed, the huz said “What happened to your eye!?!”  I looked at the floor and said “I threw up so hard it broke some blood vessels over my eye.”  I looked at him. He looked so scared about this news though.  I said “It’s okay, it’s happened before.”  But I couldn’t quite look him in the eye, because I was so embarrassed.  He put his arms around me, and hugged me for a long time. 

All of us fucked kids have some sort of coping mechanism for surviving abuse.  Mine happen to be panic and bulimia (and a whole host of other things, 224 other things so far, since this post is #225).  The truth is that there is no way a child can survive things that are antithetical to human survival – like abuse – without developing ways to live.  These are my ways.  This is how I am surviving child sexual abuse. That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

Reason #221: Superman cries
February 9, 2011, 9:08 pm
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Were you guys ever fascinated by superheroes?  When I started my healing journey, I became fascinated with Superman and Batman.  Superman – he has all these powers, and yet he always chooses good.  And Batman – Batman had a totally tragic childhood, watching his parents get killed in front of him, and he used his trauma to help the world.

So I had one of my alone sessions with the marital therapist.  I of course started to cry, as per my usual with this therapist. I mean, with my other therapists, I maybe cried twice with each of them.  With this one, I have lost count how many times I have cried so far.  It’s happened in almost every alone session so far. It’s gotten to the point where when I first walk into the room, I look for the tissues to make sure they’re nearby.

I said to the therapist “Can we talk about this, the crying?  I feel like it’s a third person in the room with us.”

She said “Sure.  What would you like to talk about with it?”

I said “Well, frankly, it’s weird.  I mean, I have cried more with you than any of my other therapists combined.  And I think that’s weird.  I mean, this is by far NOT the most painful time in my life.  I used to want to die, and I used to cut myself, and I used to throw up three times a day.  I was in a lot more pain then, and yet I’m crying so much now.”

She replied “Well, maybe that is because you feel safe enough to cry now.  When you were going through the trauma, you weren’t safe to cry because you didn’t have the luxury of crying.  All energy went towards survival, and it sure wasn’t safe to cry.  Maybe we should talk about what is upsetting you about the tears?”

I said “Well, it’s vulnerable and embarrassing.  It’s like a weakness.  I am showing you my insides, and it makes me feel vulnerable.”

She said “Well, I don’t see tears as a weakness.  Tears are a sign of strength, of someone who is facing some tough things and is ready to feel emotion about it. It’s about someone who is not in denial about what’s happening for them.”

I said “I guess.  You don’t ever see Superman crying.”

Then she said “Oh come on, that’s just because they don’t have cameras on Superman late at night in his bedroom.”

That made me think.  I mean, it’s true, just because they don’t show Superman crying doesn’t mean that he doesn’t actually cry.  Does the Man of Steel cry?  Before this session with the therapist, I would have said no, but now I think yes.  I bet he too gets upset by what humans are willing to do to each other.  I bet he cries just like I do.  That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

Reason #220: Powerless, but not helpless
February 6, 2011, 8:27 pm
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I was talking to my mom today, and we both said that we thought that perhaps a greater good could come from my abuse. We both believe that perhaps good could come from bad.

Then our conversation turned to my panic, and she asked me if I had thought about trying some anti-anxiety medicine.  I told her I had already tried some, and it didn’t work.  Then I said “The truth is though, no matter what happens, I think I will always be afraid like this, and I have come to terms with that.” And when I say “afraid”, she knows exactly what I mean. Panic when I am alone or at night, always feeling something with me in the bedroom, etc.

She said “Sweetie – you feel powerless over these fears, but you are not helpless. You are seeking treatment for your fears. They are doing such great research on the brain now, always finding out new things that could help you. Who knows what they’ll discover? You feel powerless, but you are not helpless.”

It was such a beautiful thing to say, so filled with hope.  And I needed to be reminded that hope exists.  And really she is right.  We may feel powerless, but we aren’t.  We have found some way to survive the terrible things that happened to us.  We were powerless over the things that happened to us.  We were powerless then, we are not now, but we still feel powerless.  We were helpless then, but we are not now, and we are learning that. 

May all of us survivors of child sexual abuse find our power and use it for good.

Reason #216: Scenes from our session together, Part III
January 24, 2011, 2:21 pm
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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 #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.

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