Reasons You Shouldn’t Fuck Kids

Reason #224: The babysitter in the room with me

I told the therapist that I have been trouble sleeping at night ever since that session with my mom.  I told her that it feels like the babysitter is in the room with us, constantly, and because of it, I am afraid.

The therapist said “Have you tried talking to her yet?”

My reaction to this question was almost violent, not to her, but within myself. I was suddenly terrified.  Petrified.  I started panicking, right there in the therapist’s office.  Tears started streaming down my cheeks, and I frantically looked around. (This right here is why you shouldn’t fuck kids, by the way.)

The therapist said “It’s okay, Butterfly, I’m right here.  It’s okay.”

I could hardly speak, and I finally got out these words ‘I – can’t talk to her.  She’s – she’s gonna hurt me.”

The therapist said “She’s been in the room with you now a month, ever since that session with your mom. If she wanted to hurt you, she would have done it already. ”

That brought me down from a panicked state into a thoughtful one.  And the more I thought about it, the more I felt she’s right.  The babysitter in the room with us – she’s been like a presence in the room with me.  But she hasn’t come near me, and she hasn’t tried to touch me or anything.

The therapist then said “What do you suppose she is hanging around for?  What would you say to her?  What do you think she wants to say to you?”

And G-d help me, my immediate thought was that she wants to apologize to me.  I’m not sure what to do with that, but the whole line of conversation was pretty helpful.  This therapist is all about embracing whatever’s happening.  Like how I’m so afraid to kiss my husband – she keeps telling me to embrace it, and hug the little girl inside for protecting me. 

If that babysitter is in the room with me, and she hasn’t hurt me  yet, then maybe she is there to help me figure some shit out.  I hate to use the word ‘help’ with this bitch, because honestly, all of my energy has gone into hating everything about her existence ever since I found out about her.  And if she is trying to apologize, then it’s hard to hate her.  It’s not that I forgive her, mind you, because I am certainly not there.  At all.  But an apology is certainly a different place than the one I am coming from, where I continue to ask myself if we were one of many children this woman molested.  If we were basically nameless fuck dolls that she used, if she even remembers us.  Or if we were a re-enactment of abuse she was experiencing at home. 

I wonder if she is trying to apologize, and I am open to at least hearing that apology, I wonder if I will continue to wonder about her and why/how/what she did to us on as regular a basis as I do now.

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 #215: Scenes from our Session Together, Part II

Read Part I here.

At some point during my together session with my mom, I said to the therapist “You know, here’s a perfect example of my mother and the sex abuse.  About a month ago, I made some reference to my three abusers.  Mom replied “Who were your three abusers?”

And sure enough, at that moment in therapy, Mom said “I was just about to ask that again, and then I reminded myself who they were.”

I said to the therapist “See?  This is what I am talking about.  The truth is, Mom is very comfortable with Dad as one of my abusers, because she hates him and so admitting he abused me is comfortable to her.  Mom is less comfortable with my brother being one of my abusers because that’s her son.  So she admits he abused me, but she minimizes his role, my reaction, everything.  Mom is least comfortable with the babysitter as one of my abusers, because –“

And here’s where Mom interrupted me to say, through tears “Because it’s all my fault.  I hired her and she did this and it’s my fault.”

I said “Mom it’s not your fault.  I’ve told you a million times it’s not your fault.  It’s her fault.  You couldn’t have known she was going to do that to us.”

The therapist looked at both of us and said “Is this what happens every time you try to talk about the babysitter?  Mom feels guilty and then you try to protect her and so you reassure her it’s not her fault every time?”

Mom and I both nodded and said yes.  The therapist explained that this was counterproductive to my healing.  She said that we never get to talk about any of the other stuff regarding the babysitter because we always focus on Mom’s guilt with the babysitter.  The therapist told mom that she needs to put her own guilt aside because it’s not helping me heal.  She said I need to be able to talk about it, and if I am constantly protecting her, then I won’t feel free to talk about it.  Mom seemed to really take that to heart, and agreed to discuss her feelings of guilt with her own therapist.  It was an important hurdle to get through, and it really paved the way for the rest of the session, which I’ll post more about in the next post.

But look at what had already happened in the session.  Mom felt so guilty about all of it that it not only stopped us from being able to talk about it, we were actually fighting about it.  This is what happens when you fuck kids.  It’s like a bomb that goes off and afterwards everyone is just scrambling for survival.  Then once we’re sure everyone has survived, then we begin the real work of asking the tough questions: Why did you do this to us?  Because the truth is, the guilt work always comes first. 

We always start out believing it’s our fault.  The non-offending parent blame the victim or themselves.  See who gets off scot-free?  The abuser.  It takes all of us so long just to understand that it’s the abuser’s fault. 

Look how much time, money, productivity, energy, etc. has been spent on all of us trying to heal from the bomb that babysitter detonated on us.  And then the subsequent bombs that my brother and father set off. That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

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.

Reason #213: Me and my Mom
January 12, 2011, 1:49 pm
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I had an alone session with the therapist, and we talked about my upcoming together session with my mom.  I explained what happened with my mom, how she said she resents me for making her feel guilty about the sex abuse.  I told her that ever since she said it, I can’t help but focus on all the ways that she just wasn’t there for me.  I said that maybe my mom picked up on my own store of anger, and maybe that’s what she resents me for.

So then my therapist came out with this bomb: “Has your mom ever acknowledged her role in the abuse?”

I said “Uh, what?”

She said “You know, has she apologized to you?”

I said “How do you mean?”

She said “Butterfly, she had a role in this.  She says she resents you for making her feel guilty, but really I bet if she examined that guilt, she is actually feeling guilty about her role in what happened to you.  As a mother, she didn’t protect you.”

So I sat there for a minute, trying to absorb this.  This session didn’t go at all the way I thought it would, in that I figured it was a semantics issue, but the therapist understood this issue for what it really was.  My mom covering her true feelings by projecting them onto me, and me covering my true feelings because I am afraid of being mad at my mom.

This is the 213th way that being sexually abused as a child has affected me in the last two years.  That’s why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

Reason #201: Drugs to prevent PTSD

This weekend I heard about this hospital that was testing the effects of a pharmaceutical drug on child trauma survivors.  The traumas these children had survived were like car accidents, etc.  So, not the kinds of trauma that I was put through, but still traumatic nonetheless.  This pharmaceutical was given to these children as a means of staving off post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Before I go any further, I think it’s important to note that these children had been through traumas, but not human betrayal traumas.  Child sexual abuse is a betrayal trauma – we are traumatized by the act and the human betraying us by doing the act.  In a car accident, the betrayal aspect isn’t there (unless they were hit by a car on purpose, G-d forbid.)  However, being in a car accident is still plenty traumatizing, so I am not trying to minimize that stuff in any way.  I am merely pointing out that they probably chose that type of sample of kids for a reason – maybe they thought the drug would work best on a sample that had not been traumatized by betrayal.

So anyway, I thought about this drug being used on child trauma survivors, and at first I thought – wait, is this a good idea?  I mean, won’t this fuck with their memory of the event?  Who knows what the effects of such a drug is on such little kids?  Then if the kids want to bring their perpetrator to justice, the defense attorneys will crucify them in court.

But then I had a much more sobering thought.  If someone had offered me a drug 30 years ago that would have erased the last 30 years of pain for me, I would have gladly taken it.  I wish I had been offered a drug, frankly, that erased the memory of all of this for me. 

I got so angry at the whole medical and therapeutic community then.  I mean, shit, this terrible thing happened to me over 30 fucking years ago, and here I am still fucked up enough about it to keep a blog filled with the many ways it has fucked me up.  And really, what has the medical and therapeutic communities come up with for kids like me???  No drug has helped me.  No therapy has taken away my symptoms of surviving.  Nothing has taken away my fear, and really, I have tried so many avenues at this point.  So many therapists, so many group therapy situations, so many pharmaceuticals, etc. I have tried chiropractic work for my headaches, and that hasn’t been all that successful.  Biofeedback was a joke.  I tried holistic medicine as well for my panic disorders, and still nothing.  I can’t even count all the money that has been spent on my healing journey so far.  For all their fucking research, and my time and my money, I am still fucked up.

I guess the truth about child sexual abuse is that you just can’t unring that bell.  The damage has been done.  It cannot be undone now, which is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.  It dooms us to a limited world where the knowledge of the worst of things overshadows our hope for the best of things.  And for me and all the other survivors out there, it has forced us to look at the world through the lens of children who have been hurt by adults, and we measure everyone, everyone, everyone against those odds.

Reason #144: I trusted them too
January 12, 2010, 1:45 am
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I was sitting in our marital therapist’s office today, because today was my alone session.  She asked me to picture my panic when I am panicked with my husband.  I have written about these sorts of panics many times here on this blog (for instance, see Reason #114).  Anyway, she asked me to picture it.  She said “Does it feel real to you?”  I started to cry.  Yes, it felt real.  Too fucking real, so I started to cry.

She asked what was happening inside for me that was making me cry.  She said “What about the situation with your husband makes you panicked and makes you question whether or not he’s a serial killer, or anything else bad?”

I said “I had three abusers.  I trusted them too.  They weren’t supposed to hurt me either, and yet they did, and I was surprised by it.  And I don’t want to be surprised by my husband’s betrayal too.  So I keep guarding myself against a betrayal from him.”

I keep my guard up, and that way at least I won’t be surprised by it when it happens.

Constantly on guard with my sweet husband.  This is why you shouldn’t fuck kids.

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