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The worst lies I was ever told were the ones I told myself. They were the lies my shame told me - the goal of this lying was to protect myself, to make the situation seem "not so bad." If it was my fault, I could have prevented it, right? I could have stopped it. If I can minimize the awfulness, then it's not so bad. If it's not so bad then really, did it happen? Maybe I'm making a mountain out of a molehill. Maybe my pain doesn't matter. Some of these lies I stopped believing a long time ago, some versions of them I held for longer and only recently set these false beliefs free. Here goes- Essentially, for me, these lies were categorized into three groups- 1 - it wasn't so bad - there wasn't penetration - FALSE! Just totally false. Fingers count. Objects count. And even so, it's possible to sexually assault a person with no penetration at all. "Well, it was just groping." fits into this category, too. Also, this isn't the fucking trauma Olympics. I didn't place runner-up in a child sexual abuse competition. I don't get to minimize my trauma because I know that others have gone thru "worse" shit than me. I don't get to catagorize my pain out of existence just because I wasn't victimized in a particular act of sexual violence with a specific body part. My broken leg and my friends amputatedfoot do not make another friend's broken toe feel better. Imagining or knowing that someone else had it "worse" doesn't make the horror of what happened to me less painful. My pain is still real. It just means that there's a lot of people with a variety of different things that happened to them, things they have survived. Human beings have amazing coping mechanisms that help them to survive some pretty awful shit. My 10 on the 0-10 scale of what shitty things I've survived is still a 10. Bottom line - My pain was and still is real. It wasn't "just" anything. It was abuse. What happened to me happened because the people in my life who knew better chose to treat me like that. It sucks but it's true. 2 - I kinda deserved it because (a) I was developed at a young age - wearing a D cup bra in 6th grade. And what, this gets someone off the hook for abusing and assault ing me? Geez, listen to yourself, RR. Are men just uncontrollable monsters without free will or control of their bodies? Even when you were cooperative, it was still not your fault. Even if I was a member of a nudist colony, even if I was swimming, even if I was wearing a cute outfit, even if I was wearing makeup, or his favorite perfume, or a tank top that showed my belly button, even if, even if, even if... It was still awful. It was still not my fault. I still didn't deserve it. 2 - I kinda deserved it because (b) I was curious, I initiated the sexual contact. So fucking what? You were a child, your job literally was to be curious and learn about the world. They were your parents, their job was to protect you while enforcing firm loving boundaries and they did not do their job. They literally weaponised your curiosity and turned it against you. Not only that, they left you in a position where, because of your curiosity, you thought it was your fault! Would you say that a child who ran into the street "deserved" to be hit by a car because they were curious? Would you say a child who cut themselves badly while trying to make a sandwich "deserved" to be injured because they were unsupervised with a knife, curious, and hungry? No! No, you would not. 3 - I didn't not consent - here's why I call bullshit on this one - it is impossible for a preschool aged person to consent. That is a thing that doesn't exist. Also, everyone has the right to not be sexually assaulted. This means everyone. Yes, this includes a minor, a passed out person, a comatose person, or otherwise medically or drug impacted unconscious person. Everyone has the right not to be sexually assaulted. Point blank, period. There is no fine print to search for on this one. Lack of verbal rejection does not equal consent. A double negative does not equal positive consent. This is not an eighth grade fuckin math problem, where a double negative means a positive. Nope, this is real life, not algebra. Bottomline - what happened to me sucked. Dear RubyRosie, What they did to me was bad. It was bad. Like bad bad. Like for real really no fuckin sugarcoating it horrible. Like no dancing around it. BAD. Minimizing it doesn't make it go away. And I can no longer hold the secret inside and carry it around with me pretending it wasn't so bad. I will no longer keep folding and folding my trauma in a panicked attempt to make it smaller and smaller, trying to make it disappear altogether. It was bad and I am releasing this heavy secret back into the universe. I will not keep it anymore. It is not mine to feel ashamed about, or judge myself about, or pretend it was something else, or lie to myself about the pain anymore. I will not be the secret-keeper anymore. I will be the teller. 💗, RR
I will not go into graphic details of any sort here, but there may be some triggers for SI, suicidal thoughts, and possibly for swearing, because I don't have the energy to censor myself tonight. Sometimes I sleep. Usually people have to encourage, cajole, beg, demand, insist or outright force me to do so, but sometimes I just sleep. Sometimes I can be convinced or can convince myself, for months on end, to sleep every night like a good girl, regardless of the horror I find myself facing, or the bruises and scratches I wake up with at times, or the periodic full days of feeling exactly as I did the days after each of the rapes. Sometimes I can be strong and sleep anyway. Even when I sleep "well" I sleep exceptionally lightly; my therapists have called it hypervigilence and told me is is a typical part of the PTSD. That's very comforting when I wake up 479,358 times in any given night because of frogs farting eight blocks away. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night, either on my own or because my friend has woken me. He stays on Skype and listens, sometimes all night long. When he wakes me from a nightmare and talks to me soothingly, I usually feel incredibly fortunate to have such an amazing friend, someone who cares for me enough to make such an astronomical sacrifice to ease a little of my suffering. I can't help feeling guilty, though, because my nightmares have an impact on our friendship, and on him. Just as I imagine it would be for any two people who care for each other a great deal, my suffering is hard for him to witness. Tonight I woke because my friend awakened me. I was apparently having a particularly violent nightmare, reliving past traumas in new ways, my mind ever finding neoteric methods of torment for me, rife with historical inaccuracy. He said he had a hard time waking me; I can tell I must have been very deeply asleep because I have several sore red marks that will probably be bruises in the morning, and also a handful of long scratches. I could not feel the immense gratitude I usually feel, or the relief, or the safety... Tonight I just felt anger and frustration and desolation. Tonight I just wanted to give up. The prospect of facing even one more of these nightmares is so overwhelming, I simply do not want to continue. When I was enduring the abuses and events in my life that led up to this point, I always had this idea that if I could somehow divorce my mind from my body and become this ephemeral, amorphous thing, this purely astral being, I would finally be safe and feel whole. Now that my life is within my control and the abuses have all ended, I find myself looking at my situation in this sick paradoxical state... if I could only divorce my mind from my body and be a purely physical being, without thought or fear or abusive limbs in REM sleep, if, if, if. I start to feel sorry for myself, and I think back over the nightmares I have had at other times. Forget the traumas themselves, and all the work I have put into healing; forget the years I have put between myself and the sick people who did these things. The nightmares are the one thing that never let me forget or really move forward; they are like vice strong cold hands around my wrists and ankles, and the experience is like being raped over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. The two worst kinds of nightmares are the ones where I am reliving almost exactly, but my body responds in an awful way that makes me feel a sick shame and hatred of myself that often leads to doing self injurious things; and the second worst type of nightmare is a sort that blends two separate types of traumas from my life, a break-in and the rapes, into this new kind of terror. I used to think the worst nightmare was the sort where I did not recall what had happened at all, and I woke feeling more run down than if I had not slept at all, and covered in bruises over my thighs and abdomen and arms, but those seem to have fallen away some, and I am remembering most of the nightmares I am having, and... I would trade them in gladly. This sorrow for my inability to sleep, for my inability to be "normal," to have "normal" relationships because I can't even begin to broach the topic of sleeping with someone (among other things), it wears me down. Today I feel incredibly suicidal. I lay in bed for awhile after the nightmare and cried, images in my mind of my own demise sort of superimposed or flip-book inserted with the nightmare images. I wonder frequently if there is any point in continuing. I don't like to think of myself as weak, or as a quitter, but... years of going without sleep, feeling like a freak, waking with injuries, and reliving horror just... eats at the soul. My friend tells me there is this therapy I have never heard of before called EMDR (short for Eye Movement Desensitization Reprogramming), and it is specifically geared toward people with PTSD. I am a bit dubious, but I'm sort of at a point where I will try standing on my head covered in chickens blood while reciting Sutras in reverse if I thought it would just make my head quiet down. So, I had two hours of sleep, and I am probably up for the day, because I can't face my pillows, or my blankets. My puppy cuddles me and licks my thigh because he knows this routine, and when I pick him up and drench his fur with my tears, he'll forgive me, and because of him, maybe we'll make it until tomorrow.