I know that I said I wanted to write about trans* issues again and I do, and I will, but today’s entry is a little closer to home for me. As some of you may know I have been recently coming to terms with the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. It has taken a very long time and a lot of therapy to even begin scratching the surface of that topic but the time has finally come. The doorway in my mind that was sealed shut with countless awful and painful memories has been opened and it has been like opening a floodgate. There is no closing it again like I have in the past; this time it is permanently open and that means that at any given moment some fresh hell comes tumbling out that doorway to remind me yet again of why I sealed it shut to begin with. Recently I have been a walking ball of anger and am constantly on the brink of tears. Even the smallest of annoyances can send me into a blind rage. As a result I’ve also been isolating myself. I haven’t been socializing nearly as much as I usually do and am content to stay at home and not talk to anyone for days at a time. Were it not for my roommate or my obligations at my internship I’d likely be a complete hermit right now. I want to be alone. I don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone, and yet I feel horribly lonely and sad. On one hand I want comfort from loved ones but the moment I am in their presence I find it tedious to interact with them. It’s an awful place to be, and I’m sure my loved ones aren’t too excited about it either. Unfortunately, I think that for a little while, at least, I’m just going to have to embrace this misery. Nothing like making up for lost (locked away) misery, am I right?
With all that said I wrote something that I felt compelled to write, my memory of when my abuse began. It has only been a few days since the entirety of the memory came back to me, so that’s part of why I wanted to write it out.
I 100% understand and forgive you if you are like, “No thanks, Emmz, I’d rather google pictures of cute cats than read about your abuse” because the rest of this entry is definitely a TRIGGER WARNING!!! And I don’t mean that in the overused sense where slightly mentioning something could set a person off. This is a full-tilt, in your face trigger warning kind of narrative. I get pretty detailed about the abuse and if you can’t or don’t want to stomach that, please do yourself a favor and google some cute cats, I seriously won’t blame you. If you feel a particular desire to experience a sense of sadness or repulsion at the depravity of human actions, then by all means read about my deepest, darkest, memory.
I remember closing the door behind me and then I remember the dust floating in the air. It was a split level house and we were on the bottom floor so the sunlight cascading into the room was at an awkward angle. The room was bright in spots but also very dark in others. She was sitting on her bed in the corner of the room where the light couldn’t touch her. How fitting it was that our deed, this first act of betrayal, would occur in the dark corner of the room and the house itself. She was waiting for me. I knew something was wrong. I knew that I wasn’t going to like what was about to happen but how could I say no? I was just a child. Maybe four years old. I walked over to the bed and climbed up onto it. The way she looked at me is the way a lion looks at its next meal. Her eyes were cold and longing. She was excited by what was about to happen and yet, also afraid that we’d get caught. I crawled over towards her and she put her arm around me. She was warm and soft. I loved her. In a world filled with chaos and anger, she was my sweet refuge. I was special to her. She treated me as such, and like a fool I ate the attention up. Never in my little kid mind had it occurred to me that this person was the least safe person in my world. She whispered to me that she wanted to play a game with me. It was a special game but it was also a secret game. We couldn’t play it unless I agreed to keep it a secret. That feeling of something being wrong amplified but I agreed to her terms.
She shifted her body and pulled the cover off of her lower half. She wasn’t wearing any pants or underwear. I didn’t know what to make of this, but she reassured me that it was okay if I wanted to touch her. I didn’t want to touch her but she took my hand and pressed it against her inner thigh. I can still remember the smell of her exposed and aroused body. Her skin was soft and the small amount of hair on her genitals was also soft, and warm. So warm. I remember how hot her skin was and then, as she moved my hand further between her legs it became wet. Not like water but a sticky kind of wet. I didn’t want to play this game anymore, and yet I couldn’t help but be curious. I remember her biting her lip and closing her eyes as she moved my fingers back and forth against her clitoris. She was enjoying this game. I felt confused, curious, and wrong, but she was so happy. I wanted her to be happy, so I kept doing as she asked.
It wasn’t long before she wanted me to take of my pants and lie on top of her. She touched my penis and it did something funny. It changed somehow, in a way I didn’t know was possible and she maneuvered the two of us so that she could put it inside of her. I can still remember the heat. It was warm and wet, and her pubic hair felt strange to me. There was a sweet smell in the air as she made me move back and forth. She was enjoying this game very much now while I still felt confused. She was telling me how good I was being, even though it felt wrong and bad.
That went on for awhile until something happened outside that prompted her to stop forcing me to have sex with her. The other kids from the daycare were coming inside and we weren’t going to be as alone anymore so she ended out secret game. When we got off the bed she helped me put my pants back on and reminded me that our special game was a secret and no one else could know. I had to promise not to say anything, and I did, because why wouldn’t I? this young girl, probably 13 years old was like a mother to me or a very caring older sister. I trusted her and if she said it had to be a secret then it had to be a secret.
I could hear the other kids outside the door. They were coming downstairs now. This girl I trusted so much, opened the door a crack to look out it and without any discussion turned to tell me to wait a few seconds before I came out after her. And just like that she was out the door, leaving me alone in her room. I did as instructed and left her room a few moments later and looked around for her. I felt dirty inside, I felt wrong, and scared, and I wanted her comfort that what we’d just done was okay, but she would never give that to me. By time I entered the living area of that level she was already walking up the steps away from me, and before I knew it she was gone without so much as a backward glance. And so I just stood there as the other kids of the daycare played and yelled and ran around each other. Time and space seemed to fade out into this blurry in-between place where I could still see everything in front of me but there was no sound and everything was in slow motion. No one noticed that something was wrong with me. No one even so much as noticed my presence standing in that doorway. I was alone. Completely alone and now with such a heavy burden to bear that it literally broke me to carry it. It is amazing how heavy the feeling emptiness can be, especially on a child who should never, ever, ever have to feel that way. That day the light in my eyes went dark and my innocence was stolen, and stolen by someone I trusted no less. I don’t know how long I stood there before I stopped my first ever dissociation but through it all there was one thing that was for certain, she’d abandoned me to deal with this on my own, like I didn’t even matter, and no one seemed to care enough to notice something was wrong.
That thought gained momentum when I went home that day and my parents barely acknowledged me because they were too busy fighting. They mistook my somber and hollow appearance as being upset with their fighting, so they never asked what was wrong. And I never told them. I still haven’t, really. My mom knows vaguely that something happened but she has no idea how much there was. This first time was far from the last time it happened. Over and over again my abuser used me for sexual stimulation and sex. She promised me wonderful things and showered me with attention and gifts, all to keep my mouth shut. I honestly don’t know why it stopped or even when. It went on for years, that much I do know but why it stopped is unclear to me. Maybe she realized what we were doing was wrong, or maybe we almost got caught and that scared her. Maybe I started understanding too much about what was happening and she was afraid I’d say something.
All I know is this: I didn’t deserve this. I didn’t deserve to be used in this way. It was wrong for her to take advantage of my love for her, of my admiration. Someone should have noticed. Someone should have said something to make it stop. I deserved to not be ignored or overlooked. Instead, just like that day when I felt so totally alone, I am left on my own to deal with this. No one can help me with it, not really. No one can support me as I engage in the long and arduous task of memory walking. No one can step into the dark recesses of my mind and put themselves in the shoes of that child in order to support and comfort them in the way they needed as their innocence was stolen from them. I have to do that alone. I have to relive those memories and walk side-by-side with that child and remind them that it wasn’t their fault and they didn’t deserve it. I have to feel their pain because it was stored away for later. The worst kind of lay-away system in the world.