Monday, March 12, 2018
Warning: Possible Triggers for Abuse and/or Childhood Trauma
I'm not even sure how to start this week's blog. I had a subject I wanted to write about, and even tagged the page a few days ago to leave myself a prompt for where I wanted to start today, following the theme I have been working with, but I had a conversation this past weekend that scrambled my mind a bit, and I guess I want/need to deal with that instead, even though it's rather disturbing and personal, and involves some hard, possible truths about people other than myself, as well. or maybe it doesn't - I'll have to see how it plays out, and decide whether or not I need to 'protect the innocent' after it's all written. so hang in there, or duck out now...it may get ugly.
While visiting my mom this weekend, at some point in our conversation she asked me if I remembered being 'molested' by one of my babysitters. Now, I'm not entirely sure what we had been talking about that made her ask that, but I have an idea...it had to do with my brother and his friends, and their ways of behaving towards me, so that in and of itself was weird enough, but I had no idea what she was talking about with this alleged molestation, so I said as much, and asked who it was, and what happened. She gave me a brief sketch in hushed tones, because my teen was across the room, napping peacefully in a comfy chair. She asked if I remembered her friend So-and-So, who had the two sons, one of them nice, the other one not so much. I remembered the friend So-and-So's name, but only because of her gorgeous dog - an Irish Setter; the first, and possibly only, I had ever known - whom I adored for her soft, pretty red hair, and lovely name that seemed to suit her so well. I have no recollection of the friend herself, nor either of the sons. Apparently, one of the sons babysat me one night, behaved inappropriately, and what I told my mom about what happened caused her to never speak to that friend again, end of story.
So here's what's fucking me up about this - or rather, I have some questions...who was this guy? What was his name? How old was he? How old was I? Where did this take place? When? Where were my folks that night? Where was my brother? Where in the house did this alleged abuse take place? What did he do to me? Why don't I have any memory of it...or do I? Was I taken to a therapist? What did my dad say or do? Did my mom ask my brother about it? What did he say? Was he aware it had happened? Was it ever addressed again, or was it forgotten about entirely? Did I have any issues surrounding it? What were they? Should I ask my mom for more information, or should I leave it in the past? Should I seek counseling? Has it had any long-term effects on me? What the fuck?! I mean, there are obviously people in the world (way too many) that know exactly who did what to them, how often, and for how long (who have my deepest sympathy), and next to some of the horrific abominations that happen in this world, my tiny issue is an insignificant little nothing, and it is with bearing those atrocities in mind that I think it's worth my time to just brush this little 'factoid' off and move on, but it doesn't seem to want to leave my mind right now. It may well in the future, with some time between having this nugget of truth dropped on me, and the rest of the important facts of life going at speed all the time, but for Right Now, I can't help but feel like all I want to do is love and nurture that poor little child that may have been violated, and hold her, while reassuring her that she's ok.
Without knowing what happened, it's hard to make a judgement call on how 'bad' the actual incident was, and I'm not sure that matters at all. Does it? This is an area in which I have very little experience, and maybe that's why I'm so fucked up about it. I know a great deal about a lot of things, but I'm also quick to admit when I'm out of my depth. This feels like a big, empty, dark room without any reference points to me, and I'm not used to being lost, because I've always managed to find myself, wherever I am, and get back to where I need to be, but I may need a map for this one. I can answer some of my own questions with basic deductive reasoning, such as...okay maybe I can't, but I'm here to work through it, so I'll go through them one at a time.
"Who was this guy/What was his name/How old was he?" - well, he was the older of the two sons of my mom's friend. I don't think there's any more to be said about that, but I guess if I wanted to know more, I'd wonder where he went to school, who were his friends, did they know he liked to do the things he did - did he even like to do those things? Were there other little kids he did them to, or just me? Was it just a thing he did to see if he could get away with it? Was it a real problem? Did it continue throughout his life, was it once, what was it? Does his name matter? If I find out, will it change anything? I would like to know how old he was at the time, because I feel like it will give me some clue as to what he was thinking...or...something, I don't know. Well, that just brought up more questions, so let's move on.
"How old was I/Where did this take place?" - this I would definitely like to know. I can assume it was in the house we lived in during the years I was 4 through 12, because I think that's when my mom was friends with that woman...but it could have been the house before that (which would mean I was less that 4 years old when it happened?). I know for certain it wasn't after that, because we didn't have babysitters anymore by the time I was 12.
"Where were my folks that night/Where was my brother/When/Where in the house..." - the first part hardly matters, I'm just curious (were they out with the babysitter's parents?). Maybe wondering how much my mom remembers, or how late a night it was. The rest of the questions are really important - I assume we kids were both home (why would they have taken my brother with them?), so the 'when' question is more about whether the babysitter put us to bed in our respective rooms first? Was my brother asleep in his own room when it happened in my room? Or was he awake for the incident, and possibly watching or involved? Did the babysitter send my brother to bed first, then keep me awake? Did it happen somewhere else in the house? Did it happen early in the evening, or in the wee hours of the morning? Does it matter? I think the timing has a lot to do with my questions surrounding my brother's presence/possible involvement, which leads into my statement above about how he and his friends later behaved towards me...you see?
"What did he do to me/Why don't I have any memory of it...or do I/Was I taken to a therapist?" - Mom said I told her 'his penis didn't taste good', so...I guess he had me put my mouth on his penis, but is that all he did? And how much of 'that' did he do? Just make me touch it with my lips and/or tongue, or make me (convince me to) put it in my mouth? Did he climax? So many questions around this... I must have blocked it out, because that's obviously a normal and frequent response to this kind of thing, but I feel like that for so long I was not into touching a man's genitalia during sex, that on some level, I must have had some kind of aversion-response. And there was this weird dream I remember having as a kid that involved some disturbing sexual imagery of masked people touching my body in ways that I felt were probably wrong, but if I was just quiet and let it happen, than I would be 'good', get rewarded, and be celebrated. At the end of the dream, I remember having my hair washed and styled, tied up in a new ribbon, and being carried on the shoulders of the two men I loved most at that time (who seemed grim and wooden), like I was some kind of hero for having endured the 'treatment'. I doubt I was brought to a therapist, because of the next question:
"What did my dad say or do?" - I'm going to say with 98% certainty that my dad was Not told, because he would have murdered that babysitter. I mean literally. It would have taken a great deal of convincing, and several large, strong men restraining him to get him to Not kill the babysitter. I mean, given the way he trained the dog to kill anyone who attacked us violently, he would have been beside himself for failing to protect us from people who appeared to be friendly or kind. How could the dog have known I was being molested? If I didn't cry out, or if there wasn't violence, I don't think the dog would have known to react, which also suggests the babysitter wasn't inherently a 'bad' person, because that dog Knew bad people, and protected us from them more than once, when they weren't doing anything more than being friendly (their 'crimes' only became apparent later). There's no way in hell my dad ever knew this happened. There was an incident in our family involving another young girl who Wasn't me, and given the way he reacted to That, well...nope. My mom kept this a secret. If she had taken me/us to therapy, our dad would have wanted to know why.
"Did my mom ask my brother about it/What did he say/Was he aware it had happened?" - again, it seems like my mom just chose to sit with this herself, and either convinced me/us to forget it, or that it didn't happen. I'm Really curious as to my brother's level of involvement, or knowledge of what went down that night. Was it only that one night? How many times did that loser sit for us?
"Was it ever addressed again, or was it forgotten about entirely/Did I have any issues surrounding it/What were they?" - I'm gonna say no, yes, probably, and varied. Seeing as how I have no memory of the incident, it was probably swept quickly under the rug, and never discussed again. My mom probably thought that was best for herself, and possibly for me (and my brother) as well. I'm sure there were issues. There had to be. As I mentioned, I had a pretty strong aversion to oral sex when I became sexually active - at an age I think of now as too young (though not ridiculously so), and go figure, given this new info. I've had lots of sexual encounters with men who treated me inappropriately, and I'm beginning to see why, maybe?
"Should I ask my mom for more information, or should I leave it in the past/Should I seek counseling/Has it had any long-term effects on me?" - I want to ask for more info, but it's really uncomfortable, and knowing my mom, she'll be reluctant to discuss it, which will once again make me the bad guy for forcing a conversation she's not willing to have, even if it involves my own healing. I will most likely seek some form of counseling, just to hash it out in a manner other than overeating, or punishing myself in other unhealthy ways. I'm sure there are effects, as mentioned above.
"What the fuck?!" - why would she tell me Now (maybe she's been repressing it, or is just able to deal with it herself)? and so casually...did she think I'd just be like, 'oh, haha, never mind, it was all so long ago, la-de-da!' Was it because of the discussion we were having? So fucked up on so many levels, and makes me wonder even more about how much my brother knew, or was involved. I can't help but wonder if this incident is the impetus for everything that's ever gone wrong in my life because I wasn't given the opportunity to deal with it, or decide for myself how I wanted to handle it (again, how old Was I?), or I'm overreacting to the news of it as a way to make it the 'all-encompassing excuse for everything'. Not that I need any excuses, I'm fully willing to accept 100% of the responsibility for the poor choices I've made over the years (as well as the good ones, because I've made plenty of those, too), but could I be staring into the abyss of what helped shape my sexuality, and my perceived inability to form lasting romantic relationships? I thought it was just that I'm such a bitch, and have impossibly high standards, but...it could be more. It could go deeper. It could have something to do with the ways in which I allowed myself to be violated over and over again because I was taught/learned/surmised that my worth was tied up in how men valued me sexually, and that my role was, as I mentioned earlier, to keep quiet and let them do what they wanted, no matter how it made me feel, in order to earn some reward, like being valued, or celebrated as a Queen should be by her King. Problem is, I've never had a 'King', or even a 'noble' boyfriend - just a series of Jokers, with one enlightened yet highly damaged pauper who may have actually come close to loving me, as much as he was able, for a brief period that didn't last as long as our short relationship. It's a wonder I learned to enjoy sex, though I finally did - just in time to not ever have it again, as my age, weight, and refusal to settle for less has rendered me undesirable. Selah ~