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Sunday, February 12, 2017

a dream, some answers...and pain

My head is full and my heart hurts.  I need to vent.  I'm gonna throw a trigger warning on this post.  Be prepared for talk about sexual abuse issues and neglect.  And of course....if you're upset by swearing, atheistic tendencies, spirituality or charismatic-mania, it's probably best to not read this.  :)

Great!  So, now that nobody is reading this.....moving on.

****

I've been asking God to fill in some blanks in my childhood.  I want some clarity in my memories.  Some explanation.  I've had a nagging sense that there is something more that happened.  I don't think my dad was my only abuser.  Certain things don't add up, specific fears don't make sense.  Overall, my eating disorder and various addictions and difficulties DO make sense in light of the abuse from my dad.  I just....know that something else is there.  Am I crazy for thinking this?  It seems reckless to dig for answers like this.  It bothers me that I am a textbook survivor of oral rape.  To my knowledge, this has never happened to me.  It adds up though!!!  WHY do I have these symptoms??  For several weeks I've been diligently asking God to show me where these issues are coming from.

So, I had a dream.  It was graphic.  It was more like a memory than a typical dream.  I woke up wondering if God was helping me remember, and answering my plea for details.  I didn't see the man's face, nor did I recognize the location....but I had a distinct sense of knowing.  I knew exactly who the man was.  I don't have any emotion over what I saw happening.  It made me curious though, so I began to dig for information.  I had completely forgotten about this man.  I did some internet sleuthing which lead to a conversation with my mom.

Ugh.  I'm beating around the bush and trying to be too careful about what I'm saying.  Fuck!  This is difficult.  WHY is this so difficult to put into words??  This is dumb.  *sigh*

The man was our neighbor.  My family lived in this particular house when I was 3...and we moved when I was 7.  My parents were not very watchful or present.  I was regularly left home alone and I had the freedom to go wherever I wanted in the neighborhood, provided I was home by bedtime.  Despite her obvious absence, my mom had strict rules about my interaction with neighbors.  I was not allowed to go inside anyone's house unless I had specific permission from her.  Did I follow this rule?  Hell no.  I firmly believed that I was in charge of my own safety as a kid.  I didn't trust my mother's opinion or rules.  I was a pretty intuitive kid and very aware of potentially dangerous situations.

This neighbor...I didn't like him, nor did I trust him.  I was friends with his daughter though.  She was also left alone a lot.  She was loud and angry.  She picked fights, was aggressive and reckless.  We seemed to be opposites.  I remember spending HOURS with her....slipping easily into our own imaginary world.  Other neighborhood kids would quickly lose interest in our elaborate stories.  Most of the time, our "play" consisted of laying side by side in her driveway....staring at the sky, building stories, and occasionally practicing what I now know as dissociation.  HA!  Good times.

She and I lost contact when my family moved.  My recent internet sleuthing was interesting.  She appears to have no contact at all with her dad.  She's a total hippie, lives mostly off the grid, is a stay at home mom and participates in the "un-school" movement.  I know all of this because she has a blog.  I'm not at all shocked by any of this.

I haven't been able to get her, or her father, out of my head.  I called my sister last week.  My mom happened to be visiting her and so the phone was passed along and I ended up having a rather intense, and very unplanned conversation with my mom.  I asked her if she remembered this neighbor and his daughter.  She immediately launched into details.  This man was a known womanizer, and a violent drunk.  He was divorced and lived alone with his daughter.  (I thought this was odd...usually the dad isn't the one who has sole custody in small-town-bible-belt-'merica.)  My mom also told me that she didn't like that I was friends with his daughter.  She was a "very bad kid" according to my mom.  She said that my friend never wanted to go home.  I asked her if she knew why....and my mom then dropped a fucking bomb.

My friend told my mom on several occasions that she didn't want to go home because her dad made her sleep in bed with him.  She said she was scared of him when he was drunk.  She begged my mom to let her move in with us.  She regularly tried to sneak into our house and hide.  My mom said that she saw evidence of physical abuse and she witnessed severe verbal abuse.

I was...at a loss for words.  And confused.  And suddenly filled with burning rage.

I finally cut into my mom's chattering and said..."So, you knew she was being sexually abused?"

Mom:  Oh, well, the whole town knew it was happening.

Me:  Did you say anything?

Mom: Well...

Me:  Did any teachers at school know?

Mom:  *silence*

Me:  Did she tell anyone other than you about what was happening?  Did anyone think to call the police?  Did anyone at church know?

Mom:  I don't think so.  I have no idea.

Me:  Wow...so this girl probably spent her entire childhood being sexually abused by her dad and nobody did a damn thing to help her.  That's heartbreaking.  She wasn't a bad kid, she was a desperate kid

*****

I can't believe I actually said that to my mom.  Word for word...including the word damn.  I was physically shaking when I hung up.  I was overwhelmed with emotion and pain for my friend!!  And...for myself.  It's hard to explain, but it suddenly became very real to me....that if my mom could turn a blind eye to what was happening to my friend, then how much more blind would she be to what was happening to me?

I've always defended my mom when I tell people that there were times that my dad sexually abused me while she was in the same room.  I would say that it's possible she didn't realize what he was doing.  But no.  She does NOT get a free pass anymore.  Not after this conversation.  My friend was begging her for help and my mom did fucking nothing.  NOTHING!!! 

I've been in a really weird state of mind ever since this conversation.  I'm angry.  I cry whenever I'm alone.  I want nothing to do with my mom.  I just can't deal with her right now.  What sucks is....I need to deal with her.  She's having surgery this coming Tuesday.  (Valentine's day, of all fucking days!)  She wants me to be there, is convinced that my dad won't be able to take care of her the way she needs, plus she's terrified.  This surgery is new territory for us because it isn't a spinal surgery.  My sister is planning to be there, but she has her first radiation the day before.  We have no idea how that's going to affect her.

All of this on top of the fact that it's still a very tricky situation for me to be under the same roof as my dad.  The fact that my own father sexually abused me from the earliest age I can remember, all the way until I was in my 20's......is suddenly a raw and gaping wound all over again.....because my mom did nothing.

How did she not know?  I didn't specifically tell her.  But, looking back....it had to have been obvious!  I always knew it was pointless to try and say anything about what was happening.  My only option was to do whatever it took to get through it.  Just concentrate on growing up and getting the hell out of there.  Everything I was doing, was a cry for help.  The beginning stages of my eating disorder was an attempt to make them SEE what I couldn't actually say.  I was hitting my legs with a hammer, hoping that somebody would notice the bruises and give me an excuse to talk about what was happening to me at home.  I was acting out sexually and violently....from an absurdly young age.  I wrote detailed, sexually graphic stories and left them out for my mom to find and read.  I swallowed a bottle of pills, then called my pastor to confess.  I told everyone it was because of sexual abuse.  I didn't, however, say who my abuser was.

Where am I going with all of this?  I don't even know.

I feel like I'm in a sort of wasteland.  All of a sudden church is scary again.  Why?  It makes no sense.

The good news is that I'm only doing minimal amounts of numbing.  I've purged a couple of times, and I got really drunk last night.  I've wanted SO badly to self-harm....but I haven't.  Other than purging.  I've been restricting a little too, but not a ridiculous amount.

Well shit, my brain is mush right now.  I think I need to stop and get my mind on something else.

To be continued.....maybe.

2 comments:

  1. Oh sweetie, I am so sorry. To survive abuse in a family where it was an open secret, where people did know, even neighbours knew, is hell. Been there, done that. God, it makes me so angry! People could have stopped it and they didn't and we paid the price. I hope your friend has found some sort of peaceful place, and God, I hope you will find one too.

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  2. Hmmmm. What now I wonder? Have you ever contemplated direct confrontation or a police report?

    You don't have to go to church if you don't want. There are plenty of online churches. I'm glad God filled in the blanks for you though of course it's a devastating story.

    Have you thought about saying "hi" to the neighbour who now has a blog? Or is it best to let sleeping dogs lie?

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