1. When I was 11 or 12ish, I was abused by this disgusting monster of a man who I saw as a role model I could trust. He was one of those people who would always be suspiciously, unnaturally polite to people, and being around kids, nobody batted an eye.
I was called into his office in response to me acting out in school and from there i don’t remember much, but the abuse that occured then shaped the rest of my life. (this man went to jail later for a few years for filming young boys in the shower naked at a local school where he volunteered as a basketball coach, but is now FREE… and no accusers have come forth about anything else)
I grew up in a wealthy area and was receiving a great education, had perfect grades, and was doing amazing in swimming. (i would soon go on to quit before getting qualifiers for olympic trials becauze of my panic attacks and OCD.) Seeing everyone around me confused as this person they knew turned into someone else and the ensuing disappointment from my friends, parents and mentors tore me apart.
I have used common coping mechanisms like humor and isolated myself to spare myself some of the pain, but it’s been unbearable for ten years now. I have spent six of those ten years in therapy (group, individual, and outpatient, etc.) and even with all of that effort and money put into helping me, I am still unable to do the simplest things like showering, doing laundry, getting out of bed before 2 PM, forming seeing friends, and furthermore, having meaningful relationships.
I feel every day like I am not worth the effort. I am embarassed and disgusted with myself. The only consolations of this situation are my relationship with my girlfriend of four years, and my passion for music, which I am attempting to turn into a career. Music has been a way for me to express the pain, anger and sorrow that was held in my unconscious mind for so long, and it has in many ways been my saving grace. But I can’t help but feel like my life has been ruined. music and spending time with my girlfriend typically do not outweigh the suffering of OCD, PTSD flashbacks, horrible social anxiety and fear, among many other unpleasantries. everyone around me feels sorry for me, is scared by me, upset by me, or just ignores me because of my lifestyle and symptoms.
I feel like I’m a basket case just darkening people’s lives, while also trapped in a deep dark hole I have no hope of leaving. Most of all, I feel alone. I know many survivors of abuse feel as if they must take this on alone, or that theyre not strong because of how much they suffer. I hate that.
2. I was sexually abused and assaulted by my maternal grandfather. My earliest memory of the abuse is at 3-4 years old while I was in bed, in what must have been the middle of the night. The abuse paused for a brief period of time—months probably, and then it started again as soon as he could get his disgusting hands on me. By the time I was 7-8 years old I was fully groomed. Eventually I began to participate, but mind you, I wouldn’t know what full-on intercourse was until the fifth grade.
Anyway, the ongoing molestation lead to a moment when things started to go further. Something must have happened, perhaps he was almost caught. I can’t remember anymore. But shortly after, I have this memory from when we were driving home from school, and he told me something along the lines of “YOU have to stop letting ME touch you,” and that was that. At that moment, he broke my world, again, and made internalize the abuse by placing the blame on me. I let it happen, according to him. And that is how my child mind perceived it. And for years, I held it all in because I was ashamed. So ashamed.
I have this anger and sadness in my heart because I wish adult me had been there to defend myself. But I was helpless. He knew this, and he still put his nasty and disgusting hands on me. He hurt me. Exposed himself to me. Made me watch disgusting things. I truly hate him.
My only comfort is that I watched his last breath while in hospice. It was sad. He smelled like death. And at the time, I felt sorry for him and told him I forgave him. But how could I really? I replay in my mind the way his ghoulish face looked right before he died, and it makes me happy, but also sad. I hate how much sorrow I feel. I wish I was normal and not anxious and not prone to unhealthy attachments and abusive relationships. It’s all stale water.
3. There’s the trauma, the immense emotional pain, the potential years of therapy, the difficulty in relationships, but I feel like there are little things too that seem small but hurt as if they aren’t.
I have internal nerve damage to the point where I can’t wear a tampon or menstrual cup without intense pain. I used to swim competitively but couldn’t attend practice when I was on my period. I’d always get scolded and accused of not taking my swimming seriously by coaches and told that I should just get over my “fear” of tampon by family.
The nerve damage can make sitting painful, which then makes long class periods difficult. So I have to manage not only hours of class but the pain too.
I dissociate whenever I’m stressed, including happy stress. I dissociated through high school graduation and my college graduations and I’m terrified I’ll dissociate through my wedding and graduate school graduation (crossing my fingers that I even pass).
I can’t do my research without having to be on guard constantly for something that might trigger me. I can’t just enjoy the subject I love without the constant worry.
I’ll never get a real first kiss, first time having sex, any of that. Not any of the shy awkwardness of two people who really care for each other trying to consensually discover one another’s bodies. The first time I had sex consensually I had a panic attack. The second time too. And the third. Now I can have sex without one but I know what it is, what to do, what’ll happen. I know first times aren’t actually magical but there’s something sweet about the inexperience and awkwardness.
None of these things are major, I know. They’re not the worst things that the abuse did to me either. But they all feel just a little heartbreaking in their own, small ways.
4. My father even ruined puzzles for me. I used to love puzzles but he would use them as an excuse to talk about sex to me. He would call them “male” and “female” pieces. This was my first explanation of sex when I was little. I was just trying to play and he started talking about the male and female pieces. He said “you put the male pieces in the female pieces, see?” I didn’t even really know what he was talking about really but he made me put 2 pieces together and said I was doing a good job before saying “they’re like you and me”. He was always saying things like “go ahead and put the me piece in the you piece”. He would divide the pieces and have me “be the girl” and he would “be the guy”. He would tell me to “put it in” and ask where it goes in. He would tell me he needed help figuring out where his piece goes, and ask me to show him where I wanted it. He started to refer to our private parts as our puzzle pieces/doing a puzzle.
I hate puzzles now. The thought of doing them makes me uncomfortable.
5. I was molested and raped when I was 5 years old over the course of about 6 months.
It wasn’t particularly violent but still has left me extremely confused and traumatized to this day. actual rape only happened once. (unless being penetrated with objects other than a p***s is considered rape as well, then it happened many times)
I’m always underplaying my abuse and I always feel like others have had it worse; especially when I hear about those that were violently abused or those that experienced incest. I couldn’t imagine the gravity of being in that situation.
I almost feel guilty for still feeling traumatized. For the way it impacted my youth. I feel like I am being a victim, or being a “pussy”. I feel like I shouldn’t feel so bad about what happened to me since I was so young, it was so long ago, and worse has happened to others.
My dad has also told me what happened to me “wasn’t that bad” and that something that happened to him was worse. Granted, he doesn’t know the full extent of what happened and I never plan on telling him because I fear the mental damage he would suffer. My dad is a recovering alcoholic and I’m afraid that telling him everything would push him to the brim. I just see no gain from telling him the full story.
6. Fuck father’s day. I hate that today my family praises this man, when i’ve been in fear of him ever since i was adopted. i hate that everyone viewed him as a great dad and a god fearing man- he ain’t shit and never will be anything. I want him to die and ik that’s horrible but it would make it so easy for me- that’s super SUPER selfish tho and i feel horrible if i’d ever admit that to anyone. even the thought of putting him in jail breaks my heart – i’m not going to drink today, i have grown from my past i’m safe and happy and in a healthy relationship for the first time in my life. It’s just one day.
7. So I think about god a lot when I’m cutting myself. He can take me as I am. I believe he could have been more merciful when I was 1-4 living with a coke head deadbeat living in one drugged out trailer to another. Then he could have been nicer when my older sister was raping me. He could have not subjected me to my abusive stepfather after that for 12 years. He could have stopped women from date raping me when I was out of the house in the military. He could have let off the gas a little since I was in Afghanistan but no. So he can take me as I am. I don’t even know who I am. That’s a question I don’t want an answer to. Nope.
So I have kids now and a wife I won’t live without because she know me and still love me and want to know me more.
I say that specifically because some people say “you wouldn’t be the person you are today without your pain.” “God does everything for a reason”
…. and fuck that. Fuck it hard. What that says is that my abuse had value that would show positive returns. There is no price that can be paid to a person to justify my abuse or anyone’s. What I am now has no positive causal relationship to me being raped and beaten and neglected. No abuser I believe loves their children when they are beating them and locking them in a closet so they can “do so much good” later in their life.
I know my life now and still know that it is not because of my abuse. And my abuse doesn’t make me a better or nicer person. My abuse has no value. It’s dead. If god knew all this I believe he would have just taken that infant in his sleep at the hospital nursery.
8. My life and my dignity were stolen from me when I was only 8. I hadn’t even reach double digits of age and I was already being sexually abused every day. It went on for a few years, probably ended when I was like 11 or 12. I don’t know. I can’t remember exactly. My memories of the abuse are so fragmented It’s hard to figure out when it happened, and mostly, why it happened. I don’t know. I’m so tired. I will never get to know who I was supposed to be had this not happened to me.
My life is ruined forever. I will never be able to be intimate with anyone, ever. I can’t stand people touching me, sometimes i can’t stand touching my own skin. I hate him for what he did to me and I hate myself for being who I am.
You know, sometimes it feels like things are even harder when you’re male, because everyone seems to devalue your trauma, solely for being a man.
I’m only 18, I’m still young and I should have hope that things will get better. But i just can’t believe in it.
It’s just so unfair, you know? I never asked for any of this.
9. Do you ever wonder who you would have been if it hadn’t happened?
I know it’s not a useful thought, because we can’t undo the past, and ultimately I am responsible for my future, shaping myself into the person I want to be. But my mom, who doesn’t know about the abuse, always tells this story about me going up to older kids at the playground and telling them to play nice. And I just wonder who that girl was, and who she would have grown to be? And I know it’s not fair to hold myself in comparison to some ideal that’s not even based in reality. She wouldn’t be perfect, life would still have hurt her, it hurts everybody. But it’s so hard not knowing how much of this weakness and worthlessness I feel are inherent to me and how much was laid at my feet by some careless jerk? Some of it has to just be me. I’m not the only person this has happened to, I’m not even the only person in my group of friends. But I’m the only weak one, the only one who hasn’t taken ownership of my own life. And I dont want to be this person anymore but I dont know how to find my way back to that girl who believed in herself.
10. I wish i could unzip out of my skin and leave everything behind
i hate my skin. i hate my body. i wish i could escape just for a little while.
no matter how hard i scrub my skin, or how hot the shower water is running, it will always be there, and i will always be trapped in it. i am just a passenger in my own body.
i wish i could walk away, just for a little bit. to take a breath of fresh air, and feel brand new. i want to feel like i haven’t been hurt. i want to look down and see… me. i don’t want to keep staring into the past. seeing what has been done, what has happened. i hate it so much.
i’m so sorry, i just wish i could walk away.