Today we’re going to practice admitting what happened.
I was assaulted.
Someone in my family assaulted me.
They took control over my body and did what they wanted with me; using me like you might use a stuffed animal: for your own pleasure, to fulfill your own needs, to address your own insecurities, to practice violence on something no one cares enough about to stop you.
I was violated again when evidence of the abuses started surfacing. My parents and the world around me wanted to treat me and my body like we were the problem instead of making me safe. I learned early to have empathy for my attacker because that is trained more readily than the world having empathy for me. I had to learn to agree with the authority figures about my value: I was worth less than most things and most people.
Knowing this now doesn’t automatically mean I believe in my own value deep down in my psyche. I don’t. I can tell that I still have trouble believing that my body has value and my mind has value. My mind is so valuable that I’m going through all of this searching and processing to figure out how to make it work properly again. Right now it’s overwhelmed with all these programs running in the background and little by little I’m trying to shut that noise down.
I don’t remember exactly how many times this happened and I don’t quite remember who. More than one person could have been involved. Right now the flashes don’t include a specific face, just a presence and darkness; pain and yet numbness; I can detect motion but I am frozen. When I’m scared of the shower or sleeping or just someone sneaking up on me, my imagination manifests Gollum (like from Lord of the Rings, but made of the dark, kind of like Peter Pan’s shadow in 3D) into these scenarios as they play through my mind’s eye.
I want to be fixed. But I am frightened of remembering. Repression makes me feel like I can’t trust myself or my own mind. I hear my terrible parent’s voice in my head telling me how children are liars and (female children especially) have untrustworthy memories and are far too hysterical and emotional to be taken seriously; how no one should believe me unless I have proof (but no proof is ever acceptably rigorous enough); how I shouldn’t even believe me because any males who may be involved would have a tarnished reputation if I was to admit what happened to me.
I was assaulted when I was younger. My family was not a safe place. My room was not a safe place. My bed was not a safe space. My body was not a safe place. And now my mind is not a safe place. I am so mean to me. Often. I try not to be mean to me, but then it gets me from the other side with shame when I fail at being nice to myself. I’m glad I have a professional to talk to; I know I can’t untangle these knots without help.