Shit City: An Introduction
CONTENT WARNING: abuse/sexual abuse
It feels as though talking about the important things is getting more difficult for me. I can talk about some of it, sure. But some is just as deep, dark, and hidden as it always has been.
It is very difficult for me to talk about my sexual abuse. People usually expect that that’s a difficult thing to talk about. But for me, it’s like admitting my own guilt. It’s like entering back into that living room with the ugly, puke-green curtains pulled shut.
I don’t know if I’m ready to write about the actual abuse that took place. I think that will come with time, and currently I’m unsure how writing it out would be beneficial to me.
I am ready to share some of my feelings regarding the abuse, however. I’ll start with a list, as I love using lists for complicated things.
Alex’s Feelings about her Abuse
The fear is residual. It is the fear I get every time someone comes too close; the fear I feel when a man (and sometimes women) makes a comment. You know the comments (hey baby girl, I’ll see you soon, etc.). The inner child inside me continues to feel afraid, sometimes with nothing to trigger the fear. At least seemingly nothing.
Simply put, I feel like I could have stopped it. I know I fought him physically a lot, and sometimes it would work. But I also know I sought him out sometimes, as my own sexuality was burgeoning. I sought HIM out. Not explicitly, but I felt (and still feel) wrong for the fact that it felt physically good for my body. I knew it was wrong, I knew I shouldn’t feel the way I did, but I did. I still feel this guilt. I still have sexual thoughts about my abuser (as my therapist helped me clarify, these are thoughts, not an actual attraction). I still get aroused with thoughts of my abuse. I still feel abnormal. I still feel like I’m a ‘wrong’ person. I still can’t have what I think of as a ‘normal’ sexual relationship, because it is a) hard for me to get aroused a lot of the time and b) the sexual abuse thoughts almost always accompany sexual activities. I hope that someday I will feel normal.
Abuse is something that can understandably make anyone sad. I am sad for the child that experienced this for years. I’m sorry that there was no adult that you felt like you could go to for help. I’m sorry that you bore this weight alone. I’m sorry that mom was gone and couldn’t help. I’m also sad that my abuser must live with the guilt of this act.
I know, this is a weird one. How on Earth could I empathize with my abuser? The one who hurt me, physically and forever emotionally. But I really can empathize. He was young (not quite 4 years older than me), and he had lost his mother, too. He knew it was wrong, but did not know how to control his feelings. He likely didn’t know how to stop himself from his actions. He was likely using drugs. So, in the end, he was almost as (if not as) vulnerable as me. And he has had to live with his own guilt, for all these years. He just recently apologized: bawling on the phone, repeatedly saying he was sorry for all the things he did. I told him it was ok, that I had had my therapy to work on it. I was unaware that I would be continuing my journey processing this abuse.