Thursday, May 19, 2011

Guilt

I just kind of realized what I need in a therapist. I need someone who will sit back and let me tell the story. The whole fucking story. Sit through years and years of me babbling till I can get through all the horrific under layers because it will take forever to sift through it. And I need a therapist who knows that me telling the story is how I talk myself through figuring out the solution. It isn't until I tell these stories out loud to someone else with zero judgment that I can get to the end and say, "That wasn't a good childhood, huh?" and have them respond, "Nope" without much emphasis. Just matter of fact. Yeah. That sucked. And I am a god damn mother fucking courageous person for getting through that. And no matter what, anything I did as I flailed around and tried to survive was ok. I was a child and they were trying to kill me.

And then I need the therapist to not give me suggestions as to how to get better. I need the therapist to learn when I am evading and call me on it. I need a Noah who is more objective. I need someone who can crawl inside my head and find out why I am doing the things I am doing because until I can deconstruct why I have no idea how to fix it. Other people do great and fine with other short term things with treating symptoms instead of problems, but that isn't my story.

My story is that I have no idea what "normal" is and I don't know how to find out. I need to explain every single fucking day of my horrifyingly twisted childhood and have someone go through with me why I did things right and where I did things that were maybe not the absolute best, and ok I can apologize for how my flail landed if it makes me feel better, but it's still ok. I'm still ok. I am the right kind of me. I do not need to change who and what I am to make any one else happy.

I am a writer. I need to write about the things in my head. I need to express them. The noises and the voices are drowning me and when I get them out I find peace. I need to say that my childhood was not ok a few thousand times because I have to say it for every time I was raped, molested, abused, made to feel invisible, hit, called names, and told I was worthless.

I need to find out that it really isn't normal for a 12 year old girl to ask one 25 year old man to fuck me then date another 25 year old and accept jewelry from him after going down on him the first time. I was well on my way to a bad life. My first chosen lover was a 25 year old drug dealer named Sean David Segura. He fucked me without a condom. He fucked me without foreplay. It hurt and it sucked. But I thought I just had to get used to it. I dated a DJ from KRTY. His real name was Rick Rood but he went by the name Glen Richards on the air. We only dated for like a month. But my mom seemed to think it was just fine that I was dating him. At least he was a nice guy? Who liked to have 12 year olds suck him off. He was also a singer. I went to watch him perform at the county fair. Uhm. He sang childrens music. Right.

And these are the things in my story that my family points at. These are the things that i have done that they use as evidence of why I am bad and dirty and crazy. The thing is... this is what happened when I was 12. It was really kicked off a few years before that.

I was 7 when Tommy was hit by the car. My whole world exploded. Everyone turned and looked at Tommy. I was very invisible. I started acting out really hard. To be fair, I was raped not long after his accident and before I saw him and it became real for me. So the accident tripped things off. Then Michael raped me and my mom beat me. Then my mom up and disappeared for months and left me with my sister. My sister was 20. A drug addict trying to abstain because she was pregnant (but she would not receive prenatal care because she was afraid of drug tests) so she was a nasty fucking bitch. Oh she was awful. She was horribly abusive a lot of the time. From my current point of view I feel like she was probably actually doing pretty well all things considered. But that wasn't how it felt at the time. And then I was sent home with a family I only kind of knew. By home I mean I drove home with that family in their minivan from Texas to Southern California. It was a horrible trip and I was terribly traumatized and everyone expected me to just buck up.

We bounced around Southern California. I can't tell you what happened then because I have nearly no memories. I know that eventually we were with my Uncle Larry for a while (my brother has since filled me in that my mom was fucking him for rent--nice, huh?) and Uncle Larry liked to premake his screwdrivers and just leave the pitcher in the fridge and I got very drunk. And my mom and I stayed up on New Years watching horror movies. It was really pretty awful. I was obsessed with horror movies and my mom let me watch them all the time. Some day I should stop and look at the movies I watched: The Gate, Poltergeist 1, 2, 3, and the Nightmare on Elm Street series again. I bet I could come up with recovered memories that way. Derail!

After that I'm unclear until we lived in Whittier. That part of my life was very bad. We lived there for 18 months. So many things happened then. I know that is the part of the story I need to get to right now but I am dissociating hard. It's actually hard to maintain eye focus. This is scary. I keep being pissed off because people aren't posting enough on facebook. Please god, isn't there something in the universe that can distract me from this pain? I want to go play with my children to avoid this. Right this minute that would be a derail and I know it. Fuck.

My instinct is to call it the darkest part of my childhood. Because then I can go off on a digression about whether it really was or not. But that's not the point. It was god awful horrible horrible horrible. We lived there with Tommy during the brief time they tried to have him live outside a facility. It wasn't good. My mother and my sister were not prepared to deal with the kind of care that a brain damaged disabled kid needs. My sister was trying to get her life together. She was trying to go to college and she had a good GPA and she was smart. But her husband dumped her after my nephew was born because he wasn't interested in being a dad. That man deserves to rot in hell for what he let happen to his son. I hope he has nightmares every night. Bobby is a selfish, self-centered son of a bitch. He was more interested in being a kept pretty boy than in caring for the son he made. My sister went off birth control without his permission but he didn't want to bother with condoms. He helped make the baby, he deserves responsibility for how my nephew turned out.

Anyway. But my sister was dating Tom. Who was a drug addict, alcoholic loser. She claims she actually decided to get pregnant with my niece, which is really an interesting statement. Wow. You wanted to have a kid with that man? You wanted to ensure contact with that man forever? oooooook. You are baby mama number what? Ok, and now is when I look like a classist bitch.

And that's ok. Because wanting to not be that, to be something different saved my life. Denise's boyfriend Tom came on to me over the years. It was subtle and I encouraged it. I own that. I thought that was what I was supposed to do with him. After all that is what my sister was doing with him right in front of me. Closed doors are for prudes! Only prudes wear clothes! I strongly suspect she was drunk and/or on drugs through that whole period but I was totally unaware of the drugs.

You see, my mom and my sister thought that as long as they didn't tell me what had happened to my sister and they didn't do drugs *in front of me* that I would be ok. They would break the chain. They would free me from the cycles of abuse. And that is what my brother thinks will work too.

But the problem is that they continue to hold abusers to their bosom and permit them their "mistakes" because after all, everyone is human. We all make mistakes. Right? Look, I lay before all you anonymous people on the internet that just like the rest of my family I too am a rapist and a molester. I will tell you the atrocities I have committed and I do so because this is how I figure out where I end and they begin. This is where I explain that I feel like I am a rapist because I sexually aggressed when I was a very young child. I will explain the circumstances in which I crossed boundaries for people and I don't want people to tell me it is ok and I am still a good person. That is a dark spot on my soul and I will carry it till I die. No one can absolve me of it and trying to do so minimizes my pain. I have to live with that guilt. I can learn to have compassion for myself as I do, because I was a child. And I was just flailing around like a trapped animal trying to survive.

But I still did it and I still need to hold me accountable.

Just like my sister and my mother need to hold themselves accountable for what they did to me. I am not interested in granting anyone mercy in this game of life. If you grant mercy then you allow poison to spread. I am not going to be part of the sickness. And god it sucks to see how I was when I was a child.

But I'm not going to turn around or find Wicca or go do Reiki and cleanse my chakra as a way of absolving myself of guilt. Fuck that. I think that's the fucking easy way out. I'll have my husband beat it out of me. It will be awesome.

7 comments:

  1. Ok, so this doesn't particularly pertain to this post, but, since you asked me to post it, here is probably as good as anywhere:

    When I read your stories, I often find myself, besides feeling sorry
    for what happened to you and having comments about your writing style,
    thinking about which parts I identify with and which I don't. Often
    the things that I do identify with are the little things, and I find
    myself wanting to comment about those - yeah, I like people who are
    jerks, too, or whatever. On second thought, those comments often seem
    inappropriate. I don't think they're intended as avoidant in any way,
    it's just a normal conversation thing. You listen or read and then
    respond to the part you actually have something to say about, or that
    you can identify with in some way. I can see how that could be
    problematic with your stories, though... I realize that you telling
    these things isn't a way of making idle conversation, and I'm
    concerned that commenting in a way that seems to ignore the important
    meat of your stories could come across in the wrong way, like it's not
    even acknowledging the subject of what you are actually trying to
    write about.

    You mentioned that you are being careful about who you tell your
    stories to, and obviously it seems like that's more of a concern in
    person. You're telling them on the internet, so that's not too
    selective, I guess... and yet, since I once mentioned in a list of
    things that I felt that you and I shared that I identified somewhat
    with your sexual history, I feel like I really should mention at this
    point that when I wrote that, I had no idea how extensive the abuse
    that you went through was. In my case, I had a
    not-quite-rape-but-sort-of relationship as a teenager. It felt
    somewhat traumatic at the time, and years later I think moreso when,
    for example, I sometimes found myself in tears in sexual situations
    that my partners had every reason to believe were consensual but that
    I just felt unable to say anything to stop...in short, it kind of
    messed me up, and there were other things in my life that messed me
    up, too, probably worse than that relationship did. Which I feel
    strange about, when I hear stories like yours. Clearly what happened
    to me was much, much less severe and damaging. Pretty much every woman
    I know well enough to know these things about has stories similar to
    mine, if not worse. When I hear stories like yours, I think about how
    lucky I and many of my friends are to have only suffered from as much
    abuse as we have, and when I think those thoughts I feel incredibly
    angry about the culture we live in in which it sometimes seems like a
    pretty good thing to have only been raped a little bit. So, that's
    about the extent to which I mostly don't identify with the subject of
    your writing, and some of the thoughts I have about relating to it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. comment part 2:


    What I do identify a lot with, which I've been able to put my finger
    on a lot more recently (and is probably the reason I felt compelled to
    send you my writing), is the feeling of constant wrongness or
    invisibility. When you read my notes you suggested that I was
    struggling not to feel bad about myself, and like I said at the time,
    I don't think that's quite it. I've felt ok about myself for the last
    couple of years, even good most of the time. I do feel pretty
    constantly wrong and invisible, though. For all that I sort of stand
    out for all my difference, I feel like my experiences and views are so
    far outside of the mainstream (sometimes even the fringe) that I
    struggle with a constant feeling that I'm wrong before I open my
    mouth. Or that I will be judged that way, but getting that from so
    many directions is insidious. It's hard to stand up for your own
    experiences and beliefs, even within yourself, when you're getting the
    constant message that they're not valid. In your case, having that
    experience makes more sense, considering all the ways and reasons that
    people have tried to deny your reality. Why I have that experience, I
    really don't know. That's the big question that I ask myself most of
    the time these days.

    Anyway, that was a little rambly. I'm not looking for any particular
    response. I just felt like I should share some of my general feelings
    and reactions to some of the things you write about in a slightly more
    extensive way where I can make it clear that mostly I've just been
    reading and thinking about and not ignoring the bulk of what you have
    to say, I'm really glad that you are finding ways to tell your story
    and get the support you need, and I'm especially glad you feel like
    you're starting to do better now. Hope things continue to go that
    direction for you!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for posting comments! :D

    To address your first comment, I actually really need that kind of thing. I don't know which of my behavior tics seem problematic because I was heinously abused and which are just things I'm doing that are not very nice. I don't really deserve a free pass. And for people to let me know that they are on the bell curve with me lets me feel less alone. It's hard feeling like the very biggest freak I know. :(

    I don't really like being an oddball. I'm pretty desperate for group identity. In my childhood I was kept isolated from people and I was never allowed to really have friends. That's normal in incest families. It's ok for you to say, I was sexually assaulted but it wasn't the same kind of thing as you--here's my story. I'm not trying to say I don't care about anyone else's story. But for the past few days I haven't been in a place where I could handle random noise. That's passing and yay for that.

    Yeah, I don't know what to do with the feeling wrong and bad and invisible. I don't like it and I want it to go away. How does it work for you to feel bad and wrong but still ok with yourself. Because that's the kind of thing I'm working on. And I don't know if it's a common thing that other people just know how to do that because they learned it as kids. I just don't understand it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I could have sworn that I replied to this already :(

    How does it work for me to combine those things? Well, for one thing, I don't feel bad, I just feel wrong. And not morally wrong, more like incorrect. Like my way of thinking is totally alien to most people and so of course, any conclusion I come to about pretty much anything is going to seem wrong to people. And if it's wrong to most people, it's going to be treated like it's just plain wrong, because really, once a certain amount of the population thinks a certain way, people seem to act like it's totally insane to disagree. It's hard to combine, most of the time. But...I actually am a pretty private, independent person. I used to really hate myself, but I got over that with a lot of work (mostly a compromise with myself to stop putting myself down even if I wasn't able to go so far as positive self-talk) and now I'm proud of myself for stuff that's really obvious to me and hard to deny: how hard I work to take care of my kids (which I really value doing), art and other projects I work on... I look at those things (and I surround myself with them, so I look at them often) and I feel good. Keeping up with spiritual practices like meditation helps me stay centered, too. Sometimes I'm sort of a social recluse because I don't want to encounter people who think that everything I am is weird and wrong, which often seems to be most people. It would be really hard to maintain positivity in a vaccum, though. Having a supportive partner has definitely helped. I wish I could explain it better, and that I understood it better, and for that matter I wish I didn't feel this way...well, the wrong part, anyway. :/

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  5. P.S. Wicca may not be a religion of guilt, but IMO it's definitely a religion of taking full responsibility for your actions, for whatever that's worth... definitely not all feel-good fluff

    ReplyDelete
  6. Forgive me, this is not exactly on topic:
    "I am the right kind of me."
    I always wondered what your LJ userid meant. Now I know.
    That's a great line.

    ReplyDelete
  7. It is perfectly on topic. :) Because yes, that's what I'm doing here. An awful lot of coming out about incest stuff and talking about my issues is trying to say that it is just flat ok to be me. I don't have to be silent and quiet. I don't have to accept the roles assigned to me.

    I think that is totally on topic. :)

    ReplyDelete