I went to an incest survivors support group for the first time on Tuesday. It went well. No histrionics. The other three participants have been together for over a year. I swear to god I am a professional new kid.
At one point we went down a checklist of all the various symptoms and physical problems that Early Childhood Sexual Assault (ECSA) survivors have. With the exception of a shy bladder (I can pee anywhere) I have everything. If there is something bad associated with ECSA I have that problem. I am completely textbook. I spend a lot of time feeling fairly ashamed of this.
Stomach and GI problems are big for us. My stomach has hurt my whole life. As an educated adult I will label it anxiety. As a kid all I knew was that I kept being told over and over again, "Oh quite sniveling everything will be fine" and then someone else would beat the shit out of me. I have no idea how many times I was beaten as a child. I went to 25 schools. I didn't get into a fight in any of the last five high schools. By then I had managed to avoid that specific issue. I got into fistfights--several in both middle schools. That leaves the 18 elementary schools. I don't have any memories of elementary school that are not tied up in people physically hurting me. The teachers beat me (in Oklahoma and Texas) and the students beat me everywhere.
My mom would tell me that people would like me more if I didn't dress like such a freak. From when I was very young I dressed like an orthodox conservative religious group. If I had been able to get away with covering my hair I would have. I wore long dresses. No one saw my skin.
But I still got raped over and over. My dad sexually assaulted me/raped me over and over for more than a decade. Before I stopped him. First by requesting no more visitation and then when I prosecuted him.
The other eleven people who raped me all started out as "friends". They were going to "help" me. They "loved" me.
My stomach hurts all the time. I live my life in an incredible amount of fear.
When I turned 18 I decided that since being raped and beaten was unavoidable I was going to try and figure out how to control it. So I got into the bdsm community. I played with all the Big Names. I was an extremely heavy player. I have safeworded exactly once and that was when someone used a cattle prod on my vulva after I had specifically told him that my three hard limits for the scene were scat, water sports, and cattle prods. He saran wrapped me to a table so I couldn't move and then got out the cattle prod and said, "I hear you don't like these." I was 19. I had been in the community for less than three months. He was a Pillar of the Community. Of course I didn't make a stink.
That's just how shit happens in my life. I say: don't do ______ and then someone immediately does it. It is far safer for me to not think about the things I don't want to have happen to me. If I say, "I don't want to have sex with you" it is nearly inevitable that I will be raped.
No wonder I don't leave the house much.
So I need to talk to a doctor about my stomach and GI issues. A big part of the reason I smoke as much pot as I do is because I use it as an appetite stimulant. Most of the time my stomach hurts too much to eat. I feel cramping and waves of nausea on a daily basis. My stomach hurt. When I'm stoned I feel fine. I can even eat vegetables. Trying to eat vegetables sober means I will be in horrifying pain. It hurts so much to digest. And when I eat a salad completely sober I have burning painful diarrhea not long afterwards.
This is why I didn't eat vegetables as a child.
Over the past few years of being a heavy stoner I have managed to get my diet to a place where pretty much any nutritionist would say, "Well done!" I get a weekly CSA box. We eat absolutely all of it. We eat pasture raised, humanely treated meat. Maybe slightly more than strictly necessary... but I don't think so. I eat a lot of fruit. We eat some starch still, but not even with every meal. White flour and white sugar are now things that are more like sometimes foods.
But I can't really eat sober. It hurts too much. I can take a few bites. I can never eat enough.
When I was a kid I solved this by living entirely on carbohydrates and staying so full that my stomach never had the chance to get this empty painful feelings. Getting hungry is agony. Simple carbs are the primary thing I can eat without pain.
And I've almost entirely cut them out of my life because they are "bad for me" so when I'm in pain and I'm hungry and I want to eat I can sometimes end up sobbing and sobbing because either I can eat something "good for me" that will hurt me more or I can eat something "bad for me" that will long-term hurt me in another way but provide instant relief.
I've been doing some googling on chronic bronchitis. I have to stop smoking. I have ordered a vaporizer and I will have no choice but to completely stop smoking. (It should arrive on Monday.) I grew up in a house where you couldn't see the opposite walls because of the haze of smoke. My lungs came pre-damaged. My mother was a chain smoker. Auntie smoked heavily during my early childhood but quit by the time I was in middle school. Uncle Bob smoked longer than her but I think he stopped when I was in high school. Our house was incredibly difficult to function in. Apparently chronic bronchitis is one of those incurable it can kill you super fast if you keep fucking with it sorts of things. I want to see my daughters grow up. I have to stop.
I think it is pretty reasonable for me to be scared right now. I don't know what the next step is. I need to be able to talk to a doctor about this. I need to try something else. This is something where I really don't know what to do. I have tried so many things over my lifetime.
And there's the weird pulsing thing that feels vaguely like trapped intestine in between the walls of my stomach muscles. That kind of shit sometimes happens after pregnancy. But I don't know what has been going on with that. Since I stopped marathon training the pain has gone down dramatically which makes me want to JUST NOT MENTION IT. SEE--IT'S FINE. Now it's genuinely in the 1-2 range for pain. It hasn't spiked up to 5 since October. Obviously I healed myself. It's fine. I can ignore it, right?
I'm not sure how to write this script for a doctor. I think of these problems in context of my life. But if I tell people about my life they respond with, "that is unbelievable" and there we are.
I tell Shanna that my problem is that a long time ago I had good reasons to be scared and my body has never managed to really understand that I don't need to feel scared any more. Something in my brain broke and that feeling just keeps happening even though it should stop.
I don't know how to make my stomach stop hurting. I don't know how to be able to just eat food without thinking the whole time about how much pain I will be in when I have to shit it out.
Having children has been the best thing that has ever happened to me in terms of food. I don't have crap in the house because I don't want them to eat it. Well, we eat ramen a few times a week because like always that is one of the primary things I can handle eating without pain. Yay simple carbs. When I am really really anxious it is one of the only things that doesn't cause violent stomach cramps.
Doesn't everyone spend all day every day fighting with how much pain they are in because they were stupid enough to eat vegetables?
Eating vegetables hurt as a child. So I wouldn't eat them. So people hit me and told me I was bad. And ungrateful. Let's not forget ungrateful. I am ungrateful stupid bitch because I won't eat what someone has made for me. Even though it will cause violent stomach cramps and horrible burning diarrhea. stupid stupid stupid bitch.
When people tell me to just "get over" my childhood I don't even know what that means. Should I have a lobotomy? Should I surgically cut out all of these memories? There will still be all the damage to my body. I don't know how to undo it.
I feel so scared.