In February of this year, I came out about the sexual abuse I endured as a teenager. It was really hard to write, making something so embarrassing, so taboo, and so "dirty," so damn public, but I had no choice. I had become desperate for daily relief and I found that one moment of strength to no longer care about the outcome. I had to do this for me. I had to heal.
I continue to learn just how hard this can be, and today, I am angry as Hell.
Today, I continue my story in an effort to inspire others to speak up.
Fuck You, "_ _ _ _ _ "
My original abuser is a real life monster, yet someone very close to me. A deeply disturbed, manipulating, monster who unfortunately continues to try to come after me. In fact, a recent contact attempt from this person rattled me and drove me to write this today.
This person baited me at an early age, during puberty. First, appearing before me naked more than not, and really making that a lifestyle, ...but only in private. The strategy only got more sick with my abuser leaving some of the most disturbing sexual content in existence right under my nose - stories of gang rape, incest, bestiality, torture - knowing as a budding teenager I would be interested and intrigued by anything sexual. Sure, the books were "hidden in a brown paper bag," but in a way that in retrospect I realize was just part of the sick game.
Like a good little fish, I was hooked, stealing the books for nightly reading under the covers of my bed. I was 14 years old and discovered masturbation through consuming this material.
What an awesome, loving, and beautiful way to discover sexuality, huh? Think that played out later in my life? Yea, take a guess...
Left unaddressed, a disease will only progress, right? Nobody has Cancer, and then just doesn't, without intervention. Naturally, the abuse escalated. My abuser moved on to carefully crafted scenarios of drunkness, taunting and luring me into episodes of touching and confusing intimacy, leaving me to progressively wonder if I was just a sick pup myself.
I DIDN'T FUCKING KNOW ANY BETTER.
Who could I tell? And truth be told, did I want to tell? Was I completely sick for not wanting to tell? This wasn't natural. It was wrong. It was slowly turning ME into a monster, but I couldn't get a break. The cycle was beginning. You don't know what you don't know, but I knew something wasn't right.
I felt dirty. Creepy. Broken. Trapped. And what do we do when we experience those feelings? Yup, we adapt. In multiple directions, from painting big smiles and stories of an awesome childhood, to total regression, curling up in a corner and smashing ourselves in the head with our damaging thoughts. It's a fucking terrible place to be.
I lived in that place for 32 years.
I know some of you are living in that place, right now.
Admission is the Hardest Part
"No one will believe me (yes, they will)"
"It was a long time ago, why now? (cuz, you'll never heal)"
"Now is not the time (yes it is, there is never a "right" time)"
"I can't tell, it will destroy my family. (no it won't)"
"Everything is manageable in my life (no, it's not), I don't need to create this drama (yes, you do)"
But admission is only the first step, and now, six months later, and with the help of some others in my life, I am moving into the next phase of my recovery - tactical exercises designed to modify life-long, learned, behaviors that have either allowed me to cope, or in contrast, prevented me from having normal relationships.
Recently, a real hero has come into my life and has helped me take control of my healing. A real warrior. A person who loves me and who I trust is looking out for my best interest. She is my strength when I have trouble finding it. She is my behavior mirror and she challenges me to be the best man I can be. I'm not there yet, but moving in the right direction feels fantastic. Even freeing.
Please join me.
Please walk the path to healthy. We can all do it together.