I started this page, this personal blog, as a way to say things I can’t say anywhere else. Unfortunately, a lot of what I’ve needed to say, I’m afraid to. What if someone finds out this is me, and it all comes back to roost?
That would not be okay.
For the past couple days I’ve been in a heated debate about abortion with a fb friend I knew in college. He is very, very passionately anti-abortion, and I usually let people’s opinions sit as their own, BUT….. when you start saying sex ed courses are brainwashing so that the communist democratic machine of Planned Parenthood can get kids having sex younger and younger, so they can feed their money-making system of abortions……..
I was always pro-life. I don’t mean anti-abortion, I mean pro-life. I mean, I would hate for someone to get an abortion, just hate it. But I would do my best to stand by them. It also meant all my friends knew that if they were facing that choice, and thought adoption was an option, that I would totally take that baby.
As a young person/teen, and probably because my home life was … horrible. Just horrible. As in we were homeless half the time, moving in with one abusive drunk after another, with my mom (who did love me) an abusive drunk, no food a lot of the time, only ramen noodles every night, or when we had no electricity a loaf of bread and a package of bologna was all we had to eat for a month.
I’ve been molested, beaten, arrested for being beaten, tied up in duct tape, transient, held at knifepoint twice, my mother tried to run me over once….. anyway, which is to say, I’ve been through it.
And I would look at big houses or buildings like schools, and design homes. For tons of people. I was good at it, too. But the schoolbus would go by, and I would imagine where the garden would be so we could grow our own food, and teach about the life cycle. Where the bedrooms would be, what the big kitchen looked like. It was rather like a Ronald McDonald house, but with those of us who are starting again.
I dreamed that for years. And when I was a teen, I converted wholeheartedly to Christianity.
Which doesn’t believe in sex outside of marriage. I think that’s a better way of saying what I was thinking.
And so I converted, and my church became my surrogate family.
I loved them.
I fed them. Croissants, muffins, whatever.
I served them. Home visits, clean-ups, celebratory events. I was always the quiet person in the kitchen, plugging away at the dishes, listening to everything and just loving them. But conversation scared me, so the kitchen allowed me to just keep the visits short.
I babysat. I visited the Old Folk’s Home. I visited the sick. One of my favorite local farm matrons made me a homemade angel-food cake every year for my birthday. I looked forward to that bit of inclusion with a probably disproportionate affection and gratitude.
But no sex. And in college, the same, limited boyfriends. And after college, …soooo much of my life, every breath (pray without ceasing) determined by faith in god, in His decrees, in His intent for purity, and the reinvestment of your passions in the church, in the family, which is your family if you don’t have one.
So when my Christian neighbor raped me, I turned to my family. My church family. I can’t remember all the stuff they told me, things along the line of oh that’s too bad, to ….if you didn’t want it you’d leave (through the shelter I learned I was in shock, and he trained me, so. No, I couldn’t.)…to …at least you’re broken in now….to…you’re not a real woman.
Yeah, that’s right. My only friend left from college moved in with her boyfriend, and since I knew she was a Christian of the same bent regarding sex, I told her I didn’t understand. She told me that Christianity wasn’t getting her what she wanted, so.
I was a 30+ Christian virgin being repeatedly raped by my neighbor. And when I say repeatedly, I mean he followed me to work so I could see him from where I worked, he left things outside my door, he stood at my window, he called in the wee hours, he always was so sorry after, there was always another trick. Like I refused to see him alone, so he told me his family were over… he lied. Then he held my wrists while he did it again, and told me that the only reason I had come over was for sex. (I actually came over to return a coffee cup. Of course, knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have cared about the cup, but like I said, it was DIFFERENT each time. That’s why I felt so trapped. I had to way to forsee what would happen when. No way to get OUT.)
And when I say raped, I mean he would body-block me, then pin my hips while he undressed me…whether I was crying, fighting, or just staring blankly at the wall. If I fought, he held my wrists down while he forced himself in me, and then he just went on and on…telling me over again that this was what I wanted, telling me how my body was reacting, and this was what boys like, telling me that he WANTED it to be good for ME…while I was crying, fighting, and eventually just shut down and stared at the wall. Eventually I learned that there was no way out, and I started cooperating.
So there was that strange time where I was sexually active, and I WOULD go to him sometimes, especially when the panic attacks hit, when the flashbacks to all the blood were all I could see. And it was surreal, how everyone treated like this was normal. So I did too.
And I remember at one point, messed up on my second dose of Plan B, because of course I didn’t really get the final word on condom choice. I had told him I wasn’t on birth control… because I wasn’t sexually active. I guess he figured if he could force me, I was a liar, just another girl deluding herself.
But no, really. I don’t think I’d kissed a guy since 6th grade.
And I remember looking at the mirror, and all the weird chemicals and hormones and not understanding my body and being swollen and my belly was so tender and thinking……
I could be pregnant.
And a whole world of possibilities ran through my sleep-deprived, hormone-addled, pain-filled mind. Adoption? That would mean pregnancy, he would know, I have no place to go, he would always have a hand on me. I would never get away. I will never get away. I would never be able to get away.
And as a mid-thirties Evangelical Conservative Christian who was having the first relationship in her life with what you might call a lover, I stared at my reflection, my chest because I couldn’t bring myself to see my face, or maybe I just don’t remember it. And I held my child in one hand and my life in the other.
The only chance I’ll probably ever have to have a child.
And I knew that the only way to make sure this man, who I couldn’t control, who I couldn’t be safe from, the only way to make sure *I* lived, would be to take away the factor of the baby.
Oh, god, that hurt.
I want you to know I reached out. I reached and reached and reached, but it seemed that no one wanted to really talk to me, because (looking back) it was too overwhelming for them. But I couldn’t leave myself. Everyone I reached for told me it was my fault, I had more control than I thought, that I had to handle it…but in much crueller terms. If I can remember those things, maybe, someday I’ll write it down.
So I was on my own.
I will never have children. My former-christian-friend told me I was just being too negative, and that I didn’t know what it was like to be a real woman, and to want to be loved, and to have a family, since I was protesting “my” sex, and not understanding her choice.
I have torn ligaments, so my uterus doesn’t stay in place. It slides down and sometimes gets caught under/squished by my lower edged of my pelvic bone. It’s the reason it was excruciatingly painful to sit for so long…months…even after I finally got away. Then with the flashbacks, I started self-injuring, in ways that caused more damage. I can’t even wear a tampon, because that squishy uterus rubs up against it INSIDE the vagina, instead of hanging above like it’s supposed to.
And I am so abandoned. I feel so alone. SO alone. My friend who moved in with her boyfriend had children. Two, it seems.
I can’t tell you how hard that it. I’m crying now. Darnit. When she sent me pictures of her daughter – nine months old, because she hadn’t talked to me since. Because, you know, I’m not a real woman. I don’t understand. Anyway, when she sent me pictures of her daughter, I literally cried for three days. I’m serious. It was a total breakdown. I cried and screamed, and tried to stifle it in my mattress, and ended up using the entire sheet for a snotrag.
I don’t understand what it’s like to be a real woman, right? That’s why I would go back to him, even after it all.
It’s taken me years to understand that my innocence wasn’t something I should feel bad about, but it was a factor. I didn’t understand how the real world works.
Now I’m almost 40, and my psychologist (who had to quit because he had cancer) has diagnosed me with DID, a version of multiple personality disorder, which means that it was such a harsh crack between my realities, I switch from one person (with certain memories, emotions, reactions, reasoning) to another sometimes so hard it scares me. So I’ve locked myself away for several years. I have nothing left but I just do what I have to do each day and wait to die. Sometimes with more or less passion.
So I had a friend who lost her job move in with me last week. Sigh. I can barely handle myself, but maybe I’ve healed enough to not drive her nutz. And I have an observation today.
But. My mind is still stuck between the before and the after. Between wanting to be loved and touched and held, and wanting to feel that kind of love…….and it mixes with the violence and pain and all the cruelty that people have dished out, and then I feel like what the hell. Can’t threaten the damned. Anything. ANYTHING to make me feel something. Or stop feeling anything.
Which is why I shouldn’t be drinking. I’m not. And why I am walking a thin line. Breathe. Step. Breathe. Step. Breathe. Step.