Identify the Victim, Identify the Perpetrator

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According to my stepfather, he was the victim of my sexual abuse. In his way of thinking, he wasn’t responsible for what happened between us.

He said over and over to me “See how much you want me Kimmy”, “See what you make my dick do Sissy” and “I can’t help myself, Sissy, you are so beautiful.” To him, I wanted him. He would do things to make sure I was sexually excited and then tell me ” See how much you want me?”

Because he had said things like this to me for years, I thought it was my idea to have sex with him. This was one of the reasons I felt guilty when I told, I thought I was telling on myself.

It was the summer of 1975 when I told Mom Jack and I had been sleeping together. I sat in a folding lawn chair in the backyard. My body felt heavy like I wasn’t going to be strong enough to hold myself up. I felt it everywhere. I was breathing shallowly, feeling slightly dizzy from the lack of oxygen.

When I said, “Jack and I had been sleeping together”… (wrong I know now). I remember thinking I would be in so much trouble because I had wanted to do all those bad things. Somehow at the age of 4, I had the idea to have oral sex with a grown man, somehow, it was my idea, I felt like I was telling on myself for having done something wrong.

It was disastrous telling her, she responded by asking was there anyone else who knew. I said yes, my uncles, cause Jack had tried to get them to have sex with me. So she left to talk to them about what happened. That was it. No nothing else.

Later Jack came home and asked where she was. He told me to get the kids in bed, so I climbed in bed with my little sisters, while the boys got in bed in their room.

We all fell asleep. Later I woke up with Jack and Mom arguing in the kitchen, Mom saying “why would she say something like that?”

He responded with I don’t know, maybe she didn’t want to do the dishes anymore.

They were back and forth for the longest time while I drifted off again. There was a little bit of hurt when he said what I had told was being reduced to something so petty as not wanting to do dishes.

Later, he complained to me about how I had upset my Mom and gotten him in trouble.

So when I look back on this I realize that I thought I was the problem, I caused him to do what he had done for years. It took years for me to correct my own thinking. I didn’t cause him to do anything, He did it. He was the perpetrator, he was the criminal, I was a child, I know now how I had to distort my own thinking in an effort to cope with the things he did to me and how I tried to make sense of it in my young child mind.

And recovery takes so long because there is so much sorting out to be done. Because I was so young, I didn’t have a basis for what was wrong or right. And my whole childhood was built around those lies he told me.

Now I can identify that I am the victim, he was the perpetrator of a series of crimes. Not just to me, but my whole family.

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Childhood Sexual Abuse survivors are difficult to get to know.

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Mainly cause we keep so much of what we have experienced inside of us. And once any one starts having to keep something secret, it starts plugging  up emotionally,until it blocks up just about everything. So we feel the blockage but don’t know if we want to start unblocking. We never know what is going to come out of us.

Being abused also is not over just as soon as the last violation is done.  It impacts the rest of our lives. If we are not outright damaged so completely that we are locked out of the public view, then we still have some major mal functions that impact how we relate to others.  We are created differently because we have been betrayed by the people who were supposed to love us and teach us how to be loved.

Emotionally our needs are different, more  primal. Or maybe they just feel more intense.  But the needs of safety and security are the  most active in me.  Consciously or not. For example, instead of liking to be  admired by my friends and family members for anything simple like appearance, looking good, or being nice, I shun it. As best I can figure, it is  because I was going to be hurt and harmed once the family abuser had me in his sights. I will probably never be comfortable being noticed. No matter how long I have tried to get comfortable. I took public speaking classes, I forced myself to learn to teach, I volunteered to give talks about various subjects just to overcome the aversion to personal attention. Finally, I have decided to just going to leave it alone. It might be what people call, making peace with myself.

I think because I will never feel safe in this world, I don’t trust easily. Okay, I hardly trust anyone. That is closer to the truth. The closer you are supposed to be (theoretically) in personal intimate relationships, the less I will be able to trust you. People often mistake my trained friendliness,  both professional or socially,  as being available for friendly intimate relationships. Its disappointing I know.  But this is one of the consequences of allowing sexual abuse to continue in our world.

There is more to say on this like how I see myself as different than others. Not just in matters of attention.  I hope to write more about this.