Hopefully this cut works: anyway,
I don't like to think of myself as ever having been abused. Especially since I think I've turned out alright all-in-all. But, talking to my boyfriend, I've come to realize that maybe I've been through more crap than I know. I don't remember much of my past. I seem to have blocked it all out. At the age of 16 I began having vivid dreams of hands, loneliness, brutal beatings, and other violence. I wrote a paper for my English class and turned it in. Unfortunately, I accidentally left a copy of it on my kitchen table. My father and stepmother found it and read it. They confronted me about it that evening and told me that everything in it was true. The dreams continued, brutal dreams of my best friend's father beating her with the metal end of a belt at the age of 4, dreams of hands in the woods sneaking places where they should not be, dreams of dark and hot rooms where I was uncomfortably sitting, waiting for something or drinking something sweet. This was the beginning of my remembering.
It’s interesting (and somewhat odd in my opinion) to note that I was actually quite obsessed with sex throughout my life. I was addicted to masturbation before ever even knowing what it was. I have always hated myself for my addiction to it, though I’m told “it’s normal for someone who was abused.” But I guess it just makes me feel like maybe I asked for everything I got. Especially what happened next.
I had been obsessed with online chat rooms and mildly disturbing sexual talk. I met a guy online and we had cyber sex, something I had grown very used to. It was ‘safe’. I could turn it off, I could walk away, no one had to touch me. In my mind, it was all I ever needed. I was still a virgin and terrified of anyone touching me. My first relationship at age 16 ended in just a month when I repeatedly stopped my boyfriend from touching my breasts or anything farther than that. The man I met online was older than me and very…I don’t know…domineering. He knew how to get to me and he convinced me to move to phone sex and, eventually, to meet him in person. Before we met, I made him swear that we were just friends and nothing would happen. I was naïve. The moment he pulled up in the empty lot where I (stupidly!!!) met him, I was terrified. He told me to get in his car but I refused. He eventually settled for groping and grabbing me, though I kept pushing him away. If I had been smart (which I’m obviously not)…I would never have met him again. But I did. And that time he slammed me against a tree, pinned me to a fence, forced my mouth to his and my hand below. He touched me as well but by then I was gone. I remember the tree branches lacing above me through the sky. I escaped into those, coming out of it only when pain lacked through my breasts. He seemed to enjoy the abuse. To this day I still believe it was my fault, and no one will ever convince me otherwise. A week later, my stepmom of 15 years walked out on my dad and renounced me as a daughter, saying that my dad had abused her for 15 years (something I do NOT believe). I then left for college…
That same summer, I was diagnosed with DD-NOS (Dissocative Disorder- Not otherwise specified), OCD, PTSD, Major Depression, Severe Anxiety, and Panic Disorder. I held a lot back from my psychiatrist (having just told him about the assault this year). I went to school, dropped a class, and began bouncing relationship to relationship, feeling the need to be in one…to feel safe? I don’t know. I had an emotional breakdown, continually cutting, ODing on Tylenol, and, eventually, drinking myself into unconsciousness. In January I asked to go to the hospital. When I got there, I remember looking around at the walls and the white and thinking “this is it. You’ve hit bottom.” I refused to be admitted. It’s been a struggle ever since and I still mess up sometimes. For instance, I’ve had an eating disorder (Binge Eating mostly) since the age of 6. It fluctuates. I lost 20 lbs in 2 weeks at Thanksgiving. Finally…finally…I’ve met the man of my dreams.
My current boyfriend has been a dream. He’s held me through the nightmares (and yes, they are still vivid and painful), he walked with me back to the spot where I was assaulted and he talked me through the panic attack that ensued. When I did decide to finally have sex, he was very understanding of where I was coming from and was the most patient person in the world. I fully intend to marry him. Finding him and working with him through some of these issues has helped me feel something I have not felt in a long time: safe. I am not completely trusting yet, I don’t know if I ever will be. But, sometimes, if I try really hard…I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll get there someday.