Becky asked a really good question: could I have even know what I felt in words? I don't know but interesting idea. Mostly I remember fear and pain. I think a lot of the other feelings grow as you grow up and learn things were wrong. I'm trying to be careful what I say because the porn people freak me out, so read between the lines, but we learn what is and isn't ok and form feelings based on that. So angry is appropriate now but as a little kid it wouldn't have made sense. Anger at this is one thing that I have partially learned in the past. Not fully, but a little. Mostly though, I'll admit, it is anger that I have to deal with it, not really anger at the abusers.
Mostly the feelings are looking back and realizing that life should have been so different, and how horrifying what I survived was. But as a little kid, and this is a blessing, it isn't horrifying. It never even seemed abnormal to me until the schools said it was.
I had a terrible moment the day that our school decided to add in a molestation prevention program. I was in 4th grade and not long ago my uncle had pled guilty to molesting boys who were in my class and my aunt moved away with my beloved cousin/playmate. So when they showed this movie and I got upset they assumed it was because I thought it happened because of my uncle. They'd show the videos, I'd cry, they'd send me to guidance. Ultimately they decided it was better to pull me before than to make me go through it. But those movies (and this is my 9 year old thinking, not now) told me that I had messed up terribly. I hadn't known those things were wrong, much less did I know that I should do anything I could to get away and run to the nearest adult and get help. It seemed I did everything very wrong. I thought it was my fault. And because nobody asked the right questions I didn't ever get the help of an adult telling me that I didn't do anything bad. Those movies were truly awful for a child in my position. It would have been shocking enough to just find out that it was wrong when it had been part of my daily life as long as I could remember, but I also knew that a lot more happened to me "because I didn't tell" than those movies were discussing. And even if there was some level of invitation to say what happened I wouldn't have because the power of the threats I lived with was much worse than the experience and I'd never known differently from that experience anyway.
I think abusers very carefully lay the groundwork (at least mine did ) for everything being your fault. I didn't tell so it was my fault. I didn't run away when it was less severe (because I couldn't walk); my fault. If you tell and anything happens that is unpleasant, your fault. If you didn't tell for years you'd better not now. If you tell _____________ will happen and it will be your fault. And since you know what the abuser is capable of you know they'll do exactly what they say. So then your very young self has the huge job of protecting someone else from a threat that person has no way of knowing has been directed at them. If you tell and the abuser gets in trouble, your fault and something bad will happen to you and besides you know how much they love you so why would you get them in trouble anyway?
Many things I was actually an adult before I could really make sense of them. I knew what happened, but didn't understand how molesters' minds work. I know a little now and yet it's still hard to not have huge questions. Which are going to get answered in this next few weeks, I hope.
It is just a horrible, sick loop. And in only 2 days I will get past the most frightening part of it that I've ever been through.
Copyright 2006 www.masterofirony.blogspot.com