As soon as I was born into this world I was mistreated. Growing up, I thought it was completely normal for a child to regularly be beaten within an inch of his life. I thought that this was what was done to bad children, and I knew for sure that I was bad, because that's what my mother said, and she ought to know! I thought that this happened in every home. I never thought to complain to anyone about it. I remember getting a vague sense, once I entered school, that maybe there was something wrong with my home life, but I never really figured out what. A school counselor once asked me about my bruises. He said, "Does your father, or a brother, beat you up?" I told him no, but my mother does. It didn't occur to me that this was something unusual or something I should hide so I just told him straightforward when he asked. He told me that I should be a man and not let a girl beat me up. I was in elementatry school at the time. I left feeling worse about myself because I thought he was saying that I should have outgrown the abuse by now. There were many things I had not outgrown yet (such as bedwetting, sucking my thumb, other childish behaviors) and I was very ashamed of being behind my peers.
I thought it was normal for mothers to engage in sexual activities with their sons. Nothing ever told me otherwise. No one talks about mother/son incest at all, let alone in a negative light. Through the media (mainly TV) I eventually gathered that it was not
normal for children to be horribly beaten but nothing ever touched upon the subject of mother/son incest so I assumed that it was a common practice. I felt inadequate and as if there was something wrong with me because I hated doing it. I never told anyone about it, because I didn't realize it was something out of the ordinary. I think I may have made comments now and then in the course of conversation, assuming that my peers had had the same sort of experiences, but they were mainly passed away as dirty jokes or things said to purposely cause a stir.
I had a bit more of sense that it was wrong when she prostituted me because of the way people acted towards it. She was extremely secretive about it, and I picked up on that, even before I learned to talk. I knew that there must be something wrong about what she was doing but I never connected it with the sex acts performed upon me. I think that I felt the "wrong"ness had something to do with the exchange of money (because it was always done so carefully and secretely) rather than the fact that I was being molested and raped. It was already a fact in my mind that I existed for the pleasure of others, and it just never occured to me that this could be a lie.
My abuse continued on through adolescence and I never really resisted anymore. I feel like I might be partly responsible for the abuse that occured after age 10 because I didn't really resist very much when my stepfather or mother forced me to have sex with them. Resistance just didn't seem like an option. It didn't seem logical to me. The only image I had of myself was that I was too stupid and bad to be anything but an object, a sex toy, someone's punching bag. I gave myself up to them because I didn't know any better, but I did give myself up, so I think that it's my fault.
When I was 14 people stopped forcing me into sex but I felt confused and lost without it so I sold myself. I didn't know a life without abuse and I had no idea what to do with myself when there was none. I gradually began to understand (mostly just through my surroundings; no one ever spoke to me directly about it) that it was not a normal thing for a child to be beaten, sold, and sexually abused. I still thought that it was all I was good for, but I did finally understand that these were not things that happened in every family.
Going to prison further cemented the idea that I was an object for pleasure. They told me this; they used some of the same words my mother did a decade and a half earlier. I believed them; they weren't telling me anything I didn't already know. I was no good for anything but to be beaten and used for sex.
Someone there started to love me for things other than my body, and things began to change, but then I was let out of prison and fell back into old habits.
It was almost a year ago that I first started to re-teach myself. My partner (new at the time) helped me immensely; I couldn't do this without him. He told me that I was a wonderful and beautiful person and was good for so much more than a sexual object. I admit that I don't believe him yet about being wonderful and beautiful but I am re-teaching myself now about what I really am good for. I'm sure I am good for more than sex. I'm not smart and I'm not socially competent and I'm not a very good person but I know for sure there must be something else I can do. I'm still trying to find worth in myself but I know for sure it's there. Everyone has worth, at least a little of it. Even the laziest or stupidest or sickest person out there has some worth. Even our perps had worth, but they let it be smothered by the bad in them. I won't let that happen. I'll find that worth and let it shine.