Why did I choose to survive? I ask and examine this because it was/is truly a “choice.” What did I gain from it? What did I gain from surviving childhood’s hell? I know what I wanted to gain…I wanted to claim my rights to the normal life, the good life I saw all around me.
As a child, I wanted the relaxed, frivolous play enjoyed by my peers. I wanted actual affection from my parents. My mother was in a wheelchair and thus I was greatly raised from infancy by hired help who I now hear were cold and resentful. They came and went with the wind. My parents would recall through the years how strange it was that I withdrew as a baby and as a toddler. They just found it strange…nearly amusing. Physical affection never came either. I can recall no hugs from anyone, especially my father until my sister died when I was 30. But that’s OK. That was certainly survivable.
The violence that peppered my home-life was outright frightening. “Frightening” really does not cover it…more like the most evil horror movie ever made. I remember being regularly kicked so hard in my butt that my feet would leave the floor…re-start the bleeding from “that.” I remember the snarling anger and rage that made me pray for death, salvation, and superman’s rescue. I’d even settle for Batman. I feared dyeing in my sleep so much that I’d stand in the middle of my bedroom floor, far from my bed so as not to be tempted to sleep…stand all night and watch the sun rise. Rather than let anyone know I was awake by moving, I’d urinate into my balled-up pajamas if needed and rinse them later. But that was OK. I survived it.
Then there were the Dreadful Four. Now that I know the how’s and why’s of CSA, I understand their targeting protocol. I had “sex-toy” written all over me. I had “no ramifications” on the great neon sign over my head. When I used my pocket knife to ward-off another “event,” I became universally known as “the dangerous 8 yo with one foot in juvie.” Thus, the Dreadful Four learned all about extortion that summer, and so did I. I became their call-boy for years and there was nothing I could do about it. It got easier and I questioned it less as they seemed so entitled to it, and my life’s role seemed so well defined. That was not so OK, but I survived it because I thought the next life chapter might be better.
Upon my release from bondage I soon learned I could not integrate with the normals. High School culture was so foreign to me that my shredded and decayed self pushed me into a category of rejects. It took me five years to get through HS. I had NO ability to concentrate or to even care about academics. I felt more like a space alien than a human. Sexual confusion, sexualizing everything and the self image of a whore. . . I have no idea how I survived my teens and 20s, but I did.
So now, in this late chapter of life, I thought I had survived and then thrived quite well. I had a wonderful wife, two kids I love more than anyone can imagine, a suburban home, a mountain house and some rock-star jobs. I had attained and provided the life I wanted for me and now for my kids. It seemed that surviving and trying SO hard was a real solution.
And in this late chapter in life, I’ve lost all…lost everything that I gained as a result of working SO hard to survive and thrive. I though disclosing was honest and constructive. Instead, it revealed that I was actually the un-wanted guest, the scary alien monster, the “how-dare-you” litigant in courts that don’t appreciate victims who walk and talk like a real person.
Life has become painful beyond compare. Sadness walks hand-in-hand with grief. My kids have become distant acquaintances…we’ve lost our bond. I was thrown from the suburban prize like so much dog shit scraped off the front porch. “Ewe…don’t let any of his PTSD get on you!” So why did I choose to survive? I have no clue. I’m too blinded with pain to even begin to figure it out. But I DO know that this highly-evolved and vastly superior society has no tolerance for victims of “certain” crimes. Hell… I’m angry that I survived.
My fault? How's this my fault? [Dean Vernon Wormer, 1978]