Just last night (16-17 Jan í12) these came to me as I was trying to get to sleep.
She married him in the fall when I was over 5 Ĺ. This memory is during the summer so I must be about 6 Ĺ.
Iím wearing yellow cotton pajamas with little red and brown cowboys printed on them. They have short sleeves and short pants.
He is making a big fuss about how I shouldnít wear undershorts to bed under my pajamas. She doesnít understand why this should be a big deal. They argue/discuss it for a while. She gives in. He orders me to go take off the underwear. I feel funny about it but I obey. Ö
Ö It gets so that I donít like to go to bed. I hate having the nightmares and recurring dreams.
I am older Ė probably 11 or 12. By this time I am well into puberty and quite well developed sexually, but my body is still young looking and physically small otherwise. I have nightmares frequently. I donít sleep well. Sometimes during my nightmares I make a big disturbance and they come in to settle me down. Sometimes I am partially aware of the reality around me but still stuck in the dream and canít get awake. I am seeing, feeling, experiencing both things like a double exposure.
One night I am dreaming and thrashing around and shouting out and they both come in. I am afraid of him. I wish she would help me but she doesnít if he is around. Even if he is not there she doesnít do anything to help, but at least it is better. But they are both here now. I am disturbed and afraid in the dream and crying and then I am also disturbed and afraid in reality because he is there. And I canít get out of the dream. And I think maybe the dream is not as bad as waking up anyway.
I hear them talking and laughing. Sometimes they talk to me but I canít make any sense of it. Sometimes they talk to each other and then suddenly I understand what they are saying. Apparently I have an erection and it is poking out of the fly of my pajamas. They are looking at it and talking about it and laughing and making fun of me. I am ashamed and canít get away. There is no way to hide. I doní know what happens next. There is no more memory. I think I go back deeper into the dream to get away from them. I have never remembered this again until now.
Suddenly I am wide awake. I am shocked to remember this event. I thought I had already remembered everything that had happened. But I know it is true. Lying in the dark last night I could almost hear their voices. And I have physical proof that it happened. As soon as the memory popped into my mind last night, my erection popped up too. It is as though my body is confirming for me the reality of the memory by making me relive the physical sensation of the circumstances. There is a strong connection between my mind and my body that I have never known before. I feel the same shame and inferiority and rejection and condemnation as I did back then. And I also feel sadness and grief for that child and a glimmer of anger toward those adults.
Why didn't she recognize that something was wrong?
Why didn't she do something to protect me?
Why did she let him get away with it?
How could she deny that something happened to me all these years?
Edited by traveler (01/16/12 11:00 PM)
"the scariest thing about abuse of any shape or form, is, in my opinion, not the abuse itself, but that if it continues it can begin to feel commonplace and eventually acceptable."
- Alan Cumming, "Not My Father's Son"