I was deeply screwed up sexually long before my perp came along. When my sister and I were very young children (about 1st grade,) our parents went away for the weekend and left us with friends. We, being curious children, wanted to know what the difference was between boys and girls. Not knowing what was to come, we took off our jammies and looked at each other. Neither of us was anywhere near knowing anything about sex, and I distinctly remember the episode was non-traumatic in any way for either one of us.
The next day, however, the couple who were watching us went thermonuclear. They spent close to an hour SCREAMING at us. I was a filthy little pervert (since I presumably initiated it,) I committed incest with my sister (they explained it since I had no idea what that was,) and they even went so far as to ask me, rhetorically, what "rape" was. They then explained that it's forcing someone to do what I did.
I sat in a chair in the living room from 8 am until 5 pm (NINE hours) having a full-blown panic attack, crying and wondering what I had done. If either of the couple so much as walked by me, all they would say was "wait until your parents get here!" I think I might have left the chair to throw up but I'm not sure.
Thus, my first exposure to "sex" (whatever that was) and another person's body was criminalized. I trusted these people, so when they called me a "filthy little pervert," I believed them. Henceforth I saw myself as some sort of deviant, and my body, other people's bodies, and sex itself were internalized in me as the filthiest, most immoral things I could think of. I learned that lesson way too well. I also learned that I couldn't trust my own judgment since what we did seemed so natural.
Part Two of my descent into hell had to do with a neighborhood bully. He beat the shit out of me at least once and terrorized me from first grade until we moved in sixth grade. For five years I was afraid to leave my front yard. He had to walk past my house to get to school, so walking to school was a daily exercise in terror. He was a real freak. I was the most docile, passive person you could imagine so I know I didn't start whatever his problem was. There was no way I could fight back (I tried) so all I could do was take it. This caused me to feel even more shameful and the isolation I would have for much of my life started here.
So what about my parents? Well, my mom and dad were clueless. They were constantly fighting over money (I often heard about the medical costs from my birth, which had complications) and they really should have divorced. They had nothing but contempt for each other and no time to stop and figure out why their previously happy son was so fearful and withdrawn.
My dad had (and still has) two ways of responding to anything I told him about any interests in my life. One way was to turn it into a really insulting wisecrack. The second way was to throw it in my face whenever he got angry with me over something. I often heard, "If you weren't so damn interested in (x), maybe you would have remembered to take the trash cans out!" or something similar. I knew from the earliest age that the only way to survive him was to clam up. Arguing with either of my parents simply wasn't an option (they just got meaner and nastier) so it was less painful to just take it.
So at this point in my childhood, I was a sexually scarred, lonely, isolated little kid afraid to leave his bedroom. I was a rapist. I committed incest. My self-image, my body image and what little I knew about sexuality were basically equals-- the filthiest things I could imagine. I HATED myself. I had no male role model (I certainly didn't want to be anything like my dad) and my mom had issues that kept me from ever getting close until later when codependency set in. (I won't go into that here.) Now the stage was set-- let's bring in the perp.
Rod (my perp) was, in short, everything I was not. He was like a big brother when all I had was a sister who could never refer to me without using the term "stupid." He played football in an older kids' league (I was clumsy and generally not one you would pick for your team.) He was only a year or two older than me. Physically, he was tall for his age, broad-shouldered, lanky and tan from trips to the beach and all the sports he played. I, on the other hand, was a pale, clumsy, stunted kid who liked only to read and hide in his room. I didn't just envy him, I idolized him.
Then one day it happened. (TRIGGERS HERE.) We were playing in the backyard in a two-story fort my dad had built for me out of scraps of lumber. We were playing war, so he suggested we take our shirts off to bind up our wounds. I complied, thinking nothing of it. I was, after all, in fourth grade. He pulled down his shorts and underwear and started playing with his penis (which, incidentally, was freakishly large. Yup, penis envy going forward on top of all this!) He told me I should do it too and that it felt good. I didn't want to and he persisted. He leaned forward, unzipped my pants and started to fondle me. I didn't want to do it but it felt good. Then, he performed oral on me.
(TRIGGERS CONTINUE) I told him to stop but he said I should just enjoy it. When I threatened to leave, he said if I told anyone he would say I started it. He kept going and I blush to say it but it felt like the greatest thing I ever imagined. He made me reciprocate as well. (END TRIGGERS)
This went on from about fourth grade through seventh grade and a few times into high school. I felt like, since I enjoyed it, I must be gay. Even though I had girlfriends in high school, deep down I couldn't rectify enjoying sex from a male and not being homosexual. Now the feelings I had "learned" from that episode with my sister intensified. Not only was I a freak and a filthy little pervert, I was obviously gay.
While this was going on, I began to have panic attacks and migraines followed by bouts of nausea. These happened at least three times a week. I also started having suicidal fantasies every day on the way to school. My mom's response was to punish me. "You're just being psychosomatic!" was what she would say every time I got sick. We went once to the family doctor who found nothing wrong, and that was it.
By now, I had pretty much shut down. The intervening years (between sixth grade and now) were marked with more isolation, fear of male friendships, sporadic relationships with women, and various compulsive behaviors.
It's been a very long road rebuilding myself from the ground up, from scratch. I've only been working on the csa aspects of this for about 8 weeks but have made a tremendous amount of progress. Now that I have a wonderful T, a loving wife, a daughter I adore, and lots of support from people at my church, I fully expect to recover. I can't unring the bell and make the past go away but I can render it irrelevant. (There's more I want to say but this is it for now.)
Fellow survivors, thanks for posting your stories. A LOT of my healing has come out of them! MS, thank you for making this blog space available. You don't know how much it means.
gettingstronger (aka Bob.)
If you have to rebuild yourself from the ground up, you get to do it the right way this time. And YOU'RE the builder.