***Probable Triggers Within***
I figure the time is nigh I finally start to talk about this with others who have "been there" in a sense. It's taken me almost two decades to write what I am now, two decades of what I can only describe as an inner hell within my head.
When I was nine years old my family moved from the city out to the suburbs. Not an ideal situation, but we made the best of it. But it was not a fun time for me. Losing all of my friends, going to a new school, well, that's tough on a kid. It can be intimidating, meeting all these new people and all, especially when you were a kid like me, always the shy type, bullied a lot by a kid who in spite of everything you were friends with (an early lesson in codependency, I suppose).
But at least living out nearby was family. My grandparents and my uncle shared a suburban split-level. Now they were all very damaged people I have come to realize. My grandfather came from a broken home himself, and my grandmother...was very mentally ill. She abused her children horrifically, and my uncle caught the worst of it. She herself was abused, and there are dark whispers that she herself was molested as a child, but no one will say more. In spite of the beatings and other abuse, he lived at that house for all but a single year of his life. My mother always said he was a gentle soul, but one who had demons he couldn't face. He was a heroin addict, and it had taken its toll.
To this day I have no idea why my parents thought it would be a great idea for him to babysit me. Perhaps they themselves could not see it, coming from their backgrounds. Or maybe they were simply too busy with the move and other life adjustments. I can only speculate.
At any rate, at about that time, my sonofabitch uncle started to do things to me. I hadn't made many friends at school at first, and, feeling somewhat abandoned by my parents (who never really were there for me at that age), I was starved for affection, and I was happy to find it anywhere I could. Why would my uncle, who had taken care of me since I was a baby, harm me? He loved me, and he said many times he would never hurt me. He even bought me little gifts and whatnot.
Well looking back I can see how it happened. That's the horror of hindsight. I was suckered right in, and it was horrific. In his squalid room he raped me, sometimes in the mouth, sometimes anally. And it was horrible, but yet it still felt good in a way.
I don't remember how long it continued, or how or when it stopped. I've block that part out from my memory. After than, I became incredibly withdrawn, but also prone to emotional outbursts. In the third grade, a year after the abuse started, my teacher, not knowing what to make of me, sent me off to special ed. That didn't last long; I was too damn bright, and in spite of it all I excelled academically. I guess I was driven to do so, for someone to notice me that way.
Things did not improve in middle school; emotionally I was a wreck, and, being so withdrawn, and refusing to read people, they diagnosed me with asperger's syndrome. I went along with it; maybe it was good that I was a machine, that I didn't have to feel or read people. Because I had been hurt so badly, violated so profoundly, that it seemed to be a better explanation for everything that happened. I'd lost my faith in god, in my family, and everything in between. I found refuge in my grandfather, who, blind to the abuse, still cared for me more than anyone. It was his passing in 2009 that really began the road to my recovery.
I still never really connected with people throughout high school; never went on dates (never had any interest; anybody touching me was horrific), and I became obese. I suppose part of me decided that I was horrible and unattractive, so I better look as I feel. I still did well academically; hell, I threw myself into my work, it was the only thing keeping the demons at bay. My childhood friend--the girl everyone said I would marry--tried to get to me. I knew she loved me, but I literally ran, in one case, from her affections. I craved it, yet I could not handle it. This pattern would repeat itself over and over again in my life.
And so through college. Same pattern. But I took refuge in my passion--art conservation. Something about researching the past, making new and clean what was broken and dirty, naturally, that appealed to me. I realize now that was all part of my search, my search for an answer. Even now, as I sit, pondering the family genealogy I've compiled, I'm left with more questions than answers. It's more than revealing, I hate to say; seven, eight generations of
And then in 2010 my uncle died of an overdose, surrounded by the squalor of his life.
Seeing what his life had become, it started something in me. Seeing what his life had become. I had to clean out the house, and though it was terribly cathartic, it put wheels in motion I'd never thought about before. Vague snippets of memory, stories from the past.
I tried to start dating in grad school. I'd all but forgotten the abuse. It was my first real sexual encounter that loosed the flood of memories, and they haven't stopped since. She was married, you see, and when I found out that she had been "using" me to get at her husband that must have set me off. Well that sent me down many dark path. Obsessed with the idea that I wasn't good enough, I started drinking heavily. I took up running, running some 2, 3 hours a day, losing about 70 pounds in a year.
But in the end I simply could not outrun my problems. They caught up to me, and the intensity of the emotions almost drew me to kill myself on several occasions. Were it not for happenstance and caring, I would not be writing this today.
Now, sixteen years after the initiation, I have entered therapy, and though I have come a long way, there is still very, very far to go. I still struggle with touch, with intimacy of any kind, to find meaning and hope in this world. I would not be here if it wasn't for the support of my friends and those who love me, and some days I fear I may let them down yet. But I have to take each day as it comes, for better or worse.
Edited by ModTeam (01/24/13 09:52 PM)