Tag Archive | sexuality

Don’t Lament Time Lost Healing – Recovering From Sexual Abuse

http://positiveoutlooksblog.com/2012/11/03/right-time-quotes/ Click to visit the original post I used to struggle with this one. I guess I still do a bit – the idea that I am only now growing up and taking charge of my life, that I missed out on a ‘normal’ childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. That type of thinking gets us no where fast. Better to think that all those earlier years were not lost, not wasted, but shaped us into who we are now. Of course that thought was not comforting at all when I did not like myself, or even accept myself. Actually added to my ‘life is pointless’ train of thought.  I guess every abuse survivor gets stuck on the “Why me?” every now and then. I don’t have an answer for that, and I suppose I never will. But I have mostly accepted that and am now able to define myself in other ways. Yes, I am an abuse survivor. Yes that shaped who I am. But it didn’t shape all of me. I have been me all along. And the parts that have been shaped, are still capable of being shaped. People are much more like clay than stone. Life makes impressions on us, may even flatten us at times, but it is never too late to get back on the potter’s wheel and take another spin. Every day we have another chance to shape ourselves – and the possibilities really are endless!

I have recently discovered so many parts of me, my attitudes, my inner thoughts, my beliefs, my actions, and my perceptions were all shaped by my childhood. I have discussed before the need to sever the taproot of my monstrous father that was still feeding me foul, putrid lies. Many of my beliefs came crashing down on me this past November when I questioned again, if I could ever be happy in my marriage. We had come so far into the world of intimacy – I felt closer to my husband than ever, closer to him than to anyone, closer than I ever thought possible. But then I panicked. I felt trapped into ignoring my past, pretending I was not in daily pain and triggered with horrifying memories when he touched me. I realized that disassociating my present mind into some other safe place had become such a habit that I didn’t even know I was doing it. And then I didn’t know if I could stop. I wanted to turn back time and un-realize this. I didn’t think I was capable of healing my sexuality. I thought the task was too large. I thought that my Dad had done too much damage to my spirit to ever allow someone to connect to me spiritually. I was wrong. I started reading The Sexual Healing Journey, by Wendy Maltz, a few months ago. I finally finished it last week. This was NOT an easy task, to read this book, to face my troubles, and wonder if there was any hope. I highly recommend this book to any adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse – but only when you are ready, and only if you have support. I had my therapist and my husband, all 3 of us working together to understand, and then to heal.

The book starts out fairly early with a chart that literally blew my mind. I had no idea I had so many unhealthy thoughts, attitudes, habits, behaviors, and feelings about sex. I have included the chart below. I’m not listing out which ones I had specifically, but let’s say only about 3 of these fell onto the healthy side. I was literally shaking and in tears after just reading this chart and realizing all the work I had to do to heal myself, and have a healthy relationship with my husband. It was honestly all too much, combined with Thanksgiving stresses (I have not shared that story yet – just too much to tell) and I felt like I had to start on my own, without Hubby any where near me while I sorted things out. And that was another huge reason for our healing separation back in November, when he stayed at his parents’ house for a while. We weren’t bickering about taking out the trash or disagreeing about raising kids – we were trying to recover from my childhood trauma. Something worth mentioning here – Hubby did not have many unhealthy views of sex at all. And he had no idea, that all these years, these were my inner thoughts. It was devastating to us both. To think that I had 18 years of marriage with so many unhealthy thoughts and behaviors. At first I was so saddened by this that I could not function. I was angry at life for damaging me. But then, slowly, I started to read more of this book, talk more to my therapist and Hubby, and started thinking, “What if I can get better? I could have a whole healthy life ahead of me to look forward to, to share with a man who loves me! What if this book is right? What if I really can actually heal, and not just tolerate being hurt and unhealthy?” And so I jumped in to this messy business of healing. I threw out every idea I had, and was ready to start over. I’ll try to fill in some of the details of the past few months in a few more posts here, but as you can imagine, this is not easy to write about, and even harder to hit that publish button. But I know I am not alone in my struggles, and if my words can help even one other person, be it someone who was abused, or someone who loves someone who was abused, well, then, I can hit publish.

Sexual Abuse and Addiction

Healthy Sex

Sex is uncontrollable energy Sex is controllable energy
Sex is an obligation Sex is a choice
Sex is addictive Sex is a natural drive
Sex is hurtful Sex is nurturing, healing
Sex is a condition for love or devoid of love Sex is an expression of love
Sex is “doing to” someone Sex is sharing with someone;
sex is part of who I am
Sex is void of communication Sex requires communication
Sex is secretive Sex is private
Sex is exploitative Sex is respectful
Sex is deceitful Sex is honest
Sex benefits one person Sex is mutual
Sex is emotionally distant Sex is intimate
Sex is irresponsible Sex is responsible
Sex is unsafe Sex is safe
Sex has no limits Sex has boundaries
Sex is power over someone Sex is empowering
Sex requires a double life Sex enhances who you really are
Sex compromises your values Sex reflects your values
Sex feels shameful Sex enhances self esteem

Chart From the Sexual Healing Journey, by Wendy Maltz

 

 

 

More resources from Wendy Maltz at http://www.healthysex.com/

Life is Different Today

As I go up and down, as one commenter said, even zigzag through life, I’m starting to see that some events change my life, and that some don’t. Well life is different today. I am calm and looking to a different future. Therapy yesterday has given me new understanding.

I feel like I have given my marriage everything that I can right now. It has consumed me. The effort of making a broken relationship function properly has nearly done me in – again. That is why I dream of escaping and can’t enjoy my children. I’m all used up. Everything is just work, just too hard.

Hubby and I do well as friends, enjoy time together when we are alone, eating out, dating and drinking. But remove the fun and alcohol, and add in kids, chaos, sex and intimacy, stress and daily life, and well, it just does not work. Old resentments and old routines always surface. There are too many things I can’t forgive, both in him, and in myself. The pain is too real, and bigger than the both of us.

Our counselors have both told us they don’t think this relationship can heal. What? Aren’t they supposed to be positive we can work it out? Well, maybe not always. They did not tell us to stop trying completely, but they did tell us we need a break from one another. A break from the trying and constant effort and stress to regroup and just breathe.

I have put Hubby in a terrible place, where he feels he needs to be perfect for me to love him. I know that place is terrible, because I grew up there, and I will not stay in that position, feeling like I am my parents and he is the struggling child trying endlessly to please me. No matter how much I tell Hubby to stop being sorry and saying sorry, he feels the constant need for my approval. His happiness depends on my mood, and I feel responsible for him. Just like I felt with my Dad. Yes, I said it. Just like with my Dad. Well, fel, not feel – past tense, now that I understand what this is – I can no longer do this.

Over the years, I have told him many times that although I love him, appreciate him, feel grateful to him, and often enjoy being with him – I have never felt like I am in love with him. There just has to be something else for him to be the love of my life, just has to be. In my twenties and plunges into depression, this feeling of emptiness was blamed on my depression. He would convince me to hang on, that my feelings would change when I feel better. I hung on and tried. During my thirties we were all in survival mode. I had so many babies so quickly (not quite planned that way – stupid malfunctioning ovaries – but I can’t imagine not having my little ones, well, except when I’m worn out and dream of tropical islands, but anyways . . .) and we had barely enough money to pay half the bills each month, and it was pure hell. We filed bankruptcy when the first was just a few months old. We sent out resumes daily for him, and he was forced to accept the first low-paying entry job that he could. His stress at that terrible job left him unable to support me and babies emotionally. I think now he sank into his own depression there, and I felt abandoned. For about 8 years this went on, with me and kids as a unit, and him as an outsider. We took care of him and got little in return, except fear from his temper and yelling.

For the past 2 years, I have been trying day in and day out to make this family what it should be. I have read every book, blog out there. I have gone to therapy. I have even prayed, which is not a habit of mine, but I had to try everything.

But sadly, I can no longer play the good wifey role. I need a break. I realized this week that some of my resentments actually stem from my mind/body connection, or rather my survivor’s ability to disconnect mind and body. In our early years together, the flashbacks of my dad’s abuse would be so terrifying, but I knew from a past relationship that I could not share that with Hubby. Instead I suffered in silence through years of intimacy combined with terror. I learned to listen to my body and react to the pleasure and shut off my brain and heart. I suppose that is what prostitutes must do, wow, eww, just had that thought. Eventually the flashbacks faded, but I never had a desire for my husband. My body would want him, as a need, like my stomach feels hunger. But there was never any emotional desire. So sad. Sad because for years I accepted that life. I never thought I deserved more, or could even ask for more.

And so I am left with a man, that I often fear and resent, one that I feel responsible for making him happy – not one that I desire. And I don’t know how to get past that.

And so, we will be spending separate holidays this year. Him at his parent’s house with the kids, me home alone. I’m sad that it has come to this, but really just feel relief to get the break I so desperately need. Will we need a more permanent separation, or at least a longer separation after this week? I don’t know yet. My guess is ‘yes’, his guess is ‘no’. He does not want to leave me. He still does not understand any of this. But he can’t keep me forever in this state of twisted obligation. I need to be me, and that seems impossible while trying to love him.

Crying All Night, but Not Alone

Last night was terrible. Just putting it out there, it was absolutely terrible.

I was unable to work yesterday, answered a few emails to remain on the radar, but could not actually work. The numbers were all swirly. I was still stuck in the dark thoughts and feeling like I let Hubby down.

MIL came and took kids out to a Halloween party, and HUbby and I had a dinner alone. I did not enjoy it. I wasn’t hungry. The restaurant was noisy, and I was edgy hearing so many voices and snippets of other conversations. My eyes still burned from so much crying tha past few days. And when I looked in Hubby’s eyes, I felt tears waiting again. So we chatted a bit, but did not linger there.

Even just a week ago, I would have flirted with Hubby, like hmm, the kids are gone for a few hours, whatever will we do here all alone, wink, wink. So I said the words, but didn’t really feel anything physically in me. Still numb. So we watched TV, got kids in bed, watched more TV, and went to bed together. I could tell Hubby got my flirty messages and wanted me. I wanted him too, or my mind did, but my body was not responding. I was not scared, no flashbacks or memories, just no response. I tried to go along with it, but I just had to tell him I wasn’t feeling right. And then I sobbed uncontrollably while he held me. It was terrible. I told him I was sorry. I told him it wasn’t his fault. He said it was ok.

I used to feel like this all the time, and wouldn’t stop him. I’d go through the motions, but never really feel anything. I didn’t want to do that, couldn’t do that any more. And so we stopped, and I felt so terrible. Because he was finally showing his needs to me, and now he will be holding back again. I hate to take such a huge step backwards in our marriage and intimacy. I hat taking a huge step backwards in my recovery. How did I get here again? I know I can get back, I have not lost hope, nothing like that. Such sheer frustration that my stupid body can actually turn off. People talk about being turned on, or that’s such a turn off, but for me that means something else entirely.

So how long until I get my mojo back? How much will my marriage suffer while we wait? Why did it leave in the first place? All unanswered questions.

Reactions to another post, Protecting our children from sexual abuse

I read this post at another blog and had so many reactions to it. Some were very intense, and I was not able to immediately write and share. I am finally ready. Thank you to Morven for posting such a difficult, but important topic.

Please note, my intention is not to agree or disagree, but to share my point of view after reading something like this as an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, and as a mother of young children. I’m going to copy and comment on parts here, but you can read the original at the link below.

http://morvensblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/protecting-our-children-from-sexual-abuse/#comment-1068

Teach children to use the proper names of their body parts. Just as you teach your children to call their nose a nose, they need to know what to call their private parts. This knowledge gives children the correct language needed for understanding their bodies, for asking questions they might have, expressing concern about parts of their body, and for telling about any behavior regarding sexual abuse.

I did not grow up in a world where the proper names were proper. As a child, I certainly knew the proper names for vagina and penis, but I would have been scolded or punished for using those “dirty words”. Those words tend to make people uncomfortable and can actually distract from the conversation. I am still uncomfortable using those terms with children. As a teacher, I used the general term “private parts” when necessary to avoid embarrassing kids – or myself – further. It just is not reasonable to ask a 1st grader who slipped on the playground if she hurt her vagina. So we need to have common words, but depending on the age, social situation, and location, sometimes the proper names may not be needed. My own children, still young elementary and preschool aged, call it a “pee-pee” or a “pee-er”. Because that is what it does – it pees. They can also say crotch, privates, butt, boobs, behind, chest, etc. Lots of words, and never any confusion. My eldest niece was raised with the proper terms, and made everyone uncomfortable by asking loudly “why the dog was licking its penis?” at age 3. Socially, it just makes us uncomfortable to hear those words from children, and I think that is ok. As long as you have a word that you and the child understand and everyone is comfortable using, this can vary by family. 

Teach children to set boundaries. Have a child practice moving your hand away from their body within a simple safe touch (like a shoulder or hand) and saying something like, “please stop.” This prepares children to set boundaries with a more uncomfortable or dangerous type of touch. Teach kids that it’s okay to say “NO” to touches or situations that make them feel uncomfortable. You might also consider having them practice interrupting a busy adult to say, “I need help.”

This one bothered me greatly. Just reading this paragraph filled me with fear, anxiety, and anger. Why? A few reasons, but perhaps mainly the thought of even pretending to inappropriately touch my own child, to make them uncomfortable, does not seem right. I could never do this. My young children would not understand anyway. Touching their shoulder and having them say stop will not prepare them for someone all of a sudden touching their privates.  Now we do enforce that “Stop” means stop and support and empower whoever says stop. More so with the siblings wrestling or tickling, that they need to respect each other and stop immediately.  I understand this suggestion, but would never actually do this. Just reading this, made me remember actually saying “stop” and “no” to my brother and my father, who both molested me during my childhood. But these words only work on people that already respect boundaries. They were useless to me as a child. The only way I could actually stop them from touching me, was to leave the room, and that was not always possible. And I didn’t even know I could actually leave the room, or even should leave the room until I was much older. When I was in preschool, I did not understand the sexuality part, and did not even feel uncomfortable enough to say no to Daddy. It was just how he touched me. In preschool, my privates did not seem any different from my knee tickle, or a tummy raspberry, and if Daddy wanted to touch me, I didn’t really care. I remember liking the attention and feeling very special that Daddy loved me so much, and only me. It took a few more years for me to realize what he was really doing. And not until my twenties to fully realize the extent of his grooming, brainwashing and abuse of me. This may be shocking to some. But when you don’t know it is wrong, you just don’t know it is wrong.

I have often thought what happened to me, and how it could have been prevented. But I always come up blank. My Dad knew exactly how to control his family, and orchestrated every step. Could my mom have helped me? If she had done some of these suggestions? If she had talked to me? Well, I think if Mom had talked to me, or actually, had listened to me – ever – then my whole life could have been different. But by the tame I came around, the youngest child, into a family already so dysfunctional, with dad as supreme being and everyone else bowing down to him, Mom just barely survived herself. She did not know exactly what happened in my room. Should she have? Well, I say yes, but, to move on with my life, I can’t just blame her for not stepping in, not following dad when he left her bed each night, for keeping her blinders on. We all feared making daddy angry. Mom was also a victim, and so could not always be a mom. I do think she knows he went into my room, but I have to believe she did not imagine he was capable of molesting me and never thought she needed to protect me from that.  I am not excusing her completely, just trying to explain how complicated living with a brilliant, pedophilic, psychopathic father really was.

that no one is to touch them in their private areas—and that their private areas are the areas their bathing suit covers. Teach them that the “safety rule” is that other people should not be touching or looking at their private parts unless they need to in order to provide care (like a doctor)—and even in those cases, a parent of trusted caregiver should be there with them. Explain to the child that “you need to tell me if anyone—no matter who it is, or how much we love them—breaks this safety rule and touches you inappropriately.” Also explain kids that it is unacceptable for someone else to use manipulation, blackmail, coercion, control, etc to get them touch someone else’s body.

Yes, absolutely! Except for the last sentence. Children don’t understand those concepts, or even those words. Possibly for teenagers, not my little ones. And the problem here, is that my dad made it clear he was the only one supposed to be touching me. My mom never told me that “no one” was to touch me.  I never told anyone when I was little because Daddy told me it was alright. Now my Mom never told me these things, she never told me much, other than not to interrupt her and other grownups. So I do wonder if she had known to tell me this, would it have helped? I’m thinking no, because I think it would have been impossible for a 3 year old to mistrust her dad. Daddy was always right. Always. So these suggestions may help older children, which I think many people assume sexual abuse happens to girls who are sexy, but pedophiles start grooming quite young. Way before sexy.

that their bodies belong to them and they can make choices related to the boundaries of their bodies.Let children know that it is okay for them to decline a friendly hug or kiss, even from a friend or family member they love. Making kids feel obligated to kiss or hug people when they don’t want to, sends the signal that they must use their bodies to make others happy or that they are responsible for the emotional state of others.If your child doesn’t want to sit on Uncle Joe’s lap and read a book, or if he doesn’t want to kiss Gramma or hug family friend Phil goodbye, don’t force the child. Teach your child multiple ways of greeting people, like high-fives and hand-shakes…or do like the Bromley’s and pass out fist-bump-explosions. 

I do follow that one. My kids have never been required to hug, kiss, sit on laps. Not Grandma, not Auntie, not even Santa. We encourage affection, but respect boundaries. If a kiddo wants to hide behind me while a very loud Auntie seeks out a way too big kiss, well, then, I am happy to be a physical boundary to enforce that psychological boundary. I remember being forced to kiss relatives goodnight and sit on all kinds of laps as a child. It was never my choice what to do with my body, and how or when to express affection. I never learned to be affectionate, only to follow commands. Even now, I don’t naturally feel like hugging anyone, even my own kids sometimes I must remind myself to touch them, that they need it, and it is ok. Once I do, it feels right, and we get all snuggly. But it is not automatic for me. I learned very young that affection was to be hidden, kept secret, or “special” as daddy said.

I decided to finally share this post today because my daughter asked me last night what “sex” is. What??? Panic. Sweat. Die. Run. Smile stupidly while brain races for an answer.

(So I froze up at first, wanted to die rather than answer this, but somehow managed to ask her where she heard the word.  Girly reads many years above her grade level, so characters in her books are older than her. Hmmm. She said someone read a book in her book, and said “it was OK but needed more sex” . I then provided a simple answer based on her context. I said “It is what mommies and daddies, or husbands and wives do together to show they love each other”. She said, ” Oh, like kissing?” I said “yes”. She was satisfied, so I stopped there. I know more will be needed. I hope I did ok for now. I hope she continues to ask me questions, but really I don’t want her to at all. Deep breath. OK. I did it. And I didn’t die.

Oh man, my babies are growing up. I need strength and guidance to continue raising these kiddos, prepare them, love them, guide them, empower them. I am going to make mistakes. But it seems that if the mistakes come from love, then it all works out eventually. Life is meant to be a bumpy ride. So we can’t remove the bumps, but we can give our kids helmets and bandages.

Men CAN actually control themselves, if we expect them to

http://www.cnn.com/2012/09/19/living/women-bodies-public-perception/index.html

This article was going around facebook, and I thought it would be good to share here. Apparently many women are getting tired with being viewed as a sex object, and not owning our bodies.

Women’s rights have come a long way, but we’re not there yet, not at all. I grew up in a house where women were inferior, where our ideas did not matter, and our only purpose was to be pretty and fulfill sexual urges of men at will. My Dad never thought he was wrong, still does not think he was wrong for “enjoying” my body since he was never violent and never hurt me. He always said I was so beautiful he could not control himself.

Every day I am bombarded by sexual images, and some very explicit images when doing innocent google searches. It is actually impossible to completely avoid.

I have come a long way in healing from childhood sexual abuse, and coming to my own understanding of healthy sexuality. The only thing that makes sense to me, is sharing your nakedness with your spouse. Naked should be sacred, and for only one person. I really believe this now very strongly.

And I’m tired of the “Men will be men” attitude that they HAVE to look at porn. Like it is their right, and they can not control themselves. I’m tired of the “Men are wired differently” argument. Guess what? If I look at naked photos, I also get excited, and aroused. News Flash – Women enjoy looking at men! But I now choose to look away, because that is not meant for me, and is disrespectful to my husband. Just because some people choose to give the world permission to watch them online or in videos or magazines, does not make it right for anyone to choose to view it.

I think it is time we hold men (women too of course, though more women already control this) up to a higher standard, and force them to control themselves, and be accountable for their actions.

If someone sat in my living room and offered me free cocaine, I would refuse and ask them to leave. If someone sat in my living room and suddenly starting undressing and touching themselves, I would ask them to stop – and leave. (Unless it is hubby and the kids are asleep, but that’s a different story) But somehow so many people think it is ok to watch porn in their living room. Those are real people, really having sex. Right in front of you. The more I thought about that, the weirder it felt, and easier to see it just isn’t right.

I already posted how I feel about those bars with scantily clad waitresses. And then actual strip clubs make me furious, especially the ones called “gentleman’s club” because to me, a gentleman would protect a woman’s modesty and shield his eyes. And for ages this has been ok, excused behavior for men, to fill some need they have and women don’t. Bulls**t is what I say!! Lusting after anyone except your spouse, even if you were “just looking”, just should not be acceptable.

So I guess we can’t stop the porn industry, and I don’t think we need to all dress in head-to-toe tents, but we can demand our good men to behave like good men. We can demand our men to respect us and all women. We can expect men to control themselves. We can help take the pride and coolness away from objectifying women. As a teenage girl, I would have never been allowed to hang a playgirl poster in my room. But my brothers were encouraged to have swimsuit models in theirs.

I am doing my part by raising respectful boys. I have the same rules for my sons as my I do for my daughter. I don’t allow my boys to be rough and rude and vulgar, because “boys will be boys”. I demand respect for everyone and from everyone in my house. I will teach my boys as they mature that porn is just another temptation in our world, and can be just as dangerous and devastating as drugs or other reckless actions. Yes –  you may enjoy it, it may be free, and it may seem like it is only affecting you. But we must all make the tough choices to be strong and resist all temptation for quick reward to have the most satisfying life, and satisfying world for everyone in it.

This is completely different than how I felt a few years ago. But a few years ago I was still a helpless victim, an abused woman living in a man’s world. Now I see I have to expect respect. We all do. I am no longer afraid, and no one’s victim. I am a woman, and although I am pretty and curvy, I would like the world to see what else I can offer. Pretty and curvy is just a bonus!

Too Sexy for Myself?

I had planned to write a sequential history of my perceptions and feelings about sex. I published part 1 and made it to fifth grade. It is unbelievably difficult to put those middle and high school years down on paper. Too much trauma and confusion to sort through right now.

So I am skipping ahead to a current dilemma of mine. I place very strong judgments on the women I see daily and get very angry at times at what they choose to wear. I get crazy angry at the mothers of young girls who let them wear skimpy clothing. I get super angry at those restaurants that feature busty waitresses in tiny tops. I am nauseated that an “exotic dancing” club is in the mall lot, right next to Target and Kohl’s.

I didn’t realize how deep and strong this anger was until a few days ago. I’m still trying to sort it out. I drive past a billboard for “Tilted Kilts” that advertises itself as the best looking sports pub around. Another has this busty chick holding a tray of beer “Beer has never looked so good”. I want to scream. I hate it.

OK, so no one forced those girls to work there. But it makes me so angry that they do it. It just seems so cheap. Would you like anything else, or just another look at my cleavage? I don’t understand. Anyone I know would be so uncomfortable to eat there.

And yet, I have no problem with girls wearing even less at the beach. And the girls on So You Think You can Dance sure don’t wear much, and no anger there. So I know it isn’t exactly the outfit that bothers me, I guess it is the selling point. The lack of art. They are not dancing, they are selling beer. The difference in cheap thrills, porn and fine art. I don’t know.

I discovered about a year ago, that I had lost all my own femininity. I was hiding all my curves under baggy sweats, XL tshirts, and even often wore hubby’s clothes. Nothing cute, nothing frilly, and certainly nothing flirty. I did not actively choose that, I think it just sort of happened in my efforts to be invisible. I did not want anyone looking at me. I felt like nothing, and wanted to look like nothing.

I have some prettier clothes now that I adore wearing. I pay more attention to my hair and nails. I even have more than 1 pair of shoes now, though I still wear athletic sandals most days, as comfort always comes first. I bought lipstick for the first time since college. But I noticed it is so much easier to flirt with hubby when I think I look pretty. He never said he minded the boyish cover everything clothes, but I can sure tell he enjoys the curve-flattering styles much more! Now, I still dress quite modestly, especially compared to some of my friends. I just don’t feel right showing cleavage to the whole world, that’s just for hubby. I have some tops that hint at cleavage, which to me, is much sexier than letting it all hang out.

Now here’s where it gets difficult. If I wear something sexy or naughty at home, for hubby only, that I equate with those cheap waitress outfits, or worse, with strip clubs, can I respect myself? Does hubby really respect me? I think I do. I think he does.

And I think I answered my initial question then of where this anger comes from. I have no problem with the outfits, but with the girls sharing their goodies with the general public. And for tempting good men to think less of them. To then think less of all women. I guess I think until we no longer have women willing to sell their bodies, we will always have men ready to see them as objects and vice versa.

I grew up as an object, but it was not my choice. I just wonder how those girls convince themselves it is ok. And I fear that whatever monetary gain those waitresses have, will never make up for the loss of self-respect, even if they don’t know it yet.

I wonder how much my past will guide my future. I have not yet let my daughter wear a bikini, short shorts or skirts. Now we’re not extreme, but I dress her like a little girl, not like the current trends. I would also be uncomfortable letting her be a cheerleader. Our high school has extremely short skirts, with a side slit. No idea why they do this to our girls. And Dallas cheerleaders disgust me.

So there. That’s how I feel. Not right or wrong, but personally how I feel. I hate that I think less of those girls, but I do. And if I were trying to run really fast or catch a ball, I certainly would not want a bunch of buff shirtless men strutting around screaming. How are cheerleaders exactly helpful? Oh well, enough, I just don’t understand this world and why some women put themselves in lesser roles. Or what I perceive as lesser roles – maybe I’m too judgy here.  Should I just lighten up? Am I the strange one that I feel embarrassed for these girls?

Getting Naked, Proceed Carefully – part 1

(mature and triggering content)

I started this blog to delve into issues in my life caused by childhood sexual abuse and show that I survived. My father molested me and sexualized me from as early as I can remember, so I assume he started before I was 3. My much older brother molested me for about a year, fuzzy memory here, but I think I was in third or fourth grade. This has of course affected every part of who I am, and made a natural exploration into my own sexuality as an adolescent or young adult impossible.

I’m going to start with some early thoughts and make this a series that gets closer to my current thoughts, if I am brave enough to hit publish on the current ones, that is. Somehow writing about my childhood and adolescence no longer seems like me, and I am able to remove all (some) guilt from my choices. My goal here is to document these early memories and thoughts for myself to examine my progress and growth. My secondary goal is to open discussion to others that were hurt in childhood and offer a safe place to see we are not alone. I can finally discuss these topics with some perspective, and I think (hope) it will no longer trigger terrible depression and anxiety. I guess this is kind of a test for me to too in that way.

I started pursuing boys in Kindergarten. I remember wanting them to like me, no NEEDING them to like me, and to think I was pretty all through elementary school. I needed their attention. I stole kisses in the back of the bus or behind a tree on the playground. I was obsessed by boys, and devastated when they did not return my affection. None of them were friends, we did not play together or even talk much. I always had a boy on my mind, and would doodle his name, draw goofy heart pictures with our initials, practice writing my name with his last name, and always tried to prove my love in terribly embarrassing ways.

By third grade, I had already seen so much porn, and been told so many dirty jokes, that my vocabulary was mature and disgusting. I would try to impress others with this knowledge, and get only blank stares back. I assume they told their moms what I said and were told not to talk to me. Or they just chose not to talk to me on their own, but my dirty mouth never got me any where. I learned not to share my inner world, and became known as “quiet” and “shy”, even though I am not, and never was.

By fourth grade I learned that boys like lace and short skirts, and makeup, and nice hair, and perfume. I was still somewhat a tomboy in appearance, talking trash and climbing trees, but would attempt to “wow” everyone on special dress-up days. I remember one day getting ready for spring pictures. I had a brand new lavender frilly dress, new shiny shoes with small heels, and I asked my mom to do my hair. She had me sleep in her hair rollers, the pink spongy kind, and by morning my hair was huge! That is not recommended for natural curly, way too much hair on one head, like I have. She finished me up with a curling iron and hair spray, and my typical bouncy curls that used to reach mid-back, was curled up with so much volume it was above my shoulders. Think of the wife on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” but much, much bigger. My mom also let me use some lipstick. She told me I looked beautiful and sent me to school, and I felt higher than a kite! I stepped into homeroom, and EVERYONE including the teachers, secretary and principal laughed at me and had to go get other teachers to see me. I can kind of laugh now, but that was devastating. I recall one kid saying I looked like I fell off a boat. Sigh. I ran to the girls’ room and vomited, and then asked to go home. The rest of the year, I did anything to NOT get attention at school. I stopped talking, never dressed up, and got really good at being invisible.

By Fifth grade, they taught us “Life Skills” and I learned many facts about what I had seen in porn and from what my dad and brother were doing to me by that age. I became obsessed with puberty, as in I thought I was ready for it. I thought if I focused hard enough, I could will my body to sprout breasts and start menstruation. I wanted my body to look and feel like my internal thoughts. I wanted boys to love me. I wanted boys to stare at me like Angela, the girl with Double D cups already (ok, probably not, but since most of us had no cup size at all, sure seemed that way in my memory here). I hated her for the attention she got. I thought maybe if I looked grown up, those grown up activities would make sense. I still did not know at that point that it was not normal for dads and brothers to molest little girls. I assumed this happened in every family, and funny (not funny at all really) how life works, but that fact was proven to me in my choice of friends. I connected with another quiet little girl that moved in down my street. I went over there to play on her monkey bars and play that board game with the dice in the pop-up bubble. Very normal kid things. It never crossed my mind to tell anyone that while we played in her room or yard, her grandfather was raping her older sister. We just knew to leave to before he done, lest he come after us. One day he took off his belt and started beating my friend for allowing me to come over, and then he took a step towards me with the belt raised over his head. I ran home, never looked back, and never spoke to her again. I was afraid to get her in trouble. I thought it was my fault she got hurt, and thought she’d be fine if I left her alone.