Locking myself back up

Trigger warning: This post discusses suicide, rape, and child molestation.

I started crying an hour ago, and every few minutes my chest tightens and I feel like dying. I already took a xanax, I’m trying to distract myself but my brain keeps rolling the words around. I actually want to die so that I never think of it again. I’m not a suicidal person, but I can’t get out of this mental trap to remember all the reasons I don’t usually agree with suicide. This hurts too much, and I don’t know how to deal with it or what to do with it to make it just stop.

So there’s the nonsensical part of whats going on. It started with me catching up with whats going on in the world. I headed to one of my favourite news sites, Huffington Post, and soon was lost in a series of tabs I had opened of articles that looked interesting. Something on the sidebar kept catching my eye. I knew I shouldn’t read it, that it would just piss me off. No matter what I read it was still there, so I gave in. I would just be irritated, I would be fine. Maybe I’ll read that article about Firefly after.

The article discusses the judge who sentenced a 49 year old rapist to 30 days in jail. He explains how the 14 year old girl (who committed suicide in 2010, before her 17th birthday) was cognitively older than her physical age, so she may not have consented, but it wasn’t that bad. She was “as much in control of the situation as he was”. She wasn’t forcibly brutally raped after all. It even happened several times, so what was the big deal?

Quote: “Obviously, a 14-year-old can’t consent. I think that people have in mind that this was some violent, forcible, horrible rape,” Baugh told the Billings Gazette. “It was horrible enough as it is just given her age, but it wasn’t this forcible beat-up rape.”

I kept reading those same lines over and over. Why? Twenty two years ago a judge could have said the same thing about me. The judge could have said that about my little sisters. We weren’t beaten, we weren’t threatened. We were manipulated, mentally screwed up until we didn’t know what was happening was even wrong. By the time we were old enough to figure it out (I was around 8 then), it wouldn’t stop. I asked to not have it happen anymore. I was made to feel bad, like it was my job, because my parents were poor, and didn’t pay him to babysit. We were the payment. Besides, it wasn’t so bad, right? No one was beating me up after all. We were friends, right? Three years passed. One day at school one of my sisters said something to a teacher. The teacher called our parents, who asked us. I remember everything from that conversation. How upset my mom was, how furious my dad was. From that moment on, we were saved, safe, from him at least.

We were too young to be at the trial, but we did go through questioning. I know the sentencing details. I know when he gets out of jail, and that he is supposed to be extradited to another state to stand trial, because we had lived in Hawaii as well as Arizona during that 6 year time. I know his son tried to rape me when I was 10, but he has never gone to jail, and likely never will. I know his family supports him, including his father and grandfather who taught him how “fun” children can be.

I was molested, I was raped. It wasn’t brutal, forcible rape. So I’m lucky right? Maybe I was just so advanced for my age when it started (I was 5), that I could consent, at least to that judges opinion. I must have kept consenting, since I let it happen so long. I know this isn’t true. I know that it’s not my fault, and any sane person I’ve talked to would agree. But here is this person, a judge, hell, he could have been the judge on my case, saying that it was my fault.

On a normal day, I don’t think about any of this. Twenty two years and I can’t let myself. I can’t deal with it because I’m afraid of falling apart. What if I do that and can’t put myself back together? I’ve been to every kind of counseling, on medications, and the best I can do is keep it locked up inside. This one thing, one persons opinion, one that can have legal repercussions to similar cases, opens it up and tonight I break. I’ll be better tomorrow. Tonight I’m afraid to sleep, I’m afraid of dreaming.

 

Keeping it Together

If you were to hear me talk about various things throughout my life, some of it is just not normal. I’m not going into many details, but this all comes off as very vague now that I’m reading it, so I’ll give a short description of the bad stuff I’m talking about. My parents are drug addicts, they have been my whole life. We were molested by a “family friend” for 6 years (who is in jail). My parents divorced, but that wasn’t so bad. My mom leaving my dad for her crack addict drug dealing nazi boyfriend was. She left me with my dad because I wouldn’t go. She took my sisters for years, as leverage in the divorce case for money, and to release herself from paying child support. In high school I was in a manipulative repeated date rape relationship, then proceeded to typical relationships with abuse, alcoholics, drug users, and all of the stupid things I could possibly let myself be convinced we’re worth the “love” of another person. And I was raped, a few more times (by women, so there’s a little help knocking that stereotype out of your head). Now, on to the important details.

People can understand bad relationships, and you can end up with various communities of people who had a significant other like yours. This is not where the problems lie.

Shitty things happened when I was growing up. There were times when things were OK, or good, but I knew, from being around other kids, that our life was not normal, not in a healthy sense anyways. I could go into how to define normal and all those basic needs a kid should have. I often say that I didn’t know any different, so how could I know bad things were happening, and for many things this is true. But bad things did happen, those things that either make a person stronger or completely tear them apart, and when they grow up, they’re these glued back together adults that are just repeating their parents mistakes.

I like to think, of my two sisters and I, that I’m the strong one. I keep it together. I graduated high school, never had a drug problem, didn’t get married a billion times, don’t have a bunch of kids running around. If I wasn’t sick, I could easily go back to at least two jobs that I’ve had. As far as I’m concerned, that’s pretty damn successful considering everything we went through.

But, and this is a huge but, I can only do this if I ignore all of the feelings and emotions about that part of my life. We don’t talk about it. I get upset, sometimes my sisters do terrible things, talking about it causes hurricane like shit storms that wipe us out for days. So I lock it all up, like a little room of horrible emotions I cannot deal with.

I can sit here and tell you story after story, and laugh and joke like its OK. It might seem I went through years of therapy to be able to do that. I can tell you what happened, but I can’t tell you how it felt. If I open that door, I am so afraid I won’t be able to close it. That I will fall apart so quickly that I don’t even know if I could survive it. I don’t know whats in there. Only lately I can feel that door trying to burst open. I can feel pain, and anger. Its so overwhelming that I have to force myself to calm down, push it all back in. If they’re just stories of things that happened, just memories in my head, then I don’t have to feel them.

If I let those memories take life, let the emotions out too, feel like my chest is breaking open and my throat is closing, what will all of it do? Where will it go? I don’t want to share these things. They’re horrible, they’re too horrible for even me to know, and I was there. How can I properly tell anyone else and expect their opinions about me and my life not to change? I get sickened at the thought of anyone knowing my life and feeling pity for me, and I’ve lost friends for it.

Two things have been causing everything to suddenly try to break out. The first are several rape awareness groups that I follow online. Suddenly those emotions found a way out, and pushing them back in is harder and harder. I want to help and support these groups, but when they ask for others to share their stories to help everyone know they’re not alone, I find myself shutting down. Its one thing to tell people I was raped, its quite another to say details about those times. I begin yelling “No, no” at the computer and shoving it away from me, like the words will spill out without my control.

The second is just life. For example, watching Shameless brings back memories of my life. I joke that I like the show because at least someones life was worse than mine, pretending a team of writers isn’t making all of it up. Once in a while it hits too close to home. Other days I think about writing, about a story I want to tell, but how do I tell these stories about my life without those feelings that seem so desperate to escape darkening my pages. How do I write to my friends that were around then, knowing I at some point should ask, did this happen to you too, because you stayed at my house? Did being friends with me hurt your life?

I haven’t slept, and I feel sick, more than usual. My brain is cracking open and spilling out so much, too much to feel, to much to live, and so I must retreat back to my bed. I must find things to distract my mind until that door is locked again, and I have the key finally secure.

I refuse to take my xanax for this. I will not dull my pain because I have pathetically lost control.

It could be worse

I am not doing well right now. On top of my normal every day crap, I have a festering tooth that I have to get a root canal on in a few days, and I have my period. Before you go running for the hills thinking I’m going to bitch about feeling crap, I do have a point to make here.

No matter how bad I feel, I remind myself it could always be worse. It helps me feel better and whine less. More people should do that. I don’t know where I got this from, maybe it’s from my parents saying things like “oh you’re bored, well children in Africa are starving.” The downside of this is when your life is worse than someone else’s, and they’re bitching and complaining, there’s not a nice way to tell them to get over it.

For example, I know someone who became a drug addict because her parents got divorced. I’ve never said anything to her, but what a whiny bitch. My parents were crack addicts, I got molested for 6 years by a “family friend”, and then my parents got divorced. Did I become a drug addict? No. Because someone has it worse than me. In all that time that was happening to me, some 12 year old girl in a 3rd world country was probably raped, forced to marry her rapist, then turned into a prostitute by her shitty husband. That’s way worse than my life.

I know that I’m supposed to remember that everyone’s life experience is different, and each persons experiences have their own value. I’m not good at that though. Stop complaining, your life isn’t that bad. Unless you’re that girl in the 3rd world country, then it really is, complain all you want, you totally deserve it.