Writing about abuse

There is a post I’ve wanted to write for a while now. It is about my history of being an abuse victim and then an abuse survivor. Wash, rinse, repeat. Without a doubt, the majority of the abuse I’ve experienced is emotional. However, a great deal of the emotional abuse is tied to sexual abuse. I sat up in bed after watching programs on the DVR that needed to be erased and told myself, “I’m going to do it.” I tried and I couldn’t. You see, it isn’t enough that I write about my own experiences. I have to include the statistics and other data because that’s what one does when one is a finder of fact. It’s second nature. However, when I began searching for the stats I used to know by heart, I found that my insides began to throb. I felt as if there were some tumor growing in the center of my rib cage as I read. Finally, I had to accept that, at least for now, I can’t do it. That isn’t to say I won’t be able to do it tomorrow or the next day or next week. I just can’t do it now because I’m too close to last week’s events surrounding Glenn and reading old journals that definitely portrayed him as an abuser. Granted, his method was emotional, but it was definitely abusive. He plans to continue, but I’m not a teenager or a 20-something or even a 30-something. I, very literally, have a spine of titanium. I forget that a lot of times because I’ve been conditioned by experience to believe consciously or unconsciously that the abuse–be it emotional or sexual–was somehow my fault and that I am wrong to fight back. The part about it being wrong to fight back is something I lay squarely at the feet of my mother and her family. For them, perception was/is everything. You didn’t complain. You quietly endured whatever and whoever befell you like a proper lady. I had to learn that I had a right to defend myself. I still have to actively remember to remember that fact when it shouldn’t even be a question.

I need to write so badly that I ache. I want to scream and shout and pound my fist into the wall because I so want to write but I can’t. I can’t because I’ve written so much about this one person and one subject that I’ll lose the little family that’s developed here even though I started this blog for myself and myself only. If people chose to take the ride with me, great. If they decided to by-pass it, oh well. Now, I’ve gotten spoiled. It’s sort of ridiculous, really. If I want an audience per se, I can go on over to my other blog and write something that will get attention and publicize it. I don’t do that here. This is the space I set up where extremely few people know who I am, leaving me free to write whatever the hell I want to write about. Well, right now, I need to write about abuse and I need to write about Glenn and I need to make what’s in my head real by putting it in writing. The only thing I want to know about Glenn is why he’s been so damn hostile ever since I came out to him 20 years ago. The string of homophobic hatred that came across my screen that fateful day was shocking and as deadly as ninja throwing stars. It was so shocking and damaging that I actually forgot about it until I read my journal entries. Asking him is pointless because he’s not talking to me. Even if he were, he’d never actually explain anything. He never has and he never will. It’s as though he believes he’s got some God-given right to do and say whatever he pleases and not explain or talk about it at all. And if you’re outside of his circle, you are fair game to be mistreated in any way that amuses him at the time. He did it to me for two years as I “chased” him, something to which I will readily admit. I was 16 at the time and he was Glenn.

I’m sorry, but I have to say this: that S.O.B. hurt me. I know that was his plan and that my pain gives him pleasure. He is a non-consensual sadist. That, too, was part of his tirade that day a decade ago. He’s like a domestic canine-wolf cross. You never know what behavior you’ll get. Will it be more wolf-like or more domestic canine? He can, and frequently is, quite cruel. He is also quite charming when he chooses to be. As a former mutual friend said, so I’ve read, he’s frequently overwhelmed and confused. This is true. His way of dealing is to run or strike before he feels he’s about to be struck (figuratively, that is) or both. Reading, he’s not someone I want to be with again. He’s got a domestic canine side that I loved dearly. Now, the only thing I experience is the rabid wolf. Mind you, I absolutely love and adore wolves and give most of my meager budget for charitable causes to efforts to save wolves and to the ASPCA. Therefore, in a sense, I’m libeling wolves. *looks west toward Michigan and beyond* Sorry guys!

I am trying to recover as quickly as possible from last week. I need to move on because I wasted an entire week on him that I really didn’t have to waste. To show how hurried I’ve been, I wrote a thousand word post, thought I’d uploaded it, didn’t see it hours later and went to look for it in “Drafts,” then realized I’d erased all of my drafts to create more space on my iPhone. I wanted to scream. I feel a lot of pressure to “get over it” even though I know it’s not that simple. I feel a pressure to just shut up about it already and I can’t. I’m wondering if I shouldn’t just set up another blog where I am the only person who can see what I’ve written.

OK, I think I’m beginning to kind of understand what I’m feeling. Some of my thought pattern is the PTSD rearing its head. I have noticed that I feel as though I’m on the edge of a cliff about to fall off if I take one misstep. I also feel as though no one will like me if I say one more word about HIM. Honestly, I don’t want to write about HIM, but how do I not and still write about the pain I’m in? I can’t have it both ways–at least not here.

In trying to write about my experiences with abuse, I ran across a list of some of the effects of childhood sexual abuse on the site PANdora’s Box.

  • Long term effects of child abuse include fear, anxiety, depression, anger, hostility, inappropriate sexual behavior, poor self esteem, tendency toward substance abuse and difficulty with close relationships.
  • Clinical findings of adult victims of sexual abuse include problems in interpersonal relationships associated with an underlying mistrust. Generally, adult victims of incest have a severely strained relationship with their parents that is marked by feelings of mistrust, fear, ambivalence, hatred, and betrayal. These feelings may extend to all family members.
  • Sexual victimization may profoundly interfere with and alter the development of attitudes toward self, sexuality, and trusting relationships during the critical early years of development.

That’s not the full list, but what’s there describes me. I have tried so hard to overcome the filth of my mother’s second husband since I was in my 20s. I’ve probably made a lot of progress, but right now, I feel as though I’ve failed myself and others. My head knows that I’ve made a great deal of progress and asks who these “others” are. I think the “others” are those who couldn’t get close to me because I was afraid. Those I did allow in were often abusive themselves and subsequently abused me. I have to fight to maintain self-esteem. It took me a lot of time to accept that I deserved better than HIM. Having done so, I’m afraid of slipping back because I have so many questions. I’ve never been good at accepting that there are questions about people for which I’ll never get answers. I’m the kind of person who absolutely must understand things of importance, especially when what I’m trying to understand is an emotion or act be it mine or someone else’s. I know a lot of people who hate the word “closure,” but it is what I truly do need. Otherwise, I am left with holes that are very dangerous because I will inevitably try to fill them with either another person or some idea I’ll settle on that may not be very complimentary to me.

OK, I’ve written nearly 1500 words. It’s time to end this. I’m at the same place I began. I have a knot in my chest and I want to scream.

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