*Huge trigger warning, especially towards the bottom. Please, please be careful. I have shared details of my own experiences here, if you would rather not know details of my abuse, please do not read.*
Third post of the day, is that a record?
I went to bed and lay in my husband’s arms. Sleep would not come, so here I am, posting. I need it out and I need to feel less alone.
I am no longer feeling so angry, it seems to have been replaced with a deep hurt.
Today my T said he sensed that I had a need to tell people how I feel about the recent abuse cases in the news (Rotherham). I told him I was too involved to come up with a well thought out argument.
Once at home, I figured out what he meant and what I needed. Rather than tell the world about the abuse in Rotherham, about the failings etc etc, I simply posted on my Facebook that I was feeling angry. It felt particularly important to post it there for friends and family to see. I did have a need. My T was right. I needed them to know that it hurts. They won’t ever know the depths of that pain, but they know I am hurting at least. I even had replies, some even helpful! I think it was the right choice. The anger has certainly dissipated somewhat.
I didn’t realise this would have such an impact on me. I was surprised when my T said he’d thought of me when he heard the news this week. I don’t think I realised until I sort of exploded at him.. how much it has got to me.
It’s too familiar. The way those children (and less face it, that’s what they were- children) were treated by those who should have protected them- it’s so close to my own experience. It reminds me when I really didn’t need the reminder. I have been so close to those aspects of my abuse for a few weeks now. Up until this week, it was at my pace and relatively controlled.
This feels intrusive, the reactions particularly. The continued blaming of victims. People are outraged, they want someone to be held accountable, while at the same time victim blaming and shaming, and with denial of what really went on. And that is why this continues. Nothing changes.
It has triggered me in a way I did not expect. I am back to blaming and questioning myself. Back to an inner battle. Maybe it wasn’t as bad as I thought, maybe I didn’t make myself clear? Maybe he didn’t know that it hurt? Maybe I deserved it? :(
My T suggested that it is because the reactions of others I am seeing now are so (and too) similar to my experience back then and as a result I am responding in the way I did then. I took on the blame back then because it was easier. I looked for the good in my abuser, to explain the abuse. And today, I have had a nightmare and several flashbacks of those times I used to use to convince myself he was actually good to me.
Except, I can no longer see those times as good, or positive. Instead they are horrifically traumatic for me. Because now I see the whole picture.
A flashback today- I sat next to him on his couch, holding hands as we watched music videos on TV.. a memory I would remind myself of often.. I used to convince myself that I loved that living room and being with him- as it was away from the monster that lived in the bedroom.
Now that memory is changed, the truth has been revealed to me fully. I remember sitting with him, watching TV, holding hands for sure, but I also remember the time I was pushed to my knees and raped. I remember the many, many times I was taken to his bedroom after watching TV and was forced to lay down on a filthy mattress, where the darkness would ensue and the true hell began.
My safety nets are gone. I am reacting as I did for so long, except now, I see so clearly, those memories do not help me, I am not comforted. Instead, I am suffering.
I used to do what I could to avoid the details of abuse, however, often it isn’t a trigger. Triggers come from the strangest places sometimes and not usually the obvious ones. These abuse cases however, have affected me greatly. I have not searched for details in anyway, I have deliberately not read the reports, but some of the things on the news or in articles, which mentions particular details– Oh they have hurt. They too are familiar.
I am by no means comparing myself to the victims and the horror that they must have endured. :( I was not trafficked- those poor, poor children. :(
The details of the abuse that have hit the headlines have been too close to home. On my posts, sometimes I refer to the abuse as “brutal”, I have used the word “torture”, I have talked of violence. I cannot and will not go into the specifics, or the real details here. It’s easy to read those words and not really take notice. You can read reports and see the words “rape” and read that it was brutal, without really considering the reality of those words for those that went through it.
I have seen rape described as “a bit of unwanted sex”. Rape is violence. Whether the rapist held down their victim, beat them up, or not, they still committed an act of violence, they still took their victim by force. Rape is always horrific. I don’t like to compare and say one experience of rape is worse than another, however, in my own experiences, I can certainly tell which affected me more and which felt worse. I have been raped too many times. Those times that did not seem as bad as others- were when it wasn’t as brutal.
As I read some of what these girls endured, it was far too similar (and it’s easier for me to continue this in the third person- Trigger Warning here). The levels of violence. The brutality. The threats- to you and to your family to coerce you. The frequency- multiple times a day- leaving no time to physically heal. The rapes whiles drugged. The rapes that leave you unable to walk. Rapes that makes you feel as if you might split in two, or your insides might burst through your pelvis. Rapes that make you feel as if your hips might snap or your throat might collapse. Rapes where you genuinely fear you may die- and worse rapes where you wish you would die.
Brutality. Torture. It has to end. We cannot keep failing children.
I had hoped, naively, for many years that my experience was unique. Not just the level of abuse, but the failing of the authorities.
I hurt, massively right now. For my teenage self and the abuse she endured, but also for the shame and blame I have carried for far too long as a result of the failing of others.
My heart is very heavy tonight. :(