Words in this blog may be triggering, especially for those who have a history of rape/sexual assault and/or relationship/domestic violence, and/or those who have struggled with an eating disorder.
It’s been a long while since I’ve been on here, because I took a break as I’ve been trying to heal. Therapy has been so good for me. It’s not without setbacks, but in the long run I have hope for what the other side will look like…
Most recently we have been talking about my mother. How she was never really there for me. She never protected me or taught me things I needed to know to protect myself. She loved my ex boyfriend, the one who raped and abused me. She loved all of my boyfriends before him, too, and they were pretty much all jerks. She was too blinded by herself to see me, to realize that she was basically watching her daughter die right in front of her. She did nothing.
She didn’t protect me from my dad when he was abusive to me (though he’s long-since healed).
She didn’t wonder where I was when my uncle molested me, and if she suspected abuse after taking me to the doctor, she never did anything about it. And that all set the stage for how I should react to unwanted sexual contact. I never learned that what happened to me wasn’t okay, and just eventually blocked it out because my young mind couldn’t handle the trauma. And that became a cycle with me.
When I was bullied in elementary school and begging to go to another school, she didn’t have my back. All of the other schools were more expensive, and they would not be putting me in public school, thank you very much. But we had the money, I know we did. I just wasn’t worth it to them, and she – who should have seen all of it – did nothing to help me. I graduated from that very same prep school with the people who tormented me through Jr High, and then made up rumors about me or ignored me in High School.
The sexual eduction she gave me was that you don’t do it before you’re married, or it makes you a bad person. And after you’re married, it’s not that great, just necessary to make your husband happy.
My boyfriend abused me. Told me what to wear, who to talk to or not to talk to, degraded me, made me doubt and second-guess myself, shook me screaming in my face, threw me down and stood over me…broke my spirit entirely. And I let him, because I learned from her that it was okay. And she never noticed that I was not the same daughter I was before I met him.
And then he started raping me. And I didn’t know that wasn’t ok, because sex isn’t great, right? It’s all about the men. And I couldn’t talk to her about it. But she also didn’t ever question it. I feel like if she had paid attention or asked questions or tried to make herself someone I could talk to instead of someone I was afraid of sharing with, maybe she would have realized what was going on? But she wasn’t there. She never questioned long sleeves in the summer, or how I could “fall asleep watching a movie” so often, or how I didn’t want ANYONE to touch me EVER. No hugs or anything. I couldn’t stand it. I still can’t. It makes me feel trapped.
She never questioned when my eating habits became dangerous, but instead praised my dieting efforts. For as long as I could remember, my mother dieted. She has never not been on a diet. I’m sure she thought I was a cow and needed it. We used to diet together. So when something started working for me, she paid no attention to the fact that it was because I wasn’t really eating anything, or because I was “eliminating” what I did eat. Didn’t question the emotional trauma behind it (because it certainly didn’t start out as a diet plan). And that’s something you never get over, either. It’s like being an alcoholic. You will always have an eating disorder. More on that another day…
She never asked how my boyfriend treated me when she wasn’t around. She just thought he was fantastic. And he raped me. Repeatedly. Degraded me. Even in public places. Abused me. He damaged me so intimately that it creates a struggle at least 50% of the time for me to be healthily intimate with my husband – whether that be holding hands, emotionally sharing, or having sex. I have to work at it because sometimes I am so scared by it or just can’t stand the touch to even hold hands.
And I didn’t have a mother to talk to about these things. I feared sharing with her because she was so disconnected from me, and just a reporter to my dad. My therapist says I have a birth mother, but not a mom. Though she was in the house, she wasn’t ever there for me. Where was she?
If you or someone you know has been the victim of rape/sexual assault, sexual abuse, incest, and/or relationship/domestic violence, I would encourage them to seek help.
If you or someone you know may be struggling with an eating disorder, I encourage them to also seek help. It is a lonely, secretive road, making it much more dangerous of a condition.