Seven

This post is about child sexual abuse.

I have many experiences in my past that make me cringe, but this morning, I was thinking about my sexual experience. I have a lot of it. I was a prostitute. Even when I wasn’t a prostitute, I was promiscuous as hell.

I have not a clue how many people I’ve had sex with. It’s probably somewhere in the multiple hundreds. Even as a non-prostitute, those kind of numbers make people call women out as whores or sluts or any number of impolite epithets.

Men who’ve slept with several hundred women, on the other hand, aren’t called whores. They’re called players and given high fives. They’re even looked up to as “pick-up artists” and asked for advice.

There is a sexual double standard. I’ve experienced it first-hand. Most men suddenly become delicate snow-white flowers and recoil from you in horror when you tell them you’ve slept with a lot of men, especially if you tell them that you once got paid for it. Men often expect women to have sexual experience, but they don’t want to know how we got it. They want us to know how through immaculate knowledge.

Let’s get one thing straight here. I am in no way boasting or proud of the number of people I’ve slept with. That number is a sign of being very, very broken for a lot of years. It makes me cringe because of how blind I was. I was molested as a child and that number is my result. Other people have different results, but making that number grow was one of mine. Promiscuity is just one of the possible outcomes of child sexual abuse.

I ignored the abuse and so did my parents. They never got me any help and we never talked about it. After I told my parents what was happening in my room late at night and they didn’t believe me, I never talked about it again. My family’s denial made it seem like it was perfectly normal. Sexual assault is just what grownups do. So, when I became a grownup, that’s what I did. Had I been born a man, there’s a very good chance that I might be a rapist. I just didn’t know how to take no for an answer.

The abuse that no one wanted to talk about festered inside of me. We all pretended it never happened, but you cannot just pretend that sexual abuse didn’t happen. Even if you never think about it, it changes you. Deep in my consciousness, the sexual abuse took root and shifted my world forever like a big tree breaks a sidewalk from underneath.

For most of my life, I didn’t acknowledge that I lost my virginity at seven years old. To this day, even though I have accepted it now, when people ask me how old I was when I lost my virginity, I instinctively say fifteen as if that’s the truth. It isn’t, but people don’t want to hear seven; they want to hear seventeen. There has to be a “teen” in there somewhere so they can compare and contrast. Seven would stop them in their tracks and they’d form all sorts of assumptions based on five little letters. I don’t say seven. I’ve never said seven; I say fifteen even though it’s a lie.

At seven years old, I was given a primer on how to properly please a man when I still thought boys were gross. While most of my contemporaries were playing with Barbies, I was on my way to becoming a whore. It never got any better. It only got worse until, at eighteen, I found myself exchanging my body for drugs and money to buy drugs. Unchecked sexual abuse will kill you if you let it.

I confused sex with love. Men show that they love you by tying you up, gagging you and sticking things in you, right? That’s what he taught me. He told me he loved me, and without any support, help or basis for comparison, I believed it.

I thought that by choosing who, how and when to have sex, I was in control, when in fact, I was very much out of it. I gave myself a high five with every new conquest. I didn’t realize that I had not escaped the monster. I had not overpowered the monster; I had just turned into one myself. I turned into someone who had to have sex with everyone all the time because that is love. Love is abuse. Abuse is love.

Once I realized that I was a monster, I shut down entirely. I walled myself up. I cried alone inside my walls for that little girl who never got to play with Barbies and for the promiscuous teen turned whore she became. And I got very, very angry. I stewed in my anger. I shook with rage at a world and a family that would allow such evil to happen and not do a damn thing about it. He was never prosecuted. He was never even charged. No one went to the police. It just never happened.

He is still alive. He is still free. He still lives near my family. He has kids of his own now, and that thought sickens me and fills me with fury. It makes me want to hop on a plane and hit him again and again, very slowly, so he can feel every hit until he finally expires with the full knowledge of what he did and why he is dying alone with no one to help him, but I don’t. And I won’t. I won’t take the last step towards becoming a monster. I won’t let him turn me into that, but dammit, the fact that he’s still out there and has children of his own makes me furious.

My family could have stopped it. They could have stopped it from happening to me had they believed my big confession, but they let it continue. They could have stopped him from hurting anyone else. They could have given me justice and the help I so desperately needed, but they did nothing. They set the monster free and they watched me turn into a monster myself. That, I cannot ever forgive.

He stole my virginity and turned me into a liar. He killed the person I would have been without his torture. He left me with survivor’s guilt, feeling for all of those children who came after me, including his own. He stole my childhood. He ripped my family away from me forever. I never trusted anyone completely ever again. He replaced my innocence with total isolation, so much hate and a confused sense of sexuality that I’m still trying to sort out. I have some twisted kinks he gave me that fill me with shame. He led me inexorably down a path to a past that makes me cringe and my family helped him take me there. It all makes me cringe, but I don’t ignore it anymore.

Child sexual abuse never goes away. Ignoring it only makes it worse. I spent the bulk of my life denying it, pretending it never happened, and it warped me in ways that, as a full-grown adult, I’m only now realizing. I am still recognizing patterns in my behavior as a result of abuse. Every time I see a new one, it fills me with disgust, but every new discovery is a victory, because it brings me one step closer to freeing myself from the monsters once and for all.

In the United States and Canada, call the National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453).

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73 thoughts on “Seven

  1. knowing this stuff goes on infuriates me also. I sometimes imagine myself as a female super hero that rids the world of such abuse…then reality sets in… we can never change where we came from or what we went through but we can sometimes make a difference in the lives of others. Sometimes we can stop bad things from happening to the next little girl or boy. Proud of you for going forward and facing the challenges that keep popping up in order to defeat the ugliness. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You know my “like” on this is for you speaking out and sharing this story. While every story is different, so much of this is unfortunately too familiar.

    ((Hugs))

    Like

  3. I’m really glad you write about this, Goldfish. I think it helps when we can purge our words for others to read and hopefully understand.

    Like

  4. You give a little bit of your strength to others every time you speak out. Your courage is a gift, my dear friend. I know you are helping others.

    Like dani said above, sometimes I wish I could just swoop in. Sometimes I also wish I could rewind time & stop things like this from happening. Although, if we were meant to have those abilities we’d probably have them. The truth is, evil things like this happen everywhere all too often. If your story can help give one person the strength to speak out, we’ve created some good from the evil. We’ve helped take their power away.

    You know I love you, girl. Your talents outshine these terrible things. You know I’m here & now we’ve got this little family too. πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d like to think that writing about this helps me and also maybe might help others. If I didn’t think that, I wouldn’t write about it, but we’ve got to get this crap outside of ourselves and out in the public consciousness.

      Who knows, maybe just raising awareness will make some child’s story believed like mine wasn’t. I like to think it’s possible anyway.

      Love ya back. Hugs. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I still never know what to say when you write about your past. It makes me incredibly sad.

    I do thank you for writing about it, though. It can’t be easy to do. I like to think that we make a difference by sharing our stories. I know many bloggers, you included, have had an impact on me by sharing these types of stories.

    I’ve got your back, Fishy. Always.

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  6. It does help to talk about it all and air it out. Hurts only heal when aired. And as you know silence is NOT the answer. So you speak up, you write it down, you air it out, all in the hopes that it might help one other person. And it does. It helps YOU. You are that one other person. You count. You matter. Now the anger needs to leave, it’s not easy, but it can be done. I know you will get there Goldy. Stay strong. Stay you. You know where to find me if you need an understanding ear. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. So, so, sorry this happened in your life. You are such an inspiration to many readers for your determination and journey through healing. Thank you for the courage to write this. Your post certainly does make me think of my children. I don’t think I am ready to tell that whole story yet, from a parent’s perspective. I hope that your story helps someone else know that they can survive.

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  8. It must be very hard not to be absordbed by the hate… And to sto yourself from indeed turning into a monster towards him. Though he wouldn’t deserve any better at all, it’s just the best thing for yourself. But the fact that you are above that anger makes you ten times better than most people, at least!

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  9. Such a courageous and powerful post and I can relate. In my younger years I slept with almost anyone willing mistaking them wanting sex for love. I got good a sex so then I based my self worth on that. Everytime I couldn’t keep a guy with sex, my self worth sunk further. Now that I’m married and have been for 10 years I have zero desire for sex.
    I’m told that’s common with sexual abuse survivors, we either become very promiscuous or we don’t want it at all. Now I have a man who truly loves me I don’t want it. It sucks for him and I. Hubby never makes me do it or feel bad, but I do it out of a sense of duty. It’s not the way it’s supposed to be. Sexual abusers do rob a lot. As you know I’m so very sorry that monster did that to you and that he hasn’t paid for it. xo

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    • Yup. Self worth used to equal sex to me, too. It sucks that it has to be all or nothing like that, but here’s hoping it isn’t always that way. Still, I’ll take nothing over all in this case.

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  10. I hope your story gets to the right people. Unfortunately, I doubt that will happen. The people who commit child sexual abuse, and the people who turn a blind eye to the pleading of a child, are not likely to be the same people who read blogs.

    So, I hope that getting it out has helped you, it certainly moved me.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can’t even pretend to understand what this felt like for you, or what it feels like now. Thank you for sharing, because everyone – including people like me, who didn’t suffer in this way – need to know that it really does happen. That said, I need to ask a question … I am just sickened by the thought that this monster has children of his own, and access to their friends, and to who knows how may other children out there. Is there anyone you can tell about this who might be able to keep an eye on them, be aware that they’re at risk, and intervene if necessary? Is that something one can do?

    Like

    • I would ask my parents, but considering they didn’t believe me the first time, I’m not sure it would do any good. I don’t really know anyone else in the area. Honestly, I wish there was something I could do. It makes me feel murderous and powerless.

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      • I was thinking someone like social services. They could check in with the school, and if anyone there has concerns that they’re not sure about it might be just what’s needed to trigger action. But I’m just blathering here; I really have no idea how that would work.

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  12. Thank you for sharing this Goldfish. I can’t imagine how the abuse makes you feel. It is very strong of you to share with us.

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  13. Fishie-
    You’re my new friend, but I feel like we’ve known each other longer.

    Yes, this story made me cringe. Yes, it was unbearable. Good for you. Take us out of our comfort zones to wake us all the fuck up. To make sure we have our eyes open. I can’t take back what happened to you. But I can sure as hell be aware, and because you opened my eyes, I can make sure this doesn’t happen to my kid. Thank you.

    I’m a different kind of sexual abuse survivor, and I understand how it changes you. It’s never quite right, but it’s okay sometimes. I’ll take okay. It’s better than soul crushing pain.

    love to you fishie. write on, and write free.
    xo,
    S

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    • Thanks, Samara. Okay is a pretty good place to be. It’s the times we’re not okay that we need to speak out. I don’t want to carry all of it inside by myself anymore. I can’t believe I held it in for so long.

      I’m so glad STMND exists so stories like this can be told.

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  14. I don’t know what to say except that you are incredibly brave to speak out on something that still pains you. I wish none of it were true but I know, from many years of teaching, the awful truths that some children are forced to live with. Your words are now out there to be found when needed by those who may feel they are alone in their hurt. May you continue to heal and help.x

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    • Thank you. I’m not sure brave is the right word since I don’t really have a choice but to write about it sometimes. It’s all seeping out of me now, so I’m just letting it.

      It hurts my heart that I’m not the only one and that there are kids out there now going through it. That sucks.

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  15. As has been said before, thanks for sharing. You are bringing awareness. It DOES happen and people need to open their eyes.

    It is infuriating that he gets to live his life while you continue to pick up the pieces of yours. Makes me want to use my cast iron skillet in a different way.

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  16. I can’t even imagine the horror that you’ve been through. For what it’s worth, I’m so sorry you had to experience that at a young age, you are very brave to talk about it. Know that it is not your fault and you are divine.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Goldfish, thanks for sharing. Having been abused myself at a similar sort of age, although rather less intensely, I’ve gone the other way. Abuse definitely affects how we grow up.

    For folks in the UK, if you suspect a child is being abused, there’s the NSPCC: http://www.nspcc.org.uk/ and also Childline, http://www.childline.org.uk/pages/home.aspx or tel 0800 1111 (which is a no-charge call from a landline, so you can call from a payphone to remain anonymous).

    Like

  18. Thank you, so much, for sharing this.
    I’m so sorry you experienced that. There’s a disturbing amount of ‘sick’ out there.
    Your whole post is well written, but the line that especially caught me: “I cried alone inside my walls for that little girl who never got to play with Barbies” I know it well. Too well.
    You’re brave…and blameless.

    Love,
    Kit

    Like

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