I am in the process of writing it all down, of writing my memoir. It is of course about my life, but the abuse and other sexual violence that happened to me seems like it has been my whole life. Its affected everything of me, and recently, I feel it is nearly overwhelming me. Its a constant struggle to keep from collapsing. The stress of not doing so, plus the other demands of living and life...sometimes I just don't know.
My first abuse came from my sister and it started when I was five years old and lasted until I was thirteen. At seven, a male cousin older by eight years began to abuse me, that lasted until I was fourteen. At nineteen I was set up by a former female friend who found out I was gay, she had three soldiers rape me which put me in the hospital. After I had a nervous breakdown and suicide attempt following, I was placed in a psych ward where, when I was under the influence of the many drugs they give you..I was raped on a number of occasions by one of the resident doctors. That's just part of what has been my life...
Anyway, I'm posting the first part of it. It starts with the time I first reached the point of really letting myself think about the abuse. I was around 29 years old then.
"It wasnít until twenty years later I found out why his eyes looked like that, why they were always reluctant to meet anyoneís, those beautiful steel blue eyes surrounded by dark lashes, outstanding against his pale lightly freckled skin and ash brown hair. Why there was a terrifying darkness in them that went beyond the pupils, a shadow which breathed sorrow in every glance.
I found out why his hands were always shaking when he didnít have then clasped together, or writing, or holding one of the ďstatusĒ symbols of the safety patrol, the orange crossing flags while he stood at duty, or the times he sat motionless, eyes empty, hands empty, curled, open, defenseless. He always wanted the farthest, loneliest post away from everyone else at school patrol. I can still see him standing there in my mind, out at the far curb, yards from the school, always a little stiff in his crisp blue jeans and long-sleeved usually red plaid shirt, a white crew tee showing just a little near the throat, the pole listless in his hands, the helmet properly on, and the face beneath, sad beyond all words.
I didnít know then why I could rarely make him laugh, though I tried everything, why he wouldnít run in P.E. unless threatened with severe punishment, never raised his hand or voice in class, barely ate his lunch. I thought he was cute, that he looked like a young Luke Skywalker who was my hero at the time. I was infatuated, shy in a way, but his reticence made me bolder and he never really pushed me away. He never welcomed me, but he didnít avoid me either. We shared a secret though I never told him, and he never told me, and Iíve never saw him again after 5th grade, only heard about him in the most shocking and horrifying of circumstances.
It was revealed finally, that for years, his stepfather, the father of his younger half sister, had systematically, brutally and nearly nightly, raped and abused him. Not only him, but also a number of children of their family group, and it had carefully been covered over for years. When this stepfather came to trial, after one of the girls had finally broken down, the family became divided. Sister against sister, parents against adult children, and in the end they were all rent asunder. All in all, over a period of ten years of his own private suffering, before he ran away and joined the army on his eighteenth birthday, and continuing through successive generations of children, this ďmanĒ, his stepfather, along with my friend's uncle had raped, sodomized and traumatized the children of a deeply religious, old and monied Southern family.
When it came to light, no, thatís the wrong termÖwhen all the testimonies were given, it was revealed my friendís mother knew, she looked the other way, she wanted to keep her husband at all cost, even if it meant a living death for her only son. They never divorced. She visited him in jailed, loved and supported him faithfully, renounced my friend and ended all contact with her child. Most of the family also did so, dismissed the accusations of both these vile monsters. Defended their position by saying their religion taught them to forgive no matter what, yet strangely enough, their inflexibility, their culpability of allowing the behavior to continue was in direct violation of even their Christian laws, besides those of the land, the government.
All their censure and hatred they directed at the children. The innocent children. Can you imagine that? Can you imagine having to return to such a home every day from school, dreading, knowing what would come again, the indecent caresses, the weight, the heaviness, the pain, and the guilt?
My friend took the stand I read in newspapers, and from my mother who knew the older members of the family better as she was closer to their ages, besides which, they were of the same ďreligionĒ, I received bits of rumor, gossip and some very real fact, I learned. He revealed what happened to him. It took a kind of bravery which people whoíve not endured such, cannot imagine: to face the one who did it to you, the ones who looked the other way, the one who tissued away the blood and threatened you never to tell. It took courage for which I salute him, a war veteran at twenty-nine, a man with a wife and children to speak of something he didnít have to, but finally, finally to help a man be brought to a kind of justice.
I also knew what that felt like though Iíve never taken a stand, never revealed in detail what happened to me to my parents, to anyone, but it has completely fucked up my life. I donít normally use such words, but no other phrase can express it so explicitly for me, for at times it can still be a raw, blood, furious pain inside me from which I think I will go mad with hatred and grief. It has touched and affected everything Iíve ever done, anyone Iíve every loved even my own child, my dear and precious child. When people say put it all behind you, live life forward, forget the past, they are absurd. We are the past. If we werenít, we wouldnít be alive.
As I write this, though I havenít seen him in now, almost thirty years on, I still see him as that little boy, that other nine-year old, like myself, struggling to deal with something far beyond us, which we should never have had to endure. I would want to take that man in my arms, and hold him tight, and pour into him everything of me without saying a word, and draw it all out of him. It is unimaginable the pain which those like us still endure every single fucking day, but those of us who survived more or less intact, at times holding ourselves together with nothing but willpower, or at others with a kind of insanity that lets you forget in the moment and you donít even know who you are and why youíre still alive.
You canít know. You canít, not unless you have endured it. It is conscious effort which keeps me from collapsing into total raging grief and madness. Itís a second to second fight, guerrilla warfare, touch and go every moment of my life. Many people donít understand me, many people donít like me, without quite understanding why I canít do some things, why Iíve done some things which make no sense at all on the surface, why I am the way I am. Ridiculously and insensibly rebellious at times, a person whose favorite word is Ďnoí because for so long, so many, many times my ďnoĒ meant nothing. My protestations were simply ash, brushed away."
I keep working on my memoir, I feel I have to write it all down. I can't go on until I do.