Time I think, for the story.
Scuse me if I ramble. Then again, thats kind of the point.
First, some background. Parents divorced at nine, mom is great, dad is a sociopath. He started another family very quickly after the divorce and it was pretty clear us kids from the previous marriage weren't really considered family anymore. Hence, always looking for attention from him, like a dog begging for scraps from the table.
Which is what opened me up to the abuse. Its how the perps got at me. It was like an open door with a big damn neon sign on it.
I knew, for a long time, that something was wrong. I would have compulsions I didn't understand and that didn't feel..., right. Like they didn't belong. But they were strong.
I got hooked on mind altering substances between the age of 15 and 20. Nearly went completely up the wall to the point where I would either hurt myself or someone else - just a question of time. So I stopped. Cold.
Towards the end of that time, one night a couple of friends of mine got stoned and totalled on booze as well. To the point where I can't remember a lot of that night. But enough to know that during the course of that night, something happened between me and one of my friends. Something I started. His sister caught us and freaked. Poisoned my friends against me and kicked me out of the house. The next day, I remember feeling this scream trapped in my chest. The scream was 'what the hell is wrong with me?'
It was like something else was stepping in and taking control.
A couple of years later, I found myself in another country, on my own. And though I didn't know it for what it was, I started acting out, using pornography to create fantasies. And the kind of fantasy it would always end up as was the kind in which I would be used by a man or men. If I was an object, just a thing to be used, that was the only thing that temporarily satisfied the compulsion.
During that time I slowly started slipping into an ice state. Within a few years it got so bad I couldn't feel anything. I was walking around, but inside I was dead. I couldn't feel a damn thing.
During that time, I met the person who is now my wife. I had to cross the atlantic to meet her, and then to be with her. She was the first person I'd met in a couple of years who seemed to be able to get behind the ice. That I could feel something for. I slowly started coming back out of that ice state. Just as well. I couldn't have taken that much longer.
After a couple of exceptionally hard years of moving back and forth and a lot of crap we went through, we were able to get married and start settling down here in the states. I'd been getting therapy on the 3 month visits while in the states and had worked on some stuff to do with my dad. One thing that I was starting to notice was that a lot of my memory was missing. It was like someone threw a blanket over my childhood and teen years. Like a damn fog that was slowly expanding. I told my therapist I wanted to remember. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't remember. We did a process where I extended an invitation to the memories to return.
About a week after that, I came out of therapy and was walking down the sidewalk when everything just went away and all that was left was a smell like whisky and a sense of someone leaning over me as I lay down. That freaked me out. I thought it was something to do with my dad - he always drank whisky and I'd found out about abuse he'd subjected my sister to - I was thinking maybe I saw something and he threatened me to shut about it.
In the meantime, I got married. Four months (to the day) after I got married, I got up one sunny sunday morning, went out on the terrace for my morning cigarette. And sitting out there, like they'd never been gone, were memories. Not detailed, technicolor memories. But the kind where you go 'oh yeah, I remember that'. The thing were sitting in my head like they'd never been gone. I think I did a kind of mental double take - 'am I seeing what I think I'm seeing?'
When I was thirteen years old, I got into pretty serious trouble at school. A friend of mine got into a jam as well and we decided to run away to the nearest big city. I remember taking the train into the city. And I had this sense of excitement, like this was going to be a great adventure. I look back at that and think to that kid 'you poor bastard. You have no idea.'
We ended up on the street pretty quickly after running out of money. At a game arcade, we met a kid of about 16 who had run away from industrial school (bad place to be - you get put there by the courts for heavy stuff). He was staying with someone who put him up - yeah, he is sure the guy won't mind helping us out with a place to stay.
I remember thinking the guy must be a nice guy to do that.
Still no idea kid, thats what I think when I remember that.
Because, of course, the guy wanted something in exchange. He kept me and my buddy well plied with alcohol and pot (which I'd never had before) so we'd be more pliant when it came to him getting what he wanted out of it. I'm still working on remembering this stuff. I know it lasted about two weeks. I know that during that time he put us out on a 'loaner' to a friend of his. I know that he kicked us out of the apartment because my mom had kicked up so much hell with the papers that they were putting our pictures in the newspapers and he was getting afraid someone would notice what was going on (though he didn't say it that way - he said it was for the good of the other runaways not being caught).
My buddy and I went to a crisis center and spoke to counselors. They convinced us to call our parents and go home. We did. We said nothing to anyone about what had happened. We didn't even speak to each other much after that. We weren't buddies anymore - we were mirrors. Everytime we looked at each other there was a chance of remembering, of seeing what had happened. And all ready the fog was starting.
Irony is a bitch.
Two years after this happened, I was going to a school in another town. I was starting to get into drugs in a pretty serious way, trying to run, to get away from something which by then I'd forgotten.
But then, two years after the first abuse, the same guy who owned the apartment opened up a game arcade in the town I was going to school in and lived in. And because I couldn't remember what had happened before, I didn't know to stay away. I knew I knew the guy, but I couldn't goddamn remember. And it happened again.
It was about that time, for a period of about a year and a half, I acted out with complete strangers in public toilets. I don't know how many - I know there were a lot, but a lot of details are still sketchy. Mostly, it centered around giving oral sex. Same as the acting out with pornography and fantasy that came later and that persists to this day.
But I forgot about what happened the first time. I forgot about the second time. I forgot about blowing complete strangers in the public toilets. But the forgetting is an imperfect process. Its not a precision instrument. I started forgetting everything. A few years ago, I could count, one one hand, how many things i could remember from my childhood. My teenage years were mostly gone too and it was still slowly spreading.
Reminds me of the movie 'the fog' - the one John Carpenter did. Theres this creeping fog that hides everything you should be able to see and there are things in it that come out and take a chunk out of you once in a while. Kind of what it felt like.
That sunday, after I remembered, I was poleaxed. I went straight into autopilot. Unfortunately, autopilot took me to work.
Now, a year and a half after remembering, I have big sections where I have a life and its a life. Not a parody of one where I'm being hunted by something I can't see. At least now I can eat stuff like ice-cream again. For the first few months, the textures of certain foods would make me want to throw up and totally freak me out.
My memory has slowly been reknitting itself, but its still pretty quirky sometimes. I'll remember that I know something, but I won't necessarily know what that thing is. But its getting better. I remember more now than I ever have. And in many respects, I am (or am becoming) someone that a few years ago I would have thought was impossible.
Geez. That ended up a little long.