Who am I fooling? I decided to post this because I saw posts of others who felt alone with their self-destructive behavior in the aftermath of their CSA. I would tell a bit of my aftermath story to help them, I thought. But no, this is the part that is the hardest for me to talk about, the most embarrassing. I need to talk about this. Maybe now is the time...
Our stories don't stop when the abuse stops. The effects of the abuse last far too long and bleed into every facet of our lives. Once the abuse stops, confusion, self-hatred, etc. really take hold and the boy you once were tries to put himself together and go on. Longing to be like everyone else, but believing he never can be. We cope in different ways, but it seems that we all go through some sort of self-destructive behavior (suicidal thoughts, self-hatred, drugs/alcohol, promiscuity, etc.). I think we do this to prove that we are in control of what happens to our bodies now - it is our choice.
Because I did these activities to prove I was in control of my body, it was hard for me to understand that I really wasn't. These choices were still a result of the abuse, of what they did to me, what they made me think about myself. Even these choices weren't truly mine because they were based on the lies, shame and guilt that belonged to my abusers, not to me.
Remember, you are not alone - this type of acting out is not uncommon.
Here is a snippet of my aftermath.
Obviously, this may contain triggers...
this is rather detailed. BE WARNED!
As you may recall from "Finally, my story"
, my final perpetrator, after 7 years and many abusers, the man that raped me and almost killed me, found me at the high school. With photos taken of the rape, he had runners within the school that had the photos (or copies of) and would bring them to school with threats of passing them around the school and outing me as gay if I didn't join his porn ring. He began to show up at the school, at my home, and running into me out in the community. He was stalking me and terrorizing me in subtle, horrible ways. He knew he could get to me, he knew I was gay - not because of how I responded to his touch and advances, but because I let it slip..."Do you like this?"
I looked away and nodded. As I'd been trained for years, I was going on all cylinders.
He took my hand to lead me upstairs. My head was spinning.
"I'd like to meet the boy these belong to." I was referring to the shorts he had gotten for me out of a drawer to wear after I showered.
"I can arrange that," he said with a smile.
He had my secret and he knew it. But I was in charge of my body now and he wasn't ever going to have that again.
Fast forward a few months. It's now January of my freshman year, I'm still fourteen and still small for my age. My "Teflonman" act was working splendidly, I had a couple of older girls interested in me being their boyfriend and the senior class had sort of adopted me as their mascot. Most of the people I hung out with were 18 (the legal age to buy beer back then). But Teflonman wouldn't drink, that's not what he would do.
Inside though I was cracking from the pressure. Trying to keep the secrets, trying to put on the act all the time, and trying to survive the stalking and threats of my perp. Musical practices started so I was at school every night until 11pm. Somehow he was able to come in and would watch rehearsals from the back of the auditorium. It was getting to be too much. I wanted out, but I couldn't allow my legacy to be suicide, it would have to be an accident.
I became the daredevil. One Sunday we were pulling each other behind three-wheel ATVs in the snow. There were about five of us out there, and my thing was to use an old pair of snow skiis and to ski behind the ATVs. One of my friends had gotten a new racing engine put in and I challenged him to see if he could make me let go of the rope. 50...60... 70 mphs we were racing through the fields and up the road. To get me to let go, he went for open road - bare pavement. I wiped out, bounced down the road and came to a stop. Everyone thought I was dead. I was disappointed. Since I was wearing so much clothing to stay warm and was wearing a full helmet, I was banged up but fine. I started to cry. I had wanted to die so badly.
The next day, he was at musical practice again. He tried to corner me in the bathroom to "talk" but I ran. After practice, one of the seniors was going to drive me home; we lived in the same town (a vast rural school district). But first, we were going to visit his 23 year old girlfriend. She still had a reputation around the high school so I had a good idea of why my friend was dating her. We get there and they are on the couch and I'm sitting on a chair and we're just talking.
I don't remember how it came to this, but they started teasing me about being a little virgin. I asked them to stop but they continued. They thought I was cute and it was funny. It was far from funny. I snapped.
I got up and started unbuttoning my shirt as I walked over to the couch. I told them to come on into the bedroom and I'd show them what I knew. I'd do them both and they'd never forget it. When I got to the last button, I started crying. They got my shirt button up, my coat back on and I was driven home. I freaked them out pretty bad. I was still crying when I got home. As always, no one was up so I let myself in, went to bed and just cried myself to sleep.
First up in the morning and everyone is still asleep... as always. I get up and hate what I see in the mirror. I open the medicine cabinet so I don't have to look into the mirror as I brush my teeth. That was the time I took each day to get into character for the day. At 6:40am, Teflonman would run out to the school bus for another day.