I would have thought that the second time I told my story here, it would be considerably easier. I was wrong. There is a lump in my throat and I’m physically shaking with the prospect of telling this story. I guess it simply means I’m feeling this on some level, which is comforting.
I was born to a loving family. I suppose this is the time where I put in a little disclaimer—I can’t blame anything on them. My mother is a caring woman and would do anything for me—even if that’s a little bit of oversheltering and coddling. My father wasn’t as interactive when I was younger, but eventually he was able to fully connect to me when I hit my teen years. Things became easier and our relationship began and cemented. I was brought up in a strict religious background and wasn’t allowed to do many things some other people were able to do, but that never seemed to hamper me in any way. My entire life I’ve always been someone to help others a lot. Even as a little kid. Focused on religion and grades and art and any endeavor I set myself to—overachieving. I never really spent much time getting close to others though. My home life was particularly sheltered and I was not allowed to do many things I guess that most other kids could do. Leaving the house, spending the night at someone else’s home, inviting friends over to my house, and etc — all actions like that were pretty much forbidden. I was pretty social but I never really was allowed to do the usual kid stuff. In high school I never went to any dances or never really dated. I went to college and still continued to make really good grades. I started nursing school and manage to go through several classes.
A curious thing about me though—I tended not to have a lot of relationship-like interactions between people, but was extremely social. I went through a period of time where I questioned my sexuality since I wasn’t feeling anything, but figured that I just didn’t have any kind of sexual feelings. My friends were out having dates regularly while I was in high school, and yet I cannot say I ever went on one solitary date my entire time I was in highschool nor college. It struck me as odd, but never really meant a lot to me. Pardon the bluntness of this statement, though I did have a habit of masturbating very often—on the average of 3-5 times a day since I was roughly 11 years old.
But back to real life, I happened to be a guy in nursing school, in a very rigorous program. There were lots of time demands and costs that were unexpected and it placed a good deal of stress on me. For some ways, it felt like I was stepping into the real world and learning more about how people work in a physical and mental manner-- sort of getting a common understanding of my world. I’ve been told before that I lived in my head a great deal. I would often very visually imagine things and scenarios and they’d play out in my head. This was a boon to my artistic side, as it helped my creativity. A lot of times, when stressed out, I’d find myself withdrawing into thought or expressly concentrating on details of things.
Oddly though, my semester in college that involved pediatrics had a change I can’t honestly explain very easily. Suddenly, my stress levels skyrocketed, but it was more than the standard pull people were living with as my classmates and such. I started having trouble with reading and my grades began to decline. This was curious enough to prompt some of my professors into asking if I had ever been tested for dyslexia (which I hadn’t) and whether I could test for it now (which I did). Surely enough, I went through the testing procedure and it was determined that I was indeed dyslexic.
But while this was going on, there were some other changes in my life taking place. I suddenly felt very dirty on occasions—prompting me to take hot showers and scouring my skin with a scrubber thing until my skin was raw and pink. I went through similar with my mouth feeling incredibly dirty. This happened throughout my life, but I never paid attention to it or chalked it up to some mild or undiagnosed OCD. One day, when I was sitting in my pediatric nursing lecture, we were doing a review of the standard progression of children in their development pathways. Being as I always do so, I started to connect what I was learning with my real life and was thinking about potty training. However, I remember potty training when I was in the 4-year-old classroom at my daycare, which was curious to me. I remembered still getting help to use the bathroom from one of my teachers—something that my parents never mentioned and all. Developmentally, I was always ahead for the most part, so I thought it odd, but didn’t really think much else of it.
That same week, I started to have nightmares. I usually could recall bits of nightmares, but really didn’t have a clue of what I dreamed other than waking up screaming. I also had some things where I apparently was sleepwalking and talking in my sleep, but I didn’t recall anything about that. Around this time, my grades started to suffer and I began to think of what could be going on—no explanation. Maybe it was just me hitting that barrier of difficulty? I kept having problems sleeping the rest of that week. Time came around for the next class, and we were sitting and hearing a lecture and I started to think about the bathroom again. It was odd that she was in there to help me even though I didn’t need help otherwise? There was a point where it clicked and I’m not sure when—I went into a numb state where I couldn’t talk or move for a while—I sat staring blankly at my notebook. I went home and was sitting and thinking more about what happened—“Did it really happen that way? Maybe I made it up! That’s ridiculous, it’s all in my head.”
You see, that day I realized something: my daycare teacher molested me when I was 4. Even now, typing about this is making me choke and tear up. I was really floored by thinking about it—I was told it was just getting help in the bathroom, not that she was standing behind me, pulling down my pants and playing with my genitals.
“how could I have been that stupid?”
“Why didn’t I stop it?”
“Why didn’t I yell?”
Thoughts were all over my mind, so instead I went into a videogame induced stupor for 5 hours. 5 hours of running away from that problem. I went to sleep that night, and had an odd dream about a tree through a window and green tiled floors. Woke up the next morning and was still confused, though I went to school and came home after an uneventful day. I got online and started chatting with some friends—one of whom happened to ask me a semi-personal question that day of “so why do you not ever draw any porn?”
“I was molested as a kid”
“Oh.. I’m sorry”
Saying that made me break off into… what I could only describe as a black-out spell. I came-to later, still sitting in front of my computer with my hand bleeding and physically shaking. I had scratched my hand enough to draw blood and I had typed something, somehow, about what I felt and saw. I don’t remember typing this nor anything that went on in the future black-out spells to come. I felt hollow and like I was living at the bottom of a tunnel—everything echoed and my vision was tight and focused on what was in front of me. I apologized to my friend and told him there was nothing he did wrong, and I went to bed.
For the next 6 months, I had nightmares every night with the exception of 3 nights. I also began to have black-out spells nearly on a daily basis. Sometimes I’d have injured myself when I came to, others I would be found in curious places. Once I was sitting in a bathtub filled with cold water, wearing jeans and no shirt, with my butt in the water and legs sticking out of the side of the tub. I began to bite my hand too when I was upset and I would often repeat “I’m sorry” over and over in my dreams and via typing. I denied this stuff happened, that I was making it up. “I must be insane—there is no way someone could do that”. I would continue to speak with that good friend and he’d ask me about the dreams, where I would instantly talk about how it was my fault.
I got the erections when it happened. I thought it felt good. I was told that I was being taken out for help in the bathroom for punishment of doing things wrong. Suddenly, my desire to be an overachiever in church and Christianity seemed a mummer’s farce to keep me from having that happen to me. My life started to devolve into one big lie. I felt like I was lying to my friends on the internet when I would tell what I dreamed about. I wasn’t a good person. I wasn’t a good Christian, nor valid at that.
I began to think I was totally insane and manipulating people for some reason, though I couldn’t point out why I’d make up a lie this vast. I would sit and imagine these other reasons why I might have thought of this happening and would spend hours doing so. Valid explanations, I’d call them. I started to cut—razor blades, exacto knifes, pocket knives, anything sharp—I’d cut and cover up the area as best as I could. I was so ashamed—here I was making up something and now I was making up another problem—the cutting. Surely I was insane and horrible person to manipulate others quite like that.
Things continued to get worse. I would close off from the people that used to talk to me. I suddenly felt there had to be a big change in who I spent time with and who I was. I no longer felt like the same person—my world was turned on its head. I decided to make a radical change in a lot of parts of my life—suddenly I became quite aware that I was a sexual person again. The repressed problems suddenly came rushing in, and I was how you’d expect a 13 year old to be—absolutely fascinated with anything erotic or attractive. My banter took a sexual spin and I started being a little more outgoing to people around me—especially women I was interested in. I got neurotic again though—I began to have obsessive thoughts about how I would be unlovable and how I was repulsive. The self-destructive behaviors kicked in even stronger. I took up drinking.
Getting out of my head for a while was just the best kind of thing I could think of. My mind stopped churning on about my past and how horrible I was, and I could be “normal” again. It got excessive though at a point. I’d drink until I’d become a slobbering wreck at home and alone. That summer was one of the hardest points in my life, as I went to counseling for the first time. I also managed to pass my classes, but not without some collateral damage. I remember though, standing ina swimming pool and sobbing, telling my mother for the first time what had happened and why I had been acting so differently. That feeling of cold water surrounding me and exposed skin made me vulnerable again.
When I was molested, I would be taken out by my teacher and told it was my own doing. She’d make me stand in a bathroom stall and she’d help me pull my pants down, and she’d hold onto me while I would be told to urinate in the commode. Then she’d spin me around and set me on the commode, still exposed. The icy cold feeling of her huge hands on my flanks are something that sticks in my mind to this day. Sometimes, she would leave me clothed, but most of the time, she’d strip me naked and I was told not to say a word while this happened. Otherwise she’d call in someone else and I’d be punished by them too—an empty threat, but enough for me to sit still and shut up. If I mad ea sound, she would often find ways to punish me, especially by pinching me. I to this day still have scars on my scrotum and penis where she pinched me hard enough to draw blood. She did this to make me shut up. She also had a custom of stuffing toilet paper into my body too, and told me it was to keep me clean.
She would always sit me on the commode and have me face her while she masturbated me. I even right now and drifting off (what my counselor would tell me is called dissociation in my first or second visit). I would stare out a visible window at a tree, or stare at the floor tiles beyond the two of us. I’d feel nothing, and I would sit there as she did what she wanted. I was really troubled by this thought, because when I began to recall these memories, I’d remember them in 3rd person. Apparently, this is a common thing for those with dissociation issues. Unfortunately, this made it harder and harder to accept as happening to me. On occasions I’d break into tirades defending this woman. That touches on another aspect—could a woman actually rape a male? This further negated it and it made me feel emasculated. I no longer felt like a male and physically hated any sexual attributes about myself. Erections were shameful, and so was anything involving masturbation—confusion on top of disgust.
Things started to collide in past and present—any time I got an erection, it could trigger a flashback or shame. Any time I thought about the wrongness of what she did, I was confused by the pleasure and incidence of erections. Things wouldn’t get much better in the July of that year, as that’s when my cousin was sent off to a mental resident facility. He was suicidal after revealing thoughts and feelings of a sexual nature he had for his 9 year-old sister. This… brought up really troubling things as it prompted me to remember what he used to do to me, being 2 years my senior. The most troubling time I remembered then was being tricked by him in the woods once and being physically forced into performing oral sex. Suddenly, my fixation with teeth-brushing made sense, along with my skin scrubbing—It was a way for me to recover some of my innocence in a way. But it ended up feeling shallow and petty.
Later, I would remember more and more occasions ranging in severity from exposures to being fondled to a rather unspeakable time. Once, we were playing in a back room at my grandparent’s house and he convinced me to pretend like I was bad and was being tied up. I accepted and thought it’d be fun to break out, and he tied my wrists, gagged my mouth, tied around my knees with bedsheets. He told me to try and get loose, and sure enough I couldn’t. Then he hiked my shirt up and behind my shoulders, shoved me forwards onto my face and pulled my pants down. I remember staring at the leg of the bedframe and crying, with the pillowcase in my mouth to keep from any sound coming out. He raped me—even now it’s incredulous what I’m feeling just writing this. I feel so violated and dirty right now. And hollow.
Now that I’ve written my previous statements, I no longer have a fear “badmouthing” my perp cousin. I also remembered that there was one more abuser I had in my past. When I was at least 5-9, I had a church member I knew who was a teen to early adult. He was kind of like a big brother to me and would spend lots of time with me. But he would always want to get pretty close. These memories are pretty fuzzy and I’m okay with that, but he would be pretty violent/manipulative and only complement the neurotic feelings I had towards church and religion
Now I guess here is the important part of my story—where I am now. I am now a registered nurse working on the telemetry floor—basically the heart floor. Patients are very appreciative of me. My supervisors like me and I’ve gotten 2 “nurse of the months” on my floor since I’ve worked at the facility for 6 months total. I am still having a lot of problems working with people when things get vaguely sexual but I’m able to shut them down. After a couple bad relationships and one good one, I’m pretty deathly afraid of dating again so I really don’t know how that aspect of my life will treat me. But things are moving along. I’m pretty terrified and unsure of myself. I wish things were making more sense with me still. I’m doing lots of ‘why me” things again and I’m having anger blossom in odd times. I hear that’s part of the process, but I’ve moved along from crying all the time. I haven’t had a nightmare in about 6 months now though. Maybe I’ll find my place soon enough. This waiting in the meantime is killing me.