It happened to me….

I was assaulted.  Not once, but many times.  And I got away enough times to start to feel “superior” to other survivors.

I never went to the police for any of the assaults.

Why?  Because the first assault, at 13, where two boys (a 10 year old and a 13 year old with mental deficiencies) tore my halter top off to see my just budding breasts, was a lie and an excuse for me to “beat up” the 10-year-old who was, of course, innocent of anything.  Even if he did do it, he was “too young to understand” what he was looking at or wanting to see.

I was stalked, because at 13 I didn’t know any better and thought some guy might actually LIKE me, until his “liking” turned dangerous because there were things I didn’t want to do.

I was groped, fingered, pushed against things, bruised, battered – but I couldn’t say anything because those things don’t happen to an “disgustingly overweight girl.”  Or, if I did speak up and say so, I must have “desperately wanted it” and should have been “grateful.”

I learned to fight.  Not any real “martial art” – just down and dirty street fighting.  No knives, because I wouldn’t normally have one on hand.  No guns, because why give a perpetrator something to intimidate me with?  Just my body and my mind.  And I spent hours upon hours thinking of scenarios and going through the motions so that if I ever found myself in a particular scenario, I would have instinctual/habitual protection to end the encounter.  Every thought was how to disable the attacker long enough to get away, because running has never been my strong suit.

And, as I grew older, those same experiences made me more judgmental of others like me.  Worse, those same protections I was erecting to armor myself, made me a perfect victim for a mental/emotional abuser.

I made it almost impossible to see me as an easy target for a physical attack.  I was able to be just watchful enough, just aware enough, just suspicious enough, that predators chose easier prey than me.

But, I left myself WIDE OPEN for a mental/emotional attack.

I was able to keep my empathy for my fellow humans, my compassion for others.  And, I left the door wide open for someone to see how gullible I could be.

Why?  Because I internalized that guilt and shame.  I told myself that *I* was the reason I was assaulted, attacked and degraded.  I only saw my worth in terms of how I could help or give to others.

Small wonder I was the perfect victim for an emotional abuser.  The only real wonder is the fact that I finally got out. Even after I asked for the divorce, I found myself arguing with people that somehow I still bore a responsibility toward my abuser.  That without my support, they would fail.  That took MONTHS to even start to understand why I was doing that.

And it’s going to take years to heal.  Because it’s not just from the last perpetrator that I need to heal from.  It’s all of them.

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Categories: Body Positivity, Gender Inequities, Mental Retraining | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “It happened to me….

  1. Pingback: Epiphanies of Shame | The Demonized Other

  2. Pingback: The State of Being Whole | The Demonized Other

  3. This is a really beautifully worded post, and I’m glad you got out. Please consider sharing this story on http://www.wearesisterstories.org, where we focus on women’s strength and resilience.

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