TW: childhood abuse, sexual abuse, self-harm, suicidal ideation, miscarriage, relationship abuse
we remember things when we were a child.
somethings, I wish I could forget. often, I convinced myself that I did. I have been on a healing journey since the loss of my child. unpacking + unearthing things, with labor and an intense amount of love. I started with addressing the trauma of losing a child that I was not prepared for to have. Then I addressed the mourning of being dumped by my X Fiance + the abuse I experienced with him. From there my journey took me to the pattern I have of sacrificing and minimizing myself for others, then it was my ever edacious need for attention and validation and affirmation from people.
my therapist would ask me where did this all start? I would respond since childhood. the first time I was introduced to suicidal ideation I was in elementary school and flirted with a knife to my wrist in the kitchen. no one saw or knew. I grabbed the knife out of compulsive behavior to emulate the emotional pain I was having to something physical. the second time was a belt around my neck in the hallway of my older sister’s room. of course, I wanted her to see. my mom found a therapist and psychiatrist for me that next day.
I am eternally grateful for my family for always advocating seeking professional help.
however, I feel that emotions are often perceived inconvenient. the “get over it” or “it’s not that bad” is an atmosphere that I know too well. for the past 19 years, I have refused to acknowledge the pain that I was experiencing. I denied myself the space to talk about something because I did not want to call it pain, I did not have the time to address it or even the proper steps to confirm what happened to me when I was in first grade until I was in 8th grade.
I was sexually abused as a child for 7 years. the first person that I ever told was my close, even now, an elementary school friend. I asked her if I was gay because I had sex with a woman. my childlike questioning did not stop there. in my relationships with men, the child in me would appear as well. “does my vagina look okay?” ” is this how I am supposed to do it?” ” did you like it?”. because of the abuse I experienced I never knew my body or even wanted to learn my body. my abuser was the one that taught me that I had 3 holes. a clit. discharge. & even spots that would arouse me. I felt that everyone knew my body before I even had a chance to learn it myself. also, I thought that so much darkness and sin had been smeared over this body that there was no way that this body could contain a God, let alone be beautiful. ( hence, when I lost my son, why I immediately hated my body moreso). the abuse I experienced questioned my sexuality for a long time. I figured that I had to be queer if I was aroused by my childhood sexual experience. I would ask my close friends, queer friends, and sister if I was queer. I would ask so many people things about myself because I truly did not know. but honestly, because I did not want to try to know and unearth what happened to me as a child. I told a boyfriend of mine in college finally after I told him why I do not enjoy head. he told me that I was responding out of trauma and abuse. words that I have heard before from therapists. but I just did not want to accept it. as I continued to date I noticed my innate ability to have casual sex with men to convince them to stay with me. masking ‘physical touch’ as my love language when it truly was a language of trauma. I would let men have their way with me thinking that my worth was equated to it ; only because when I was younger that is how I was introduced to love. to sex. for me, the horrible part about childhood trauma, is that it happened as a child. I was taught to say no, I was taught love, honesty, and all of these things that became confusing when I was sexually abused. words did not mean the same thing anymore. home was not safe. love was manipulation.
to me, the abuse that I experienced as a child is something that I blamed on myself and excused my abuser. I would tell myself that she was not hurting me. even as an adult, I have made excuses for her countless and numerous times in my therapy sessions.
however, the behavioral pattern ends here.
I am tired of not standing up for the child in me that has affected the woman I am today. I see her when I have sex. I see when I shrink jus to make someone else happy. I see where I continue to sacrifice and offer my body, time, for someone else. I am continuing this journey of self-discovery, affirmation and acceptance. I accept the many painful chapters in my story and how I have survived them. to be honest, it seems a bit unreal to stand knowing how many times I have fallen. God has continued to be the one that has stood by my side and I firmly believe that my story, now due to these intentional steps, is getting started.
to Kwyn, I see you. I believe you. I love you. I am so sorry that I did not affirm what happened with you out of the inconvenience of being honest with myself. you deserve to be loved, in the purest way. your body is yours, it is STILL yours. your body is beautiful, it is STILL beautiful. God is within you, STILL within you. I love you so much, thank you for not giving up. thank you for still being here. I will continue to say your name + honor you.