Seven months ago in a New Jersey restaurant I sat across from my mother and detailed experiences I had as a child, experiences held on to for over 30 years; 30+ years of secrets, shame and misunderstanding. I cannot explain why I chose that venue though I do know why I spoke on the subject, a reason left for another post.
Me: “Why do you think we have never really been friendly or close?”
Mom: “I don’t know though I feel that over the last few years we have tried to traverse some of that distance.”
Me: “I need to tell you something and I dont want you to be angry or say anything. I just want you to listen.”
Mom: Fork down, napkin wipes mouth, “Okay. What is it?
Me: “When I was very young, 5, 6 & 7 or 6, 7 & 8 I was sexually molested. It wasn’t just one time though I cannot remember exactly how old I was when it began or ended. I tell you this because I have kept it in for such a long time, it has affected my life in such a profound way that I am only beginning to realize and or understand. It has affected how I associate with women, the types of women I have associated with, the sexual practices I have indulged in, the numerous women I have been with. A short time ago I received a text message and video that sent up a flare and I began to look back on my life and try to understand why I have walked the path(s) I had. I also feel it affected our relationship in a very negative way.
Mom: “Did it happen to JB as well?” (I’ll admit that question PISSED me off. I was there to speak to her about something that happened to me and her initial reaction to hearing my declaration is to ask about my brother.)
Me: “No, I dont think anything happened to JB and what fucking difference does that make? I’m talking about me, about you & I. If it happened to him as well then ask that motherfucker! Shit!”
Me: “I’ve been speaking to a therapist, a friend of mine, who assumes that as a child I wanted mom to save me, to protect me and when that didn’t happen I began to push away, to seperate myself from you and in doing that seperate myself from the family. I did what most children do, I kept it a secret possibly feeling that I would be blamed.”
Mom: “Well, what did you feel?”
Me: “I felt nothing. I can’t say if I liked it or not. I won’t lie and say my dick didnt get hard, but I never felt scared, fearful or strange around the abuser. I’m not certain if I assumed it happened to everyone or if it was supposed to happen. I don’t know what I thought. I will say, now at 43, I feel I began to hate girls as a teen and did some awful, terrible things to girls in an attempt to get even. Then as an adult I started treating women like chicks I would see in porn flicks and just have my way with them sexually. Not to say the women didn’t allow the acts, but I think I forced a great deal on many of them.”
Mom: “How do you feel now?”
Me: “I don’t know how I feel. I do know that I’m glad I told you, that lifting that weight off of me feels so much better than holding it in.”
We didn’t speak anymore during the rest of that meal. I left a day after that conversation and for that last day the conversation was not spoken about again. It was over a month before we spoke again and finally discussed the conversation of that evening. The relationship between my mother and I has improved, I’m certain we have much further to go, but we’re speaking on a regular basis now and the conversation isn’t as strained as prior to December 2010.
Since that night I have written a very detailed letter to my abuser explaining what I feel has been the affect of those nights so many decades ago. I wasn’t looking for an apology or any admission of guilt, I was simply unloading as a point of therapy. I feel that little email has strained some other aspects of my life, of family relationships; relatives I did speak to no longer reach out even if I have. I fault no one nor have I ever. As a teen and certainly as an adult I was able to make my own decisions, good bad or indifferent. The decisions I made I will have to live with including keeping the abuse to myself for such a long time.
Was it abuse? Even being so young, if I didn’t see anything wrong with what was going on can I say I was abused? According to http://www.Websters.com Sexual Abuse is the infliction of sexual contact upon a person by forcible compulsion or engaging in sexual contact with a person who is below a specified age or who is incapable of giving consent because of age or mental or physical incapacity. But doesn’t it take an admission by an individual at the time to actually make it sexual abuse? Maybe I enjoyed all of it and only now after speaking with a therapist am I defining it as sexual abuse.
I’m still not close with my family and probably never will be. That is unfortunate, especially for me, but I can live with that. I will admit that in recent months I have wondered if I made the right decision in speaking to my mother, in sending the letter to my abuser. It had been a secret for such a long time maybe it should have stayed as such.
I write this as an outlet. The entire affair has been on my mind for some time now and I have not spoken about it. Sometimes writing about a subject is therapeutic and blogging for the world to see, to judge is that much more therapeutic. Once it’s out there it’s out there, you cannot pull it back so all you can do is stand and address it face on.
I guess I’m standing in the wind and waiting to address it.