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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Infamous

I've been dreaming about my father every night for the last two weeks. Themes of my dreams include everything from him calling me on the phone to tell me that his appeal had been approved and he would be out of jail within a couple of days; to a regular day in my present life with him in the background. In my sleep, the sound of his voice echoes through my head as if he has penetrated my thoughts. One morning when I woke, I pictured him sitting in his cell meditating on me and my children, plotting what he would do to us if he ever escaped. Questions of his exposure to the media flooded my brain; did he see the Katie Couric show? Has he read the numerous internet articles written on him? Does he follow my blog? My interpretations of the dreams where my dad is in the background of my everyday life, is a psychological manifestation of him in my life through my children and my work. And for the dreams where he tells me he's getting out of jail...well, that's a fear that I'm sure every person that has had a crime committed against them where the perpetrator has been convicted and punished, has. 
Dwennimmen. Adinkra symbol for strength

My mother's concern with me publishing my book is that it would make my father famous. That he would develop a following of pedophile supporters who share compassion for his predicament.
I told her while I did consider the possibility, I came to the conclusion that if he didn't have a following of sympathizers already, any he gained going forward will also be exposed to the consequences of engaging in child sexual abuse. "Let him become famous..." I told my mother. "...because in doing so, he will prove the perfect example of what could happen if you are to exploit a child for your sexual pleasure." 

I was sixteen years old and my first child was five months


I plan to visit my father in jail in the near future. I feel the chapter in my life that includes him won't be finished until I do. The only time I confronted him directly was at his sentencing. He held a piece of paper up to his face while he accused me of lying. I've grown since the last time he attacked me; since the last time he tried to contact me; since the last time I testified in court and since he cowered at his sentencing. He doesn't know me anymore and I'm sure he believes he still has power over me. I'm looking forward to the day when I look into his eyes as he suffers the consequences of his actions, list off all of my successes and achievements and say "You did your best to destroy my potential and you failed. Look at me now."



Sunday, July 20, 2014

How Do You......?

"...did that [being sexually abused] cause problems in your marriage as far as getting to know someone and trying to explain everything?" That's the question that Truth, one of the hosts of The Morning Wood on Gyroscope radio, asked me during my interview. And though I gave a short answer on the show, his question inspired a question that I had to ask myself: How does being sexually abused effect my relationships?

Me and Sinn, one of the hosts of the 'Morning Wood', getting
some grooving going during a song break. 

After looking back on my history with men; noting the ones that would be considered failures; concluding that they weren't failures, just not what I needed or wanted; and evaluating what I do want in a relationship; I theorized that being sexually abused effects not only my relationships with men but my relationships with all humans. But being that I was sexually, physically and mentally abused for seventeen years of my life, it's difficult to imagine what my life would be like had I not experienced the one I've lived. Which poses another question. Who would I be had I not been abused?


A friend of mine sent me a link to a blog written by therapist Louise Behiel. Ms. Behiel's post "The 16 signs of Childhood Sexual Abuse" was both informative and disheartening. Disheartening because symptoms like "not being able to tolerate water being splashed in your face" and "seeing double entendres in ordinary conversation" suggests that almost everyone including newborn babies have been sexually abused. And informative because indicators that in my own research I've found to be associated to sexual abuse like; being unable to have sex in certain positions and a victim's abuse of drugs and alcohol, (which I myself have no issues with, but have spoken to women that do) made complete sense. Her source of this list is from a book called Secret Survivors by E. Sue Bloom (1998). I've ordered this book so I can read it in it's entirety and give it a more educated review, but the list published on Ms. Behiel's blog to me does more harm than good. Most comments in reaction to the list had people thinking that every little glitch in their lives was due to childhood sexual abuse. Yes, people tend to be products of their environment but there are other causes for alcoholism and drug abuse that have nothing to do with being touched inappropriately when you were five. 
That being said; I am more protective over my children than most parents are. Being in the same room as my abuser puts me on edge. I use to have a very sensitive gag reflex, And my sexual boundaries may be set outside the next girl's limits, but should I look at these as disfunction?

Child molestation is a grotesquely calamitous deviance in our society. It inflicts wounds on victims that may never heal and causes handicaps in survivors that no amount of therapy could ever correct. But the truth is, these wounds and handicaps are a part of who we are. Learning to function in spite of them, only makes us stronger.

I believe that destructive behaviors like self inflicted pain, promiscuity and the abuse of others, are a victim's denial that the trauma they suffered cannot be removed. If one excepts what happened to them and proceed with a course of treatment, healing and management, they could function in a productive manner. Granted, I am not a psychologist and I have no certificates to prove that my ideas are backed by an accredited institution but I have lived my life and I am still here. 

To know that the day my father touched me changed the course of my development towards a life of possible disaster saddens me. At the same time, it makes me all the more passionate about being a survivor, a parent, an advocate for women and children, a positive role model and an encouragement to other survivors.


I do not spend my time dwelling on the fact that I am different from those that have not been molested.  I do not attempt to run from things that will forever be a part of me. If I did, it would cause a constant feeling of failure and I would be miserable. I know that wounds heal and disabilities forces you to sharpen other skills.

Being abused greatly effects my personal relationships with men. While life with my father has shown me the selfish, evil potential of man kind, I also have more appreciation for loving, considerate, kind men. I am a hopeless (and hopeful) romantic, and if that's because I was molested as a child; oh well.