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As If It Never Happened

Do you know that thing that us women do where when one of us brings up a really difficult subject and we kind of brush it aside, like its a crumb from the bread that you’ve just eaten – a nuisance on your shirt – that you’ve been taught to brush off – and which you do absent-mindedly because it is so ingrained in you.

This is the reason why the story of what happened to me remains buried deep still.

I told my mother at 27 about my sexual abuse that occurred when I was 4 – over the telephone. My only words were “I was molested at 4 by __”. She had no idea and never once suspected. She said ‘I thought I had protected you”. She cried. I felt guilty. The pain being too much for me to bear, I quickly interrupted her sobbing with “Mum its okay, I’ve dealt with it. I’m okay now”

That was lie.

I hadn’t in fact dealt with it, just shoved it further back into my subconscious so much so that it is as if it never happened.

I can vividly remember the clothing I wore that day. The smell of the trees at the back of my grandmother’s house. Letting go of my brother’s hand when he told me to “stay right here’ with the neighbor whom he trusted. My neighbor’s penis. My pants around my ankles.

Thats it. The pieces that connect the parts I can remember have disappeared. I often find myself wondering if it ever happened at all.

But it did.

For years I had a recurrent dream that made me scared of the dark, wet my bed and so afraid of falling asleep. It was the dream of being chased by the monster while lost in a forest of trees. The dream ended in two ways. I would get to a cliff and stop too afraid to jump into the unknown and so afraid that I would turn back to face the monster or I would get to the cliff and jump.

Every night where the dream ended with me jumping, I immediately woke up. The unknown was my salvation.

Every night where the dream ended with me facing the monster my struggle continued.

I am 31 and have never had therapy for this. Have never really had anyone listen to me retell the story without my brave front.

I have never had a successful relationship with a man and sex is something I now know I have used to self harm.

I cannot tell you why it is that I get turned on from simulating rape and being choked.

I know it is destructive.

However I know too that I am strong and that I will eventually choose my salvation rather than my struggle.

I pray for the strength to continue to free myself. I pray for the bravery to eventually find my happiness.

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