Facing My Abusive Past - Matt Eaton - Trigger Warning
It was time to face the truth. I couldn’t hide from it any longer. I was a sexual abuse survivor and I couldn’t change it.
Or, should I say, I was a multiple time sexual abuse survivor.
See, the brain is funny. It denies the worst in people, burying the story deep inside your subconscious. You try to act like everything is normal, but your mind knows there is nothing normal about what happened. You accept this is normal.
Still, you also know there are other families out there who actually love and care for each other.
I buried the second abuse because my mother sold me to the man who sexually abused me the first time around. The man who abused me was also my grandfather, her father. He paid enough money to keep us afloat that he “earned” me as a payment for his good graces. I was shamed into a visit. One terrible week of my thirteenth year turned into six years of depression and near suicide.
The insidious thing was the gaslighting. My mother insisted this is what we have to do to earn money. He gave us so much, he only wanted to see me for one week. He wouldn't harm me again, he only wanted to see me.
It took decades to look the truth in the face. It took the moment I lost my highest paying job at the time, fired during a massive depression fit and ready to end it all. I lost everything. I heard my critic, who had my mother’s voice, shame me. If only I put out more. If only I stopped being selfish and just do the job. If only I would keep her in mind when I needed to make money because she needed the money so much when she was my age.
Then my thirteenth year hit me again. Everything. The weird habits and flaws. The fact I live isolated from people. The reason I hate compliments. The reason why I sabotage myself and hide.
All this came from the gaslighting.
It couldn’t be an adult doing more or altering our habits to be better.
It had to end with me letting a sixty-five-year-old man take advantage of a thirteen-year-old boy.
How did I get over this? Does anyone get over this?
I started healing when I started talking about it. I started sharing my story and finding people who understood. I found people who were willing to share their stories with me, and I found my own footing. As with all things, it is difficult to trust people and I soon left the group because I was taken advantage of again.
We broken dolls and our kingdom of shattered porcelain and glass.
These days I keep speaking my truth. I talk to people daily about their problems. I listen to their struggles with depression, anxiety, and what triggers them. I support those who are willing to share.
I know these are only a few people in a world of millions that hide their shame.
The only suggestion I can offer is to speak up. Let the world know what happened to you, as much as you can. Write your story and get used to seeing it in black-and-white. Find someone who is willing to talk about their story and see where you are similar and where yours differs.
The idea is to help you not feel isolated. This is how your abuser maintained control, through shame and guilt. My abuser is long dead. My mother hides now, refusing to talk to me about the second time because I am lying about the man she loved. The same man that sexually abused her when she was younger and gave her money to be quiet about it. The same man who sculpted this money hungry side of our fractured family.
It is time to face your own truth. It is time to accept what happened to you. The sooner you do, the sooner you will ride the wave through to some peace and clarity.