Last night, in an utterly-sober past-midnight frenzy and unable to catch sleep with my poundingpoundingpounding pulse, I sat up and wrote out a vague timeline of various traumas. “Trying to make sense of [some] of my trauma(s),” I called it. I’m no longer the least bit shocked to detail the cases of physical or emotional or sexual abuse starting at around age 15 and leading up to– who knows when? At least not with Alex, for instance. Hitting, choking, biting, slapping, forced anal, manipulation. The least goes on. Or the lies and manipulation and serial cheating and coercion into his unpalatable sexual fantasies with Brad. The list goes on. Plenty of people know plenty of the stories. Old news.
Nor is it hard to recall the various periods I’ve drank entirely too much or tried drugs or tried a new drug or drank so much I had no idea how I woke up in a stranger’s bed naked with my jacket (and purse and keys and phone and car) still at a bar, not sure what happened and knowing I hadn’t consented to sex and wondering if sex even happened at all and still not being able to admit to myself it surely did when I was already raped before and I knew better. (It’s still easier to pretend maybe nothing happened.)
But last night wasn’t even about that. Rather, further back. I’ve never fully forgotten genitals being exposed to me as a child, I suppose. Or a strangely detailed rape dream at a very young age. Or drunk older men doing what drunk older men always did, making the comments they made. Or strangely detailed, rather violent sexual conversations with my childhood best friend. An early onset of masturbation. A theme of always viewing sex as an inherently violent act and essentially fearing it (add another layer of feeling attracted to my best friends in later years and always assuming all women viewed future sexual intercourse as violent or painful or unwanted– isn’t it what we’re taught to endure, afterall???). Many other memories are fuzzy or simply not there. I’ve specifically tried to remember more when the feelings strike me– and always find there isn’t much more to remember. Just enough to leave me feeling uneasy.
My little exercise was enough to make me feel like I got something off my chest and to put me to sleep though. Had a bad dream– of which I can remember no details aside from the aftermath of waking up in an exhausted sweat.
The real trouble came when I woke up and immediately exploded in anger when I saw my mom, bordering on tears. With no prior intention of having the conversation, fury over how no one has ever wanted to talk about it. How does she stay silent? How does she deal with it all? No one ever wanted to talk about it. Another uncle wants to make light of yet another sexual assault claim and no one wants to talk about what happened to her or what I absolutely know happened to me or what might have happened to me or all the women we know, so many of the women we know– or the allegations against my grandfather we’re just never going to fucking talk about as my aunt’s entire life has been utterly destroyed by drugs and god fucking knows what else because maybe, just maybe, she really was sexually abused by her father
and we need to fucking talk about it
Before I or anyone else ever spend another second wanting to die or trying to die a little more inside because the silence was easier for everyone else.