Day 169 – What’s Your Definition?

** Warning – My whole blog can be triggering. Please consider your own mental health before reading my blog, which contains, details of sexual and physical abuse and my experience of coping throughout the years.

Over the past 9 months or so, I have gotten really serious about sharing the secrets. Since I have been in therapy with Mrs. A, It’s been a struggle to trust, open up, and share all that I’ve kept inside over the last 40+ years. Every time I share a memory or flashback of the past, I struggle with whether or not therapy is a good decision. It’s kind of like having surgery. You know you will be better after you heal, but going thru the pain is a decision you have to make.

One day I walked in her office and said something like now is the time and let’s do this. Over the past two weeks, I have asked myself many time if it is worth it.

If you’ve been following me for some time, you know that I had multiple abusers growing up. It took me over a year just to admit that to Mrs. A. Even longer to tell her just how many. Some of them seemed insignificant compared to the 2.5 years of abuse by my uncle.

One of the was a step-brother who was several years older than me. When I was 9 years old, he would take me in the bathroom, and put me on the floor and have sex with me. When I first shared this in therapy, I used those exact words, “Had sex with me”. Mrs. A explained to me that the actual term is rape. I was shocked. I felt stupid. I felt naive and uneducated. I considered it voluntary because I allowed it. He would threaten to tell my parents this or that to get me in trouble. So, I just went along with it. It was always the same routine. He would get on top of me, and within minutes he was done and got dressed and walked out. Leaving me in the bathroom floor, alone and crying. I really didn’t even know why I was crying. It didn’t hurt. I didn’t feel pain or pleasure. I was just in attendance.

After he left, I would get in the shower and cry and pray. Most of the time I would pray that I wouldn’t get pregnant. Every time this happened, he would ask me beforehand, If I had started my monthly cycle, because if I had, I would get pregnant. Not knowing anything about sex, or pregnancy, I just lived in constant fear of being pregnant. That was second only to the fear of my parent’s knowing that this was happening. I was more than sure they would think I led him on in some way.

So the last few weeks I’ve been discussing this with my therapist. I think the reality is that this had more of an effect on me that I even knew.

I had another brother who hit me all the time. He would punch me sometimes until I couldn’t breathe. But if I told on him, my parents would say that I provoked him and to leave him alone. As this brother is sexually abusing me, I reasoned this in my mind to be another sibling thing that I provoked into hurting me. And somehow, I deserved all of this just by being me.

Last week it dawned on me. This was not only rape, but I lost my virginity at 9 to a step-brother. Virginity is supposed to be sacred and special. It’s supposed to be something that is given at a special moment to someone who loves you. It’s supposed to be a moment when you become a woman.

As I’m talking to Mrs. A on a tele-health video call, I began to tell her my new revelation. I immediately lost my breath and started sobbing. I couldn’t speak because I’m just trying to catch my breath while I’m crying. We were probably in the last 5 or 10 minutes of the call, when suddenly we lost the connection. But just before that happened, she said to me, “I want you to think about what your definition of what “virginity” is. I guess it was sort of a relief that the call dropped because I was not in a good place. I immediately stopped crying and said to myself “nope, not today”. And that was the end of it. I went back to work, like nothing ever happened.

I’m so good at shutting down those emotions. I’ve had many years of practice. It’s been three days since that happened and I haven’t shed a tear since. In fact, I don’t feel anything. Part of me wishes I could feel it, grieve it and move on. Another part of me says it’s wise to keep in under wraps.

I never shared this abuse with anyone until I started therapy. So this blog is the first time sharing it with people who can either support me or make a judgement. Since I made the commitment to share my story, I’m trying to be as transparent as possible thru my writings. It’s a risk. It’s a chance. It’s scary as hell but I told, and now you know.

Until next time, I am being MJ every day.