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Archive for November 24th, 2008

*** trigger warning – This topic might be upsetting to sexual abuse survivors. **

On my blog entry entitled Orgasm during Rape or Other Form of Sexual Abuse, a reader posted the following comment:

If society were diffrent, would we all feel ashamed or question our reactions to the abuse as we do now? I dont know. – Jason

I strongly suspect that child abusers would love to believe that society is the problem and not the sexual abuse. Child abusers love to play semantics with words, such as in the name of the organization called NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association), which tries to make sexual abuse sounds like it is simply a “normal” relationship for a man and a boy to have sexual relations with each other.

The problem is that only men are joining the organization. Little boys who have not even reached puberty are not thinking about sex, much less “sexual love” with a man, and they are certainly not filling out applications seeking a “love relationship” with a man. My son is seven years old. He is interest in Pokemon and Bakugan, not in having a “loving sexual relationship” with a man. That is complete crap, and no play on words is going to convince me that my sweet little innocent boy is dying to fill out a NAMBLA application.

My first memory of the sexual abuse was at 18 months old. I felt terror and deep shame. As a toddler, I did not have a clue about societal norms. I only knew that I did not like it.

I have another memory from when I was three years old and my sister was 18 months old. My mother tied both of us to chairs in our basement, using our father’s ties. She orally raped me while my sister watched. My sister had not yet been sexually abused, so she did not know what was going on.

Then, I was forced to watch as my mother orally raped my sister for the first time. By then, I had learned how to “flee” my body to “escape” the abuse, but I needed to be in my body if I wanted to save my sister. I went back and forth, back and forth, as I watched the person who my sister had been “die.” That is how I viewed what was happening to her as she was being sexually abused for the first time. She was “dying.”

At three, I did not have the first clue about societal views. All I knew what that what my mother was doing was wrong and extremely damaging. I knew it was damaging my sister as I was forced to watch. I was wearing pink pants that day. To this day, pink pants trigger me.

I do not feel ashamed of my reaction to the abuse. I feel angry. I am angry that so much was taken from me. I feel angry that I was not given the opportunity to explore my sexuality but, instead, had it taken from me. I am angry that my abusers walked away feeling good about themselves and left me to wrestle with a lifetime of frustration and pain in the bedroom.

How I feel about my experiences has nothing whatsoever to do with what society thinks about my abuse. Quite frankly, I take issue with a lot of societal views. Right is right, and wrong is wrong. It is never okay to meet your own needs/desires at the expense of another person, doubly so when that person is a child.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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