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Archive for May 13th, 2010

*******trigger warning – sexual, physical, and sibling abuse*******

An odd thing about S was that I do not have memories of her doing sexual things to me directly. Instead, she forced my sister and me to do sexual things to each other, such as “play doggie” and have the “male” dog insert objects in the female dog. At this point, I was still a virgin but my sister was not (thanks to the male babysitter), so I was always the “male dog” in this sick game. When I first recovered these memories, I questioned them because I had not read about this form of abuse anywhere. I also did not understand what S was getting out of forcing one child to hurt another.

If my sister or I did not obey completely, then the sibling would suffer. For example, if I showed any sign of resistance or anything short of completely obedience, S would torture my sister and vice versa.

One time, my sister was not completely compliant, so S smothered me with a pillow. She held the pillow over my head too long, and I passed out. What’s weird is that, even though my body was passed out, I have a memory of the entire experience from the perspective of the ceiling. Once S realized that I had passed out, she checked and found that I was not breathing. She dragged my body to the basement’s bathroom (the torture was almost always in the basement) and laid me down to look like I had fallen and hit my head. She told my sister to run upstairs and get my parents. She gave me mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and told me in an angry voice that she wasn’t going to jail for a worthless piece of $@#% like me.

I came to, coughing because of the taste of cigarettes in my mouth and lungs. S had been smoking a cigarette before her torture session, and the taste of tobacco was still heavy on her breath. My parents got there as I was coming to, and S explained that I was playing too wildly, slipped, fell, and hit my head on the toilet. My parents told me to be more careful and went back upstairs to do whatever they had been doing.

I don’t know who was more traumatized by this experience – my sister or me. I have suffered from flashbacks of tasting cigarette smoke throughout my life, even though I have never smoked. Until I learned that any of your senses can hold memories and release flashbacks, I was perplexed by this recurring taste of cigarette smoke in my mouth.

What really disturbs me is that I have a difficult time calling myself a physical abuse survivor, even though almost being smothered to death is clearly physical abuse. I don’t know why I have such a hard time with that label. I guess I keep thinking that other physical abuse survivors had it worse.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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