I’ve never really had my own “general practitioner,” I’ve honestly continued to go to my pediatrician for as long as humanly possible. See, Becky works at the pediatric clinic and because she was always like a second mother to me, I continued to go there. Being so sick for so long with my IBS that place actually became quite familiar to me, and Becky has always been there to comfort me, always rushed to the waiting room when she was informed I had arrived and let me hang in her office with her or she sat with me while I waited to be called back and she always took the time away from work to come in the room with me while the doctor saw me. That’s why anytime anything was wrong I immediately called her.
Well, a couple months ago I got sick. I think it was strepp, but I’m still not really sure. I was sick for months but too stubborn to see a doctor, mostly because the thought of it reminded me of Becky and that I didn’t have her to turn to. And the reason, well that was the worst, most haunting part of all. So my therapist recommended I see a new doctor, someone to turn to in cases like that. She told me about someone she trusted close to my house, but I never took the step. Finally, to help me take some of the stress off, she made the connection for me. I set up the appointment and was good to go. When I got there everything seemed fine. The girl taking my vitals was training and that translated to a total train wreck, but she was learning so I was patient. Then the doctor came in. She was a short older-ish woman with slightly greyed short hair who seemed really nice. We had a long chat then she asked me to lay back on the table. She was gentle about my stomach but when she went to listen to my breathing she did something that really shocked me. She reached into my shirt, into my bra, lifted up my breast from underneath to where my nipple was exposed, all to listen to my breathing. At the time I didn’t know what to do or say. I was in a room alone with a professional medical doctor who had been informed that I had been abused, she did everything so quick and casually. But as I walked out that office I felt violated. I was shocked, so much so the first thing I asked Brent when I got in the car was if that sounded normal. Being a male I don’t think he understood the invasiveness of the action.
Two days later the shock wore off and it set in how horrible what she had done made me feel. Right or wrong normal or not was that absolutely NECESSARY? My mother said no one has ever done that to her. My therapist said she did that to her when she saw her and ahe refers many clients to her and trusts her, but does that make what she did right? I confided in my best friend what had happened and she said she has seen many doctors, male and female, and no one has ever done that to her.
I am at a loss for words? Has this happened to be again? Has my body been violated and my mind been once again manipulated by the trust I hold in people? I do know one thing, I never want to go back there.
I had a really hard realization today about my sister. I’m incredibly sad and hurt by her. I’ve been so busy going back and forth between feeling sorry for her for being married to a child molestor and mad at her for standing by the side of the man who molested me, her baby sister, that I haven’t realized how badly it hurts that my own sister thinks I am a liar. Not only does she think I am a liar but she thinks I would make something like this up? And to what means? To ruin her life? Why would I ever want to do that? Why would I ever want to hurt the woman who was like a second mother to me, always defended me and my IBS, was always there for me when I was sick or when mom or Ashley were being mean to me? I still have moments where something happens and the only person I need is Becky. And she’s gone. And not just gone, so gone she didn’t even talk to our mother on Mother’s Day. So gone my mother went to the hospital thinking she was having a heart attack (it was a severe panic attack) because of her anger and sadness of losing her daughter to a child molester and what he has done to our family.
My anxiety has reached a whole new level and despite my strength and the people around me keeping my head up, my resources are no longer enough. I’m about to start a new journey hoping the medication I am prescribed will come through for me. There are days when I feel as if I just can’t do it, like there isn’t enough in me to face life that day. The only thing I can manage to do is hide inside myself and sleep. Eating is too much, dealing with the pain and struggle of my IBS is too much, going outside is too much, the world is terrifying, the possibility of having an emotional trigger or something trigger my anxiety is literally horrifying to me, it is all too much to bare. Thankfully I have people to pull me out of it and make me face my fears but that doesn’t make it one bit easier or less scary unfortunately. I’ve been fighting taking medicine since this began. My therapist suggested it but I am as stubborn as I am strong (I get both from my mom) and I’ve been determined to do this on my own. Now I know why some people need SSRI’s. My brain knows the reality and can rationalize situations, real or hypothetical, but my body is reacting constantly. I am always in fight or flight mode. Earlier this week the anxiety in my chest was so bad I was in excruciating physical pain. This is why it’s time for help, for stronger resources.
I have to at least try to email my sister again. I wanted to do it a few weeks ago but it wasn’t for me, it was for Becky. I was upset and mad and in disbelief at how she is behaving especially toward our mother, then I found out he had the audacity to THREATHEN OUR MOTHER WITH A LAWYER? WHAT A COWARD. Our mother who is so desperately trying to make her daughter see the truth, who only cares about what’s best for Becky, is now being threaten by the man who molested me. I could just die. I was so angry but my therapist was right, I don’t need to do anything for Becky, after all she has done NOTHING for me since I spoke the truth. So this email will be for me, because I need my sister to know that she has broken my heart. She told me around Christmas time how important family is and in a weird way that gave me the strength to start the process of telling my family and to believe that even with how awful and life-ruining this all is, she and I would be there for each other. I never thought she would think I was a liar, I never thought she would continue to lay in bed every night next to the person who has ruined so much of me and who I could’ve become. My therapist warned me, a disgusting amount of women react this way, but I never thought my Becky would be one of them.
“As is the case in every state, truth is a valid defense against defamation.”
MARK OLIVIER MOLESTED ME AS A CHILD. WANT TO PROVE ME WRONG? WANT TO CHARGE ME WITH SLANDER? PLEASE TRY.
You’ve hurt my mother enough, you’ve hurt my family enough. My sister is somehow stupid enough to still stand by your side. But me, I’m not a child anymore; IM NOT SCARED ANYMORE.
Anxiety consumes me.
Monday evening I had a horrible anxiety attack. Tuesday morning was even worse. My anxiety caused my IBS to flare and I was extremely sick. My legs were shaking, my knees weak, and my body emptying out every bit of strength (and poop hahaha) that I had in me. I broke. I’ve never been so grateful to have Brent. I’ve had a lot of those moments lately. He came home early from his trip and although he had to get back on the road Tuesday morning and couldn’t be with me, being able to see him before I left and have him pull me back together enough to get in the car was exactly what I needed. I wish so badly he could’ve been there but some things we must face alone…and with our moms in the waiting room to hold our hand on the way home.
I totally went into bitch mode on the lady at the first Police Station we went to. Her attidude was absolutely horrible and so I immediately lashed with anger, which in my case usually tends to be more accurately described as pure rage. I had to go outside and cry again. Once the advocate from STAR got there she had the address of where the abuse took place and we were redirected to the Sheriff’s Office where everyone was so much more pleasant. The Deputy I spoke with and gave my statement to was a stereotypical small town cop down to the Marine posters and framed photo of John Wayne on his wall. He was so careful, professional, and caring. He was slow and cautious with his words and also took the time to listen. He made sure I was comfortable and had options to do things at my own pace. For what it was, the experience wasn’t as bad as I had dreaded it being. The hardest part was my statement. I’ve only just recently spoken about the detailed memories I have to my therapist for the first time. I avoided even acknowledging the memories and never focused on the details. I tried to forget them but they are burned there like flashes and short videos. Writing it out was horrid, it was almost like I wasn’t even there. I wrote faster than I ever have but handing it over did feel like relief. I felt the weight, knowing I was handing this over and someone else, someone bigger had to carry it, had to deal with it now.
We are pursuing charges for second degree sexual battery which is a felony. There is a time limitation on these things and the reality that it may be too late is something I am painfully aware of. I am hoping beyond all hope it isn’t too late, but if it is I know I’ve still done everything in my power. He is in the system. He can never escape that.
Today has been hard. I slept all night, was up for a few hours, then fell back to sleep until I had to force myself up to go to work. When I got to work I was in a good mood, at least I was forcing the presentation of one and doing a damn good job at it. The forced smiles eventually became too painful. All night I had panic attacks. Anxiety attacks? I’m no professional and may not know the correct label but I do know for a fact that my heart was about to explode out of my chest. I felt like I needed to literally escape my own skin. Work was too much. I was overwhelmed all night and every little thing set me off. I could pin point some triggers when my anxiety would flare but other times I couldn’t. I’ve learned to identify triggers and to let them pass and let it rest when they can’t be identified. I’ve also learned to fucking hate triggers. Everything was a trigger to me tonight. I’ve never felt more on edge, more like I wanted, no, NEEDED to run. Where, I’m not sure. Probably home and to bed. I made it through the night. Thankfully my coworker is a genuinely good guy and understood that I was clearly dealing, or not dealing, with some major shit and he allowed me to feel comfortable enough to walk away when I had to and run to the bathroom when I had to without asking questions other than the constant making sure I was ok which I think I really needed. It helps to know someone is worried and willing to throw a life preserver when you are drowning. Brent had a hot bath run for me when I got home. I broke so incredibly hard and just sobbed and sobbed because I have no answers for this, no simple solution. I didn’t even know how I had just made it through the night and was already having anxiety about going back tomorrow. He let me talk, he let me cry…a lot, he talked, and he didn’t talk; what I needed when I needed it. I’m so scared of this feeling of panic and anxiety. I literally feel like I can’t handle it. I don’t know why it comes or how to make it go away but I know I hate it so much. I’m left tonight once again feeling hopeless as far as making this anxiety go away but I know I can get past this too. It will take time and I know I feel like I can’t do it right now but I also know how far I’ve come and how strong I actually am.
Since the memories have come back to me I’ve been flooded with nightmares. The most recent was the most obvious perpetrating dream possible but until I finally talked about it and thought about it I didn’t even realize it. I have always convinced myself that if I talk about dreams I’ll have them again and again. So what repressing them will solve it all huh? I am so glad I’m learning to change my old coping mechanisms into healthier ones or at least acknowledging they aren’t the best ways of coping and reaching out for other resources. Once I did it was so painfully obvious I felt smacked by it.
In the dream I am running from a long white snake. I am in white underwear and a white tank top. All of a sudden for some reason I revent to laying down on the ground in the dirt. The snake comes up from behind me and slithers under me in between my right leg and up my panty line and just rests with it’s head pressing into the right side of my stomach so hard and so real I could feel it there for days after the dream. (I can still kinda feel it there but the re-writing has helped drastically.) I was terrified of it but even more terrified to move because if I took away it’s warmth and rolled over or tried to get up and get away it would just bite me in the stomach… or in my head it would’ve eaten my stomach.
SO PAINFULLY OBVIOUS RIGHT?
My therapist told me it all made perfect sense. Snakes, the thing I am most terrified of in the world, the thing I find the most vile, combined with laying there frozen on my stomach feeling trapped and wanting to run but knowing I couldn’t; exactly how I felt and the exact physical position I was in when I was abused. Writing this dream was incredibly hard. Rewriting this dream was incredibly empowering. My therapist suggested I rewrite the dream into a situation where I win, where I am no longer the victim. So that’s exactly what I did. I was no longer vulnerable, I mean how vulnerable can you be with a hatchet in one hand and a machete in the other?! Needless to say I went to town on that snake. I ended the dream covered in it’s blood and guts and filled with glory. I felt like Buffy the Vampire Slayer or that girl in that horror movie “You’re Next,” she was a tough bitch bashin brains left and right. I feel like I will use this tactic from now on because even if it doesn’t stop me from having this dream again (WHICH IT HAS SO FAR), it prepares me with the ammunition to possibly change it, and even more powerful it prepares me with the best piece of knowledge, KNOWING THIS IS ONLY A DREAM.
As I lay here staring at my newest tattoo it reminds me of all the postive comments I’ve gotten about them, horribly negative interactions and judgements I’ve experienced simply for having them, and above all the reason why I chose to be tattooed.
I know my mother always wants this tattoo to be the last one, but she never ever says anything negative about my tattoos. If anything, she was always sure to tell me how beautiful they were with a genuine smile. When I showed her the sparrow with dad’s name (well, for those of you that don’t know me too personally, he’s my step-father, Albert) there was absolutely pride in her eyes. Among the many other tattoos and reasons for them, some of which simply being they look cool, I finally was able to explain to my mom why I get tattooed.
Earlier this year I had my parents come to the city to “meet my therapist.” I told them what happened, something I swore I would never ever do. I was convinced that he had hurt me enough and I’d never tell my mom or sister and let him hurt them too. Things change a lot when you’re in therapy. You learn a lot. Needless to say, my perspective changed greatly. Fast-forward to me missing Christmas and my sister giving me grief about how important family is because how could she know why I was avoiding going home for that holiday and every single other family get-together since I had remembered what he had done to me. Now my mom knows and I can explain so much more to her although it can be hard for both of us at times.
I explained to my mom that when it comes to tattoos they make me feel proud of my skin instead of wanting to hide in it. Dealing with abuse at a young age has made it painful to be stared at like a piece of meat. Even guys who think they are being flattering? or shit maybe they don’t even notice they are doing it but I. always. do. My tattoos make me feel like if all these men are going to stare I will give them something to stare at. They make me feel strong and tough and above all beautiful as fuck! I love being tattooed and I love that it makes me love myself and my body more!
I would get these feelings. I never knew how to explain them; I still don’t. One day I was watching ‘Breakfast At Tiffany’s’ and Audrey Hepburn’s character talks about having the mean reds. “The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of.” That’s pretty spot on to how I felt that day in the truck when the song came on. It always happened that way, very random. It happened the first time during a song I’d heard what seemed like a million times. Again when I was watching a movie I’m pretty sure I’d seen literally a million times. Another time when I was stopped at a red light in my car laughing and enjoying my day when all of a sudden BAM it hits you like a wall of bricks, just nails you right in the chest and you feel sick and sad and scared and the most prominent feeling of all you just want it to go away.
I had reached a point where every time I drove to work I was panicking. Every inch of me inside and out wanted so desperately to turn around at every single opportunity. Tears were welling up quick and I’d just breathe through them and let them flow out as they pleased because I didn’t have the strength to fight them. I didn’t know what was happening but I felt so hopeless. That word just kept echoing to me, HOPELESS HOPELESS HOPELESS. I wondered how anyone who had been through what I went through functioned every day; lived like nothing was wrong? How could anyone not be utterly consumed by it? How did it not haunt them day and night? How were they ok? Would I ever be? I felt as if I never would be ok again. I was terrified.
I never want anyone to have to feel that way or even remotely close to it. I was molested. I am a victim of child sexual abuse. I am living with post traumatic stress disorder caused by that abuse. I also developed irritable bowel syndrome when the abuse stopped and have been living with it for 17 years. I repressed any and all memory of my trauma for 16 years and lived that entire time with my abuser as a part of my immediate family, married to my oldest sister. I wanted to write about what happened to me publicly to help someone, even if it helps just one person not feel lost, helpless, or hopeless.
This is my story to tell.