10 Years Ago: Abuse Makes Sex Loaded With Shame.

“The main motive for “non-attachment” is a desire to escape from the pain of living, and above all from love, which, sexual or non-sexual, is hard work.”

George Orwell 1950

After the abortion I considered what had led me to that situation, I thought about how weak I was, how I’d not stood up for myself, or my twins. I considered how I’d started sex working as a way to reclaim some of my power, especially over men, and yet I’d stupidly got pregnant by a client, and then had allowed him to railroad me into the abortion despite my apprehension about it all. The abortion made me think of my biological father, it made me think about my obsession over my ex Tobias, and the naïve dreams I had about our reunion, how I’d given him so much power over my emotions and existence by the blind loyalty and inability to let go. I thought of my school teacher and how he’d abused me, how I let him use me for his sick and sordid pursuits. I thought of my grandfather and how he exploited my vulnerability as a child and sexually abused me. I started to think I had a label on my head that just said ‘do what you want with me, abuse me, use me’.

I wanted to stand up for myself, I was suddenly confronted with my life and my way of being in the world, I was exposed, and didn’t like what I saw. I knew I needed to change the way I related to others, I knew I needed to find an identity for myself, that wasn’t dependant on my social circle or working life. I needed to find a way to stop being victim of things and take some control over my own destiny but the more I considered my life and where it all went wrong, the more shame I felt, I became overwhelmed with all the revelations and my depression intensified. I wanted to run away and start over, I imagined being able to stand up to all the people in my life who’d hurt me, I imagined how it would feel if my teacher was held accountable for what he did, I imagined confronting my grandfather and letting him know how he’d ruined my childhood and made the world feel unsafe, sadly all I could do was imagine. I feared that nobody would believe me about my teacher, or that they would say it was my fault and I knew what I was doing. I also worried about his family and how it would be for them, I hated the idea of ripping innocent lives apart, it reminded me of feelings I had over my grandfather abusing me, and how I didn’t want my mum to know as it would destroy her. I always felt responsible somehow for others, I could never just act without considering the ripple effects, and these ripples were more like tsunami’s. Abuse fucks you up, literally and figuratively, you don’t deserve it but you feel like you do, it’s not your fault but you feel responsible, it’s not your shame but your the one who lives with it.

My grandfather was living in a care home, his health had deteriorated after my mum’s death (biologically she was my grandmother but she was mum to me). He was just a frail old man, confused, grieving for his wife of 55 years, he didn’t even know who I was when I visited him at the care home and would call me by my biological mothers name. I had to care for him despite my feelings, and I hated myself for harbouring such unkind thoughts towards him, I was always torn because despite the abuse he’d given me lots, and he was my mum’s husband, she cared for him, and he’d loved her. I tried to persuade myself so often that it never happened, I wanted to pretend it hadn’t, it would’ve been easier then.

I was also scared of revealing the abuse I suffered as I felt I’d be judged, not for being abused, but for being who I was despite the abuse. Could I be sexy and playful or would that not seem appropriate, would it suggest that I wasn’t impacted by the abuse. Abuse makes sex a weird issue, if people knew I was abused would they suddenly expect me to be afraid of sexuality or to hide mine, it’s as though abuse makes anything sexual loaded with strange judgements or conclusions. I’ve always been a flirty, playful and sexual person, but if people knew I was abused would they see that differently. I didn’t want to be scared of being those parts of me, would it make it difficult to have a relationship because a partner may be concerned about me intimately and become guarded in how they were towards me, I didn’t want that. I didn’t want to be treated like a victim and for sex to become strained and lacking in freedom.

Sex for me was play, a way to express, to connect, to enjoy my body and that of another, the whole abuse topic was a bit of a downer, and I didn’t want to be treated with kid gloves or for someone to be inhibited because of my past. Abuse makes sex loaded with shame, especially because you can feel aroused by things that may be linked to the abuse, people don’t like admitting that, but it’s true, and it leaves you feeling more deviant and more ashamed. I liked role play and fantasy but if others knew the extent of my abuse certain scenarios may not be enjoyed with such freedom and spontaneity, I can separate parts of myself, but if a romantic or sexual partner knew the truth would they be able to separate abused me from sexual me. I needed the truth to come out for my own sanity but feared it as it may mean a departure from certain parts of myself too. I wanted authenticity but was scared of the consequences on my way of being. I met Marcel during this time and he was a space to be authentic and real, no matter how despairing or bizarre, he allowed the truth to emerge, and I was grateful for that. My journal of this time reads..

August 2010

Appledore Regatta

Had a nice morning walk with Charlie. Visited my Grandad, it went ok, always feel like I’m waiting to leave, he is quite confused right now, kept calling me Nat and thinks mum is sitting in the corner of the room, it’s sad, I don’t like seeing him like that and was pleased to leave. Chilled out with Mike for a a bit at his before going off to Regatta.

Met a few people whilst out and about, we went to the Seagate, The Beaver, The Royal. I met Marcel and we shared lots of giggles, people told me he was a liability but I liked him, we chatted for ages and he made me laugh so much. We all went back to Mikes house and continued the party, everyone loves doing Mephedrone at the moment, it’s a weird buzz, feels dirty and the smell is sickening, I much rather mdma, it’s a nicer buzz, feels cleaner in my system, there’s loads of weird shit in that Mephedrone like plant fertiliser, I want to get high not grow leaves. Marcel gave me the nickname ‘Queenie’, apparently fishermen call baby scallops Queenies, because they’re extra special, he said I was extra special, and should be called Queenie too, that’s sweet. We all had a little dance, chatted endlessly about all sorts, Marcel and I kept having nice little chats, it’s so weird how we’ve never seen or heard of each other before as we know lots of the same people, obviously not meant to meet until now. I walked him to the boat at high tide so he could go off to sea, he was a bit of a state but made it. I like him and his energy, he has very kind eyes and gives the loveliest hugs.

So a nice time had, I’m glad Mike persuaded me to go out, he said I needed to have a ice time after recent events and I’m glad I did, it was good to let loose a bit and get involved in local life, nice to have a distraction from all my thoughts and worries. This is my home for now and I have to find ways to adjust and let go of my old life and old friends, I’m not that person anymore, I need to start building a life apart from Tobias and everyone, I need to be my own person, whatever that brings. If I can find a way to manage my feelings then maybe I can start to confront some things and deal with my past, it’s gotta happen at some point.

“When people talk to us about others they are usually dull. When they talk to us about themselves they are nearly always interesting.”

Oscar Wilde 1891

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