Sometimes it’s weird how these chains of thought develop even when one processes through all their personal stuff.
I didn’t think I was going to find this whole new random thread among the clutter of others. But as I was writing about my rape again (because each time I find another piece that I hadn’t worked on before). This time… something that has been a huge glaring part of my entire childhood peeked out to say hello.
Lately I’ve been getting plenty of reassurances from my partners that I’m not alone and that they’d be there to help in any way they can. For me, it’s mostly in the form of reassurances. I have to work through this old frayed knot to take it apart and fix it and make it stronger. And the more I picked at it yesterday, I kind of had a come to Jesus moment in the form of feeling horrible about myself.
One of the things that stuck out to me was something I always remember my mom telling me when I was younger. So, along with the abuse that I dealt with when I was at home, I was also relentlessly bullied from the age of 8, which is also when I started puberty… or maybe it was 7. Anyways, when I was far younger than I should have been.
I used to ask my mom for help, because that’s what you’re supposed to do when you’re a young kid, right?
Well, I was never really offered much in the way of reassurance of any kind (which is why they tend to be so powerful to me now). Nor was there an offer of how to cope with the teasing or how to help me lose weight (which is funny because I was a very active child). Instead, I was told I had to learn to fight my own battles. That’s not exactly the most helpful of pieces of advice, now is it?
Especially when you’re an 8-year-old little girl who doesn’t understand why she’s the only one in her grade that needs to wear deodorant and a bra. Where people would make fun of my relentlessly because I was fat, because I was poor… both things I had little control over at the time.
So, instead of anything that would ease me through this abuse, I was once again left to fend for myself, to figure out the best way to deal with it. I did this with no knowledge of psychology or why any of this was happening in the first place. Every time I had a problem I couldn’t solve because I lacked the knowledge to do so, I had to handle it myself.
It was said so often that I stopped asking for help. There was no purpose to ask for something that I wouldn’t get in the first place. So, I spent most of my times trying to figure out how to fix these things… something I had no knowledge of how to do at the time.
So, no wonder I beat myself up relentlessly over why I couldn’t fight back when I was raped. All I ever heard was fight your own battles. It’s why I never told anyone about the rape until I was 18 and taking an abnormal psych class. I looked at the DSM and looked at what I had been experience for those long 5 years and realized that was it. I was dealing with my rape and it made it hard to live.
Even when I sought help, I did it on my own. I went to an outside therapist that had a sliding scale. I didn’t use my health care… but realized that I needed more care than I could afford that way.
Everything I’ve dealt with has been a self-struggle, not by choice but by piss poor design.
So, someone telling me that they’re there for me is a little strange. I’m not used to support. When your life has been entirely self-preservation, the idea of a life raft quickly becomes a little strange. I’m never sure how anyone can help. Especially as I work through this, I’m not sure what more anyone can do but be a sounding board and offer reassurance both verbal and physical, if physical is possible.
This has been… well… pretty much a life-long struggle.
More than anything, this pisses me off. I’ve always felt like I have always been forced to be the adult. I have to be responsible. I have to be in control. I never had a chance to be that child. I had to fight my own battles. I had to watch my sister. I had to provide my food (as in it was in the house, but I had to earn to cook very young). I had to be beaten into submission by any and all means possible (as you can tell, that turned out so well).
Some days I just want to end it all. I’ve been an adult for almost 30 years now. I’m tired. For someone as young as I am, I shouldn’t be so world-weary… yet, here I am. Aged well beyond my years because I had no choice. And now… now I want the freedom to act reckless. I want to be able to do the things that I never could when I was younger. But, for the most part, I don’t. Someone needs to be the adult. Someone needs to be responsible. And I wear that mantle far too often.
Thinking about all of this makes my heart weep. I don’t know how to be a child because I was never one. Why did I have to be the responsible one? Why did I have to be the adult? Why couldn’t I have been able to depend on my parents?
Why did I have to fix everything? I was a child and didn’t have the tools at the time. I wasn’t being told this as a teenager, I was being told this as an eight-year-old. That’s a lot of responsibility for a little kid… and why did I have to do that in the first place? I wasn’t a parent and I certainly wasn’t old enough to understand everything that was going on.
The more I write about this, the angrier I get. I hate that I even had to relinquish my childhood. I hate that I couldn’t ever experience what it really means to be irresponsible. I have no idea what childhood means. To me, it was looking after my sister. It was trying not to get beaten. It was just trying to make it through the day without negative comments about my weight or that I was poor.
This isn’t exactly the childhood that I wanted nor is it one I think that anyone really deserves. It’s what I have to work with though. Sometimes that’s all you really got. So, I’m going to make do with what I have and figure out how to be comfortable accepting the help of others. I like being in the place where I can get help… I just wish I was more comfortable with people reaching out to me.