There are many things that I remember about my abuse. There are lots of things that I haven’t allowed myself to recall. I guess I can say that my mind is doing me a favor.
I know there was a sudden change in my demeanor around the time that my abused commenced. I went from a silly and carefree girl to a sexy little one.
I think that my abuse began when I was about the age of seven years old. I can’t put my finger on exactly how he abused me at first or when it started, or even where.
What I do recollect was the summer I was around seven One day I brushed my long brown hair and parted it in the middle letting it fall into my face, partly covering my eyes. It was the seventies. I wanted to look like all the teenagers. I sauntered down my friend, Steven’s house to meet up with the other kids.
I was the only girl in the neighborhood. Including my elder brother, there were seven boys. I played with them every day.
This day was different. I deliberately approached the other kids in a sexy way. I swayed my little hips as I descended the driveway to meet the boys who were playing pirates or cops and robbers or something of the sort. I was trying to get their attention. I felt different. I don’t know why I remember that.
I remember them stopping to look. Not because they thought I looked sexy but because I was acting so weird. They were uncomfortable.
My abuser was my uncle. He didn’t pay much attention to me before the age of seven. He was sort of in the background. He was quiet for the most part. He smoked a lot. I remember that.
Then he started to pay attention to me when I was in the second grade. He took me to the park and for walks and to Bailey’s Ice Cream where we got huge sundaes. He always smelled of stale cigarettes and cheap aftershave.
I don’t want to talk about my abuse so much. I want to talk about what it did to me. I want to share who I was after he abused me. I did not feel innocent anymore.
From that time until well into my adult life I acted out a role that I was forced to play. I did not know how to stop it.
I needed attention. Being attractive and desired and sexy was my comfort. I had no expectations of mutual respect or love or even like, for that matter.
If somebody thought I was cute, I had to like him back because well, he liked me! That was an offer I would not refuse!
There were lots of guys that were “bad boys.” They were the boys that I wanted to date. They were handsome and cocky and smart. They got the “lucky” girls and dammit, I was going to be one of them.
The worse they treated me the more comfortable I felt. If they were respectful and kind to me, then they were weak, and I would lose interest immediately. I would lose respect for them.
I wondered how could they be so stupid as to like me.
You might think that a victim of sexual abuse is scared of sex and doesn’t want anything to do with it. That might happen to some people, but not me.
I felt like an object and that it was my role to be sexual. I did not take pleasure in it. I kind of just started to believe that being sexual was my persona, and I had to act on it.
I was interested in boys. I thought that having a boy like me meant I was good enough. I had little to do with who it was. It had everything to do with me being likable.
I was a prude up till I was in college and then the floodgates opened, and I became provocative.
I slept around because I thought that was what I had to do. I thought that to have a relationship or someone to like me I had to put out. What I did not figure out till way later was that when I had sex right away, guys saw me as trashy and slutty.
Then, if there was a guy who was nice to me I would run the other way. I wanted nothing to do with him because I did not know how to be in a relationship with someone who was nice to me and seemed to like me. It felt uncomfortable, and I didn’t know what to do.
I ended up in one bad relationship after another. Ultimately I married the man who was probably one of the worst of all. He abused me and betrayed me over and over. I stayed with him for a long time because it felt “normal” to me.
Finally, I wised up and left him. Then I dated for a long time. I dated men who were inaccessible, too old or too young. I wanted to go out with hopeless prospects.
It has taken a lot of years to try to undo the damage that resulted from my abuse. I am still not good at it but I am trying.
I am married to a great guy now. He is really kind to me and loving. It had taken many years and many breakups before we got married, all because of me and my hang-ups.
He keeps loving me, though. And I think that I am finally breaking the cycle. I did not think that it could happen.