Through my rigorous, and on-going study, in academia and of my own volition, of literary technique, literary theory as it relates to post-structuralism and Derrida’s Deconstruction, of which my knowledge is limited, The New Critics, The New York intellectuals, De man, and many others, of which my knowledge is also limited, and the ephemeral quality of the text in relation to the reader and the author, and to be more succinct, what language’s relationship is to human existence, has resulted in my growth as a human being and as a writer. I have made the sovereign decision to dedicate my life to arranging words and in the process I hope to arrange myself. And in that sentiment, I have found an agonizing and horrific irony. I am nurturing my ability to craft pieces of fiction for the enjoyment of others yet I am possessed of the inability to write directly about being sexually abused as a child.
Through years of repressing the fact that I was sexually abused, an agonizing chasm has formed, in my memory, that has been left for me to trudge. How can this be? How can a person who has dedicated their life to the word be eluded by them all? This post was very painful. Having to arrange words, cognizant that they are being arranged in order to re-create or convey my sexual abuse, is one of the most agonizing experiences of my life. And I know that these streams of convoluted emotions are temporary and the essence of myself, that I am attempting to capture in this moment, will miss the mark, is in itself, painful. But, I am obligated to myself, to provide the following; my best attempt at a brief narration of a moment in my childhood where I was sexually abused. The following three paragraphs is my first time writing about my sexual abuse in detail. Here goes nothing.
It must have been late September or early October. Of course, I cannot be certain, however, when I delve into the corridors of my memory, I see those autumn leaves; those beautiful autumn leaves, colored anywhere between red and orange. It was morning and I had just awoken to the girl whispering in my ear. She always seemed to be a playful and curious spirit. I opened one eye than the other. Her freckled face and blue eyes were staring right at me. I can’t recall saying much. I can’t recall ever saying much, I can only recall lying there. There was commotion coming from outside of our shared bedroom. It was my mother and the man, I believe she was dating. And this girl was the man’s daughter. Bear in mind I was 7 and the girl was at least 12. While this yelling stole my attention, the girl hopped into my bed, as she usually did. And began undressing and playing with genitals. I do not remember resisting. I only remember feeling a sense of prolonged estrangement.
This must have gone on for about ten minutes, when my mother burst into the room to prepare me for school. She saw us there, together, in my bunk, which was the top bunk of our bunk bed. She proceeded to scream. I am not sure who the frustration was directed at, but knowing my mother, she wanted nothing more than to protect me. My mother separated us, got me dressed, and yelled up a storm at everyone. For those of who have mothers, I am sure you know how intimidating it is to hear your mother yell when you are a child. Especially if you think the yelling is directed at you. In retrospect, I know she was yelling at the girl and her father. She finished preparing me and we were on the way. All the while I felt as though I had betrayed my mother, the girl, or crossed some moral or ethical boundary, but I didn’t. I was just a boy.
On the car ride to school, I remember sitting there, listening to my other talk to me. I didn’t know what she was saying but she seemed concerned. This girl had been abusing me for nearly 2 years and I think she was beginning to put the pieces together. My mother dropped me off at school, gave me a kiss on the cheek, told me how special I was, and was on her way. That school day had somber overtones. I kept replaying the events of that morning, in an attempt see where I had gone wrong. And again in hindsight, I know I did nothing wrong, but the moral implications of events, either implicit or explicit in them, are difficult to discern as a child. After this day, my memory goes grey for some time. I do know, my mother moved us from where we were living, and I feel as though I never saw the girl again.
I know this isn’t the most horrific or gut-wrenching of sexual abuse stories. And is nothing compared to what many people, including my friend Allen, have lived through. But, this doesn’t make my experience invalid and if you experienced anything terrible, it does not make your experience invalid either. For me, it is difficult to gauge what impact this particular experience has had one my emotional and mental growth. I had two other abusers in my life. And I am not yet ready to write about them, but in time, and through the strength I draw from this project, I know I will feel compelled too. I wrote this in shame but the sun is shining today. I feel stronger. I know this post will be lost with time, tucked away in some corner of the internet, maybe seen by a few or many, I am not sure, but, I do know that I wrote it. I do know that I was sexually abused, and I am beginning to understand that I am okay with that.