It all came back to me yesterday while I was brushing my teeth. I noticed that, as of recently, I couldn’t get through the process of brushing my tongue without gagging. Hard. Sometimes I would actually get sick right in the sink! The gagging was so intense and painful that my whole chest would ache. This has become a problem over the last 10 or so months, when it has never been before. Then I made the connection: the gagging began right around the time that I had developed suspicion of my repressed sexual abuse. The incident with the tongue-brushing made me aware of my own tongue, and how much I hated tongues… how disgusting it felt to feel someone else’s tongue on mine and how I could never romantically kiss my partners unless I was inebriated. This is when a seemingly innocent memory popped into my conscious, I estimate that the memory took place between the ages of 3-5. I remembered trying to kiss my mother in a pubic place, there was a woman standing with us. My mom asked for a kiss and I leaned toward her, tilted my head to the side, and tried to kiss her romantically. In the memory, the way I went to kiss my mom seemed natural to me. She told me “that is NOT how you kiss your mom!”, but I remember feelings of shame after she told me no. I was feeling “bad” and guilty for my actions. The emotions tied to that memory resonate within me, far more than the events themselves. I don’t know if it would be normal for a young girl to try to kiss her mom the way she saw it on television, or in a movie (I have really begun doubting my ability to judge what is, and is not, “normal”). However, if I really didn’t know what I was doing, why would I feel guilty and ashamed when my mother corrected me?

This memory didn’t sit well with me, and it wasn’t long before my mind was inundated with memories from childhood. Confused, and wanting to make sense of this, I started compiling a list. I let my mind flow, writing everything that surfaced, allowing myself to be unafraid and unashamed of what might appear on the page. There were memories of ways my mom may/may not have been inappropriate (I don’t know what “normal moms” do any more), memories of my family’s extreme emotional instability, drug use, along with my own struggle through serious mental health issues, beginning at a very early age. As the day carried on, I realized more and more that my childhood was abusive. I never noticed before, and I can’t believe I didn’t see it. Each memory as an isolated incident could have been written off, thought of as a “joke,” or normal behavior (In fact, that’s what I always did. I thought all of these things were perfectly okay up until now). I don’t remember any actual abuse, but the memories carried strong feelings of shame, disgust, fear and discomfort. Her telling my I had pretty nipples, asking if my pubic hair had started growing, then asking if she could see my pubic hair once I admitted to her it was. Her telling me to undress to she could check me “down there” instead of taking me to a doctor at the age of 13. Her asking me to take off all of my clothes once she found out I was participating in self harm so she could, “see if I cut myself anywhere else.” Her coming to me in the middle of the night as a young girl, asking me if I was touching myself because, “it smelled like I was.” She would say often to my sister and I, even as adults, “You used to suck on my breasts when you were little!” The way my sister is emotionally unstable, how she is 27 and always wants to “cuddle with her sissy.” The lists goes on and on.

I realized that I have never felt good around my mom. I had already suspected, for a year or so, that I had been abused as a child. I suspected my father (I’m still not sure what his role is in all of this) but I had little information, and the whole idea didn’t really seem “real” to me. I was not prepared in the slightest to realize that my mother at least played a role in my abuse, and quite possibly, carried out the abuse all alone. Before these memories came to my conscious, my family was still just my family. We were troubled, dysfunctional, unhappy, but we were a family. It’s so painful to realize that the people who were supposed to take care of me, the people that I thought DID take care of me, were the people that tainted and oppressed my body, my mind and my spirit. She damaged me with her sexual abuse as a young child, then reenforced the damage of her actions with years of emotional abuse afterward. I don’t know who to trust, I don’t know where to turn. I live on my own, and now, I am truly alone in the world. I feel guilty and scared.
bowlofsurreal bowlofsurreal
22-25, F
4 Responses Sep 1, 2014

I am glad you shared this "you gotta keep your head up" - 2pac :)

Thank you for sharing. I greatly appreciate you and others here on EP sharing your life stories here.

Wow. a very great deal to take in. your feelings must be running 10 Times the speed of sound and healing is long overdue. but while I know you feeling your guilt is misplaced. guilt is just a feeling in this case the feeling is a lie. you did nothing wrong.

there should be no guilt there should be no shame

Don't ever think you are alone in the world; there are many others who have experienced similar suffering and they will not only empathise with your story but stand by you in spirit.

Thank you <3

You are most welcome.