I'm in Austell, Georgia right now. The night before last I sat up with two women and some kind of alcohol and good conversation. Somehow the conversation came to sex and relationships and partners. It was late and the conversation got real. One of the many things we have in common was that we all had one or two (plus, plus, plus) bad relationships. Our whys varied and that's where we allowed ourselves to go deeper.
Sexual abuse has run my life to the point I choose lovers inside of "he won't rape me" over how I feel about them. How I feel about them becomes "please don't hurt me" to the point that I get what I say I don't want. I would love to say I'm bigger than this but the proof is in the list of my exes. Men I felt I could be safe with before I really knew who they were. Because safety is a need like this bone out my windpipe. Running from a boogie man that wasn't even chasing me anymore the red flags meant nothing. And then I relax in the safety long enough for the cheating, drugs, unhealthy mommy attachments, he's just not that into you, undisclosed children show up and my safe house becomes the new fire zone. It's never them. It's always me. I put the v in vicious cycle when it comes to relationships.
Then I leave and "protect" them and myself with my silence and no one ever gets healed. I am reliving a childhood experience over and over. I'm the Groundhog Day. I was four and the teenage girls next door made me suck some guy's penis. So in the interest of claiming power, they didn't make me, I chose the penis over whatever the punishment they had for me if I didn't. I was fucking four, so whatever it was seemed major. I didn't start talking about this until I was in my thirties. Didn't tell my mother until I was thirty-six. Why? Because I didn't want them to get in trouble. I didn't want to get in trouble. I didn't want my mom to be sad. I didn't want my dad to be mad. I didn't want to go to hell. I must have deserved it. Shut up and pretend it didn't happen. All of the reasons.
I became branded. Stamped with "she won't tell" on my forehead like a box of crystal is marked "fragile." So when I was a little girl and Rev. Hunter would ALWAYS kiss me with his tongue in my mouth I didn't tell then either. For all the reasons. Again. I lowkey considered it an upgrade. I didn't have to suck his dick AND he was steady giving me money and Skittles. What? But I never liked it. Did what I could to avoid his strawberry soda tongue to no avail. But I was shut up and take it girl so I...
And the more I shut up the more the shit showed up. I was a magnet to every asshole within a twenty mile radius and I had mastered the shut up more than Toni Morrison the gift of story. So when I was seventeen and stood on a bus stop in the broad daylight of 11am and some jerk off walked right up to me and pulled me by my sweater, dragged me in the middle of the street and wrestled me to the ground until some construction worker threatened him with a pipe then of course I didn't want to call the police. That would require opening my fucking mouth and talking about it. Didn't he get the memo? I'm shut up girl. Everyone knew that. Even Whatshisname I met at twenty-two who just wanted to be friends and why couldn't I go to his house and watch The Cosby show? And after the show he raped me on his living room floor then led my what the hell just happened self to his front door and said with the only smile I had ever seen on his face, "What are you gonna do, go tell?" Even he knew I was shut up girl.
The next day I went to work and told Tonya she said, "You. Were. Raped. You gotta tell the police." Bless Tonya's heart. She didn't get me. Clearly. She didn't know who I was was. Still four. Protecting the dick down the street. I was the dick protector. Being silent that one time led to all of the times I was silent and it never served me. Not once. And here's the danger, silence turns into it didn't hurt which morphs into it never happened at all who gave birth to the high road as immediate default and not choice.
I had to grow into my voice and it hurt slowly like cancer and cramps. I'm still triggered by the foul. Calling it. Giving it a name, screaming "ouch" or "oh fuck." This is where I am on the journey. And this is about me. As desensitized as many are about these stories they still have to come out. No apology. There is no one way we should or have to release them but I think it's important to dig and let the dirt out. I am filled to the brim of stories stuffed inside. It's set free time.