Dealing with my childhood sexual abuse
Today I read a book out loud, whilst with my therapist. My therapist is a safe person. A good man.
We read the book about touch because I was sexually abused as a child. And as an adult, even though I am a happily married mother of two, touch and sex still confuse me. What is 'safe'? What is 'good'? What is OK and allowed, and for whom?
I thought the book would help me. And in a way it did. But the book also causes me pain. Why? Because adult me could see how child me would find it confusing. The pictures that alluded to abuse were dark. Not colourful like the others. But grey and brown and black. Dark and scary.
It seemed to make the assumption that once you knew as a child what was 'good touch' and what was 'secret touch', you would be able to say “no” and stop it happening.
But, little me will tell you that saying "no" does not stop it happening. Little me will also tell you that trying to tell others does not stop it happening either. And little me then felt sad because I said “no” and it didn't stop.
I tried to tell and I wasn't heard or understood. And it didn't stop.
It made me feel like I was then responsible. Because when I got to an age when I knew it was a bad thing, I didn't stop it happening. Because I wanted, needed it to happen. So that I knew I was lovable. Touchable. Little me didn't have good touch. Safe touch. It wasn't a 'thing' in little me's world.
But big me held little me today. Big me told little me that it was OK.
I know that, even though little me knew it was wrong, little me was not responsible. Little me was beautiful. Lovable. Willing to please. Desperate to be loved. Desperate to be lovable. Big me is the same. But big me is now taking care of little me. And I am taking care of big me too.
My therapist said that maybe there was a better way that the book could have been written so that the others like little me might understand things better. Be better taught and held. I don't know if I can do that. But I have written this. So that maybe others who are big like me now, can help their little ones better understand too.