This week I chose the writing prompt at the top. I want this post to link up for October National Child abuse Prevention as well…
What was I labeled as a child and how did it affect my life?
I was labeled a lot of things, cute, the singer, the baby, too many to list. But the one that had the greatest affect was victim. Victim to the twisted mind of adult males in my family who decided I was old enough to understand adult things. Taking things they should not have even thought of taking. Like my innocence, my trust, my self esteem. Because soon enough cute became twisted to mean pretty enough to touch in those places. It meant nothing I wore could cover the areas their eyes would pry through when we were around. It meant the constant feeling of never going to be anything but what I could do for anyone in an area I wasn’t old enough to even know about let alone be a participant in.
It screamed whore, harlot, tease, because that is what they said. Regardless of what I did or didn’t do, what I wore or avoided wearing it made no difference. If I cried it made them more excited, if I just laid there it made the do more cause they believed I didn’t care, when I did care, I just had nothing left in me to fight with and no reason to fight back.
It bound a little girl in a body of a woman that was not yet a woman, just treated like it was. It hid my sense of trust in a deep dark cave somewhere deep within me. It shattered my dreams of going places and doing things because I was now marked, like the mark of the beast. A secret tattoo that I knew was there, but apparently was visible to every freak on the street.
Despite their best efforts to break me and show me how little I could do, I hid inside me, plotting their death, when I was big enough to fight back. One day I would show them. But I didn’t, I spent much of my adult life trying to erase their fingerprints off of me. Sleeping with anyone who dared look at me in that way , who paid me any attention that wasn’t sexual, but I repaid in sex, because that is how it worked right..
Until one day that little girl from so long ago saw a man who she had seen for several years. The woman was now visible on the outside and she was soon to be a mother, though she didn’t know it yet, with one failed marriage behind her and the continual man hunt that left her as lonely and scared as she had always been. Continuously ignoring the little girl, trying to act big and brave. Then she saw the first one at a local dance and her mind begin to whirl with the thoughts she had always had concerning hurting him. Her chance was in front of her and yet she suddenly could not speak, she could not move, and he came near and she could feel his eyes undressing her and she could feel her stomach lurch inside of her. She prayed to vomit on him, vomit up the 20+ years of fear and shame he had left her with. Vomit up the abuse she suffered long after he was no longer a threat but because he had left his vile mark on her made her a target for others. When he approached closer she could smell the alcohol, like she had smelled as a little girl. His hand reached up for her hair and she pulled back, oblivious now to the people around her. Feeling the walls close in and the room grow smaller till it was just him and her again. She pulled back and fell into a doorway where there stood another man. The oldest son of the one, who did not know the history. When he grabbed her arm she jumped out of her skin, the other man was so close still and he was trying to play nice. But something in her reaction told the son something was not right. She spoke. “don’t you ever touch me again” softly at first, barely audible in the crowd of the music and people. The son asked her what she had said and stole a glance at the father before him. Louder this time, ” DON”T YOU EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN” The son look confused looking between his father and the woman/little girl here before him. The son’s friend approaches from behind when he hears the ruckus and asks if he can do anything. She looks at this friend from the past and says, ” Take me out of here and get him away from me.”
He pulls her outside as she screams at the father, ” Sick twisted fucker, you goddamn pervert I was only a little girl , you had NO RIGHT” Suddenly strength arising in her when she realizes she is not alone..
The son’s face twisting in rage at the father when he realizes the depth of her accusation. His fists balling up at his side as he slowly asks, ” Is she telling the truth did you touch her when she was little?”
The woman screams again, ” Him and your brother, they hurt me , they laughed and they hurt me I hate them both I hope they die. I want him to die. “
The friend ushers me to his car where the big mouth woman has now vanished and he finds himself with the little girl who trembles and shakes in his car, now freezing cold despite the warmth of the night.
She can hear the son screaming at the father, threatening his life. She feels the friend begin to get out of the car, now livid with rage himself, and her hand grabs his arm and begs him not to leave her alone. So he stretches out his hand for her to hold as he stretches out of the car to throw his own warnings towards the man. Her heart pounding out of her chest she realizes for the first time she is not alone. She told someone and she didn’t die. He didn’t kill her, it didn’t kill her.
That night would change her life. It would take time, and life lessons. The birth of a child and the entrance of a man who had been there all along. Who was willing to hold the little girl who needed to be let out, and love the woman for who she was right where she was. It took the touch of God to release the pain and hurt and anger, along with the little girl. In the midst of it all she knew that nothing could ever take that power from her again. She would talk, she would tell others. She would stop living with a secret that could have destroyed her and tried. She would take back the power she lost so long ago and use it to help others get to here. Step by step, she has gone from victim to overcomer. She has risen above her past, though some days it tries to rear it’s ugly demon head. In those moments she feels the pain for just a moment before smiling and saying , “Devil I left that road a long time ago and nothing you have on it has a hold on me now.. wanna cross that blood line, I double dog dare ya”