From the age of 9, I can remember being looked at as a sexual creature. I was hit on by older men, assuming I was at least 18. Cat calls bombarded me as I’d walk down the street in my saggy pants and beanie-chosen to avoid the hoots and hollers.
When I was 12 years old, I was with someone who was 21.
I didn’t even know what was happening.
I knew I hurt very badly the next day and was very confused.
My life continued in this fashion, men having sex with me despite what I really wanted. Even expressing that I didn’t want to go any further, they continued.
Sexual abuse was normalized from the very beginning, while the trauma compounded as the time went on.
This is called rape these days.
This topic is so complicated for me to discuss because I have continued the cycle of trauma patterns throughout my adult life.
I’ve been living in the sickness.
I remember what it felt like to be with those men. Well, one I don’t because he drugged me, but I remember my absent state of mind and being tapped into my physical body and the pleasure.
There was a time that I recognized something was wrong. When I went to have sex on purpose, it was painful. From 18-24 years old, I didn’t know what pleasure felt like anymore.
So let’s begin the real story here…
I began dancing at the age of 20. I’m in a relationship and exploring this world of stripping and getting so much love. Many of my clients were love bugs who simply enjoyed snuggling up tight with me. This was a beautiful time of compassion and balance; in contrast to my outside life with my boyfriend.
My memory is a little foggy, but within a year, 2 max, I found myself sleeping with someone outside of my primary relationship. I’m skipping all the gory details on the interpersonal story because I’m observing the over arching pattern. The person I’m with is so kind and caring that he is willing to work through this with me. I stated my desired to be in an open relationship so I may enjoy the company of others in any capacity that I desire. He actually worked with me to become more open and have the relationship I desired while I dated both men for a few weeks. Eventually, it came to a head and my primary partner gave up trying and threw the ultimatum my way- it’s me or him. I chose him and we stayed together for a few more years (6 total).
At the 5 year mark, I decided I was done with that relationship, however I chose to stay because I was in college. I stayed for another year before I decided I couldn’t take the perpetual unhappiness and dissatisfaction with life any more. Then after three months living on my own and I met my most recent ex.
From the very beginning I expressed my desire to be in an open relationship. I was already sleeping with another man when I met him. He laughed it off and said “sure”, like I was joking and didn’t know what I was talking about. About a year goes by and we’re living with each other. He began to go down a rabbit hole of stress and my eyes wandered to other inspiration. I was happy, healthy, fit, and went home every night. The same situation played out once again. He was kind and caring enough to say he would give it a try. For 3 months I dated two men without them ever meeting each other and without them ever really being happy about it. Finally, my primary partner gave the ultimatum- it’s me or him. I chose him and we stayed together for another 4 years (5 total).
Do you see where I’m going with this?
I was playing out my trauma.
The pattern is definite. I’m hurt, so I hurt others. Although it was unintentional to specifically hurt the people I was with, it happened whether I wanted it to or not. That was the only way I knew how to derive pleasure out of life. It wasn’t the lying that brought me pleasure, or the torment that it brought them, it was this passive movement into a sexual relationship with another.
Acknowledging this pattern is how I plan on moving beyond it. I’m honoring that that was my path and that’s what I had to go through to arrive in this moment right now.
I’m calling myself out so I can reclaim my power. I’m calling myself out to share with all the women out there that you too, have more power than you think. Digging to the root of sexual trauma is NOT easy, but one task worth the effort.
We must shine light on the darkness that is within us. Let my words be the light that shine upon you so you may find your way out. Come with me, sisters, it’s beautiful out here. We can be together and honor our pain.
After yesterdays Women’s Marches that occurred all over the country, and listening to all the beautiful speakers, singers, and poets, it was clear that we share a universal truth. We share a pain that infiltrates our lives. A pain that is normalized everyday. A pain that grows deeper even as we begin to speak up. A pain that shames us. A pain that bonds us in sisterhood. A pain that guides us. A pain that empowers us. A pain that will change the world.