How a caretaker reacts and deals with a child who has been sexually abused has the potential to cause much more destruction than the abuse. In my case that caretaker was my mother. She quieted me by using my own shame.
From the very first touch sexually by a trusted brother that I loved wholly and looked up to, I felt intense confusion. It made me feel bad. Even that young I knew it was terribly wrong. My interpretation was that I was wrong, shameful and abhorrent. As it continued my body reacted with pleasure, as a body is meant to do. That shamed me further and solidified my badness, being wrong, dirty, even unfit to live.
My mother took advantage of my shame, shaming me further into silence so I would keep the family secret inside myself. She had a favorite taunt when my true nature came out which is one that speaks honestly, “You should be ashamed of yourself!”
I am Mom, I am. You were thorough.
I kept quiet until 7 years ago after she died. A chapter each week erupted out of me. That I held such vomit in for so long is hard to believe possible. Out it came week after week. It should have come out at the age of eight.
Mother, you should have sat in my bedroom, not to scold me, but to listen. You could have saved me Mother. You chose not to. You chose to protect your brood at the expense of your daughter. That is not love.
Keeping it in took a lot of food. Later alcohol, and food. But food remains the biggest escape. The more I come back into my body, the more I am able to feel food fullness. For most it is natural to be in one’s body. For me it is not.
I have fleeting moments of connection. Those moments are powerful. I’m learning to distinguish the physical feelings of fullness after eating from the other empty places where food is used unsuccessfully to fill.