Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Myomectomy and betrayal

I met with my surgeon, and with another surgeon for a second opinion. Even though a hysterectomy would heal more quickly and painlessly, I'm having a myomectomy: the surgeon will dissect out the fibroids and sew together what's left. Because what's left is enough to keep, and I am not ready to lose my uterus. I know, rationally, that I will probably never have a child, but that seems hugely different from saying I will definitely never have a child.

I emailed an aunt about my mother. Actually, she emailed me first, to say she missed me over Passover. At first I didn't know what to say. Then I decided to tell her the truth. After all, I was the victim, not the sex offender. It's not my fault.

I'm sorry, [aunt], but after speaking with a leading expert in abuse and trauma, I have confirmed that my mother's boyfriend committed incest with me when I was a teenager. This was a significant trauma that led to tremendous problems for me in forming intimate relationships. I will never have a baby and I might be alone for the rest of my life. She refuses to get rid of him. So I can't be around her right now.

She wrote back,

I am so sorry to hear this.  I understand how u feel. 

To me that was inadequate. More evidence that my family thinks I'm making a mountain out of a pile of Penthouse magazines.  And a coffee-table photo book about people masturbating (I Am My Lover.) And all the other atrocious trash I was fed.

I don't think you do. I don't think you know how it feels to have 
your family embrace someone who abused you.

I don't know what I was hoping for her to say.

You are correct, I do not know how it fees to have your family embrace someone who abused you. I"m sorry if you thought that was what I meant. I meant I understand how u felt about not coming to pesach at Jerusha's house because of it.

I didn't respond. It's dawning on me that my family will never hold my mother accountable for what happened to me. Or feel at all upset that I was molested.

Not all abuse victims have to prove their victimhood to family and friends. I'm not saying I would have preferred to have been abused more violently. But everyone needs to stop telling me to forgive my mother, reconnect with my family. I can't do that. It would be lying to myself. Pretending that I'm something that I'm not.

You wouldn't tell someone who is gay to pretend not to be gay around homophobic relatives, or to spend time with them and not be bothered by the vitriol they spew. You wouldn't isolate someone who married a person of another race or faith because some family members disapprove. But my family is never going to confront my mother with the heinousness of what she allowed to happen in her house.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"