Saturday, July 09, 2016

Aunt Luba drops a conversational cluster bomb

Two nights ago my Aunt Luba called to let me know she was sending me a sizeable check. Not because she thinks I need it, but because she loves me and wants me to have something before she dies. So the government won't get it, I guess.

We talked about my estrangement from my mother because she still lives with and adores the degenerate pervert. "I can't go to family events and see her," I said.

"You know, I was abused as a child, too," said Luba. "And had to see that person at family events."

WOW. During the ensuing shocked silence, I struggled to think of what I couldn't ask her. Who it was, of course; when and what happened; and if it happened to my mother too.

I bet it happened to my mother too. That's what the Prominent Sex Addiction Expert thought. Incest happens not only because fathers/father figures commit it, but because mothers/mother figures don't stop it, don't see it as wrong, or don't "see" it. They don't consciously ignore it--they're too emotionally distant to acknowledge it.

This verges into psychoanalytical territory, an area that is somewhat foreign to me, but it must be true. Because that's what happened. My mother knew the degenerage pervert tried to have sex discussions with me. He even tried in front of her. She told him to stop, but I don't think he stopped. She knew what was going on and she ignored it. Maybe not consciously. I'd like to think not consciously.

But if she was molested, or incested, then I can see why she doesn't think what happened to me was abuse. My Aunt Katya agrees with her.

Katya called me, and I spoke with her. We've always had a good relationship; she's always supported me. So I thought I could tell her what the degenerate pervert did, and name it as incest.

She said, "Oh, c'mon!"

That's a punch in the throat.

I tried to explain the terrible developmental consequences that kind of pornography exposure has on a teenage girl. She said, "Well, it might have felt like abuse, but it doesn't sound like abuse."

I feel very alone right now. I participate in a Tuesday twitter chat (#sexabusechat) which helps, but I desperately want a support group of women survivors of incest.

I went to a meeting of Survivors of Incest Anonymous, and the rigid 12-step format felt uncomfortable. As did the mandatory praying and chanting. (Well, you don't have to join in, but the chanting is all around you.) You can't talk about each other's experiences--you just listen as everyone speaks. I tried to say, "Like many of you, I have family issues" but was cut off: "We don't discuss what other people share!" But that's what I wanted.

Although listening to the others, I was relieved to learn I'm not the only person in the world who doesn't talk to her mother and sister. And none of them judged me. Which had to be validation enough, at least for then.

PSAE suggested I go to a survivors' weekend, which might be a good idea. It's a shame that there are survivors in my own family but I can't talk to them about it. I wasn't even sure I could blog about this. Some people would probably say that's a violation of Luba's privacy. But even though it's her story to tell, this kind of secrecy is what allows the abuse to continue. What allowed abuse to become part of my story and damage my life.
Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"

Thursday, July 07, 2016

I feel like an elephant: another poem

It's hot, and I feel like an elephant,
massive and lumbering.
Elephants are emotional
creatures, loving touch and contact
with their own and other species. Elephants
are loyal, weeping when bereaved. Elephants enraged 
can charge and stomp, but never unprovoked. 
At least I hope it's never unprovoked. When I stomp
I'm usually not as destructive externally.

I feel like a hippopotamus, 
clumsy on land, barreling along
on stumpy legs. But hippopotamuses 
are elegantly graceful in their element, which is water.
Mine is supposed to be air, but somehow
I'm rarely graceful in it. So I wish
I were more like a hippopotamus.

I feel like a whale. Or I wish I did.
Whales are incredibly powerful, with
an amazing sense of smell, sense of self.
Whales can swim with their eyes open in the ocean.
I can't do that, it stings me.
Whales travel in pods, whereas I seem to run through friends
too quickly, either discarding those
that ultimately annoy more than companion, or 
detaching, sadly,
from all those who join new pods.
Facing the constant hunt and chase and acquisition
of new whales who can resonate at my
own frequency, just like the whales who drifted away
to love and cradles, backyards and the suburbs.

Copyright (c) "Ayelet Survivor"