Disembodied Voice


I was not going to post this morning. Give myself a day off; why not? Nothing really happened yesterday.

Then I watched the documentary Child of Rage. And it got me thinking.

I lay no claim to the kind of early sexual abuse documented in the film. But once again it made me think, and think hard to see if maybe…maybe there was.

Because there’s something at the back of my brain.

Something that scares me, and always has.

And it has to do with my mother.

I do not think my mother sexually abused me. I do think my brain misinterpreted some of what happened. What I’m going to talk about next is extremely personal and extremely embarrassing. I do not want to disable the comments on this, because I do think I need some balance. Maybe even answers. But I beg you to think very carefully before saying anything below.

Early memories. While I have a very clear memory of a specific incident, my gut tells me this happened repeatedly to me. Two years old, maybe younger. I was in diapers. The skin on my butt developed sores, little pimples that were hard and painful. What I remember is laying on my back with my legs over my head. That was the position my mother put me in when she wanted to lance these things. She didn’t do it with a blade; she did it like you’d pop a pimple, by squeezing it between her fingernails. It was horribly painful. I cried hard, begged her to stop. She kept telling me it was for my own good, that she knew she was hurting me but she had to do it.

While there’s nothing overtly sexual about that memory, I remember feeling sexual. My vagina was wide open and exposed. I was extremely vulnerable.

Without the penetration, it felt like a rape. The pain, the begging for it to stop with no effect.

I remember my dad looking on, his face extremely worried. He may have even suggested my mother stop, but she would have brushed him off.

And I wonder if this incident, if the repeating nature of that ritual, was the source of my early nightmares.

I wonder if that sharp, remembered feeling of a sexual nature was the source of my early masturbation. Daily masturbation. Public masturbation.

And I wonder at the position my mother put me in. Was my diaper being changed and that’s why I was on my back with my legs in the air? Why didn’t she flip me on my stomach to get to my butt?

Why that vulnerability?

I have no answers to put into my mother’s dead mouth. I have never felt like really talking about this before, other than in passing.

It might be my first memory.

While I’ve lived my life as a heterosexual, my fantasies while masturbating remain about women. Women who rape me, hurt me.

It’s always made me wonder.

And it’s always felt shameful. And sick.

I’ve experimented with women, but none that I was actually attracted to. It was clinical and unexciting. I wasn’t aroused by the experience.

But is that because I didn’t allow myself to be with someone I was attracted to? There was one woman, long ago. We were friends. I told her, she was cool and said it was okay, and that was that. Nothing happened.

We lost touch. Probably because of me. I don’t really remember.

This is nothing I want to be discussing at 8 a.m. It’s really nothing I want to talk about, full stop. But seeing as this blog has to date been my best source of therapy…I figured I’d take a chance and lay it out.

I’m just a disembodied voice out here, after all.


11 thoughts on “Disembodied Voice

  1. I’m so sorry this has happened to you, something painful that was forced on you over your protests. I’m especially sorry that and especially that it’s made you feel shameful. I’m sure you know, objectively that there is nothing to be ashamed of. You were just a very little girl. But I know that’s different than how you feel about it in your heart.

    You are right; it can be rape without penetration.

    What a brave thing you have done to share this. It’s very hard to share these very personal, painful stories. E. always tells me though that taking the dark things out into the light reduces their power over you. Sometimes I don’t feel that way in the short run, but in the longer run, I find it to be true. I hope you feel that way, too.

    Respecting you so much for your sharing and your strength, Q.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Q. I didn’t know if you’d actually read this post or not; you’re on the road to recovery and if I were in your shoes I might pass it by.

      Tried saying ‘my mother sexually abused me’ yesterday. Just to see what it felt like when I said it. It wasn’t easy. I’ve got a lot of guilt over even thinking that. But anytime a thought occurs that gets me to think outside the box, and this is one of those times, it’s helpful in the long run. It’s like turning on infrared goggles in the dark; suddenly you see a lot you were missing before. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We are ALL on the road to recovery, but on different parts of the road. Plus the road is not straight, so at any given time, it can be hard to know where exactly we are.

        I do know that being able to say aloud that something was wrong is a very important part of that road. I know that guilt, too. But saying it to yourself, to your therapist, to your online blog readers who support you without being in your day-to-day “real” life, that is different than saying it to your family. You can decide later if and when you want to do that. First it’s about saying it to yourself, believing it, and then giving yourself permission to start healing. Wearing those infrared goggles should help!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I don’t think this is something I could share with my family, other than the brother I live with. The rest are too heavy into denial, to be honest. About the family, about their own problems, about everything. And I’m SO done being the scapegoat.

        It’s been strange, the last couple of days. Thinking these thoughts. I’ve felt very guilty at times. No matter what happened, it always happened because it was ‘for the best’ and ‘she loved me’. I can’t reconcile those statements to some of my memories. And I can hear my dad’s sigh and see his sad face in my head when I say it out loud. That’s very troubling.

        But I realize that this is MY truth. It doesn’t matter what actually happened; what matters is how it changed me, how it made ME feel, and the decisions I made about myself, women, men, love, and family during these moments.

        Feels like I’m waking up for the first time…


      3. Yes! Exactly! It is the impact on you that matters. Even pretending that it was all “meant well,” if it didn’t have a good effect on you, then the intention is meaningless. And it’s your job to make space for your own truth, to hold it gently and respectfully, and to allow yourself to heal from it.

        It’s good to wake up. Not always happy, but in the longer run, it’s good.


  2. That is a very distressing first memory. I’m so sorry you had to go through that at such a young age!!!

    Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your lived experience. It explains a lot about your feeling toward your mother. It appears you endured a lot of abuse in your young life – whether overt or covet, such as the diaper rash squeezing, it’s really no wonder you have struggled, and I think you are AMAZING for having survived all that trauma. I think it’s testament to you being able to survive the healing process, which you have done with quite a lot of grace thus far, considering!

    Stay strong Beeps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lola. Thanks for reading, for understanding, and for your gentle words. I find it most difficult to talk over because I discount it. As an adult, I’ve heard too many terrible stories, real childhood horrors. So I tuck that memory away because it’s not that bad and I should just get over it. Makes it twice as hard to talk about. I feel shame over the memory and shame because I feel like I’m whining.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That must have took an awful lot of courage to share those memories and I really admire you for doing so; thank you for letting us into that extremely personal part of your life. That being said, what a horribly traumatizing experience, I couldn’t imagine being in your shoes with those kind of flashbacks and I can see why you’ve felt the need to tuck them away. I hope that one day you can gain power over that feeling of shame, and perhaps sharing these memories will help. I wish you well.

    Liked by 1 person

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