I’ve had rape dreams all week. Different faces, different scenarios, but my rape remains the same. It is definitively a rape, however I am accepting of it.
My self always seems to say, ‘Well, this hurts, and this is awful, but this is a thing that happens, so I have to deal with it. There is nothing that I can do to stop it or to change it, and to even contemplate otherwise seems silly.’
Before this week, I cannot recall the last time I had a rape dream, probably the last time I was forced to see the ‘man’ (for lack of a better term) who raped me.
Now, let me pump the brakes and toss us into reverse for a moment.
When I was six weeks old, I was adopted into an entirely Caucasian family with two parents – a man and a woman, who had three boys. The eldest of these boys molested me when I was about eight years old. Repeatedly. For how long, I am not certain, I only know that it took place over a significant span of time, as I had more than one bedroom (he, my brothers and I liked to switch our rooms, to keep things interesting).
Eventually, after repeated inquiries from my father, I admitted that the eldest son was “touching me” (which in fact it was far more involved and far more disturbing, more on that at a later date) and after this admittance, the molestation ceased.
However, no one saw fit to address the fact that the abuse took place, or to seek out the assistance that any abused child would need to lead a healthy life going forward. Instead, they swept it under the rug, and even went so far as to have me take a photo with him on his birthday shortly after the abuse ceased. As if to say ‘Hey, so that stuff that was happening, that really gross, awful, horrible, completely and utterly inappropriate behavior which was taking place? Yeah, forget about it. No big deal. It happened. We’re not even going to tell you that it wasn’t okay, we’re just going to move on. One big happy family. ‘
And we were. One big happy family, despite several bits of us not being one big happy family. But I was “closest” with him, because I felt that were I to tap into my true feelings, the feelings which told me how dirty and disgusting I felt and how much I despised him, well, we wouldn’t be a big happy family anymore and then what would happen to me? The newest member, the only member not related by blood, by race, by anything. So we were close and we were ‘happy’.
Until I hit my twenties. Until severe depression set in (mild depression followed me for the entirety of my teen years) and I couldn’t function. I couldn’t work, couldn’t eat, couldn’t go to school, couldn’t live. Enter therapy. Enter someone hearing me. Enter someone validating me. Enter someone telling me that I should never have to see nor hear nor speak to that person ever again.
Enter my family. Enter an entire different message. Enter my mother telling me, when I finally mustered up the courage to tell her about my childhood abuse (I was under the impression that my father was the only one who knew), “Well, I wouldn’t put it like that.”
Rage. This is the mindset which I have been fighting. Validation? Forget about it. Blaming the victim? Oh, in spades. This is what I have been fighting.
Throw it into drive. I have been having rape dreams all week. I have my brother’s wedding to go to (as far as I am concerned, I have two magically, beautifully, brilliant brothers, who have an older brother, the youngest of which, is getting married) and I am a ball of nerves. I am torn. I also have my mother’s wedding to go to next weekend. I am torn. I am in both. The prospect of going to either gives my heart leave to beat out of my chest.
Is the juice worth the squeeze ? I am not certain. I have been traveling down a very beautiful road to self-acceptance, self-forgiveness and self-love, and I fear, oh how I fear that these interactions with the rapist will throw me off track. He will be all smiles, all simpers and purrs. He is the sort to not realize how entirely fucked up he is. In a letter I constructed to him to tell him how fucked he is, he had the audacity to say “I just want my little sister back”. This is the sort of fuck we’re dealing with folks. How am I to abide this? How am I to come out with my sanity and mental equilibrium intact ?
Have I walked this road to healing long enough to not be detoured? Long enough to not be turned around? I fear I have not. Is familial guilt enough to make me chance it? At what point do we cease worrying about others, and start worrying about ourselves?
I am torn.