This has been one of those weeks. It’s been hard. I’ve been at the bottom of a pit. And honestly, I have no idea what to do.
Continues after the jump...(trigger warning)
When I was about 7 years old – I think I was nearly 8 – I woke up in the middle of the night because there was a penis in my mouth.
The owner of said penis is now, I was told on Tuesday morning, in hospital after having suffered a serious stroke.
I have relived waking up to that bizarre taste so many times in my dreams. I often have nightmares that I was in a relationship with him. I wake up feeling sick, I wake up feeling like a whore.
I can’t think of how may aspects of my life were directly affected by that man, now in his 60s, in a hospital bed. Most notably, my relationships with men. I grew up thinking every man would want to put his hand on my vagina (which he did a couple of times) and make me play “Find the Snake” by asking me to put my hand in his jeans (this happened a few times – I remember vividly it happening while my mother was sat mere metres away watching and sipping a Bacardi and Coke, laughing).
The very day after he put his penis in my mouth and then, when I rolled away still pretending to be asleep, made me fondle it with my exposed hand, I told my mum.
Nothing happened. She stayed with him. Which meant I was doomed to live with him for half the week, every week.
When I started my period when I was 13, I was fucking mortified. I thought that meant that this man would find me sexually attractive again. Very quickly, I started to cover up my pre-teen body. By the time I was 15, I was never showing more than my face and hands, dressed in baggy mens’ clothing and rarely left the house but to go to school – where, of course, I was very much an outcast. I identified as a male – partly because I did feel like I should have been born as one, and partly because I figured my mum’s boyfriend wouldn’t be attracted to me.
I remember feeling like a slut and a whore *because* I was female. I remember feeling my skin burn with shame every time I saw an attractive female on TV or on a perfume ad, because I knew I had a body like that underneath my clothes and I was terrified any men would find out.
When I had my first relationship, no surprise it was emotionally abusive. He had his own considerable issues, but he did not allow me to wear makeup or wear even slightly revealing clothing. He often said I looked like a slut and if he thought I had even talked to a male friend he would flip his lid. I remember one time I was buying lunch for him (he rarely bought when we went to dinner) and I had zoned out. He thought I was staring at the arse of a waiter. I hadn’t even noticed the waiter, but my God, was I in a lot of trouble. But I accepted it. I thought this was the best I deserved.
This boyfriend knew about what had happened to me. He told me that most people who were interfered with as children become paedophiles themselves.
From that point on, every time I tried to ditch this guy he said he was going to tell the police about the time that I had called him, drunk and coked off my tits, crying because I was terrified that I was going to become a paedophile.
At around the 2 year point of our relationship and countless attempts from me to get rid of him (he often pretended to kill himself when I did), I ditched him for what I thought was for good. As an incredibly vulnerable 20-year-old who was cutting herself on a daily basis, and still unofficially living with my mum and her partner, I had a kiss with one of my colleagues and when I told my ex out of guilt, he said he was going to tell the police about my mum’s boyfriend.
So I went back into that relationship with him for two more years. I was miserable. I felt like I deserved it. I was a slut, a whore, I had kissed my friend while single and I deserved what happened to me when I was little.
This entire time, the man who had inappropriately touched me as a little girl was still very much a part of my life. I had come to accept it. I didn’t forgive him, and being around him made my skin crawl. I used to tense up every time I heard footsteps outside my bedroom door in the middle of the night. But he was getting old and I was starting to feel sorry for him.
I finally dumped the ex by text when he said I had an incestuous relationship with my father. I hope he is doing well now. I understand he has got married and has a kid, and now works as a mental health professional.
I do entirely blame staying so long in that relationship on my mother choosing her partner over me after I told her what he had done to me. If your own mother doesn’t want you, you genuinely believe you don’t deserve anyone else. And the bonus cherry on the shit sundae is that you feel like a complete and utter slut purely for having a boyfriend at all.
There have been a few times that I have been sexually assaulted by other people, and truly I believe I *allowed* them to happen because I *didn’t want to offend or upset the people that were doing it, and because I deserved it*
- age 17, followed by two men on a tube train who wouldn’t fuck off until I let one of them kiss me and take his number before I jumped the fuck into the closing doors of the next train.
- Age 22, sat on an entirely empty bus when a middle-aged bloke sat next to me, rubbed his leg hard against mine, squashed me up against the wall of the bus while staring at his phone.
- Age 25, after drinking with a friend, he insisted he get me back in my flat even though I kept saying no – him pinning me down on the bed while I was crying and begging him to stop, him eventually getting off without penetrating me and telling me how much he wanted to date me.
- Age 28 and in London, I narrowly escaped being raped by a guy I had stupidly accepted a lift home from because he spent more than half an hour standing with me at the bus stop convincing me to get in his car.
That latter incident was the first one where I thought – no, I didn’t deserve that. My body doesn’t belong to anyone else. He was arrested. I was asked to stand trial.
I eventually declined because I was too scared. I had my breakdown at work shortly afterwards and had to quit my career.
To this day, at the age of 30, I can still count my sexual partners on one hand. All of them were relationships – or, in the case of one, what I *thought* was a relationship.
And I *still* feel like a whore about that.
I haven’t ever been allowed to enjoy the act of sex because of what some fuck knuckle felt like he was entitled to do when I was just a little girl. I have always felt, in some bizarre way, that anyone that tries to sexually assault me is blameless. It’s my fault. It’s all my fault.
And now, the first man to ever touch me in a sexual way might be dying.
I haven’t talked to my mum in 8 years. She knows exactly what happened. But she has no-one else but him. I’m terrified for her. I hate the thought of her being alone. As someone who is very fucking lonely myself, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else.
I thought about visiting. But what would that achieve?
For the last four days I have done nothing but lie in bed, and drink. I’m angry. I’m angry that something that happened so long ago had such a HUGE impact on my life. I’m angry that there are many people in the world being abused as children right now. I’m angry that I know that what he did to me wasn’t as bad as it could have been – I mean, he never actually raped me – and there’s adults in the world who were full on molested and seem to be able to cope with life perfectly fine. So why can’t I?
I feel like my YouTube persona of Octav1us is the person I would have been were it not for the above chain of incidents. A happy, chirpy, sexually comfortable woman proud of her gender and proud of everything good that she does. Delighted to bring a smile to other people’s faces and delighted to bring a smile to her own. And I still want to be that person. I really, really do.
This was a rant, more to get this shit out of my head than anything. And I know full well it opens me up to yet more abuse from the disgusting fucks the internet harbours. But I suppose if at least one person relates to my story and doesn’t feel alone, then I won’t feel alone either.
And please – if you ever, EVER find yourself even CONSIDERING even slightly touching a child in the wrong way, please please get help. It might be a laugh for you, but that kid will grow into a fucked up adult. And it’s not fair.
I hope he recovers from the stroke purely for my mum’s sake.