I was looking at this picture. It is called “doubles” in waterskiing. I started when I was about 11 years old. The male partner has a harness with the rope attached to it. We would start off the dock with the me on his shoulders and him holding onto the harness. I would then flip one leg over his head and stand one foot on the harness as I sat on his hand and he lifted me over his head. This position would then lead to him sliding his hand from my butt to my back as I draped over backwards in the air. Another position I turned around backwards with my knee on his shoulder and he put his hand up in my groin as he lifted me up by my groin and I extended on leg into the air and then spun around and balanced on both hands as they held on to my hip groin area with both hands. It was all air acrobatics on the water and it was my most favorite part of waterskiing. If you read this and look at this picture and you see maybe me at 11 instead of 17 as I was in this picture and then you put the man to be 30 l like the man was, do you see anything wrong with this?
I do now.
I will tell you now this post will be long. I have been silent for a number of weeks. I have not been able to formulate thoughts into words. Trigger warning inserted…
A month ago a former boy from my middle school years resurfaced. He triggered some flashbacks. I had been molested for so many years that I had no idea that this boy had even had sex with me. I thought I was still a virgin at that point. He reminded me that he knew I was being abused. He reminded me that he had sex with me. He reminded me that he had cheated on me. After telling him that I could no longer speak to him as it was unhealthy for me he pushed and pushed and pushed to keep contact with me. He did not take no for a no. I soon saw him on facebook with my family friend who had also molested me as a child, a girl. They seemed the perfect pair together there on facebook. Social media and messenger are a real bitch. They just fucking find you and won’t go away. They see you in your wheelchair and think you need a savior now. Well boys. I have a husband who is a beast of a man and none of you will EVER measure up to him so go the fuck away! I don’t need a listening ear from a man. Men have abused me my whole life. If I need an ear I will look for a woman, thanks…
It was all too much though. Him. Reminders. The PTSD. His disregard for my saying no STILL.
The realization that I had no idea when my virginity was lost. Which molester had really taken it? I will never really know. That makes me incredibly sad.
I read all of these posts on wordpress about virginity and the women that write them talk about it as if it is this all powerful choice they get to make in the eyes of the Lord. As if they are pure because of this choice.
I didn’t get that choice. I also do not believe a person is pure or not pure based on virginity. Or the status of their hymen. Religion and virginity and the all powerful male’s role in all of that just unsettles me. My heart and soul are pure and my vaginal status was that of rape and molestation for as long as I could remember through childhood and teenage years. So purity and that cute little purity ring? Good for you! I mean really. If you want to stay pure for whatever reason. But I want to get a purity ring too because I am as pure as it gets. I just happen to have a raped vagina.
The “daddy daughter dance” bothers me. What IS THAT? The daddy is teaching the daughter what a date is? A romantic dance? How a woman should be treated? But she is a child? Everything is so sexualized.
So this guy from my past stirred the pot of the past and the emotions that I really would like to forget but that PTSD will never let me. I had just turned 15 when I started dating him. The abuse I know started when I was 11 by the ski coach but there were many in between and I believe now many before. Fortunately, my brain has not released all of those files stored in the locker. I hope they stay there forever. I don’t want to remember any more HANDS.
My husband and I were having dinner tonight and I was telling him how much I missed having a mother. And he asked which part? The mother that left me 3 years ago after reading a letter I wrote to my father about the abuse I endured as a child? The mother who thought nothing of a man having his hands all over me in that waterskiing world that then set up NO boundaries as to what was acceptable touch and what was not? The mother that thought it was ok for a child to go clean a 50 year old man’s house alone? The mother who was not satisfied with the details given to her by that child about the abuse and needed more? Or maybe the mother who felt the need to bring up those ski club members her whole life? Or maybe the mother that thought it was OK to tell her friends that she was taking care of her poor muscle disease daughter but it was not OK to tell them I was being abused as a child? Which fucking mother did I miss? Was it the one that I knew would ruin my wedding so we eloped? Or maybe the one I didn’t even call when I was in labor because I knew she would not actually make me feel any better? Hmm maybe I missed the mother that let my brother keep waterskiing with the man who molested me my whole childhood? Maybe I missed the mother who ….WHO? Who did I miss? I said to my husband I missed the mother that I had when I was a little girl. He asked if that was the mother that was busy with the church choir ? and didn’t realize the church reverend’s son was already being abusive? The mother that tucked me in at night? Who didn’t notice her best friend’s daughter was abusing me as well? That mom who tucked me in and Well I just got up as soon as she was asleep and slept on the floor next to her bed. So was it that mother that I felt safe with that I missed? Was it the mother that made a garden outside of my window after I got my muscle disease diagnosis?
I just miss having a mother. I miss having a family. I mean…how fucked over can one human being be? My father walked away without even a second glance. But I’m not sure he ever really cared anyway. He cared when it was convenient. Yet he changed his entire life for his new family when he remarried. God, it does suck to be so discarded.
My husband and I talked about the fact that I did not grow up in India on the streets and so my story seems…what? What is my story living with a well to do family who didn’t protect her. Didn’t set boundaries. Didn’t teach her what was safe and not safe. Who let her be raped and just looked the other way because of their QUEEN AND KING status? Didn’t teach her about men and their capabilities or women for that matter. Didn’t teach her anything of value. A pastor that took over the old reverend’s job I was told in the last year tried to intervene and help me but my parents turned him away. THEY had it under control. Or rather they had too much pride/lies/ agenda, to let someone help their daughter.
That reverend though. He stood up there and taught us NOTHING in church. The reverend lived next door.
That reverend read chosen bible verses and preached his view. Man’s view of the words in the bible written by men and interpreted and reinterpreted so many times over the years that we are no longer reading the original written word.
He taught us how to be good christians. Meanwhile half of the members of that church went home and beat their wives, cheated on their wives, beat their children, and let their children be molested. Were secretly gay and were men having sex with other men while cheating on their wives. Yeah. That happened. “Back then” we didn’t talk about being gay, or being abused. So everything was a lie and I was collateral damage. All was forgiven though as Sunday came around. Nobody changed. Nobody tried to do better. Women just submitted to their husband’s who abused them and then taught their girls that this is what a woman’s role is. THAT is what religion can do and it disgusts me. It does not have to but it certainly can.
That reverend forgot to tell me and his congregation about love, loyalty, kindness. He forgot to teach us about the evil that was out in the world and how God would not protect us from it. God would fix everything if we just prayed about it he said. NO! Do you think I did not pray to be saved daily? So what? Did God just say , eh fuck off Bethany. Free will you say? I won’t get into that. This is about a human’s role to intervene and save a child, not what God does and does not do or my relationship with God. He and I (God) have been on rocky terms as of late due to my daughter’s illness. Anyway, that reverend should have told his congregation that the children should be protected at all cost. That they should be loved and protected. He didn’t. He didn’t offer a safe place or a listening ear. It was just a routine to go to church and each person could then say that that’s where they were. Where were the good deeds? Dinner for someone who just had a baby? But we will ignore Bethany as she is being molested. They ALL knew. The TOWN knew. My own boyfriend at the time apparently knew as he screwed me knowing I did not know how to say no! Trust me when I tell you that when a vagina is used as just a hole for anyone and anything to enter anytime they want, dissociation leaves that little girl lost. Is that a hand? A penis? Something else? Is that bad? Wrong? He says it isn’t. After 100 times that child just lays there. That’s what I did.
That reverend did not save me. My parents did not save me. The waterskiiers did not save me. They just passed me around to be fucked by the next man on the list. No one listened. No one believed. No one cared. By 17 years old more men’s hands had been on me than I can recall. Enough to cause severe trauma and PTSD that I will never recover from I can tell you that.
Oh maybe that’s the mother I miss. The one who let me go on a blind date at 15 with a guy she didn’t even know. Now I remember that. I did not block that one out. There was too much blood to forget that date. What the fuck kind of mother just sends her daughter out for slaughter? How can I miss her?
I am an ordained minister. I know about theology. I know about religion. I know about every religion. I know the religious books. I have read and studied them all many times.
When I was a chaplain my role was not just to pray for the individual that was dying. It was to treat them as God would unconditionally love them. That meant reporting abuse. That meant feeding them when they could not feed themselves. That meant standing up to family members that were abusive. That meant being present and praying and listening. It was not quoting a bible verse and instructing them to submit to their husbands. That is lazy. Lazy preaching infuriates me.
A reverend gets to be elevated in that pulpit, in status, and they should therefore take on that responsibility with seriousness and obligation to do their JOB. Not to suppress women. Not to judge sexual preference. I know because I am a reverend!!!!!! I have taught love. I have taught boundaries. I have taught self love, recovery from abuse, with no judgment. I accept all things in love. If a man loves a man. If a woman loves a woman. If a person is transgender. Why hate that? When you can choose to hate child molesters instead? Why choose to hate those who are simply choosing to love? THAT’S the kind of minister I am.
So I reflect on my life. I reflect on that reverend that should have taught and provided safety. I reflect on everyone else that should have given me safety. I think about my brother judging my prayer at my mother’s second wedding. It just wasn’t good enough. I was never good enough for those people. Yet I miss them. I don’t. I miss what I never had. I miss the illusion that I created. I miss what I will never ever have.
We sat at dinner and talked about how fucked over I have been for so long! I mean how long does someone get FUCKED?!!!! All of the men that thought it was ok to rape and molest a child. Was that enough? Nah. My family fucks me over. Then I get a disease. Then I get seizures. Then a bone disease. Then lyme disease. Fucked over! I don’t blame God. Even in my darkest hour when I am boycotting prayer I still pray. Not because I was taught that. But because in my heart I go there and it gives me peace. I would never put that choice on anyone else nor judge their choice not to.
I at least get a choice to pray. I got no choice most of my life.
I was too busy sitting in men’s hands at age 11 waterskiing and getting molested by them for anyone to teach me that my butt should not have been in anyone’s hand. It set me up. It groomed me. It took away my instinct and intuition. So I got molested for years and years and years. Many men for many years. No one listened.
Still, it took 5 years to get a muscle disease diagnosis for me. No one listened. No one believed me. It wasn’t until I allowed muscle to be cut from my leg for a doctor to finally say OH you Do have a disease. Yeah, I tried to tell you something was wrong.
So what can you get from this long winded many topic blog post?
It took a village to destroy me. It would have only taken one person to save me. One person. I never got that one person until I met my husband.
How can you help an abuse victim?
Validate, be present, listen. Let them be. Let them feel. Don’t question them. Don’t doubt them. Don’t shame or blame or make excuses. Give them safety. Do SOMETHING. Doing nothing pushed me to suicide.
I first attempted suicide in elementary school long before I even remember being molested. I was 8. Something had happened. I can see the tip of it but not the full view thankfully.
After many more failed suicide attempts that was STILL not enough to BE enough. Nope, I was hospitalized but my brother kept skiing with the child molester.
My parents were monsters.
That town. So full of monsters.
I finally found an angel in my husband. I mean, shit, can you imagine taking me on? But he tells me I am strong. He says I am the strongest person he knows. He tells me I am the most wonderful person he has ever met. I am MORE than enough for him. And I am broken in a million pieces. But he sees beyond that to my capacity to love.
On our way to dinner we pulled the car over for me to take pictures of the wild flowers on the side of the road. They were the wild flowers he picked for my wedding bouquet. They bloom every year a month before and a month after our anniversary. A reminder that someone finally did come and save me. I believe God sent him to me. Yeah, I’m a minister so I believe in God. I just don’t always believe in how His word is used or interpreted. The flowers remind me of God and the goodness that exists even after all of the bad, abandonment, and abuse that has happened in my life.