Facts of Shame

Sometimes I have to be brave when writing these blog posts. Sometimes I want to say things that I think might make people hate me or find me disgusting. Sometimes fear keeps me silent.
This one probably falls into the hate me and disgusting category, but I have tried to write it before and feel it is important, especially to those like me.
There are three facts that I have struggled with since I was a child. Three facts that used to make me think I was the evil one. That everything that happened was my fault and that in no way was anything that happened to me abuse. I want to write this post for those who still think those things, but it is going to be very hard to write, and maybe a little odd to read.
My body would react to what my father did. I enjoyed what he did. Sometimes I can find that thoughts of rape/abuse/incest arouse me.
That sentence was so hard to write. Even harder to see and leave it there. Will you think I am disgusting? Will you think I deserved what happened? Will you think I am sick?
For a long time I thought that about myself. People talked of child abuse and give this image of a crying or screaming child. And there I was with my father, and my body would climax. It had to be my fault, right? It had to be, because if it wasn’t, then I would scream and cry too, and I wouldn’t have this feeling that felt nice. I was 7 years old the first time it happened. After that I craved that from him. I went to him with the purpose of that feeling. I didn’t understand. Someone said to me once, “Congratulations. Your body works.” I stared at them as if they had gone insane. Was that really the answer? I wasn’t sick? I was shaking so badly that day.
I remember reading after that, having it likened to be tickled. No one really likes being tickled, but when they are, they laugh. Laughter is something of a pleasure, right? So why would you possibly have a pleasurable experience of something you neither like nor want…? Because the body is designed to have these reactions.
Does a child who orgasms during abuse, or an adult during rape, hold some of the responsibility? No. It’s exactly as I was told. Congratulations, your body works. shame-child-face-hiding

I also once read somewhere, and this was a post from a woman, but I think it still applies. She stated that the sex with her father was the best she had had. No partner since had ever come close to it. You’d be inclined to think she was sick? Twisted?
I stared at this when I read it. Is it really normal to feel the way I do? I took this then to a counsellor. He told me that we learn everything from our parents. Lessons that we take into our adult lives. These things become the “right“ way to do things. They teach us how to cook, how to write. They teach us what to believe in, the way we should act, the norms of the society we live in, and in our minds, these are right. So what happens when your parent is the one teaching you sex? It becomes the thing that you gauge every subsequent encounter with. If like me, the sexual relationship with my father is probably the longest one I have ever had, maybe it was the same for that woman too.
Perhaps the last part of the statement is the hardest to get across without sounding as if I will repeat what my dad did, because I won’t. It would never enter my head. In fact, I often feared dressing my own son when he was little in case someone thought that of me. But I know I am not alone in that violence and sex is arousing, even in the worst forms. There’s a whole world of BDSM and erotica out there that makes a fortune. It is just the same, except… I guess it links in with the first two things. My father was doing something that my body liked and he did it for a very long time. My experiences with him became the foundations. Most teenagers have this period in life where they explore. They take things at their pace, try things out, fumble, mess up. All the things that are normal. People like me, we never had that. I was taught that sex was violent. That it involved incest and secrets and shame. I still fight with this one. I don’t know how to put it across properly without sounding like I might be a monster, but I just want people to know they aren’t alone. And they aren’t monsters either.
Remember the child only had the tools he was given.

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27 thoughts on “Facts of Shame

  1. I am glad you wrote this. It is so important for abuse victims to realise that any pleasure they felt is normal, and that it does not mean they wanted the abuse or that they are bad or to blame in any way.

    • This entry is a very powerful one. And i relate. Oe therapist refered to.it as our love map and when.it gets warped by our parents teaching us sex, that it kind of does confuse us. I admit in a less than healthy reality if nobody were to get hurt by it, those warped parts would jump back in bed for those sexual highs and thrilling orgasms in a heartbeat, and I wonder if just fondling felt that greate, how great would full on sex feel.

      I’m healthy enough that I will not go thrre, but admitedly there’s dark times the mind wanders that way.

  2. JD, you are not a monster. Your feelings are totally understandable. I applaud you for the strength you had with your children. I applaud the insight you have gained from reading, other survivors, and therapists. I applaud your courage in sharing this oh so difficult essay. You are spot on: You are not a monster, your body reacted properly and you dealt with life with the tools you were given. Bravo, JD, bravo!

  3. you are so very brave, open and honest in your thoughts and feelings, you are right your body reacting is a reaction you cannot control, it is a body;s natural reaction. you are no monster, this is ingrained into you like you say it is learned behaviour.

    you are not a monster you are you .

  4. No, James, you are not a monster for having the thoughts and feelings that you do.
    What you are though, is a man who has been through (for lack of a better word) Hell… and survived. No one knows that better than you.
    Because of that, you are someone who possesses the courage and the tools to help those who have been through horribly unspeakable ordeals in their lives; as well as, those who should/need/want to learn about such things. To learn that though the road from abuse can be long and terribly difficult, it is possible to survive. Your honesty and your integrity speak for themselves.
    I am proud of you.
    Keep going. Keep educating. Keep helping. Your work is far from over.
    As you have a body that works, it is evident that you have a mind that does so as well…and that is a wonderful thing.
    So no, you are not a monster. You are simply … human.
    Hugs. ~ ღ ~

  5. Want to let you know your not a monster and your feelings are normal.Like you said its what you were given. You have come a long way already by telling your story.You have kids raise them like you wish you were raised.With love and listening to them, Play with them.I am sure your a great Dad.
    Lots of children feel the way you described.Some will love the abuser more than anyone else.

  6. Not only your body works well but also your mind. your mind seek the best way to protect your psyche. Despite the OCD and the suffering you’re a smart and useful person for your family and society. You help many people in many parts of the world with your writing. Hopefully you could see yourself as many people do: a wonderful human, a beautiful soul…..a great warrior.
    hugs

  7. JD, I really admire your strength and honesty in sharing these parts of your life; even when they are embarrassing. Like you said, it was just your body reacting naturally; it didn’t necessarily mean that you wanted that to happen. I would recommend that you watch the movie “Precious” and read the book upon which the movie was based : “Push” by Sapphire. Stay strong xxx

  8. You are no monster, in fact your almost an angel, writing about your trauma and experiences is helping others, as for responding to the abuse, of course you would, your body is designed to do that, sex is a pleasure and we have no control over its response to either positive sexual activity or abusive sexual activity, it responds that is the way we are designed, we cannot switch it off unfortunately, pleasure is pleasure !!!! Anyway JD thank you for being totally honest and brave and for putting these words for all to see and this will help others realise they are not alone nor their responses wrong!

  9. Thank you for writing this. You put into words what I couldn’t admit to myself. Yes, there were times my father had made me feel good too. As a child, I even thought one day he would divorce my mom and marry me; until I realized that what he was doing to me was WRONG. My father wanted to “be my first” and teach me about sex. I cringe even now just thinking about it. Thank you for giving a voice to others who have not found their own voice. God Bless!

  10. You are so very brave to post this. And thankyou. This may be very helpful to those who have struggled with themselves for many years, believing that they are bad a wrong, because of their actions as children, which were taught by adults. Massive hugs to you. Such a wonderful person.

  11. I am so saddened reading this. The worst thing in the world is stolen innocence. A fellow abused child, my dad made me choose our secret or a whipping. I felt so guilty for years because I chose our secret it hurt less and I could escape. I read a ton of books too. They became my escape. They made me forget my life. I lost my childhood, my innocence stolen, yet I never realized until I was an adult what had been taken from me. I’m on your second book now and my heart aches for you. I want to reach in the book and hold that little boy and show him the love I show my children now. I want to hold him, rock him, and tell him he is worth something. I want to slap your mother senseless for letting someone come hurt you. Seeing the blood and not caring enough to even make it stop. My son is six and the thought of that happening to him makes me sick. I applaud you for telling your story. I recognize that it is brave but that it is a way to help you heal more than for others to read the story. Journaling helped me too. I wish you well sir and keep on raising the children the way you are. They say that a parent teaches us how to parent our own kids…in our case our parents taught us what not to do to your kids.

  12. I have so many emotions. The most important one is I’m proud of you!! You are a truly amazing person. The things the happened to me were from a stranger and my aunt. I think it helps knowing that we aren’t alone. I agree, you most definitely are not a monster! Far from it!! Thank you for sharing everything you do!

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