My older sister once waxed nostalgically about how when I was three or four years old my mother spent a year alone at home with me “and she knew all the songs from your cartoons and you would sing them together.” I don’t recall any such happy time, but a flashback last year did take me to this period. We were in the living room, I was naked and my mother kept poking at me with her finger–sticking it inside my butt, tickling me, rubbing my genitals, and she was laughing. Then suddenly there was a knock at the front door. She looked alarmed, wiped off her hands and meekly said ‘who is it?’ and put up a facade of normalcy to the saleswoman at the door. While she said no, I came around the corner and she saw me; my mother laughed it off and said she was just about to give me a bath, but when were alone again she beat me with a hairbrush for letting myself be seen in that state. I didn’t know she was committing a crime that needed to be covered up, but she did.
This was no isolated incident, I can remember many times when my mother played these perverse little games when I was in that age range, shoving the handle of a hairbrush or countless other things into my anus, rubbing my naked body over her as she reclined, putting my penis in her mouth… The body of a child is not meant to be the object of perversion, to be used, intruded upon, and roughly handled. I’m seeing an acupuncturist weekly now to aid in my healing work, and it is really eye-opening every time as I become more aware of my body and it’s energies and issues, how interconnected and tangled it is from the severe trauma I went through. Instead of dissociating from my body and thinking something is ok because of whatever old emotional pattern I’m acting out, I can feel and understand my body more, and how much damage was done by this abuse.
My mother’s sexual abuse almost always ended with “spanking,” as this seemed to be an integral part of her perverse ritualized scenes, whether she was “angry” at me for something or not. To think that spanking a child causes no trauma or damage is an example of dissociation–dissociating from the reality of our bodies and our rights. The entire act is perverse, as the buttocks are an erogenous zone–a private, sexual part of the child’s body that should not be touched by anyone. Striking the buttocks sends rushes of blood to the genitals, causing sexual stimulation in the process. The buttocks also contain nerves, blood vessels, pressure points, the roots of the spine and are a part of the whole human body that can be profoundly damaged by the trauma that ‘spanking’ entails. When young children are “spanked,” lesions form in the brain, doing harm that will be very difficult to fix in later life when this trauma can turn into mental and physical illnesses.
Spanking also encourages numbness, splitting off from ones own body. The child is told that against his consent someone is going to come and have some use for a part of his body; they will do whatever they want with it, regardless of the discomfort, pain, and humiliation it causes him, until they feel satisfied. That is the same situation as sexual abuse, and being done on an erogenous zone, often involving forced nudity, it’s insane that people are so disconnected that they don’t realize what it is. For the victim of such an act, dissociation is the natural result, leaving the body and especially that part of the body (which can for some be a more or less permanent process.) I realize that as a result of being abused, I dissociated from my body as a rule, and I never truly came to realize that my body and every single part of it belongs to me. It wasn’t anyone’s right to touch me without my consent, and it’s really sad that we don’t live in a world where children’s rights and bodies are respected.
Something I’m really trying to remember at all times is that abusers don’t magically change for no reason. My mother, father, brother…haven’t owned up to their crimes and committed to forty years of therapy. They’ve done nothing, so why would they change? My mother should not have access to baby boys, as she has with both of my nephews. When I was fourteen years old (thus before she completely stopped sexually abusing me) she was left alone with my sister’s infant son. There wasn’t anything to stop her. No nanny cams, no awareness from my sister after repressing her own memories of being abused by our mother. I remember the way my parents cooed and showered her son with attention when he was around, attention that was driven by their own sick intentions. I think it’s pretty much 100% that they sexually abused him in some way.
And I realize that an assumption I’ve had that either of my ex-siblings would just unknowingly let her do these things may be naive. I remember one day my sister was sitting on the couching with her baby and repeatedly hitting his butt through his diaper while chanting “spanky spanky spanky..” I was creeped out, but she just said “What? he doesn’t feel anything…” Of course, she doesn’t know what he could feel, and as I later saw, her convictions not to spank were insincere, and didn’t involve keeping her hands to herself. But this perverse little game of hers was a direct reflection of things that our mother did. And likewise my brother may be actively abusing his own child, not just passively allowing our parents to do it. My older brother and his childhood friend performed so many perverse acts on me that were taught to them by abusers like our mother. There’s no telling if they still have compulsions to perform these acts on children.
I don’t know for a fact that our mother is left alone with my brother’s son, I only know that she and my father moved across the country, to just down the street from him when he had a baby. But that is quite enough, I know what my parents like to do kids, and what my brother did to me. And of course this type of sexual abuse applied to an infant or toddler is grooming, is a setup to teach him to accept even more violent and intrusive sexual abuse in the future. My mother constantly putting things into my anus gradually stretched it out so that when my father and other adult men raped me, it wouldn’t rupture. Even if my mother didn’t have access to her grandchildren after infancy, others could follow upon her work. She has to be stopped.
Looking at all of this, it’s hard to believe, to wipe all of that brainwashing from me that made me believe that nothing was wrong, nothing bad was happening in my childhood. But people violated my body, and they did it without asking my permission or even giving me a chance to say no, it was just sudden and all I could do was dissociate to get away. Being aware of my body and my surroundings and rightfully taking care of them to the extent that I feel good is an entirely new scenario. Nothing in my childhood told me to do other then ignore, ignore my own body and my own needs as I sat hyper-alert waiting for the next abuse or dissociating in an attempt to escape it all. I can’t believe how much tension and fear have been released from my body with the assistance of my acupuncturist. I’m also not settling for any naiveté regarding my ex-“family,” they’re hopelessly ugly, and that’s the end of their story, but not mine.