Here, you'll have a glimpse of the childhood strains of enduring sexual abuse.
My story is different than others. And yet, each story is the same. Children becoming sexual objects before they can ride a bike. Although there was no money exchange, and no selling of my body to some man in a foreign country, it was still a form of sexual slavery I lived.
I feared the moment every time a certain person came into town. At the same time, I smiled, because when he looked at me, he would smile too. And it was nice to be looked at.
He would sit down on my mother's chair. "Here, come sit on my lap," he'd say. I knew that I had to obey, because if I didn't, he'd break my arm. At least that's what he always told me.
I always thought it was strange, a grown man groping somebody who didn't have what a woman has. Someone so young I could still be playing on the playgrounds. What was this guy doing to me?
It was honestly confusing, perplexing - when it wasn't terrifying.
I couldn't say anything, or he'd twist my arm off. He'd shown me plenty of times.
"See here, Katie," as he pulled my arm behind my back while my parents were in the other room. "Look how far your arm goes back." I was wincing in pain. "If I twist it one more inch, it's broken." He hurt me so much. I couldn't utter a sound, though I wanted to scream.
By this time, I was used to being silenced. Hold the pain down. Endure. He'll only be here a few more days, and then I can go back to my normal life.
I wanted to scream bloody murder. I wanted to spit. I wanted to throw up right in his face. Instead, I had to submit.
I began to know, in the very core of my being, that I would only be able to receive attention from the opposite sex, if I looked like, and acted like I wanted it. Otherwise, there would be no communication. And some communication was better than no communication. I learned that I would rather be filled with attention of the wrong kind than no attention at all.
I got into the punk rock scene at an early age. I began drinking early. Not because I felt like I needed to, at first. But because it was cool. It wasn't until later years that I needed to.
My friends thought I was weird. Of course I was - who wouldn't be if somebody did that to them? I'd be worried if I wasn't weird from that.
The worst part was feeling left out all the time. I planned so many, so many adventures for everyone to go on on the weekends. The haunted houses, excursions downtown, picnic parties, adventures on the levee, paddle boating at City Park - you name it. Every time I not only picked the place, I planned it down to every single detail. What decorations we'd need. Who else we would invite. The snacks we'd bring. I'd get a call from everyone at the last minute - all of a sudden, no one could go.
Monday at school, they talked about how much fun they had at the haunted house. They really changed it up that year.
I wouldn't know.
I had to keep my cool, and pretend not only like it didn't bother me, but like I didn't know that they had purposely excluded me from all the fun.
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My parents wondered why I hung out with the kids I did. Why couldn't I hang out with the pretty, popular girls at school, they'd ask me. Why did I have to hang out with those weird guys who listen to strange music?
Well, for starters they were the ones who had big enough hearts to love and accept me the way I was. No one knew what had happened to me, and I never told them. We all collectively knew we were wounded souls - very wounded. All of our stories were different, and yet, we were all the same.
The best part about knowing these guys - is that no one asked questions. I could say whatever I wanted, and be whomever I wanted to be, and still, I was loved. We kept each other alive. Us, and music. I am very thankful to this day to that group.
To be continued....