The final Turd in the chicken coop....

Hey all,
Hows it going?
good, that's good (I am assuming you said well...we always say well or good...even if we don't really mean it...It's the polite thing to do)
I have been having a hard/strange week.
Well, actually a hard/strange year and a half.
It started when I went back to Michigan...
I think I spoke a while back about the oppressive fear I felt as I got lower  in weight.
But I couldn't pinpoint the source.
Well, A few months back I was at the gym and was lying on a mat doing some stretching..
And I had a flash in my head of an incident that happened when I was around 10.
I won't get into all of it...but it was bad enough to cause a panic attack.
I know you guys know I talk about nearly everything on this blog..
Well, this didn't happen to me...it happened to a relative.
I just happened to be there, in the bunk above.
And apparently I repressed this particular memory....
And this act was done by the same person who had touched me inappropriately..
Only he did something to someone else.
So, I have been struggling for two months with this particular issue..
wondering (beyond the obvious) what it was that was bothering me so much...
well, I thought it was that I didn't say something...
to anyone.
In fact, I never told anyone what had happened to me till I was in my 30's, let alone what happened that night.
Well, I was wrong...It wasn't that I didn't tell anyone..
It was this...that When I was touched, It felt good...even though it was wrong.
I was 10...I think I internalized that...that there was something wrong with me for something like that to feel good when it was wrong.
I internalize shame.
well, looks like I am talking about it..what the hell...I talk about everything else.
I had a dream the other night..
In my dream I dreamt that an uncle touched me inappropriately...and it felt good.
and my aunt saw (now this uncle has never done any such thing.)
and I felt guilty for hurting my aunt, even though in my dream I didn't do anything to encourage this.
and I turn and ran.
And ran into kids from high school...ones who had picked on me...
and they were all laughing and smirking.
And when I woke up I realized that final Turd in my Chicken coup was this:
I was afraid there was something about ME that invited the abuse.
So I called on a very good friend to help me sort it out...
And as usual, she was very helpful..
First she said: Chris, we are wired to feel pleasure when touched sexually...the victim is always the victim...whatever else occurs. 
I knew that intellectually...but well..you know...
She asked..In that dream, were you YOU...or was it that part of you...the young you, that you think you locked away and kept safe...were you an adult or a child?
I was a child.
At my core, the part of me that I tried to seperate from the abuse...I unconciously thought I was dirty and that I would hurt people by being sexually attractive.
That if I became thin...that I would become someone who was dirty or was wrong...or invited inappropriate behavior...
That my feeling of the touch feeling nice...the feeling being pleasurable was an indication that there was something inherently dirty or wrong with me...
And that translated into a need not only to protect myself from men..
But I thought I needed to protect me and others from MYSELF.
I was what I feared.
The me I thought was in there.
The normal things like getting attention, and then enjoying the attention...
would trigger a binge.
quite frankly it's a miracle I am sitting at this weight at all.
I think this was the hardest part of my chicken coop to unearth because it isn't something from without...it was something at the core of my belief about myself, that I refused to even acknowledge was there...
And it's a lie.
and unearthing it has helped.
When you bring something out into the sun and lay it bare...it loses it's power.
This was one of the most difficult things I have had to face.
But now that I have, I can be aware of my internal dialogue.
I can face it and refute the lies with the truth.
Nothing is there anymore..
There is no more there that can stop me.
I may have moments of fear..
But I know the cause.
So, Thank you all for listening to me all this time..and Thank you to my friend...
You have helped me more than you know.
chris out....


Linda Pressman said...

Chris, thank you for that. You gave me chills both for your honesty and this huge revelation. I appreciate that you're willing to unearth all this stuff to get to the bottom of the self-hatred that lay at the core of your weight problem.

Robin said...

There are so many layers to sexual crimes. Particularly to crimes inflicted upon children. As your friend rightly pointed out, sex is intended to feel good and does. However, your spirit/mind knows that what is happening is wrong and cannot deal with that conflict. However, as a child you are powerless to stop what is happening. And as an adult some people never sort through these demons that drive behaviors. Understanding what happened and having compassion for that child allows you to let it go. So happy for you that you sorted this one out.

Ms. M said...

Wow! You have given voice to the "secret" feelings I have toward the abuse I experienced. Having liked the feeling is my biggest shame and the part that still haunts me to this day. Thank you for sharing your experience and your friends words - they are words I desperately needed to hear and never have because I have never told a soul that I felt like that. I'm glad you were able to sort through things. :)

Rettakat said...

I seems to me that all this time on your journey, as you faced down issue after issue, and worked through stuff, you were building courage. Each one made you a little stronger. And now you were able to face THE issue.

And, had the courage to bring it out into the light and share it here. And already, the ripple effect has been to help yet others.

You have my respect, Chris.

Vicki said...

You are an amazing woman to be able to work through this and be strong enough to share.
All my best x

Helen said...

Light always brings power and clarity against anything that is dark. Sorry you've had an off week but so glad you're working through this!

Kelliann said...

wow. what honesty. I am praying for your clarity and strength as you continue to work through this. You are incredibly strong and brave. Peace.

bbubblyb said...

Great post and an eye opener for me. I still have a lot to sort out. Glad you're getting to the bottom of things, I wish that for myself too. *hugs*

Joy said...

Chris you are an amazing woman. Never afraid to do the hard work. You have come so far and now you are ready for the finish line. Keep pushing til you get there!!

Seems almost inappropriate with the seriousness of your post, but I tagged you today.

Keep up the awesome work and stay focused!!!!

Amber said...

I am amazed each time you discover another wall and are able to see the reasons behind it and then work through and rationalize it. I hate that you, and so many others, have had the past no child should have. Yet it is great to see that it is possible to get through it all, and to be able to make choices to better ones life.
I am very proud of you! And I am glad to call you friend.

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

You have faced so many demons and come out the winner. My immense thanks to you for being willing to share what you have and are going through. I appreciate that this cannot be easy for you and yet you have chosen to share your insights.
This particular issue serves to remind me of how important it is to protect the children in our lives as much as we possibly can. It is so sad to see the results of what one irresponsible and thoughtless adult has done in one moment of two kids lives.
Curious: Do you find that there are other times when having experienced the abuse or pain of another brings up very tough issues for you more than it does when it is you yourself? For me, the things that I have seen done to others haunt me much more so than anything I personally experienced. It feels as if the mental game is so much worse than any physical damage could ever be.

Laura said...

I can't tell you how happy I am AGAIN that I found your blog. You give me such hope and inspiration. This post has really touched a nerve for me. I had something simular happen to me and always felt guilty because it felt good. I always thought I was some sort of freak for that. Thank you so much for this!

Hanlie said...

You brave, brave girl! Well done for facing your fears and getting to the bottom of your "issues". Whatever the reasoning behind it, I think everyone who struggles with weight has a fundamental feeling of being somehow "wrong" or "dangerous". And it's a lie.

Cara said...

I think that particular turd is kicking around a lot of people's chicken coops. It is definitely a hard one to deal with, let alone share! I am cheering for you, as usual :)

Julie said...

I had my first breast exam when I was 12 and had the same feelings. I liked it. And felt weird because I liked it. Thank you for posting this issue and thank your friend for her help to not only you but so many other people. Loves.

E. Jane said...

Fear and shame are big issues for those of us who struggle with weight. It seems that we often turn the dispicable behavior of others into self-blame and shame. I know that I have a very big fear of being attractive. In some way, I'm not sure how I would handle it, and I was taught from a young age that everything about me was in some way BAD! No wonder we have covered up our beauty and our human essence with excess weight. So, I continue to try very hard to be very, very good and very, very nice--except I have never been good at maintaining my weight. I guess that failing always made someone happy. Thanks for sharing this eye-opener.

Deb Willbefree said...

Your thoughts and feelings are absolutely typical of someone who was sexually abused as a child.

I am not saying that to demean your pain, but to normalize it. You are not/were not being odd or crazy--those assumptions you held are what sexual abuse does to children. That's what children decide about what happened to them, and the adult that child becomes walks those decisions out without realizing it.

I had a wall in my office, above my desk, that had a banner across the top. The banner read, "It wasn't my fault." I used to have clients do self-portraits and hang them there. It took some clients weeks to be able to do that, their felt guilt and shame was so great.

I know that it's popular these days to say that no one is a victim, to take responsibility, blah blah blah, but the fact is you WERE a victim. It wasn't your fault. That may n ot feel powerful, but it is true--and the child you were will be set free by believing it.

The good news is that now you get to rescue the little girl that you were and let her heal, let her believe that it really wasn't anything about her that caused this abuse.

You have a very wise friend. :) And I'm so glad. During almost every first session with a client, I said that "bodies do what bodies were created to do. They respond as they were meant to respond, regardless of the circumstance."

Clients were always shame-filled because something about the abuse...well, didn't feel abusive. Whether it was the physical sensations or the attention they rec'd at the time of the abuse. Soometimes that was the only time the abuser was attentive to them.

Well, anyway, you are, indeed, digging up smoe stuff. There are many books out there for adults sexually absued as children (ASAAC). One classic, if it is still inprint, is called "The Courage to Heal."

There are, of course, websites dedicated to SA healing, too. You may want to do some reading if you haven't already. Finding yourself, your feelings, your thoughts, your story in print can be reassuring.

I loved woking with ASAAC clients. Why? Because there was nothing inherently wrong with them. They were not mentally ill. They were wounded. Once truth came in, the wound healed and they were able to change their lives. They have always been the stongest women I have ever met.

And so are you.


jo said...

Same thing happened to me, and it felt good. I thought I was dirty and it followed me forever sexually speaking. As your friend said, we get pleasure when touched a certain way. To us, it feels like our body is stabbing us in the back by experiencing pleasure. That's the nature of the beast. Then we carry that burden, that baggage with us forever. Glad you were able to confront it and lay it bare. It was one incident (or however many times, like in my case) that happened years ago. We give too much power to things like that because of the trauma, but in reality a few moments doesn't make us or break us. I'm glad you were able to bring it to the surface and now be aware of your internal dialog. Hugs. It's not easy, is it.