So there are a number of people who probably wonder why, after all these years, I am still in therapy.
Well lately, I have been getting nudges and feelings within myself, and through dreams, that my subconscious is not okay with the fact that I have not been completely open and honest with my Blog readers, or even with personal friends.
Funny, because I just wrote the other day about being expressive, voicing your truths etc. Well, the time has come that I must proclaim my truth, own my truth, and try to be an inspiration to others to also speak their truth.
I have been hiding something for years. I have hinted at this in a few posts and comments, and mentioned it in this article, and professed it in this article three years ago, but have never truly, come completely clean with strength and purpose.
Why have I kept a secret from my Blog readers, most of my Blog friends, my personal friends, and even my husband of nineteen years?
Out of deep humiliation, disgust at myself, and because of death threats and attempts by my mother to take my life as a child –attempts to choke me to death so I would keep her dirty secrets.
I won’t do that to myself anymore!
I have been lamenting to others about breaking secrets, being true to yourself, and to scream the dirty little secrets from the bedroom, but I have been a lie to myself while telling others to do what I should have done a long time ago.
So here goes…….
I was not only sexually abused as a child by my father, I was also sexually abused by my mother and my older sister.
I dealt with my father’s sexual abuse and rapes, almost entirely, several years ago in therapy. But being sexually violated and tricked into sex by my mother (and to a lesser degree by my sister), has been profoundly intense to heal.
…but I am almost there, and this article proves it. I am no longer ashamed. I am no longer embarrassed that I took part in the abuse to gain acceptance from my sister, and so-called “love” from the woman who calls herself my mother.
I am no longer willing to keep her secrets because they, nor she, have any power over me any longer.
I will not hold my head in shame anymore for the sexual things I did with my mother –and that I didn’t like it when my mother stopped having sexual contact with me.
I have to admit, I cringed a little inside when I just wrote that. This means I am not completely free of that issue, but I do know that I have nothing to feel ashamed of. My mother and sister are the ones who should feel ashamed. I have carried this too long, it does not belong to me, the shame belongs to them.
So, in honor of my lack of shame, here is the story about my mother, for everyone to see. I will not keep her secrets anymore.
The Sacred Monster: “Butch” Enters My Life
How Can This Be? Your Mother Cleaned the Church!
I can easily recall the moment of anger I had about ten years ago when a friend began discussing women who volunteer to clean the church, and who do little tasks around the parish to help out the priest. These women are sometimes called, “church ladies.”
My friend felt these women who clean the church are “good” trustworthy people.
My anger was quick and potent. I told my friend, “Just because someone helps clean the church; it doesn’t mean they aren’t capable of being liars, manipulators, deceivers, and abusers of children!”
It was Butch who had become angry that day. Butch was the part of me that carried rage, and she wasn’t afraid to use it.
Butch was the part of me that suddenly felt rage when a woman got too close to me in the grocery store and Butch was the one who wanted to beat women up whenever they stared at me. So I named that part of me “Butch” because it was an ugly side of me that resembled an angry Tomboy who hated women.
It was Butch who blew up the day I saw a reality television program where a joke was played on a pizza delivery man. The producers (disguised as employees of the pizza restaurant) had sent the unsuspecting man to deliver a pizza to the home of a male customer. The customer, who was an actor playing a role, answered the door naked and paid for the pizza while visibly naked.
The surprised pizza delivery man handled the situation reasonably well. He had no visible sign of distress or anger.
I, on the other hand, flew out of my mind. Before I knew it, I found myself running to the telephone. Frantically, I called information to find the phone number of the television station. When the person, at the TV station, who was taking customer complaints came on the line, I heard myself screaming into the phone receiver, “You just can’t do that! You can’t force a naked person onto someone else!!! You just don’t know what that person has been through in their life!!! How dare you?!”
The person on the other end of the line didn’t have a chance to respond before I added, “If that man had been abused by another man as a child, then this would be devastating to him!”
Butch quickly hung up.
A few weeks later, while watching a documentary on the biography of Hustler Magazine’s, Larry Flynt, Butch became furious upon learning Flynt’s wife had used her bisexuality to push herself on other women. Butch was so angered by Flynt’s wife, that it gave me a strange satisfaction when the program revealed she had died of AIDS.
These incidents were the beginning of the end of the life I thought I had understood. For several years, I had progressively, and almost miraculously, healed from having been a victim of father/daughter incest. But my progress had come to somewhat of a standstill, and some new physical symptoms had begun to plague me; like feeling full before meals. Even though I had not eaten in a few hours, and knew it was time to eat something, I felt as though I had just eaten a large meal. I had started to get terrible gas pains for no known reason. Hemorrhoids, stomach aches, and a feeling of wanting to just “check-out” –to go to sleep, as if I almost had narcolepsy. I also developed heavy bags under my eyes, and back pain.
But I had gone through many different physical symptoms before and felt these new problems were related to something unresolved with my father.
The curious part of all these new problems, was the outbursts of unexplained and unchecked rage. At the time, I assumed my over-reaction to the pizza delivery incident was because I had been forced into sexual abuse by my father, but I wasn’t quite sure why I found a quiet satisfaction in a woman dying of AIDS. So I assumed it was because I didn’t like people forcing themselves onto others.
I was sure my friend’s comment about church ladies, had to be based in the anger at my mother for not protecting me from my father, and for her having physically assaulted me as a child. While I was growing up, and being sexually abused by my father, my mother regularly cleaned our local church.
But when I began to notice a strange pattern of incidents which caused me varying over-reactions to seemingly benign situations, I started a list in my log book –a list of experiences which created sudden anger, depression, or physical suffering:
- Hearing the name of a daily television program called “Woman to Woman”.
- A close female friend jokingly referred to our seeing a movie together as “a date.”
- The film Boys Don’t Cry caused me to become enraged over the main female character’s deception by pretending to be a boy. The girl, based on a true life story, fooled an entire town of people, and even tricked a young girl into thinking she was her new “boyfriend.”
- Each time that I visited a certain establishment –whose owner was a lesbian- I became nauseous.
- Oprah Winfrey did a show on mothers who were too busy for their children. One mother had agreed to be filmed at home while performing her daily routine. In the opening segment, the woman’s little girl was shown (discretely) going potty while the mother was busy at the other end of the house. The little girl cried from the toilet “Mommy, come and wipe me.” It was a distressful moment for the child because the mother was in another room and out of hearing range. The curious thing was….. while the audience, Oprah, and her panel of experts were all reacting to the mother not being available to the child (which was terrible), I instead, was feeling disgusted inside and felt mentally disconnected because the little girl was asking her mother to touch her in the genital area.
- A long-time friend gave me fancy underwear for a birthday gift and I was extremely uncomfortable and hated every moment of opening up a box and seeing lacy underwear that had been given to me by a woman.
- I never wanted to have a female friend over to my home if it meant that I would be alone with her, and I coiled in rejection at the thought of doing yoga with any female friend in her home —or in mine. I also refused to join a yoga class and shunned the idea of attending a woman’s day spa.
- I had always been repulsed at the idea of having a woman gynecologist, but when my male gynecologist allowed his female nurse in the room during an exam, I became extremely uncomfortable with it.
- I began to experience severe chest pains while in women’s clothing stores and several times, while trying on clothes in a dressing room, I almost blacked out.
- One night a friend called me from her bathtub just to have a chat. I had not been at home at the time but the fact that she had made the call from her bathtub, I shot into a seething state of anger.
- I found myself repulsed by innocent depictions of normal mother/daughter situations or of two women friends. Any photograph or television program showing a mother and daughter hugging, or a mother kissing her daughter, or touching her hair –or even seeing two women friends being physically close, caused me to look away, change the channel, or brought on physical symptoms.
- A well-known actress commented about another actress’s breasts in a very causal way and I found myself screaming at her on the television set.
- Lesbian scenes on television, or in films, had begun to send me into furies of rage.
As my log book pages began to fill with these feelings and physical reactions, I slowly started to realize that Butch was a part of me that could no longer be ignored. Over several months, it became clear that Butch’s anger and disgust was coming from some kind of deeply personal experience. The ugly truth was reluctantly beginning to sink into my mind, and as it did, Butch rejoiced inside me because her voice and pain was finally being acknowledged.
Butch had forced me to recognize that she was a very distinct, but powerful part of my psyche, and she would not release me from my prison of rage and inability to heal, until she was heard and validated.
Over the next two years, I finally learned to accept that lesbian and gay situations, or female to female contact –no matter how innocent- was very disturbing to my subconscious mind.
I don’t quite know where Butch was all the years prior to this. Had she been sleeping? Who was this rage-filled Tomboy inside me? Had she been waiting silently in my subconscious mind until she felt that she couldn’t take the pain any longer, or could not live in denial for one more second, and that she just had to heal? To be heard…To scream out her pain?
Until Butch decided to make herself known to me, I didn’t have many female friends and never felt completely comfortable around women unless I had been drinking, but I never had any conscious disgust towards gays. Then again, it wasn’t until about fifteen years ago that homosexuality began to be openly accepted and acted out in public so blatantly. It wasn’t until homosexuality became so common in films and on television that I began to have these reactions. It is very possible that when homosexuality was more subdued in society, Butch was still sleeping.
Until Butch woke up and decided she wanted to be heard, I did not want the gay lifestyle to be forced on my mind, intruded on my daily life, or seen on television –but I was never vocal about it, nor did it evoke such rage.
I never liked to see children exposed to affection and sexual acts between adult homosexuals, but until Butch decided she had had enough, I never showed any antagonism or anger towards gays and lesbians. I held a somewhat liberal view of things and never gave it much conscious thought.
Butch, who had lay dormant for years, suddenly wanted me to know that she despised any mention of gay or lesbianism, and that she was extremely disgusted at the sight of two women together. Butch even freaked out when some states began to legalize same-sex marriages. Butch was so pissed off that she couldn’t even look at any of the headlines about gay marriages, or legal proceedings surrounding the controversy.
The possibility that I had been sexually abused by my mother, as well as my father, was alien to my life at that time, but at every turn, I was given signals, by my mind and body, that something highly disturbing was coming into my consciousness.
During this period of time, I realized that a neurological twitch, which had plagued me for years, was very noticeable with any connection to the movie “Sybil.” At the time of the twitches, I didn’t understand the association, but when I acknowledged that Sybil had been sexually abused by her own mother, the reason for the neurological twitch was becoming more clear.
It was during this strange time of my life that I started to hate fruit (unless it was chopped up for me), and began to become mentally disconnected in sushi bars, and my heart rate always accelerated after eating fish tacos. I also refused to eat tuna fish —even though it previously had been a favorite food of mine.
Upon reflection of this new hatred of fruit and tuna, I realized that many different fruits are associated with female body parts. Women’s breasts are often referred to as “melons,” “coconuts,” or “grapefruit,” and there is a song by a popular 1980’s rock band which refers to a vagina as a “pineapple.” Women are sometimes called a “peach,” and when a girl loses her virginity she is considered to have just “popped her cherry.”
Fish tacos, sushi, and tuna have all crudely been used as words to describe vaginas.
A colorful and appetizing grocery catalog had sickened me for weeks. Every time I saw the catalog, I became nauseous or dizzy. Then I finally realized that, on the cover, was a picture of a papaya which had been cut in half. For the first time, I consciously realized the photo looked exactly like a woman’s open vagina. Until that moment, my subconscious mind had seen the photo in a vulgar way, and caused me to be sick every time I saw it. Yet, my conscious mind, had not been quick enough, or intuitive enough, to have figured that out —that is, until I was emotionally prepared to handle it.
Photos of orchids also bothered me. I turned pages quickly when I saw them in magazines, and when a female neighbor bought me one as a gift, I hated it. Orchids look similar to a vagina.
I find the subconscious mind to be pretty mind-blowing. It sends us little clues and gets us to make little mental notes in our daily life, but if the conscious mind is not willing to believe the notes and clues, and decides not to deal with what is right in front of our face, the subconscious mind says, “Okay, you don’t want to know the truth, you want to stay sick and stay in denial…well, here you go!”
One night, my subconscious (my soul) decided that it was tired of giving me little clues. That night, I had a dream that I was being given oral sex by my mother.
The dream was highly disturbing at the time, and I could not even discuss it on the telephone with my therapist. I did not tell her a word about it when I spoke with her in my next therapy session. Instead, I sent my therapist an email telling her of the dream, because I could not handle speaking the words about such a vulgar violation. I could barely write the words, much less say them out loud.
How far I have come from that day. I can not only say the words out loud, but write them for all the world to see.
Part Two of The Sacred Monster coming soon…
Please note: The publishing of this article was inspired by one of my Blog readers named Grace. Thank you Grace for being strong enough to expose your story. It was your courage which pushed me to post this article. I am going to publish Grace’s story soon.
I had originally planned on publishing The Sacred Monster as a little book when I felt strong enough one day. But when I began to work on Grace’s story for publishing on my Blog (with her permission) my subconscious mind began to get pretty angry with me and let me know that I needed to stop trying to live through Grace going public, and to go public myself too.
Stay tuned for Grace’s amazing story, and for the continuation of The Sacred Monster.