Warning: The following is of a sensitive nature, with unsettling – although not graphic – accounts of childhood trauma. It is, still, a part of my journey.
This is a difficult entry to post. I am quoting, then transcribing my response to, an anonymous male who sent a message to an internet-based support group I am part of:
So I keep readin (sic) in these forums how it’s not your fault, you weren’t responsible, etc.I guess I’m not there yet.I don’t feel like it was my fault, I just feel like I was a natural-born whore; not my fault, but just the way it is.I’ve never felt anger at any of the guys that abused me. Fear sometimes–as when being raped at age 12, but not anger. After all, I was the one that got in the car with him, knowing something was up.Sure it would be great to be able to say I had no responsibility in the matter, but I feel like I did.Anyone relate to this?
Sure I relate C—–.
My first sex partner was a boy my age at the time, 8 or 9. Fun and games. Both “gay” (before we really knew what it meant). We both liked Tarzan. We both liked Batman and Robin. We both acknowledged a secret crush on a classmate. We massaged each other. It went from there.
sex partner experience, however, was very different – and abusive. I was about 12 or 13, just lying naked in the sun in the great outdoors. He was much, much older, also sun-bathing naked near by. Does my curiosity, that of a 12 or 13-year old, give this older guy the right to exploit me? Time and time again, even summer after summer?
Sure I “knew” what I was doing. Kids in puberty “know” so much, don’t they? The law, in its wisdom, says kids that age are not able to give consent to someone older. Why? Precisely because we don’t have the wisdom or life experience to know what’s going on. The perp/perv’s desires take precedence over the kid’s curiosity, “willingness”, etc.
What happened? I “came out” (surprise, surprise) at age 21, having missed any chance for a “coming of age”-type romance with someone my age because my view of sex was mixed up with age difference, power, etc.
So I did not discriminate, i.e. have any boundaries. I was eager to please anyone, alone or in groups, my age or older.
When I wasn’t having sex I was drinking and drugging.
My boundaries dissolved completely. Sex with anyone. With or without a condom, even just as AIDS was starting to become known to everyone.
I accept full responsibility for my actions as an adult. Stoned and sober. Safe and unsafe. Notwithstanding that we knew nothing about AIDS in the early 80s, it was not my idea to use condoms once information started to grow. It was usually up to the other guy. My choice? Yes, but do you see where my thought process came from?
Not having even acknowledged the abuse for what it was, this kid gave away his power. It has taken me many years to begin to take it back.
Today I don’t drink or drug. But, since 1989 – that’s fifteen years – I have had HIV/AIDS, nearly dying in the early 90s. I got it as an adult (for which I am responsible), yes, but with the conditioning and influence of untreated sexual abuse as a kid.
It all started on a summer day as a youngster on my bicycle when, along a river-side path, I claimed a large boulder as my own and stripped down naked to sun-bathe.
It felt good.