Anonymous Story: A Quick Rundown of My Life: A Messy Essay

Anonymous Story: A Quick Rundown of My Life: A Messy Essay

Warning:- long.

I guess I’m just inanely babbling into the void here, which does help, just getting all your thoughts out. This is a very watered down essay of my stupidly complex life.

I feel as though I should make it very clear that I am in no way ashamed of what has happened to me. I know I am not at fault; I know none of these things are my fault in any way & it’s nothing more than the result of a very broken social structure.

I should also highlight that this is very complicated, due to the fact that a few people involved in these incidents are/ were very damaged people. This does not excuse their behaviour by any means, but it at least helps me understand why some things happened; as well as confirms that these things weren’t my fault in any way.

I’m old, not too old mind, but I grew up in the 80’s & into the 90’s (UK). Even though this wasn’t too long ago; times were still different. I remember being brought up watching male comedians making sexual or incest jokes about under age girls; seeing skits or movies about men practically forcing themselves on women & it essentially being considered the norm. I grew up in a time when ‘messing’ with little girls verbally or physically was frowned upon, but everyone just kind of knew it happened, & as long as it was used for comedic purposed then it was ‘fine’, if that makes sense?
(operation yewtree anyone?)

I was also inundated with constant reminders of my gender & its apparent weakness & uselessness with, well; pretty much everything, by everyone. If I should ever dare try to imply that I was strong or capable in any way, people around me made it their duty to tear me down as much as possible (yes; even other girls). It’s like girls & women were resigned to the belief that they were too weak to ever dare face against any boy or man, in any field, ever, & if anything were to happen then you just shut up & let it happen.
Despite these things, I was always the ‘outspoken’ one, I was the one who fought the boys & had a bit of a temper. I was often the butt end of ‘tomboy’ or ‘girl power’ jokes, amongst others.

On one occasion (I think I was about 12; maybe 13?) when I was going to walk my dog, I wanted to wear a nice dress with some nice shoes, because I just wanted to feel pretty & grown up for once. My dad made a comment on how I couldn’t wear those clothes (mainly the shoes because they had a small heel to them) & that I was inviting to be attacked & I would be unable to protect myself, I told him if anyone attacked me I could take my shoe off & use it to hit them. To prove a point; my dad aggressively got me in a headlock to prove I couldn’t defend myself, egging me on to try & go for my shoe, showing me that I couldn’t do it.
I can look back now & I can see that I was just a scared & fed up little kid, so sick & tired of being stamped on by everyone around me, including family, & even friends.
My home life was chaos, both my parents were alcoholics & very verbally abusive (at times physically too; but not to the extent of beatings or anything like that. I was dragged by my hair by my dad once, slapped round the face by my mum. On one occasion I had to hide the cutlery drawer because my dad got a knife & tried to get my mum to stab him. I hid it under my blanket, & returned it to the drawer early the next morning because I was terrified of being scolded for what I had done. I would check the living room for broken glass when I got up in the morning. On one occasion I was cleaning blood spatters off the wall. There is more, but I digress).

I’d been chased, followed & yelled at (i.e. catcalled) by men & boys throughout my youth. Any time I spoke out at any boys or men who shouted at me, I was threatened with violence. I was bullied profusely by too many people to count, & I was growing in conditions that left me stunted as far as my self esteem; & growth into an emotionally competent individual; was concerned. By the time I was a teenager, I’d lost any sense of self worth.

I met my first & only boyfriend when I was in my mid-teens, he was an older teen (4 years older). Despite the nature of this site & these stories, I was actually the one instigating everything with my older boyfriend, because I really wanted to (I was one year out of my sexually legal age here in the UK, which is 16, only by a few months. I laugh at how awkward we both were because despite him being older; he had only ever had sex once. It was a learning curve for both of us).

He was sweet, but our relationship was a mess; he was very emotionally manipulative & at times abusive, but I think it’s safe to say he was just as much a mess as I was. Mental health problems were rife in his family (as well as my own; clearly), so his aggression & possessiveness, as well as the times we were both brought up in (when it comes to how men & women were viewed) is no surprise when I look back on it now. I’ll make a note on this at the end of this essay.

It seemed that once I started going out with my boyfriend, my dad’s behaviour seemed to get a lot worse.
My dad had said a few inappropriate things to me when I was a little kid, but in my mind it was just him ‘trying to be nice’ (he once admitted on a whim that he found me attractive himself; as though it was ok for him to say that. I was in the bathroom getting ready. He was giving me a speech about safety & how men would look at me etc. When he admitted that he was attracted to me himself; I actually felt frightened in that moment because I had no idea what would happen. Luckily he just left).
He told me once how his friends made a comment about me when I was in the pub with my friend playing pool, my dad knew the pub owners so we were allowed to play pool in there. My dad mentioned it as though it was something to be proud of, that older men had made comments about his daughter, I must have been about 13 or 14 at the time.

I was too scared to do things like go to the bathroom or even shower when he was in the house & drunk, on one occasion he forced his way into the bathroom (breaking the lock) when I was in the middle of using the toilet; as though he didn’t even realise a locked door meant someone was in there (or maybe he just didn’t care?). A few occasions when I was showering he would poke his head round the back of the curtain & joke about how he could see my bum, when I was a teenager this wasn’t ‘funny’ anymore.

When my boyfriend was around it’s as though my dad was throwing his weight around; trying to ‘prove’ I was somehow his territory or some nonsense (back then; despite being older, my boyfriend was not the confrontational type & had no clue on how to deal with these situations. I later found out that it frightened him too).
My dad was always drunk whenever he got aggressive or said or did anything inappropriate, on one occasion when I hugged him goodbye he dry humped me. Other occasions was him grabbing at my chest, back then I didn’t even have a decent set of breasts, despite being 15 at the time, but it didn’t stop him from grabbing at me. I lost count how many times it happened, but one occasion he did grab at my crotch. I was playfully wrestling with both my parents in their drunken state; & he thought it would be a good idea to grab at my genitals. I exclaimed that I was on my period (which I was) so he shouldn’t touch me there, I told him this for his sake; not my own, because it hadn’t properly hit me yet that what he was doing was wrong & fucking disgusting, even though I didn’t like it. He suddenly seemed horrified by what he had done, as though it only just finally sunk in what he had been doing. I know my dad & his siblings were sexually abused by my granddad (I’m not sure about the boys; but I know the girls definitely were. I wasn’t told the details but the impression I got was that it was horrifying), so perhaps that was the moment he realised what he was doing & that it was wrong?

Didn’t stop him from trying to continue grabbing at my chest at times though. It got to a point where it finally hit me that I had every right to tell him to stop, even though I was scared of the repercussions. He & my mum were very drunk again, we were standing in the kitchen & he tried to grab at my chest again. I grabbed his hands & pushed him away & angrily told him to stop touching me, my mum spoke up & yes “Yes! Thank you!”
At the time it felt good to be validated; & that I wasn’t being over dramatic (as I was often made to feel whenever I spoke up about any form of mistreatment I had suffered, from anyone). But; of course, I think back at that moment & I get angry. If she could see what was happening, if she knew it was wrong (& she knew my dads past with his own childhood), why the hell didn’t she step in at any point? Maybe she was just as downtrodden as I was; & felt as though she had no right to say anything? I don’t know, I gave up trying to figure it out a long time ago
(plus she’s dead now due to the alcoholism; so it’s not like I can just ask her).

It wasn’t until I was an adult & I actually looked in the dictionary for the definition of ‘molestation’ that I finally realised what the hell had happened to me, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was well into my late twenties that I finally grew some self worth & stopped allowing pieces of shit stamp all over me. I had been bullied, mistreated & manipulated my entire life, & all those years I thought I was worthless & stupid, turns out I also had undiagnosed autism. Go figure.

A quick side note- The twist here. I’m still with that boyfriend. He put me through hell, he slapped me once (like my parents he was a very heavy drinker, it was what I was used to after all. He was incredibly drunk when it happened, not an excuse of course, but that incident resulted in him grabbing every ounce of alcohol & throwing it away because he was horrified by what happened), a few other times he grabbed me by the neck but was quick to let go. I was also pressured into having sex a few times when I wasn’t interested, he never forced me but he was very emotionally manipulative. I think back to those moments & how he used to behave & it was very impulsive, which we now know is the result of his own mental health problems, such as severe depression, abandonment issues & undiagnosed ADHD. He hasn’t put his hands on me for years, he no longer call me names when he gets angry; & he is utterly respectful towards me & my body.
We still have arguments from time to time; of course, but it’s just loud disagreements, there’s no name calling or threats, just two annoyed people expressing their exasperation. We always make sure to apologise & talk it out, & he has no shame in admitting when he is wrong (whereas in the past he would try to twist it on me).
I’ve told him that, considering who I am now, the experiences I have lived through etc, if I were to meet him now as he was back then; I would dump him without hesitation. He knows this, & despite the hardships we, as two stupid & damaged kids, went through together, I commend him for taking the responsibility for his actions & his behaviours & getting the help he needed.

Despite my story, if anyone is reading this & they’re experiencing the same thing, it is NOT your job to fix your partner! This is solely down to them, & if they’re aggressive towards you to the point where they’re putting their hands on you, then leave. Don’t read this as me saying “hey it works out if you just stick around” take this as me saying- it is completely your partners responsibility to sort their own shit out, by all means support them if you really want/ need to, but it’s up to them to make the effort to become a better person, & if you feel unsafe with this person then leave immediately until they have sought the help they sorely need! Plus if I’m to be completely honest, the only reason it worked out between me & my partner is because HE put the effort in & wanted to get better, but also because he knows fully well that all hell would break loose if anything like that were to happen again. I’m not some delicate flower & haven’t been for several years, I found my self worth & I don’t put up with any sort of rubbish anymore, it took me having to have a complete mental break down for me to find myself, it’s funny how that works. He lives with his mistakes every day & the proof of his remorse & understanding of his behaviour can be seen in actions, & he’s been this way for years now. It’s safe to say we both did a lot of growing up through the years as well as come to terms & faced our own demons.
We have boys of our own, & my partner has been transparent with his past, admitting fully how much he fucked up & how badly he treated me, & he has used it as a means to teach our kids how to be better people than he was in his youth.

As for my dad. I am still in contact with him, but he stopped being my ‘dad’ many years ago. To me he is nothing more than just another family member. I don’t really feel anything, he’s just sort of ‘there’. As irritating as this may sound to some, I know me coming forward & declaring ‘he did this to me’ will probably have more negative results than positive ones. People will hound me for questions, some will probably state that they don’t believe me, or see me as some sort of damaged charity case. I just can’t be bothered with all the nonsense & unneeded drama that other people will undoubtedly bring if I were to speak out about my dad & the shit he put me through. I think it makes it easier because I can look at the state of him & his predicament, & realise that he is not worth my energy. I’m a better, stronger person than he will ever be. He is an absolute mess, he has no more friends & no one in the family really makes an effort for him, he’s effectively isolated himself. We do still visit every now & then, may even have him over, & if I’m honest I have no clue if he even remembers all the shit he did, or he’s just in denial/ hoping that I don’t remember? (which I do; of course). I actually looked after him a lot when my mum died; not entirely sure why, I guess it hadn’t properly sunk in by that point. Now I barely talk to him.
Even now he’ll make the odd subtle statement about me somehow being weaker due to my gender, & you can call me petty if you wish, but I cannot help but laugh at him & how pitiful he truly is.

I guess my point is, despite how much of a scumbag he was/ is, it’s just not worth my time & energy to shout through a speaker about the shit he put me through. I know everyone expects people to go charging in & drag those who did them wrong, make them suffer & punish & ruin them, but honestly I just don’t see a point. It’s not because I don’t think highly of myself or think I don’t deserve some sort of retribution, it’s just that I know it will probably cause me more problems & potential difficulties if I did. I have him at arms length, I know I could drop him & shove him out of my life at any point if need be. He’s an absolute mess & his life & health is in tatters due to his own selfishness, I’m very happy with my partner & our kids, if he or anyone were to ever dare try any shit with me nowadays I would splatter their nose across their fucking face. I think these things are enough ‘revenge’, because life, as well as his own damn stupidity & selfishness has completely screwed him over more than I ever could.

At least I now have enough self esteem to know what to not put up with any more, & needless to say, there are quite a few men & boys who are frightened of me, because I’m not some frail lady that will allow them to treat me like crap.

-Bee

Author

WYR

WYR

When You're Ready.org is a community for survivors of sexual violence to share their stories.

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