It’s the first day of the new year. Our party went off without a hitch, thanks to the planning of my two wives, and the goodies our guests brought to the party.
I can’t remember the last time I stayed up until midnight to ring in the new year, but I was awake at midnight last night, thanks to the pyrotechnic barrage provided by the Mexican locals.
I’m getting used to the local customs. I barely notice the explosions most of the time now, and I was able to fall back asleep, even though the fireworks continued throughout the night.
¡Feliz año nuevo!
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Writing is a strange preoccupation. I can’t speak for any other writers, but I have to have a certain amount of inspiration in order to write successfully. Thankfully, not everything I do in life requires inspiration.
“Honey! The toilet is overflowing!!”
There’s no waiting for inspiration to strike in that situation. And if you have to wait to be inspired to act in that case, I don’t think there’s much help for you.
I’ve started writing three or four posts in last couple days, and I’ve scrapped them all. The thing I’ve been inspired to write about is pretty much the last thing I’d choose, but I’m going to be stuck here forever unless I heed the urging of my Muse. So let’s do this.
Several of my posts have been born out of a simple statement I made in a previous post, and I made one of those several days ago when I wrote about spending the summer months at my grandparents’ farm.
I casually mentioned my pedophile uncle.
One of the people that consistently reads my blog is my high school sweetheart, Maureen. She commented that this was something she didn’t know about me, and there’s a reason for that. I’m pretty sure I never told her that I had been sexually abused as a child.
It’s not something I’m proud of, and I can probably count the number of people I’ve talked to it about on one hand, if I don’t count my former patients. I don’t think I even talked about it in group when I was in treatment at the St Cloud VA. I wrote about it for my Fifth Step, and quickly covered that ground when I was talking to my counselor, then tried to bury it again.
It’s unfortunate I didn’t have the courage to face my demons when I was young. It would’ve saved me a whole lots of pain, misery and money in the long run because my main coping skill was drinking myself into a coma.
Since I decided to quit drinking, it’s been somewhat easier for me discuss, though I doubt I’ll ever be completely comfortable with the subject. Many of my former patients had the same issue I did, and I told a few of them my story, mostly to give them hope they could survive their trauma if they were willing to let go of it.
Sexual abuse is a profound psychic trauma, and it’ll flat out fuck with your mind. Two-thirds of people that seek treatment for drug and alcohol abuse report being abused as a child. The sad fact of the matter is this is a much more pervasive problem than most people would care to admit.
I was a dysfunctional mess for most of my life, until I learned to apply a valuable lesson to my life. It’s not what happens to us that’s important. It’s how we respond to it that determines what sort of person we become.
I had to learn to stop reacting, and stupidly fucking up my life, over and over again. Logic and reason are nice tools, but they do not suffice when you’re trying to figure out how you became a victim of something so… indescribable and…horrific.
* * * *
Hey! How’s it going? My name’s Ron.
Nice to meet you. I’m Mark.
Man, I had the best weekend ever! It took me seventeen years, but I got my first blowjob! How about you? Have you ever had a blowjob?
Really? How old were you?
Um, six or seven, I think.
Seriously? What were you, some kind of porn star?
No. It was my uncle, and he was drunk, so…
* * * *
Even now, I have to make a joke out of it.
Like many, if not all survivors of sexual abuse, I was beyond ashamed of what happened. It was my darkest secret, and I hid it under a deep layer of defense mechanisms to keep it hidden.
The only mechanism I didn’t utilize was Denial. In retrospect, the only thing I can say is it was something I couldn’t deny, no matter how much I would’ve liked to make it disappear.
Like many things in my life, I have vague memories of events and when they occurred. My uncle started exploiting me when I was six or seven years old. And it happened for three or four years.
I can’t even say I was an unwilling participant in what happened, and that just makes me feel worse. I knew there was something wrong going on because it was a secret, and I couldn’t tell anyone about it. It would be years before I spoke to anyone about it.
When I was a sophomore or junior in high school, I decided to tell my parents what happened when I spent my summers down on the farm, and their response was one reason I decided not to talk about it to anyone else. They didn’t believe me. Even when my brothers backed me up and said they had been abused too, my parents still refused to believe what they already knew was true.
My uncle lived in a small town. There are no secrets in a small town, especially in Minnesota. There had been rumors and whisperings about him for years.
But my uncle was also a very talented and charming guy. He was loved and respected by almost everyone living in and around Browerville. He was my mom’s big brother, and he had been my dad’s best friend when they were in the Army. He introduced my dad to the woman he would marry.
When my uncle died, my mother found his secret stash of photos he had taken over the years. There are no words to describe her visceral reaction to what she saw. She carried those pictures in her purse for years as a reminder to herself of how she had failed to protect her children.
I think I convinced my mom to finally rid herself of that burden, and rip the pictures up. But it’s not the kind of thing you totally recover from. You just learn to move on. I can’t remember if my dad ever said anything about it. Seeing how I can’t recall ever having that conversation with him, I’m going to say it never happened.
It kind of amazes today just how much my uncle’s indiscretions totally fucked up my family.
One of the people I chose to discuss this subject with is my lovely supermodel wife. But when I did so, I wasn’t prepared for the number of questions she’d have.
Oh, look at the time. I forgot to feed my turtle.
You don’t have a turtle.
Then I clearly need to get one.
Where are you going?
The Turtle Store. Don’t wait up. I’ll be back in a couple weeks.
She probably still has a lots of questions. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel comfortable enough to answer her.
* * * *
I generally enjoy working on my blog. Today, not so much. But it’s a new year. A new beginning, a new life. I’ve kept this part of my life locked up in the dark, buried in the deepest recesses of my heart and mind. It’s time to get it out, time to stare it down and tell it how incredibly fucking meaningless it is anymore.
And it can go crawl off into a corner by itself, and die. It doesn’t need me anymore, and I certainly don’t need it. We’ve hung out together long enough.
I’m sure I’ll still be a fucked up human being until the day I die, but I’ll be more insightfully fucked up from now on. I’ll have a better plan of response. And I’ll be far less likely to do something stupid, though you should never discount that possibility when it comes to me.
And while I’m not planning on dying to death any time soon, I’m certainly getting closer to the day when that will happen. I don’t know if God takes things like circumstance into consideration when he judges us, but if He does, maybe I can do a little plea bargaining with Him.
I have a lots of stupid stuff I have to answer for.