A quick note: This will be a new series of journal entries that are more painful, more personal, but necessary to an overall goal.
Whenever we think about magic and all that, everyone conjures an image into their mind’s eye. It’s the Hollywood technical supervisor doing the bitchingest special effects because they have a budget in the seven to eight digits arena. So, even though there is no “bippity boppety boo,” we tend to think of magic in that way without realizing. Too many cartoons or movies, what have you. I think after seeing so many shows and so many movies and imagining sparkly blue light shooting from your fingers/hands that you just get to the point where you think that maybe, just maybe there is the whole “bippety boppety boo” out there. Personally, I suffer from this problem, but it’s probably not the same as other peoples’…
You see, I’m looking for the magical cure. You know what I mean. We’ve seen that in the movies and cartoons and television shows, too. It’s that moment when the hero and heroine finds the right potion that they can swallow down to undo the end of the world or the terminal disease or gives them enough strength to overpower the ULTIMATE EVIL. Or, it’s that moment when Prince Charming (or Princess Charming) steps up to the person who is sleeping the hundred year sleep of oblivion and offers the kiss to end said curse. It’s the magical cure that we are all looking for, to an extent, and I’m no different. Sometimes, I think that the whole magical searching thing that I’ve been doing is to look for the magical cure. But, my magical cure isn’t just something that will give me the strength to battle it out with the ULTIMATE EVIL or save me from the terminal disease that is ravishing my insides. I’m looking for the magical cure for post traumatic stress disorder.
When I was sixteen years old, I was seeing a guy. I think we know where this is kind of going, considering my above statement. The thing is that this guy was just a guy. He was never my boyfriend and that would come up to bite me in the ass later. (Did you know that in Massachusetts you must have had a defining relationship with a person in order to get a protection order against someone? Yep. It sucks.) He and I messed around a few times and I thought that I really liked him. My best friend introduced us, actually. He was okay. I didn’t really see him as long-term boyfriend material because there were rumors about him being a man’s man: he had a lot of girlfriends on the side. He seemed nice. But, the thing is that he couldn’t have been too nice because when I said, “no,” he didn’t listen. The worst case scenario happened: I got to lose my virginity to a guy who I quasi-liked after I said no. What makes it worse than anything is that I could have yelled and screamed and it probably would have stopped. My mom was in the next room and my kid brother was right downstairs. Sure, he brought people over to keep my kid brother occupied with something while he took advantage of my naïveté. To say that I feel guilt about it is an understatement. To say that I let affect me to this day, also an understatement.
I’ve been letting it affect me every day after someone told me that I had been raped.
Oh, yes. It wasn’t just bad enough that I was taken advantage of by someone who I trusted. It wasn’t just bad enough that he had planned things out just well enough to get what he wanted when I wasn’t interested. It wasn’t until after I made mention it to an acquaintance that I began to wonder if I had been raped. This was months later. It explained some things about my behavior after the fact. I was more depressed and moody than usual. I was stealing in an effort to cry for attention. I was cutting more than normal and I was in such a downward spiral that it’s amazing I didn’t kill myself. But, I didn’t know why at the time. Then, I kind of mentioned it to an acquaintance and she said to me, “He didn’t rape you, did he?” I stared at her like she had said one of those words that George Carlin said you can’t say on the radio or TV or whatever. There was no way… there was… I told her no and stopped speaking to her after that (ever again, actually). It took me a while to get up the courage to give the instances in hypothetical jargon to my boyfriend at the time. He told me that what I was describing was rape. You see, back then, date rape was a term that no one knew or understood. Hell, half the time, I still don’t understand it, but that’s what happened to me.
I trusted someone to keep me safe and he took advantage of me.
To add insult to injury, he was charged as a minor even though he was eighteen at the time. In Massachusetts, he couldn’t be charged as an adult until after he hit the magical nineteen mark. So, we went to juvenile court and yet more insult to injury, he was found not guilty. There was a question the jury needed me to answer, but I had left already. It was hard enough trying to testify in a court case when my best friend bowed out and they said that my boyfriend was “no longer necessary” to the case. They were both witnesses to my state of mind, to my discussing the event, and all that jazz, but they weren’t needed to testify on my behalf. It was only me and my little brother and a jury said that he wasn’t guilty. Insult to injury, indeed.
With that in my background (amongst other sexual assaults that have since happened), I’ve been looking for a magical cure. I did the therapy thing because that’s what you’re supposed to do. You go and talk to a complete stranger for an hour and things get magically better. I took pills to keep me from having random panic attacks and I talked my fucking head off to people who I didn’t feel comfortable with. I practiced deviant sexual behavior as a kind of “get back at the man” thing or something. It was like he had warped me and destroyed me and no one believed me about it, anyway, so I might as well act like a whore. But things have changed since then. I’ve done a complete turnaround now: I don’t have sex at all. And no, I’m not joking.
To say that I am gun-shy is an understatement.
I can count on one hand how many times TH and I have sex in a year. I’m incredibly lucky and special to have a guy who won’t force me, like my ex-husband would. I am incredibly lucky and special to have a guy who let’s me run the game if/when I’m feeling horny enough to override the basic programming in me that says, “sex is dirty.” I am beyond lucky and special to have a guy who loves me even though I’m so fucked up in the head. During some of those moments when we do have sex and I end up crying about things that he can’t fix, I always tell him that I’m sorry I’m broken. I always tell him that he deserves someone less fucked up than me. He always tells me that if he was here for the sex, then he would have left a long time ago, but we’re pushing 5½ years together now.
This is why I’m looking for my magical cure.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, my mother said. And she’s right, to an extent. It might not kill you in body, but it sure might kill you in your soul. It’s like a stain, you know. It’s like feeling like there’s a giant stain that everyone can see but only I can feel it. I know I’m not the only person who feels this way. I know that I’m not the only girl in the world who has been raped by someone she once trusted, but sometimes, it feels that way. This is why I always say that people are less likely to help others when in pain because their pain is the only pain. Their pain is the most prolific pain. I know I’m not alone, but you know, sometimes, the stain is so big and black and dirty and angry that I can’t see passed it all. I can’t see through the forest for the trees, is what it is.
This is why I keep looking for my magical cure.
The thing is that I’m beginning to wonder if my magical cure will ever happen. I was sixteen when I was raped (the first time) and since then, I’ve been looking for something or someone who would make me feel better. The moments of liberty from the pain have been… all too brief. The joys of a new someone in your life. The blanketed numbness that comes from drinking too much. The thrilling numbness that comes from cutting oneself. The ability to tuck it all in the closet at the back of your mind. These magical cures don’t seem to be going so well because the overall issue is still there. I’m still gun-shy. I’m still hurting. I’m still in pain.
But, I’m going to keep looking because my momma didn’t raise no fool.