The Root of My Evil
I’ve made plenty of mistakes in my life and I have been punishing myself for those mistakes for years. I have made myself so miserable it hurt to even breathe. I have always felt inherently bad and I deserved everything that happened. My therapists tell me that I had to blame myself for all the bad things that happened to me in order to survive my childhood. They say I had to keep the people who did those things good because they were the people I had to depend on. At first, the concept sounded completely ridiculous, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it and it is starting to make sense. Maybe I’m not as horrible as I had convinced myself I was.
As a little girl I could not fathom that my step-father would verbally, sexually and physically abuse me for his own pleasure, so I must have deserved or provoked it. I couldn’t allow myself to admit that my mother cared more about men and neglected me because she was selfish and only cared about her own needs. I told myself that I was bad, unimportant, and unworthy. I thought everything bad that happened was my fault.
For example, I was six years old the night my step-father took my virginity.
My mom was pregnant with my brother and she was too far along for sex. Larry and his cousin babysat me that day while Mom was at work. They were getting high most of the time and talking about women. Larry kept talking about how bad he needed “pussy.” Back then I didn’t even know what that was. I felt uncomfortable and wanted to get out of the apartment.
It was summer time and really hot outside. I had one of those big kiddie pools and I played in it with my best friend for several hours that day. Afterwards, I stayed in my swimming suit. Larry and his cousin kept watching me. I didn’t think anything was wrong with it. I barely even noticed it at the time.
Later that night when I got ready for bed I put on a t-shirt and panties. It was hot and I didn’t want to wear my pajamas. The upstairs was really hot because Mom and Larry blocked all the other rooms off from the living room with blankets. The air conditioner was in the living room, so we slept in there. I woke up in the middle of the night because I felt someone’s mouth between my legs. I was confused and I didn’t understand what was going on. I was too terrified to move, much less cry for help. I pretended I was still asleep.
I thought if I was perfectly still he would stop. Instead, he pulled my panties aside and penetrated me with his finger. The resulting sensation scared me – I had no idea what it was. I still didn’t understand what was happening. I don’t know how long he did that but after awhile he removed my panties and stuck himself inside me. I knew what that sensation was – it was searing pain. I felt myself rip. I wanted to cry out and beg him to stop, but I didn’t. I laid there silently and prayed that it would be over soon.
He kept going until he climaxed, which felt like he poured salty acid inside my vagina. It hurt worse than anything ever had before. Afterwards, he put my panties back on and then went to sleep. I waited until I was certain he was asleep, then I went to the bathroom. There was blood mixed with his semen inside my panties, but I didn’t know what the semen was. The pain refused to subside. I thought a cold bath would stop the burning.
I sat in the bathtub for a over an hour, scrutinizing what had just happened. I tried to understand it. I concluded that it was my fault and I must have invited it. Otherwise, Larry wouldn’t have done it. I tried to figure out what I had done to deserve it and the only thing I could think of was that it was for wearing just a t-shirt and panties instead of my pajamas. I successfully convinced myself that I provoked the attack and that was the moment I began hating myself. Later, I told myself he did it because he loved me.
The shame and guilt I felt from that night and the subsequent attacks has haunted me for the past 21 years. After my mother left Larry I was sexually abused by another family member. He was closer to my age and the abuse wasn’t as frequent. I felt like I wasn’t being punished enough and that is why I started punishing myself by clawing, scratching, punching, biting, slapping, and eventually cutting.
Soon, I self-injured for other reasons besides self-punishment. As I got older and depended less on my mother I started feeling the anger and resentment I had suppressed for so many years. I began to hate her. I felt guilty for being angry with her so I would cut to relieve the anger and guilt.
I became addicted to physically hurting myself – it was the only way I could find solace. I wonder if I will ever find a coping mechanism as consoling as pain.
About BipolarChick (599 posts)
I’m a thirty-something bipolar woman, an advanced tech agent with a pay tv provider, tax preparer for a local charity, current Tulsa inhabitant, and I’m one credit shy of an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. I’m working on recovery from self-injury and working toward stabilizing my bipolar symptoms. Recovery is very important to me. I’ve been mostly single the past few years and plagued by a seemingly never-ending series of jackasses, assholes, and married men. I have no children of my own, but I have lots of nieces and nephews I love to spoil.