This post will discuss abuse, physical, sexual and emotional. You have been warned.
Saying something like “Abuse is a terrible thing” is kinda like saying “Water is wet”. But understanding abuse seems much more tricky for people to understand. I have a history with abuse. As a child I was sexually abused. In a rare turn, it was not by anyone in my family or close family friends (which it turns out is the vast majority what happens.) It was someone I knew, but in my case it was mostly a girl from my neighborhood who was a couple years older than me. It took me many years to admit what happened to me was rape. I know that now, and have done a lot of work in dealing with what happened to me. At this point I also figure she had been abused and raped as well. She was much to young to know herself what she did, which actually helped me when dealing with my own experience.
All of that isn’t to say I’m cool with what happened. I was pretty badly messed up by some of that for years. I have very messed up ideas about sex and love for a long time after that. It certainly didn’t help me deal with my own gender issues either. And just because I feel this way about my own experiences does not negate the feeling anyone else has about their own. This is now just a part of who I am.
As far as physical and emotional abuse, I’ve got a more recent history there. Most of my emotional abuse has been self inflicted, and all of my physical abuse has been. After my initial attempts at suicide, I swore to some people to never try again. I also have never felt that same level of being absolutely alone, so it was never the same anyway. But when I hit some of my worst, I started cutting. My arms, legs and stomach were my areas, and cutting through out my day was par for the course. Even at work I would steal away and slice on myself. I eventually stopped mostly, but the draw was still around, and I would relapse from time to time. I haven’t felt the desire in a long time, but I’m still watchful for it.
Emotional abuse has been an issue even until this year, and one I have to still be actively watchful for. It’s also the one most tied to being trans. I have never much liked myself, not since I was little. Once it became clear I was wrong, both in reality of my body, and viewed as wrong for trying to be myself, I said I stopped thinking about myself in gender terms. That’s not completely true. I felt so wrong and messed up that I repressed expressing myself. I had it hammered in pretty well that I was wrong and I shouldn’t d those things. I was very unhappy, trying to not be myself, and began to actively dislike and even despise myself. I actively sought out someone to give me purpose, to give me meaning, to make me happy. Which is not a good way to find happiness, because you’ll just be a parasite, and it will not work.
Every major relationship I’ve had has ended because of my own inability to deal with my own self worth issues, and the ways it’s affected my life. It’s affected my work, the things I enjoy, even my experiences with friends and family. It has certainly not helped with being depressed. But things are changing for me now.
Accepting myself inside has been the first way to help deal with my self abuse. Working to make myself outside match myself inside has been the next. I used to hate my face, but now when I look in the mirror I sometimes see glimpses of myself, and it makes me smile. Each step helps me feel happier with myself, Each step I take helps me deal with the fact I’ve been my biggest abuser. Each step moves me to a better place.
I won’t ever go back, and I will not do it anymore. I’ve owned my mistakes, but I will not repeat them. At least I don’t ever want to.