Sufferer The welcome letter asked me for an introduction.... Here I am.


New Here
I am now 60.
A year ago a nightmare, full of helplessness and sexual symbolism woke me. I was hours getting back to sleep. I don't have nightmares.

I wrote my sister. "Did anything strange happen when I was a kid"

The answer was yes. My behaviour abruptly changed when I was about 3. One day, a happy go lucky toddler. The next, withdrawn, decreased appetite, insisting on being fully clothed including socks, and very emotionally dysregulated, bursting forth in tantrum or tears for no apparent reason.

My sister (13 years older) said that she and my mom later figured I'd been molested by a neighbour.

I don't think so. One of my rare visual flashbacks when I was talking to my shards was a toddler holding hand fingers spread. This came when I was telling them that this had happened only once, and couldn't happen again. I realized with a few seconds thought that at age 33 months, I couldn't count. Fingers spread meant "many"

I had just moved into my brother's room downstairs from my crib upstairs. He was 13. An age when most boys are sociopaths. I think I became his meat toy.

My sister was my primary caregiver, but it was messy because she was also a busy active highschool student. My mom filled in the gaps, but she was subject to boughts of depression, and had serious anger management issues. (Sis says she came home to stop mom from hurling me through the wall. Sis herself has bone injuries that show up in adult x-rays)

Sis was kicked out of the house when I was 6, almost 7. Pregnant. Therefore a scandal. Later she and my mom made up. I'm not so forgiving. I didn't find out until my 20's that I had a niece that I had never heard of.

Sometime about then the physical abuse started. I have a memory/dream/dissociative version of me, age about 8, standing in front of a door fully opened back against the wall. My eyes are wide, solemn. I know that I'm about to be slammed back against the door. Slammed hard enough to knock the wind out of me. I'll crumple soundlessly to the ground. She'll lift me up again for another slam or a ringing slap. I've learned that crying out will only get me more, so I just stare in silence.

Dad had cancer surgery when I was 8. A distraction. Less abuse, but less attention too. One of the side effects of the colonectomy, was a severing of the nerves to the prostate and penis. He could want sex, but couldn't do anything about it. Net effect: They demonstrated no kind of romantic attention to each other. Both had grown up in households where sex was serously repressed. Even by age 4 I understood that sex wasn't talked about, mentioned, alluded to in any way.

I have a letter from from my mom to my brother where she says that "I didn't realize how much Dart needed exposure to real family life, and how totally unprepared he is for any sort of normal social interaction." She had realized this when I was aobut 10. And did nothing about it.

At 14 my dad when to a city 500 miles away to a heart specialist. I stayed with my best friend. What was going to be a 5 day event became emergency surgery and two weeks, four weeks, two months. When my dad came home he didn't know who I was. Series of micro strokes. They would continue the rest of his life. On occasion he would know me, but while he rememberred the rules of chess, he couldn't play worth shit anymore, and would get mad as hell both at losing and at me letting him win.

Mom was wrapped up in taking care of dad. I went feral. Fiercely indendent, self reliant. I pushed people away. Never dated in high school. Was vaguely gay. I preferred the company of boys to girls, but between parents and the Catholic Church, I had picked up the notion that sex was dirty, sinful. I was certain by age 13, more certain than I am now about the three laws of thermodynamics, that I was going to burn in hell for masturbating.

I was ace. I think I had a couple of crushes, but saw them as friends, not as objects of desire. Mattered not. Never spoke to any of them. Being open with others was a good way to get hurt by rejection, betrayal, abandonment.

Since then I've had several careers -- I'm a good teacher, and generally good at any form of intellectual communication. I've been a computer nerd, a farmer. Briefly a bunch of other jobs that have left me with a wide variety of techie skills, from building beehives to sewing dog harness, to laying tile.

Now I have the more difficult task of learning how to be a person.