There can be a sadness this time of year, and PTSD. There can be rage, surrender, forgiveness. Tis the season. I was sexually molested and verbally programmed starting at around age 3 lasting until age 7 or 8. Most memorably sexual abuse would occur on major holidays. Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
Once, it happened on Christmas eve at my Grandmother’s house with Uncle William while there were sounds of reindeer hooves, jingle bells, and footsteps on the roof… sounds made by my mom and some of her five siblings as a Christmas surprise for the large posse of children in the bedrooms below.
My grandparents were living in an old, country schoolhouse in East Texas at the time. It seemed to be loaded with classrooms. And there was a fireplace in the living room which kept us all warm during the bad ice storm in the mid-seventies. I’m not clear on the year right now. I still feel confused about why I had been allowed to sleep with my teenaged uncle as a wee girl in a family with a long history of sexual abuse. Did no one stop for a moment to think that perhaps it was MAYBE inappropriate?
During this particular family gathering, we had an emergency sleepover due to the ice storm. Mom is the oldest of 6, with lots of nieces and nephews, so it was a large gathering. “Where will everyone sleep?” As the older adults started making room assignments, Uncle prompted me to ask my mom if I could share a room with him. I was not denied. It was a recipe for disaster.
I was terrified because I knew Santa “knows when you’ve been good or bad,” and there he was on the roof, so surely he knew what was happening in my older adolescent uncle’s bedroom just below him. As the sounds of Christmas and Santa filled the icy air from the roof above, I felt my Uncle’s hands exploring my body, I heard his voice whispering into my young ear, “Shhhhhh. Be very quiet. You don’t want to get us in trouble do you?” Us. I believed I was guilty, and that I had somehow made this happen between us, because children tend to blame themselves, “It’s my fault. He can’t help it. I’m bad.”
His touch was confusing. I knew it was wrong and that “Jesus and mom and dad would be mad about it” if they were to find out. I felt tremendous guilt as a kid of 5 or 6. This was not the first time he had touched my body, or the first time it felt pleasurable.
He discovered where to touch me to coax me into relaxation and compliance. The clitoris is a truly magical part of being female, and he had awakened mine. I hated myself for how good it felt to be touched. I hated myself for pleasing his penis when asked. I hated myself for NOT being brave enough to walk into the next room, tell an adult, and put a stop to it. I did NOT want to be found out, get him or myself into trouble, or never feel again the way he made me feel when he touched me. Once he activated my pleasure center, I craved the feeling, while also feeling guilty. I was a child. It was a mess. I’m still working to build better wiring for myself regarding sex and relationships.
DEAR PARENTS OF THE CHILDREN OF THE WORLD: Please STOP having sleep overs between teens and younger children. I don’t know if this is still happening in the world, but it is not a safe thing to do for EITHER kiddo, male or female.
Do we not have enough case evidence? This is not to vilify teens or parents who didn’t know any better at the time. This is to help eradicate shame and years of psychotherapy, and feeling lost on a quest for wholeness. This is to preserve sexual autonomy until passion is ready to come into its own awareness of itself.
This is for ANY CHILD who may BE SPARED from feeling like unprotected prey. The only way WE, yes WE, are going to ever see an end to early childhood sexual wounding is to get REAL about what has been going on in our culture for CENTURIES. We’ve got to “reveal it and feel it to heal it.”
AND… now this is VERY IMPORTANT… We, the adults of the world, ALL OF US… are responsible for PROTECTING ALL OF THE WORLD’S CHILDREN. It is up to us. Even the childless, like myself. Childless. It stings my heart. Sometimes I ACHE to be a mother. My heart tightens, my gut clenches, I feel uninvited tears well, and drop, then flow. I breathe, time and time again, and let it go, accepting the path I have chosen for my life while understanding I have NOT THE SLIGHTEST CLUE where it is really all going. (That is me, being transparent with you, my reader, my Love.)
Childless Aunties and Uncles of the world, I see you. Some are totally cool with the way things are, and I’m sure I will get there. The work of happiness seems to be about embracing the NOW and WHAT IS. I’m getting better every day about flexing that muscle and allowing myself to rest into just being at peace with how things are right now. Some days are better than others. Please, Leela, dig deep and let this be a good day, woman.
As an Auntie, I am far enough OUT of the picture to have some perspective that might be useful. And I learn from my friends with children. I’m inspired by their journey. I have to face my own sense of loss and grief around motherhood so I can truly serve the youngest and most in need of advocacy among us.
Parents, Thank you for holding the light of our future. I do not know if I’m made of the stuff to stand in your shoes, but I’ll do my best to show up for your kids whenever possible. I’ll look out for them in the world. If I see a creeper, I’ll intervene. I’ve done it before. I won’t sit idly by if I see bullying or injustice. I’ll give an encouraging word from time to time. I’ll tell them they are awesome, or brilliant, or kind, or funny, and that who they are is more than enough and just right. I’ll remind them to be gentle with themselves when they make mistakes, and to celebrate both their very small and sometimes quite large victories. I’ll be honest with them and will not condescend as so many adults do with youth. I’ll be tough with them IF necessary, meaning I won’t sugar coat or be more concerned with popularity than their well being. Auntie Leela will tell you what she really thinks. Clear boundaries create safety, and consistency builds trust. So, I’ll keep working on me so I can show up more effectively as an Auntie.
Does this mean I’m now officially a spinster? FUCK! No!!! 44 is the new… I’m just getting started. If I can’t be a mother, I’ll be OUTRAGEOUS!! I’ll be DARING!! I’ll … Hello Midlife Crisis. Nice to see you again. Pull up a chair. Let’s have a chat. =) Arruuuugghhhhhh!! Charlie Brown, I feel you Brother.
Some days I feel I am hovering slightly above rock bottom. And those days I feel the obstacles before me may be insurmountable.
Some days I want to quit.
Just fade out
But I stay. I choose. Daily. And I die daily to the voice that says, “You’re done. It’s over. Why are you still here? You’ve been living in fantasy, Sister. Look around. Life is NOT what you thought it would be. You’re going under. And you’re not getting any younger either. Being cute will only get you so far when you age… as a woman. It’s fucking cruel the way we punish the aging in our society, the women most severely.
This peek inside my mind is RAW and REAL.
I’m more naked now than if you were seeing full frontal Leela Vox. But I’m posting. Because this is just me. No more masks. I don’t have it in me. I’m exhausted. And I’m heart broken over a relationship that is kicking my ass down lonely street. Merry Fucking Holidays. Break-ups this time of year suck the most. But maybe not. Maybe being single at the holidays will be swell. Who knows. Anything is possible. Arruugh!
So… in summary…
1) There may be folks around you with tender holiday hearts.
2) They might be someone you see out in the world: driving your Uber, preparing your holiday feast, shopping in your line (customers I see you too), living next door. Let’s look out for each other.
3) STOP putting young children and hormonally charged adolescents in beds together. Not a good idea. Raging hormones need proper education and guidance. Fetishes can rise as a surprise, and teens are not yet ready to face that kind of battle. Pedophilia is actually occurring and we must face it as a culture. We must lessen the risks to all children.
We’ve got to heal our SEXUAL EDUCATION SYSTEM and PROTECT THE YOUNG. That’s ONE of the reasons I’m in classes NOW to become a sex educator. I have to help do my part. I’m honored to have shed some embarrassment so I can help shed some light and do my part in our collective healing.
4) Aunties and Uncles can make a positive difference.
5) Just a bunch of ranting and random self expressing.
Go with Love-
Dear Santa –
Whatever. I’m sorry I kind of loathed you for a while. I felt super let down by you for a long time, but I get it. You’re busy and it wasn’t actually you on the roof that night. So, I’m stating my intention to have an emotionally neutral to good Christmas season this year. Thank you.
As for the Christmas list, may I please ask for a financial windfall, please, to dig myself out and start moving up. I’ll work for it. I’m already working to build opportunities for myself, and it would be great if one of those materialized monetarily by dollars in my bank account. My Spirit could use the respite.
Thanks Santa, and thanks for reading this far. =)
Here is the link to donate if it feels good: