I’m going to approach a very delicate and possibly taboo subject for some. I’m going to talk about when children enter into sexual exploration. When I was between the ages of eleven and twelve, I was coerced into an engagement with an older boy of about fourteen, who used me as something of a personal human teaching aid for what to do with girls sexually. I was initially lured in with a totally innocent imaginary game play, I think they call that grooming today, but this was long ago. By the time I was fully engaged, hook line and sinker, by the time he wanted to look ‘down there’, my saying no was feeble. He only had to threaten to leave, which he did once or twice because I did say no at first. But he kept coming back, he was persistent and nice to me and I caved in and let him.
But then, there was a next time and a next time and, in my head, I had already committed the sin, already said yes, so couldn’t really go back now. Because by this time, I was taking the blame on myself instead of putting it on him. So, it progressed to touching, and that developed and became frequent and went on for some months, from time to time. There was nothing further, no penetration, and when it stopped I missed the contact, the feeling special and being liked by someone, being treated nicely, because he wasn’t one that threatened to get what he wanted, it was the opposite, he was only ever nice to me during those times and if I didn’t let him continue, his threats were to go back to ignoring me, teasing me and treating me meanly, as he usually did.
In the long run, it did mess with me. I had been ‘woken up’ to my body too soon, too young. And I had been taught to associate sexual stimulation with being comforted. Over the years, somehow, and probably to cope with the guilt, shame and blame I held for myself that it happened, I buried the memory so deep it was no longer there at all. Until I was in my late thirties and it resurfaced when I was going through a bad time. When I remembered, I was furious with him and felt so dreadful I wished I was dead. It took some effort, but eventually I found a way to work through it.
That’s the kind of sexual contact between children that shouldn’t happen. He was only trying to find out what girls are like, what you do and how they respond. In doing so, he abused me because he saw me as someone who it was acceptable to use. He was my brother and the lack of value shown to me was a message that was projected on me by my parents’ behaviour towards me. We all knew, in my family, that I was free game, that I didn’t matter, that I was available to be abused. He knew it and I knew it.
Over the years, and thanks to my sexual beginnings, I’ve decided that it’s wrong that grown ups project their fears and wounds about sexuality upon children. We are afraid of introducing the subject to children too early. That’s because we fear sex and think of it as an activity laced with problems, especially where children are concerned. For me as a girl growing up, the messages were mostly about fear of getting pregnant and that it would make me a slut.
This is the story of my whole life. My birth mother was sixteen when she got herself pregnant with me and she had me adopted. My (adopted) mother, finding out that I had been sleeping with my boyfriend when I was seventeen, called me a slut and said I was just like my mother. I realised that when an adopted child does something wrong, an adopted parent can always remind themselves that this child is not theirs, this child is tainted by the genes of some other person who fucked up. Never more so than when it comes to sex because that’s what created them in the first place. Couldn’t she be grateful that this other person’s terrible misfortune had given her the opportunity to have the child she craved and couldn’t have for herself? Apparently not.
So, you see, it’s been a rocky start, understanding and growing as a sexual person, which we all are. And I have had to work through dysfunctions that came out of it that make me understand how some people develop sexual perversions, although I’ve never gone down that road myself, except, perhaps in my head. The kind of ‘wrongness’ in images that used to turn me on became a measure of healing for me, over time. And for some time, I’ve been healed of all the wounds and traumas my young self suffered through her sexuality.
Now, sexuality is, to me, a sacred energy. It’s my divinity. It’s the most beautiful thing possible for two humans to express with each other, through each other. I have an open and pure attitude towards sexual energy, whether it’s during the action of intercourse or in simply being a sexual being, in movement, charisma, in the very essence of one’s being. I see sexuality as beautiful, not tainted and dirty. I see it as a prayer, as a devotion, as the purest of love pouring out and over one’s self and beloved. I am blessed in being able to express that now.
And I share all this because it’s important, because these are difficult conversations we need to have. Because my story really isn’t that uncommon. Because we need to grow and change. Because I am saying that all this brought me to a better place and it is the same for you.