In part one of this posting, Life Is Like A … Bowl Of Spaghetti, I wrote of being raped at age 5 by a boy of 14 and why I never revealed this horrible experience to my parents or any adult. Here I’ll talk about the impacts of that decision … and the meatballs added to my bowl of spaghetti.
Within several months of the attack I began to see a person. He was a boy of about my age and he looked very much like Will Robinson of the Lost In Space TV series popular at the time. The difference being however, the person I saw looked like he was made like the soap bubbles you blow from those plastic wands. He was a clear, blue-ish, shiny looking boy with human features and as I said looked much like the actor Bill Mumy. I called him Little Boy. We would talk and play together and sometimes I’d do the mischievous things he suggested. Like what? Stealing nickels and dimes from Mom’s change to buy candy (it was a whole lot cheaper then) or getting out of bed to play. Nothing too horrible but they were ‘his’ ideas.
Several times I spoke of Little Boy with my mother, even blaming him when caught taking those coins, and she spoke of imaginary friends; that they’re not real. This assessment was even confirmed by both friends and a teacher at school when I spoke with them about Little Boy. Yet he was as real to me as anyone reading this post! Yes, he was transparent but we talked and played. He was, unknown to my mom, more than an imaginary friend. He was a coping mechanism, an outcome of the suppressed emotional trauma, and someone I could trust with me.
Little Boy was the beginning –
The first fruits –
Of my stepping into mental illness.
And into a prison very different from the physical one in which I now reside.
When I was seven, a relative began to abuse me sexually. It’s unbelievable I know that this would come independently of the rape in the barn but sadly, it’s true. I trusted this person and loved them and they used these feelings to impose upon me. They also used pornography (the roots of my addiction to pornography) to ‘teach’ me what to do – a pictorial ‘how to’ so to speak. Through coercive acts and words they gained my ‘cooperation’ and I participated with fear and great anxiety.
I dealt with this in two ways: By relying more upon Little Boy and repressing memories of the sexual abuse. Again, a chosen method for protecting myself; my psyche. The repression started by ‘forgetting’ the rape in the barn. I had no conscious memory of that horrible event by the time I was eight.
My second step into mental illness.
Around the time I was eleven Little Boy left. I was devastated by his abandonment. I trusted and needed him. Over that time, my growing from five to eleven, our conversations had changed. Originally he was a playmate but over time he’d become a true confidant.
Little Boy’s departure led to my third step into mental illness –
The voices in my head.
It’s not clear to me how long after Little Boy’s exit the voices started but my belief is a few months. There are two (yes, I still have them) and one is young (I perceive he is Little Boy) and the other is an adult male with a gravelly voice. I have no idea who, if anyone in particular, he may represent. What do they say? It varies. Sometimes they argue over what I should do next, sometimes they narrate what I’m doing, “He’s eating an apple,” for example, and often they tell me to kill myself.
When I was young I would speak with them much like I spoke with Little Boy but as I grew I began to live and act, mostly, independently of them. I say mostly because I did attempt suicide twice but that’s another blog posting altogether except to say here that those attempts were due to the accumulations of lessons learned from messages of home dysfunctionalities and sexual abuse. I believe we can now chew our last bits of the first strand of pasta by saying that the sexual relationship between my relative and me lasted until I was just over eighteen.
Hang in there! Next I’ll talk about mental illness from my teens to about age 50… jdoe