Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Saw a movie tonight...

And it affected me in ways that I wasn't expecting.

I don't think I can say what movie it was, as it hasn't been released officially yet. But it brought up issues that I can safely say I haven't reallly resolved.

The issue? Being sexually molested, fairly regularly by two people, a man and a woman, between the ages of about 7 to about 12, both of whom were relatives. Once I started puberty (and finally had the strength to talk to my parents about what happened), the abuse stopped. My parents protected me and ensured that I would never be alone with them again, but at the same time, every time I saw them, I would immediately leave the room for years. The rest of my extended relatives condoned this abuse, and thought it was natural, but my family knew better. Not to say that my parents didn't have issues with abuse themselves, but the fact that they did protect me helped me deal with it while it was happening.

In the movie, the main character exacts revenge on a pedophile (even though she herself wasn't a victim of this said person) in ways that were exceedingly cruel, but yet in ways that made me realize how much rage I had as being a victim and how much I hate the people who did this to me, hating them so much that (if I were completely amoral and could get away with it) I wouldn't have any remorse of doing to my abusers what this girl did to this pedophile. I'm usually a very empathetic person (often to a fault), and I tried to hate this character for doing what she did, but remembering how alone I felt when I was abused, how I thought that no one in my family would've believed while it was going on, I found myself realizing how completely I hated these people growing up, and how much I still hate them now, I found myself identifying very strongly with this character. Somehow, this actress was able to tap into the fucked-up-ness of it all, the thoughts, the crazy thoughts that go through one's head after they've been sexually abused, and the kind of revenge a sexually abused person would exact if given the opportunity. I myself would never dare to do something like this, but to see it manifested in this movie gave me a catharsis that I really wasn't expecting.

When I saw these perpetrators both at my mom's funeral, both of them hobbling around, barely able to get by, I had to restrain myself from cursing them out and wishing them to hell. I think they saw the hate in my eyes and from that day, can't bring themselves to look at me square in the eyes. They've never apologized for what they've done and I'm not sure if I'd ever forgive them if they even tried.

I didn't realize how much that part of my childhood had a grip on me really until now--but seeing how the rage and anger that I felt as a victim manifested itself in different ways, how that shaped my relationship with how I saw my body, how I felt unlovable and undesirable because of my beliefs that I allowed this to happen, how it colored my relationships with friends, other relatives and lovers. It's become something that I have to confront in one way or another. It's something that I had thought I revealed to my husband, but didn't.

I think this is probably the first time I've really discussed this in public and it feels like I've opened up a long festering sore that needed to be aired out in order to heal (apologies to MLK). It doesn't hurt too much now since my feelings associated with it have been too numb, but I think as I find a way to make peace with this, it'll be better for me and everyone around me.

Wish me luck.

1 comment:

Rona Fernandez said...

Efren, mad props to you for having the courage to 'come out' this way about your experience of abuse. I totally admire you and respect your healing process. As a sexual abuse survivor myself (who has yet to come out on my blog about it but has been public about it in other ways), I honor your experience and wish you positive energy and blessings on your healing journey.