One of things I have been doing over the past few years is bring memories that I have suppressed back to the surface. It was very hard at first. I didn’t want to deal with those memories. There was a reason why when looking back at my life there are blanks. But if I am going to stay true to accepting myself then I have to accept those parts of my life that I don’t want to think about again.
It is not necessarily the memories of the abuse that are suppressed, but parts of my life which ended up in disaster or I failed myself in some way. It is hard to bring those experiences back to the surface and deal with my failures and times when I was a coward. I like to think about myself as a person that succeeds in life and is a strong person. But I am a human being.
A human being that at times will fail and is weak. I have to accept that and live with it. That means no longer allowing myself to suppress those memories. But instead of being judgmental of myself in a negative way, learn from those experiences and reflect on how I could have done it better or just accept that there was nothing that I could have done. Sometimes shit just happens no matter what I do.
With that attitude, I have been able to bring most of my memories back to the surface, but there is one point of my life that is hard to bring to the surface. That was the time of my life when I was five to eight years old. There are just quick flashes when I try to think back to that time of my life. The time of my life when I was sexually abuse by my father.
From those quick flashes of memory, I have an idea what happen, but a lot of the detail is missing. But when I think about it, there is a lot more than just what happen to me.
I had to pause here and come back to writing this post. Thinking like that brought a lot of things and some them very painful. But also how much of that I should write about in this post. I decided that I would write about how it affected deep down. Other things I might talk about in other posts. But for now lets keep it short and sweet.
To understand how it affected me deep down, I think some context is in order. At that young age, I didn’t have a lot of people in my life outside my family that I could look as role models or examples. What I did have in the way of my family scared the shit out of me. Here was a father that loved me dearly who changed into this monster that abused his own kid on so many levels. A mother who would rather live in denial about what was going on than face the fact her husband was doing this to her kid. That other people in my family often instead of helping or trying to understand why I acted the way I did, just blame me for what was going on. That I spent my childhood trying to deal with what happen to me. But most of all it made me question myself.
Having only those examples, I did wonder if I could become like them. That as a parent, circumstances would put me in a position that I would abuse my own kid like my father. That maybe I would be in denial about what was happening to my children and let them suffer by doing nothing about it. It could be the case that it would never come about, but I wasn’t going to let my children go through the same thing I did. That the only way to make sure that didn’t happen was not have my own children. Better to be safe than sorry. Which put me at odds with myself, because I really did want to have children. But I couldn’t trust myself not to be like my father.
This caused a lot of problems in my life. But regardless of them, that was something that was not going to change for a long time. As life went on, I found examples of people who dealt with life changing circumstances in a better way than my father. That stood up for their kids despite the consquences because their safety meant more to them than anything else. That I could be a good parent to my children and not follow the lead of my father or the rest of my family. That my children could grow up with love and support to be the person they are inside. But by the time I realize that, I was on a path that would not allow me to have children anyway and I wasn’t going to upset things to fulfill my desire to have children.
In some ways, I hated myself when I realized the truth. That I gave up the one thing I really wanted in life. But it is easy to look back at decisions we made in the past with the knowledge we have know and be critical of ourselves. But we have to look at them with what we knew at the time to be fair to ourselves. If anything I look back at the decision of not having children not as a stupid decision, but that I showed courage and wasn’t be selfish. I had reason to worry that I could be like my father and that was the right decision at the time. So yes in some ways I do regret not having children, but in much stronger ways I am glad that I didn’t.
If anything being abused like that helped me accept something about me later on in life. That is being transgender. One thing that bothered me greatly when accepting being transgender was being male and not being able to pregnant and give birth to my own children. All other things didn’t matter to me except that. But even if I was born female and everything else being the same, I still wouldn’t have children. I would reach the same conclusion. Maybe how things played out would be different, but the end result would be the same. So having a male body is no longer a big deal to me.
I still have fantasies that I grew up with a father that decided to eat his lunch somewhere else that day. That the chain of events that started with where he had his lunch never happen. That I grew up with a father and family that loved and supported me. That I had children of my own that I love and supported just like my parents. It is nice to indulge myself once in a while in that role play in my head. But it means more where I am at now.
That despite the problems in my life, I managed to find a way in life to be happy and glad to be alive. The same thing, I imagine other people are trying to find. That I am lucky in a way to reach that point in my life despite how long it took to me to find that path. Some people never do find that and spend their life bitter and angry. As the old saying goes “Better late than never”. For that reason I cherish and grateful for what I have in life now, instead of being selfish that life didn’t turn out to my ideal of it.