Connecting the dots TW

If I told you of all the men, you would not believe me.
“Til it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels…you won’t know, it won’t be real…won’t know how it feels.” Lady Gaga

I think if I purge it all then I will be free of it. I talk of it as if it will release each memory and go into this space of the internet where all will be cleansed and free of the pain. I just don’t know if that’s true. But keeping it inside of me will destroy me. So I speak it. It makes me feel worse at first. I feel vulnerable. I think others will judge me or think I’m making it up or I’m crazy or give them reasons to shift blame to me. Then when I stop thinking of them and I have stopped thinking about the event I wrote about, a little tiny place inside of me feels…vindicated. I’ve kept their secrets and after I reveal them then I feel some sense of justice even if real justice will never happen for me. And it won’t. All of these men can’t be found, prosecuted, held accountable for what they did. And they are not thinking of me. They are not suffering. They are sociopaths, psychopaths, pedophiles who did not think of me for a second after I was gone. There will never be justice for me. I can just let out what I can into this internet space of men who will read this and get pleasure from my pain. That’s a chance I’m taking. It wasn’t everything that was done to me as much as how it all made me feel. That ONE moment. There was always a moment of realization. Where I knew I had been used up and tossed aside. Right before that moment, I could have been feeling joy or maybe even loved. Then came the moment of loss. The realization that if I allow myself to feel joy or love that it will be taken in the cruelest of fashions. I was so groomed and brainwashed that every form of affection was interpreted as love until it caused pain and only then did I see it for what it was. I was so manipulated and tricked and forced that I knew nothing of purity and goodness from men.

I met someone who lived in Indiana a few days ago. I told this person I had a waterskiing job there. I went on with my day and later that night I grabbed a handful of chocolate chips. Then the flash came. I remember being picked up from the airport for that job in Indiana and taken to the home of the director of the job. He was so handsome and I was so flattered that he thought I was beautiful and he gave me so much attention. It was days of sex and just being in his bed and showering and more sex. I’d never been treated so affectionately or adoringly. He never offered me any food or meals so I would go into his refrigerator and get bread and in the pantry was peanut butter and chocolate chips. So I made myself a sandwich. Peanutbutter and chocolate chips. I created this fairytale that I’d go to my first day on the job queen of the world. This man must have loved me! It was this automatic love! We drove to work through the corn fields and they were beautiful. We were in his jeep and I was waving my arm up and down like the blowing corn. Surrounded by corn. I saw myself smiling in the mirror. I felt joy. I had just escaped my home life where I was abused by the ski team for my entire childhood and finally I got this job in Indiana and I was free!
We got to work and he dropped me and my suitcase off and acted like he had just picked me up from the airport. He told me I’d be staying in the skihouse with all the other skiers. He did not touch me again. I was 16 years old. He was 25 years old. That would be considered rape in the laws now. In this county and city at least. But…Too many had already had sex with me. I knew no different.
I looked at the chocolate chips in my hand just two days ago and remembered that part of the story that I’d forgotten. I remembered him and what he did. He humiliated me multiple times later in my career just because he could. He neded up at the job I took at Seaworld years later. Everytime I thought I was free I wasn’t. I have put together over the years that the entire waterskiing community was connected. I was abused every place I went that was waterskiing. And that was everywhere. That’s what I did. I skied. That was my job. My career. My passion. And it took me to different places from Indiana to Costa Rica to Canada all to be abused by different men.
Everyone was connected. I made a chart one day to see the connection.
Each line connected one, two, five, 10. Each one was an added secret. Each one was a new loss. But all connected.

I ran into an old friend from the lake who introduced me to his friend when I was late teens. I knew I would be safe with this guy because he said he was saving himself for marriage. But he liked to videotape making out with girls. I’d never been videotaped before. Half way into the videotape he told me that he didn’t believe that anal sex counted as sex and he would still consider himself a virgin. His plan was to trick girls into making out with them under the premise that he would stay a virgin so they’d be safe only to find out with the videotape rolling that what he considered virgin was not what they considered. That was one of the only times in every scenario where I stopped everything. I don’t know why he was different but I told him to stop and I told him to give me all of his videotapes of all of the girls. Maybe it was me realizing that he’d tricked all of these girls into having his kind of sex with them. I could never stand up for myself but the idea that he’d done this to others made me stand up for them in the best way I could. He’s out there. Married. All of them are I’ve kept tabs on them. I like to know where the abusers and manipulators and rapists are. They are all married with kids and grandkids.

When you watch movies and documentaries of sex trafficking you see women and girls tied to beds drugged with men having sex with them 24/7. This does happen. I know many women through abuse programs that this has happened to. Violent rapes with beatings. Not all sexual trafficking is that.
In my case, one man, when I was 11, told another man. Then I went to ski school at age 13 and that man told another man in Indiana and then that man told the guys at Seaworld, That waterskiing world was connected to my church and the theater group I was in. Everything was connected and every person told another person so that there was no place on earth I was safe.

Our town had a group of men who had sex with each other behind their wives backs. They had affairs and who knows what else. Love? I don’t know. It’s been said some were in love with their lovers. I don’t know how they felt, I just know it happened. Secrets in the church. Secrets on the ski team. Secrets on the lake. Secrets in the theater. Secret affairs. Secret molestations.
Nothing could bring attention to the men and what they were doing. Having sex with each other. Some men who were molesting the little girls were FRIENDS with the other men having sex with other men. THESE MEN! THOSE MEN! How could one man stand up for me when he was cheating on his wife with another man and his secret could come out? Some of these men came out as gay many years later. Some of those men did not hurt me but didn’t they? They were all part of the inner circle secret. Each had a secret of their own. None of it was good. None of this scenario was good.

The inner circle secret. One man connected to another by either sharing me or by using me to keep their secret. They knew about the secret of me but their secret was more important than saving me. You may think oh they were just gay men who could not come out. Let me tell you that any man or woman who allows a little girl to be abused just so their own innocent sexual identity won’t be shared, is not innocent. These were men. Married men. Allowing a little girl to be abused and caring more about themselves. Am I to feel sorry for them? Poor man who cannot just be with his male lover? While cheating on his wife? While knowing what happened to me but pushed it under the rug? I don’t accept that.

I am not talking about homosexual orientation and whether it is right or wrong. I am talking about a specific set of men who surrounded my life and allowed me to be tossed around like garbage because they were more important. And this is not just about the men either. You don’t think some of the women knew? Oh they did! And I held them MORE accountable than the men! That was then. I’d say it’s a level playing field now of the men and women involved that kept secrets.

I wrote out a chart of every man who had ever hurt me. How all of the men were connected. I kept going back to that moment my father shook the hand of the man who destroyed my entire childhood after my father KNEW this man had abused me. The big man on campus, on the lake, head of the ski team. They shook hands. My father shook hands with the man who abused me and ruined my childhood. They were the inner circle. Those two men. I could draw lines to and from everyone from each of them.

Chocolate chip memories and secret men groups. How will writing about all of this help me? I am not sure yet. But I know keeping it inside will destroy me and I really do want to live beyond this.

My family washed their hands of me long ago. As did every man who ever touched me. God how I wish I could wash the stench of all of them off of me!
Somehow their inner circle of secrets has gotten so large that it enveloped me.
Connecting the dots has brought the evils of the world into the light. It stayed in the recesses of my mind in the dark until it could stay there no longer.
Remember as a child you’d connect the dots and draw the lines and in the end you’d see a picture of a pony or cat. I connected the dots of an inner circle of darkness and found that what I’d hoped for all along never could have happened. I could have never been saved. There was no one to save me.

Sacrificial lamb

I’ve wanted to write for 3 weeks now. But my brain processing has been off. Maybe it is the low blood phosphorus or the low blood zinc levels they found. Maybe the seizures. Maybe it is the extremely high ferritin levels or the high copper levels. Maybe it is what feels like this weird life sentence with this muscle disease I was diagnosed with and the constant add ons that seem to be piling up on top of what I was pretty sure was a maxed out chronic illness status. I mean come on the muscle disease, ok, then the bone disease, well, that’s not good, then Lyme disease, REALLY, SERIOUSLY, and then lab after lab that is just a reminder that my body’s issues make me want to go back to bed and stay there for a very long time. MAYBE it is the PTSD. This less than lovely diagnosis that I received that at first made me think, ” Oh NOW I understand myself,” too soon after, “Oh shit this is not going away,” kind of like my muscle disease and everything ELSE that has plagued my body. 

I’ve tried to come to an understanding between my body and me. I know it is living on borrowed time. I know that at any given moment my body could throw up the white flag and be be done. Given a diagnosis of “No cure, nothing we can do, you will progressively get worse,” I can only describe as petrifying. Terrifying. And I don’t use those words lightly. But then the bone diagnosis. I last ditch effort went to the Mayo Clinic just to hear the words, “There is nothing we can do.” YOURE THE FUCKING MAYO CLINIC!!!!!FIGURE IT OUT!!!!! And while there, ” Sorry your iron infusion caused bone and joint pain, hopefully that will go away but we aren’t sure when.”…….ONE YEAR LATER…..still same symptoms, while my current family physician is desperately trying to decide what on earth to do to give me some shred of hope, I sit here wondering if for me, hope even exists anymore. 

But all that sits on the back burner. On the front burner has been this little tidbit of information on my family. My EX-family. You know those people who pretended like the ski club coach was never sexually assaulting their little girl. THAT family. The one that went on with their lives like nothing ever happened until one day I held up a mirror to their faces and said IT DID! STOP IGNORING IT, at which point the entire clan disowned me. Yep. Those people. I just never understood the how and the why other than just chalking them up to really superficial  prideful AWFUL human beings. But nope. That wasn’t enough. There had to be one more piece of the puzzle.

I received this piece of the puzzle a number of weeks ago and I have not written a word since. I haven’t been able to. My heart crumbled and little pieces of it have been littering the floor since. I will see a piece of my heart in the corner of the room, in the shadow of a picture, on the floor under the kitchen table. But I have no idea how to pick up the scattered pieces of me and put them back together. Some things are just not processable. They linger and tear and rip and crumble you to bits along with the plethora of a thousand emotions you didn’t even know were possible to have in one sitting. 

First, how does one cope with the life sentence of PTSD. A disorder PURPOSEFULLY inflicted by others. I may as well tattoo that fucking word across my forehead. “Hey listen guys I have this and I can’t see it going away any time soon because a shit load of assholes decided it would be my life sentence.” And don’t get me wrong. I know that therapy and meds and all of that can help JUST like a muscle relaxant can help my cramping muscles. But some things….they cannot be fixed. My leg is atrophied. It’s not coming back. My brain is traumatized. It may get some coping skills and some bandaids. But fixing or not fixing my PTSD is not really the point. The  IDEA that a group of people could give me PTSD causes a rage like no other I have ever felt.  And as most people can go for a run, bash a ball with a bat, get out their anger in a healthy physical way, I am left with my own weakened body and a mind that MUST some how muddle through all of this GARBAGE. ALL OF THIS SHIT THAT HAS BEEN PURPOSELY LAID UPON ME. All those ski club members who knew and did nothing. The people of my church, the people in the town. The people that could have helped me in the aftermath of the abuse that chose to do NOTHING. I have rage towards those cowards. And I very well give myself permission to. I was ELEVEN. I deserved to be saved!!!!!! 

So back to the tidbit. I discovered through a number of people that during the abuse I encountered my father was doing some seedy and secretive tasks of his own. My abuse was secondary. But then again I have always been secondary. This is nothing new, but it is to a whole new level of depth and disgusting. I was told, my father chose his dirty little secrets and protecting them over me. He allowed the man who abused me to still have contact with my brother. He shook the abusers hand. He allowed us to live across the lake from this monster and acted as if NOTHING happened. Nothing. My entire life I have felt like I just didn’t matter. But THEN I find out that one of my mother’s friends actually warned her. She told my mother she was worried I was spending time unattended with this man, this abuser who at the time they did not know was an abuser. But my mother was adequately warned, alerted, given a subconscious thought that she IGNORED. My mother was warned. My father was busy…CHEATING. And they acted my whole life, and still do like I was the one with the problem. Me. It was NEVER me! They brought their skeletons in the closet and those skeletons were more important than the healing and protection of their child. Can’t wrap my mind around it. 

I was watching home videos of my daughter after her birth and my father commented on my large breastfeeding breasts.  Why did I choose to ignore the red flags. He said so many sexually inappropriate things that I just discounted. When your hope for a REAL father overshadows red flags, it’s time to check yourself. I never did. Because everyone LOVES my father. Just like everyone LOVES the man who abused me. They have those loveable personalities. But beneath…

So to sum up. I recently  discovered that a man tried to help me, tried to protect me, and my father blocked that due to his own agenda. In discovering my father’s secrets, I learned that I could have been saved by someone who tried to save me. Be still my broken heart. My mother was warned but chose to ignore it. I mean really it was of the UTMOST importance that our family stayed in high ranking in the little piece of shit podunk town of keystone heights. They really thought their “status” mattered more than I did. They still do. Then more information of knowledge that more people knew I was being abused has come flooding in in these past few weeks. More people knew about my father’s “indiscretions” and they all found it more important to cover that up than to pay attention to me. Little me desperately trying to be noticed. Desperately hoping someone saw me with my hand stuffed down some man’s pants. Desperately praying someone would walk in and see and save me. But alas, many did, and chose to do nothing so I now know. Praying someone would save me. I always thought God didn’t send anyone to save me. He did. They just gave up. 

And to find out I WAS saveable. People KNEW. And they tried. But not hard enough. Apparently my family was  an iron wall that could not be permeated. 

So I texted my father last week. I told him that I knew about his secret life and he needed to tell the family or I would. I wanted him to have a moment of fear in his secret coming out. Not that his one moment of fear would equate to my thousands of moments of fear with a 60 year old man laying on my little child body growing up. My father will never feel the fear I felt most of my childhood. Ever. 

Being treated like a villain for speaking the truth is criminal. But my entire family did that. Ohhhh Bethany’s poor family now have to live with the stigma of  others knowing she was molested and that her family did NOTHING. At what point did society choose the family over the child. At what point did MY family, and they did, consciously decide that their lives secrets superseded mine. They are going on with their lives, buying houses, partying at bars, ya know, doing what people do, while I am left here with WhAT! The consequences of them doing NOTHING! PTSD because of not only the abuser but THEM. And their constant judgment. I was NEVER good enough, never pretty enough, tainted the family while having a child out of wedlock (and yet my marriage has last ed longer than any of theirs ever did. Let’s see they are on spouse 3?) They beat me down so that I would stay silent.  

I have contemplated what to do next. Do I tell my family my father’s secrets. Yes, I thought. Then they will see, ” Oh my gosh Bethany was never the bad guy, she was just finally speaking the TRUTH, and her father and her parents just tried to cover it up.” Still the little reminisce of one piece of my heart left. That one piece that felt like if they KNEW my father was actually the bad guy here and I was the one who was the sacrificial lamb then they would finally understand.  Cousins, brothers, aunts, would rush to me in love and understanding. They would turn their disgust to the ones who deserved it and not put their guilt/denial and blame on me anymore for telling the truth.  

All these fuckers, and I do not use this word lightly. Fuckers, walking around, living their lives like I never got raped! Because they have no conscience. I cannot ever get into their minds and understand why because I am a decent loving person, they are monsters. Everyone of them.

Then I woke up. I woke up from my delusional thinking that hearing the truth would ever make a difference. They already heard the truth and they all ran away. Back 30 years ago they knew I was being molested and did nothing. 2 years ago I was brutally raw and honest about the full details of what I had been through, and nothing. So why would I EVER have thought that telling them that my father was busy doing, well apparently other people other than my mother…..and not caring about protecting me…..they won’t care. They will go back to their dinner parties and their little black dresses and I will NEVER MATTER to them. 

How can this be processed. How do I move forward when I now have nightmares every night. How can I ever heal from this lifetime of abuse. It is to big. I am too alone. I don’t know how I will do it. 

There will be no redemption for me. There will be no justice for me. I know this now. There will never be epiphanies for those people who did nothing to save me. There will never be apologies for those who let a little girl knowingly be traumatized. They can drink their wine and toast their lives because they aren’t left with PTSD. They aren’t left with PTSD and a declining deteriorating body. They are left with themselves. And some will say, “oh they are suffering for what they know they have done.” But I disagree. 

Narcissists do not suffer. 

I can still remember my aunt’s eyes after she saw me at my great uncles funeral. She was afraid. She saw me, informed the family I was there and they all scrambled like rats to run away. 

Were they worried more secrets would come.  Did they know I was no longer  the wallflower but the speaker who refused to be silenced anymore. Did they know about my father’s other secrets. Or did they just choose to look away from the truth of rape like those others who cannot face it. I don’t know.  Why is it so hard for those to face rape when those who ARE raped are forced to face it forever. Am I suppposed to be sympathetic to those ears who find it hard to hear because I sure as fuck am not. 

I am left with my heart broken. Far more broken then it was before. And I have no idea how to pick up the pieces anymore. I thought I did. I thought if I texted my father and told him that I would NOT keep his secret, my life would finally make sense, everyone would finally  understand that I was just the innocent victim, then I would be ok. But that was delusional thinking. Because as I said, I could text each member of my family, but I am sure my father has already told them that Bethany will be telling lies. He will protect himself until his dying day. They all will. Because I never mattered. And to say that is a hard pill to swallow is an understatement. Finding out this about my father….that hard pill is caught in my throat and it is suffocating me. When I can breathe again I will try to gather the pieces of my heart that are scattered. But this broken…I am must not sure if this one is fixable anymore.

I was the sacrificial lamb. I was then. I am now. And having my throat slit while others just have stood by and watched me bleed out, is unbearable. 

The men who have molested and raped me walk free. Their supporters walk free. My family who did nothing, walk free.  Justice will have to be God inflicted. Some days I just don’t know if I can bear the weight, or rather the wait, any longer.