Our Voices Matter

"Compartments" by Rebecca Mott

My life has always been made up of too many compartments. As I strive towards mental welfare, I trying to one person and to lose my fragmentation.

For so long, I have felt that I was an actress, never sure if anything was real. Even now, I not clear who I am.

When I was young. When I lived before my stepdad came in my life, I was a child. I know how to play. I felt safe with adults.

It was time when I could trust myself, I could trust others.

I see that time and think did I dream it. Was I ever just spontaneous. I see that time, and think maybe if I can be whole - maybe I can play again.

But, even then I played a role. The role of the good child. I wanted to pleased my mum. I wanted her to see me.

I did let my sense that I saw I was a disappointment to her . No, I wore nice dresses, I hug and kiss her. I didn’t care if she push me away.

Even then, I felt a small grief go in me. Even then, I was angry.

When my stepdad enter my life, I thought I don’t like him.

I know to be silent. I thought he will gone soon, so I can act good. I would find a role here.

But, he stayed and I found I could not understand how to be.

The first time he raped me, I push the sheets under the bed. I hid all evidence that anything had happened.

For it had not happened. For, hadn’t I got on with life as normal. When I saw him after, he did not say anything about what had happened.

I felt pain, and I know to ignore that.

Then I six, and I did not know that I had been abused. I thought I had something wrong, I did not know what.

He did not abused me again until I was 12. So, that one event became invisible. It disappear for most of my life, only coming out when I had an adult breakdown.

Another compartment of when I was a child is being shown hard-core porn.

This compartment decided to go blind. Too much pain, too much deadness - too much, too much. In this compartment, I know I could not believe in hoping.

For as I saw those images, I felt I understood my future. I know I would be an image myself.

Porn put into a place where I could not be. It was a place I could not escape. All I could do was to shut down.

When my stepdad went back to abusing me, I had learnt from porn not to move, not to complain. I had learnt to be grateful that it was not too painful.

I had learnt to be grateful that he was not murdering me.

I became another role. The role of the passive. I would be there as he would expect.

Between 12 and 17, the abuse was routine. Every Friday, most weekends and holidays. When he was not at work, I felt I was his whenever he wanted.

But, the passive role never fitted me. I was raging inside.

I had fantasies of murdering my stepdad. I read Agatha Christie to find ways to poison him.

For, I could fit that he was hurting me more and more, but saying he love me. It made no sense.

He would and could hurt me, then my body would be drowning in pain. Over the years, his abuse built up to he was abusing my whole body.

Only he never penetrated me - for he was not a rapist. He would not make me pregnant.

My stepdad would buy expensive gifts and give me money.

So, my next role was being planted in my head. The role of the whore.

I know I could not escape pain, I know that pain was sex. That I had been taught all my life. I know all my body was good for was punishment. So to become a prostitute seemed to make sense.

Now, I was 14 when I thought this. I was a child, so everything made an awful sense to my childish brain.

I did not believe in consequences. For, I believe that I would be dead soon.

When I entered the world of prostitution, I had lost all hope.

I had become a child who only know pain. I was angry, but my anger was aimed squarely at myself. I was lost.

Prostitution is a dangerous world for any women or girl. But, too many girls who enter were like me.

I became the role of ”I have chosen this”. I choose to go a club where I know violent men would pay me for sex. I could leave at any time.

I would not see how my self-hate was trapping me. I would not see what world I had become part of.

I was in a world where, all my wishes, thoughts, dreams were throw away. I had to be empty, and then it would, could not matter.

I could not know how much men hated as pay to tortured me. I had to re-invent that into something less. I did feel pain, but I was alive.

I could not see as I see now how I had had become a real-life hard-core porn for the b-tards that use me.

Only in my prostitute role, I often felt like there camera in the room. I often was so detached that I remember the porn my stepdad had shown me, and thought “I am that now”.

This made dead inside.

I wanted so much to be out of my world of violence and hate. But, I was terrified that I did not understand the world outside. I thought I would always be abused. That was who I was.

Between 19 to 27 I tried to exit, only to draw back, then to leave and go back. Those years were terrible, for I could not find my Self anywhere.

Leaving prostitution is extremly hard. It is hard to believe that you trust anyone. It hard to go without money, when you can get the easy fix of paid sex. It is very hard to know that you can more than just an sex object.

My years of “leaving” were the most dangerous time in my life.

As I became more aware of the hate the men were pouring into me, the more I wanted to exit. But I still had self-hate, so would return to the violence as my way of self-harming.

Awareness is terrifying when you living with male violence. For this awareness allows the pain to be felt. It can be unbearable.

Gradually, I was able to exit.

On the other side, I was throw in to a role I could not understand. The role of living a life that was stable, safe and where you just got on with the routine of being normal.

For many years, I kept expecting violence to come back into my life. I kept thinking I would raped again. That was my life wasn’t it.

As I got used to be safe and stable, I became another role.

I felt all the pain I had closed down. I started to grieve. I begun to feel anger.

This was not my anger of my past where I hated myself. This was an anger that I could hate myself so much. An anger at all the poison men had put in me. The anger that I blame myself so much.

As I grow, I have found tears. I have found that I have a voice.

I hope to be one person one day, but it will take time.

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