Poem and Origin

You break me in this place
Of aborted dreams, this ice
Wrapped around age seventeen,
My missing innocence,
The fear, the blinding fear
That I should love you with this sullied heart.

You remind me of what I haven’t known —
Beam of light in the dark,
Holding pure secrets,
Embracing my dichotomy
And fear, this blinding fear

That I should love you with my sullied heart.

When you realize that crushes, the crushes that started at an entirely too-young age, that persisted through your marriage to a very patient husband, are all ways of trying to break through the dichotomy that permeated your childhood:

I am innocent/I have been used sexually.

Now, as an adult in my fifties, that pattern of seeking someone’s attention as a mystical cure for a secret affliction continues. I learn more and more every time, and I hope to reach an escape velocity from it soon.

The world assumes that those who have been sexually abused as children have somehow invited it upon themselves, that they have somehow lacked the innocence that would have stopped an abuser otherwise. The child accepts this judgment and judges themselves as someone worthy of hurt, and if the child is female, the purity culture surrounding them proclaims them soiled.

I blocked my memories throughout my childhood, only remembering them in adulthood. So I felt sullied but didn’t know  why, and when I hit adolescence, I needed that proof that I was still loveable. And all those other things I felt I was lacking — beauty, personality — got rolled up with the damage from my abuse.

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