Through the years I have struggled with the thought that I never fit in. I think this is a big part of the aftereffects from child sexual abuse. Especially with women and females. I think this is a big part of the aftereffects from mother-daughter sexual abuse.
I thought about it a lot. It seems like there is a lot of social control exerted by females on one another. A kind of hateful way to keep us all in line. That all started for me with my mother abuser and my sister; who both rejected me and judged me harshly in my femaleness.
I was a goody-two shoes kid and a teen, very well behaved. I obeyed my parents as much as I was able. I was a good little Christian girl. Not because my parents brought me to church, but because I found my way to a spirituality by myself.
I had slowly over time developed a moral and ethical belief system. I have many incidents in my childhood where my spirituality and belief in God saved my life, got me through, made it possible for me to live my life one more day.
I never smoked. I never drank. I never took drugs. I wasn’t allowed to date. My mother told me that I could not date until I was sixteen years old. So my life was very circumspect. We lived out in the country, several miles from a small town, most of my teen years, so I didn’t have a lot of oppportunities to be bad.
I think that my mother abuser wanted me to be totally under her control. It felt that way. I hated her controlling me, watching me, scapegoating and rejecting me.
Her and my sister were a team against me. They never taught me the normal things that females teach one another. I still don’t know exactly what are the normal things to teach a girl. I am still very clueless about all of that. I can’t even list it all in my mind, because quite frankly I have no idea what it all might encompass.
I can look at beauty books and go this I don’t know how to do, and this, and this. And the list goes on and on. Other women seem to know these things. I haven’t a clue.
They wouldn’t teach me how to cook and bake. If it wasn’t for mandatory home economics classes I would know nothing about cooking. They were part of a club and they were clear I could never be a part of it. It just hurt so bad thinking that this was what being a woman meant.
Probably as a consequence of my mother and sister’s rejection and scapegoating of me my whole childhood, at the age of eleven, I started getting bullied by all the girls in my sixth grade class. We had moved to a new town, I guess I didn’t fit in.
I remember distinctly telling a few girls after lunch one day to stop calling the one overweight girl in the class fat all the time. The girl said she didn’t mind, they could call her fat if only they would be friends with her. I said it wasn’t okay and they needed to shut up. As a consequence I became their new target. It went on until I moved years later.
It was probably no accident that the last home ec. class that I was in had three boys in the class and they each sat down at the table/kitchen I was sitting in on the first day of class. They were some of the last students into the class that day and each girl avoided joining me at the table I was sitting at.
Perhaps they never would have liked me. I believed in goodness, honesty, love, compassion, peace, and caring. I had a strong philosophy and spirituality. I see how I didn’t fit in with those girls. It just hurt so bad thinking that this was what being female meant.
I was very cerebral and very caring, an odd combination for a kid. I was painfully shy. Finally, in seventh grade I found a home in the junior high school library with the maternal librarian there. I adored her. I volunteered there and found a space where I belonged.
I can barely call myself female. It is a project that I have been working on for some time. It took tons of women’s studies courses in order so that I didn’t despise women. I can do it now, I am female.
I can’t call myself woman. Even though I wrote a poem about it ten years ago. It was more a wish than a fulfillment. It is just too far away from reality to accurately reflect me, my life, or the examples that I have been shown.
Still working on that.