On Courage

I wish to write, even though I am completely mentally drained.

I am writing because I think I am having some understanding of what courage Survivors have to have.

It is the the courage to go forward with life.

I feel that in the last few days I have reach an emotional state where fear and grief is drowning me.

This for most of my life fear has underpinned my day-to-day experience.

I have live with fear for so long, that most of the time I do not recognise it.

I first felt fear as a young.

It was ignored, so I suppressed my terror.

Only now, it eats at my body. It makes me lose all my energy.

I thought I was depressed, when I was terrified.

I could not let myself be scared, so I turned to self-hate.

When I feel fear, I can see that my stepdad choose to abuse me. I see I did not want to see porn.

When I let in fear, I know I never wanted to be prostituted. I know I hated all the violence.

But, I had to make it what it was not.

I was told over and over that I “force” my stepdad to use me. I was a flirt. I throw myself at him.

I was a tart.

This infected me with self-hate.

I could not stop him raping me. Whatever I said or did made no difference.

So all that was left was to blame myself.

That was the only thing that made sense.

I felt all I was was a “whore”. All I deserved was to be hurt by sex.

For me entering prostitution was a logical action. I know I was worthless.

Prostitution and bad sex became my way to self-harm.

I found that the men left little evidence on my body of their violence.

This matter to me, because I could self-harm and there no cuts or marks for others to see.

Self-hate through prostitution and bad sex is more than damaging to the body, it is more than mentally damaging.

It destroys everything that made me an individual.

I was more than worthless. I had become nothing.

I was raped and raped. I lost track of how many men. 

I was raped in too many places. I cannot remember where I was.

I was raped until I was on auto-pilot each time I was with men or a man.

I am scared to remember how that auto-pilot work.

I would be undressed on a bed without thinking why.

I would move into positions that give me pain, but I know from porn.

I was lost.

I did not know how to find myself.

I write this because I did go into that auto-pilot on Saturday.

This is where I understand the meaning of courage.

Since my mind has been showing me the reality of the hate and violence I live through in my teens and twenties, I have been in a great deal of pain.

On Saturday I wanted to run away from myself.

I know having bad sex would make dead again. I know if I went back to hating myself, I would back in a world I kind of understood.

Feeling my past was too bloody overwhelming.

I was getting too scared.

I was like a robot with that man on Saturday.

I was falling back to thinking I was worthless.

But then, courage enter my soul.

Courage to remember I was worth more than being a fuck-object.

That no money was worth the humilation.

I had the courage to walk away.

Then real courage enter me.

All the suppressed emotions re-enter my body and mind.

I have always used self-harm to kill my emotions.

Courage is allowing those feeling in, and not running away.

I feel really terrible. A complete wreck.

But I know I am doing the bravest thing I have done for a long time.

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7 responses to “On Courage

  1. It is so brave, Rebecca, and all I can do is think of you and hope that you will be okay. Be kind to yourself. xxx

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  2. What can I say, Rebecca – just that it takes a great deal of courage to face your fears. Being powerless is a terrible thing to face and it is even worse when those around you who should have protected and supported you, instead blamed you for your abusive Stepfather’s actions. As you say, you hated yourself because someone had to be responsible for what happened to you and if it wasn’t your Stepfather or the men who raped you then of course it must be you.

    Hating yourself is a way of trying to regain control and make sense of something you couldn’t make sense of. But you had the courage last Saturday, of remembering you are a human being you are not a man’s sexual object – you managed to get out of his apartment and that took a lot of courage. I know it takes a lot of courage to face what you are facing, so I just hope my message helps you in some way.

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  3. I hope you are feeling better now, Rebecca.

    You are indeed very brave and I’m so sad you’ve had to go through all of this.

    You always write so well.

    And I liked what you said here:

    “But then, courage enter my soul.

    Courage to remember I was worth more than being a fuck-object.

    That no money was worth the humilation.

    I had the courage to walk away.”

    Definitely, There is no money whatsoever that should excuse the buying of the exploitation and humiliation of women.

    But johns and their defenders will say the opposite as they defend the prostitution of women and their so-called “rights” to use women as “fuck-objects” in the sex trade.

    Women are human beings, not “fuck objects”.

    And you don’t have to hate yourself for anything, you haven’t done anything wrong.

    I’m so glad you’re finding courage again as all the suppressed emotions are now re-entering your body and mind.

    Take care! And don’t forget: we’re here for you, Rebecca. Your words are strong and resonate in our minds. 🙂

    p.s.: will be reading more of your blog this week.

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  4. Hi Rebecca,

    You’re not alone in this and we’re thinking about you (even though I live across the ocean from you)! Yes, you’re in pain and feel like a “wreck”.. but hopefully by writing about it, you will feel better or at least you will have a pool of writing you can reflect on in some years— don’t ever delete this blog! Or at least print a copy of if you’re considering cancelling your blog (I have a tendency to deactivate my blogs– maybe you’re different)… This is important writing! You, myself, the compassionate commenters here, and on the forum are all working to end this institutionalized abusive shit, because it inflicts so much pain. *imaginary hug for rmott!*

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  5. I’m glad that you are embracing your courage even if it hurts. I’ve been there and at the time I was afraid the hurt was never ending.

    In some ways it’s like your numbness is a hidy-hole in the middle of a prison surrounded by barbed wire. In that prison it is the safest place. As long as others are patrolling that prison it was good to stay there.

    Because of rampant denial many people refuse to see these structures even when they are presented with undeniable evidence. It’s simply easier to call raped children “sexually mature” or to shrug when these children don’t instantly think and behave as if the abuse never happened once they are away from their abusers or once they are adults.

    When those who built that prison leave, they leave behind all that structure they so carefully created to trap you. This is why it takes courage to move away from that numb hidy-hole. That and those who go looking for those stuck in these structures hoping that they will make explotation easier.

    But the barbed wire borders can be cut piece by piece by piece. With people that care and who understand, you don’t have to be alone as you work your way free.

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  6. Abyss2Hope has written a lovely and moving post that links to this piece. Thanks so much for your support.

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