As I strive to build a future for myself, my past follows me. It trips me up.
Sometimes I really wonder if I will ever have stable happiness for months on end. Not just a few hours here and there, but the rest that comes from waking in the morning, knowing my past won’t interrupt my day-to-day existence.
I feel I deserve that.
But instead I feel haunted.
I am haunted when I hear mention of Cambridge. I try so hard to remember the beauty. I try to remember going punting. I try to remember picnics on the way to Grantchester.
But I haunted,
Haunted as each street bring back memories of my isolation. Haunted as I only viewed the Cam as a place to drown or throw away money I got through prostitution.
Haunted as I trace railway lines wanting to run away. Haunted as I remembered each pub where men whisper in my ear – “How much money to fuck you”. Haunted as I see bikes and want to smash them.
I want to love Cambridge. I was born there, my family have lived there for three generations.
I go back on rare occasions and try to be a tourist.
Only I can’t breathe in Cambridge.
I am haunted by Norfolk.
Again I want to love Norfolk. I see the bleak beauty and it speaks to my heart. I love vast skies, I love the fierce cold winds of Norfolk.
Only Norfolk chills me to the bone.
I was in Norfolk off and on between 6 to 17. Norfolk was my stepdad’s kingdom.
He brought a house in a remote part of North Norfolk.
There was only a bus once a week to Norwich. All I saw was endless roads going nowhere.
I am haunted by those roads.
My stepdad told me tale in Norfolk. Tales of how children disappeared. He said children could be buried in fields, buried under hedges. Children disappear and no-one will care.
I still am haunted with nightmares of being buried alive. I still see fields and wonder.
In Norfolk, I learnt to heightened my hearing I listen for his footsteps as he came to my bedroom. I had a window above my bed, and I heard him staring at me as I slept.
In Norfolk I learnt not to sleep deeply.
I was shown the hard-core porn in Norfolk. It infected me with it’s poison, and I had nowhere to run to.
I haunted over and over by those images. I try so hard to remember sex is not about violence, those images pollute that. I can’t stop the dead eyes following me.
Porn poisoned my freedom to have a relaxed sexuality. It haunts me even when I just want to kiss.
Norfolk was a prison to me. And I so want it to be just a place of beauty.
I am so haunted by the date rapes I went through.
I am haunted by the part of me that tells me I was stupid to trust.
I need to forgive myself. I need to know who I was then. I need to say I needed to believe that men could be good, even when there no reason to believe that. I need to say I needed affection then.
When I see with a clear eye, I see that my date rapes were planned. That the “friendship” was grooming.
I was viewed as a slut. Friendship was just a sick joke.
One man who haunts me was “friend” for eight years before he decided it was time to rape me. Then he raped for six hours, using as much sadism as he could imagined. Using my words of my past abuses against me. He said –
“This will make you have something else to think than your stepdad”.
God, he haunts me,
I am haunted by getting close to men, only to be treated as a piece of dirt. Some ignore after sex. But too many thought it was a relationship.
I am hunted by my silence. I am haunted that I played their games.
I know no better. I was too scared to acknowledge my fear.
And I so wanted human touch.
I am haunted in every cell in my body by the prostitution I lived in.
I need to name that time. I need to believe it. I feel it to the depths of my soul.
I need to face the ghosts of the men who torture for their orgasm. I will face their hate and control.
I will face my terror of that time, and go towards my future.
I am haunted by not knowing so much.
I do not how many men raped and tortured me. I do not not how many times it happened.
I know my body is sickened as it knows it was prodded, hit, penetrated in all holes I knew I had. My body wretches with memories of having no escape from pain. My body cannot cry without chocking as my mind try to remember.
They stole my body for so long.
I will let my body connect to my mind. I will let my body and mind remember.
Remember the cold hate as I was Iaid out as porn object. Remember the manipulation of my body to suit their fantasy.
My pain was of no importance.
Now I will feel that pain, but it haunts so much of the time.
I will remember how I thought I knew how bad sexual violence could get, and there always sometime my mind could not fathom.
I could not let their fantasy be real to me, I had to close it out.
Now it haunts me as I am sick in the bathroom.
Prostitution went under my skin. It became all I thought I was. I deserved nothing more.
I have left that world, but it still haunts me.
It haunts me when I look at men and wonder if they would fuck me for money.
It haunts when I try to have a relationship and go detached when they are affectionate.
It haunts me if I try to have loving sex and all I can do is to perform for the other person, and forget my needs.
It haunts me when I let my mind go empty in fear all I remembered it the constant tortures I lived with.
It haunts me I do self-destructive behaviour and cannot remember why I am doing it.
Yes, I have left the world of prostitution, but now I am fighting my most difficult battle.
The battle to builds a future that allows my past to a place.
I have always been a fighter, and I truly this is a battle that is worth winning.
And if I can drown out many of my ghosts on the way, that will be a massive bonus.