Always Remember

This is dedicated to all my readers who have survived multiple abuse.

I wrote this when I first remembering that I was prostituted, but I know it is very important piece.

INTRODUCTION

I want to about a time in my life when memory was hard to find. A time when I lived as if violence was normal. At the time, I handled my life by not handling it. I chose to drink, try not to sleep. I wouldn’t eat healthy food. I had chosen to live reaching out for death.

I had chosen not to see or feel my life. I was just breathing. I thought I was dead. Then, everything would mean nothing.

Now, I’m remembering. All I can see is through a haze. I can’t feel for then, only a coldness in my stomach. Nevertheless, from somewhere, I’m remembering the real.

I know as I’m sick in the bathroom.

CHAPTER 1

I had always thought that being abused by my stepdad was enough. I had known fear, I had known pain, I had known confusion. I didn’t need to know anymore. Only, I didn’t know life was just 1 big sick joke.

I don’t remember when I was first abused outside of my home.

All I can remember is being at a party. I’m standing so still, listening –

“Whore, you’re a fucking whore.”

I don’t care. After all, it was what I was, what I’ve always been.

I think this was my first feeling of fear outside of my home. I think I was 12 or 13, I can’t remember. By that time, I had become a zombie.

I was at my friend’s birthday. The night before, he had stopped being a friend. Now, here, he is an enemy.

This can’t matter, it will not matter.

I had known him since I was a baby. Now, at his home, dead in the countryside, I have forgotten how to see.

When I arrived at his home, I was dazzled by how rich everyone was.

In the guest room, I feel lost, but I always feel lost.

I see him in the room. I don’t mind he’s my friend after all. He’s teasing me. He tells me how stupid I am. He tells that he likes dirty girls.

I think I’m laughing. Only I can’t remember.

He’s touching me, he’s pulling at my clothes. Saying –

“You know you want me.”

Only I don’t. I feel his hand in my cunt. He’s pushing me onto the bed. I feel the familiar pan return. I don’t want this.

I’m kicking him away. He’s just laughing –

“See, I always know that you were a whore.”

I wanted to scream at him, but my voice froze in my throat. I couldn’t speak, so I acted the good guest.

Looking back, I was in shock. I never expected I would get abused outside of home. I thought I was in control of my life. I was beginning to realise that I was never safe.

It was the beginning of giving up.

Afterwards, he treated me like a servant. I was expected not to complain. Once on a walk, he push me into a haystack, laying on top of me. I fought him off. Only, as I fought, I felt I was losing my will.

By the time the party arrived, I don’t care. As I was called whore, I didn’t care. After all, I didn’t matter.

CHAPTER 2

As I became a teenager, I lost belief in hope. Instead, I made death my best friend.

I could no longer understand anything. I tried to make sense of my world, but I didn’t want to live.

I turned to self-destruction.

I begun to drink in order to die.

As I grow into a teenager, I disappeared into pubs. I drunk lager, but I couldn’t taste it. I just drink to remind myself what a piece of shit I was. I know that all I deserved was death or pain.

Now, I look back at my drinking, and I can’t imagine how I stay alive. I look back at myself, and I don’t want to recognise her. I see a person who lived to die. She’s not scared, she just accepts pain as normal. I had decided to lose who I was. I wanted not to feel. When events happened to me, it was as if nothing had happened.

Drinking, my world grow smaller. I wanted to forget everything. Always, pain reminded me that I was still alive. I chose to believe that pain was all I deserves.

CHAPTER 3

As I grow into a teenager, I lost everything that should of matter to me. I lost my family. I lost the habit of going to school. I lost my love for cats. I lost the sense that I existed.

I had to do everything alone. I know I had to invent my own rules. I run away from home, only I always come back. I thought I should stop eating, only I didn’t like being hungry. I thought I should not sleep, only my eyes always shut.

So, all I could do is to cut my arms. I saw beauty as the blood was flowing.

Remember, how quiet my room is. See I’m alone. Sitting so still, holding my knife. I don’t remember how it got into my hand. It’s just there.

CHAPTER 4

I had drifted into a world where nothing mattered. I could feel my self-hate creep into every cell. I wanted to stop feeling. I wanted to be nothing.

I’m 14, I don’t go to school, only to get register.

I’m dying. I’m by the teacher’s cars, I’m hiding. I see someone, I see her eyes. I see her blazing with hate, then quickly going dead. Yes, I see her, as she sees me. We know we must be friends.

I see she cares about nothing. We don’t care a we play “Roots”. I white, tied round my neck, crawling on my hands and knees. Her black, stick in hand, playing whipping me, playing my master. No, we don’t care, we couldn’t care. We enjoy shocking our teachers, pulling us apart as we hit each other. We just run away, screaming –

“Fuck you all.”

Yes, she was my friend as we loudly spoke of hating our parents. My friend as we laid on her bed, drinking. My friend as I shown her my cuts. We just laughed at death.

Yes, we understood each other.

Now, I look back, I see I was desperate for some type of love. I needed to be needed. I always know she was dangerous. Only, I thought I was in control.

We begun to run away together, running into the night. We didn’t care for our homes, but we wanted our homes to care for us.

She said –

” I know somewhere that’s really bad.”

I thought I know what bad was. Only I know nothing.

She took me to a club, round midnight. I saw a queue of young girls. They all looked as if they were dead. I decided not to look.

I was excited to be going into an adult club, especially as we got in free. Inside, we got free drinks. We felt great, we were special.

Looking back, I can see how blind I was. I couldn’t see the reality. I didn’t see that the girls were under-aged. I wouldn’t see the men were all old.

I was 14, I thought I understood. I thought I know everything.

I enjoyed having my drinks brought for me. I thought I was sophisticated. Only, no man spoke to me. I imagined I was in a movie, imagined I was Joan Crawford. I drunk cocktails. I thought I could belong.

Only, I said nothing.

All I did was to wait. Wait for the music to stop. Then men would come to me. Then they would take me away. Always there was no words. I just know to go with them.

This is a time that’s hard to remember. I always want to blame myself. I don’t why I stayed in that club. I don’t know why I didn’t run away. I had the dumbness of cattle going to it’s own slaughter.

Always, we went back to private flats. Close the door and no-one will care. No-one will see.

There’s a kitchen, a corridor, a bathroom. I can see, but I can’t see. There’s always a bedroom.

I know what to do. I get undressed. All that was normal. I lay naked on the bed, I know to wait.

Waiting, for what I thought I knew.

Always I remember the closed door. After that, all I see is flashes. All I feel is a sickness. I want to remember, all I feel is fear.

I can remember that I had a fury all the time.

I can remember thinking that it would be just sex. I knew I had to lay still, not to feel, then it would all be over.

Only, I knew nothing. As i saw their eyes staring into me, I could feel their hate. I didn’t want it, but had my arms tied. Then, sex happened.

I feel terror. I wanted to forget what is happened to me. Only, always I get flashes inside my sickness. I remember 1 man on top of me, I see others standing round watching. I remember I was chocked. I remember pain was  everywhere. Not just inside my cunt.

Mainly, I remember their contempt. They never spoke to me. All they did was to push me into the right position. I never had time to think. All I could do , was to remember how to breathe.

I was thrown out onto the street. I knew I was a piece of rubbish.

Now, I can see slightly more. I can see how many injuries I had. I imagined my bleeding was my period. I knew I was lying to myself, I was terrified to think anything else. I decided not to see I was bleeding all over. If you don’t see, it’s not there. I see cuts and bruises all over my body. This couldn’t matter. It mustn’t matter.

CHAPTER 5

I walked through my injuries. i had been thrown out of some flat at 3 in the morning. All I do was to wait for the sun to rise. I look at people coming home from night shifts. I want to stay on the streets. It’s so calm.

I wait for my friend, she will walk me home. I can’t think where she is.

At the time, I had lost the will to be aware. I wanted to be a ghost. Then, nothing could hurt me. Then, I would stop caring that no-one cared.

Sometimes, I imagined that my mother saw my injuries, it force her to care. I dreamt she stopped the world for me. She would take me to her heart, saying –

“I’m so sorry, so sorry,”

Always I would wake. My mother saying –

“You only get what you deserve.”

Until I was 17, I thought my mother would care. I hoped against hope, that she would see her wounded daughter and save her.

All she did was to ignore me.

I needed her attention. I thought by accepting violence, she would see me. I thought that if I was murdered, then she would be sorry.

I was accepting that I deserved male violence. It was my way of being close to death. Only it brought me back to life. I learnt to get use to men raping me 1 after the other. After all, it was all I deserved.

I thought that if my mum saw me as a slut, that was all I was.

Only, I wasn’t even good at that. Often I only got £5, I was cheap. Mostly I wasn’t paid. I was too confused to notice. Sometimes, I wasn’t paid, because I was knocked unconscious.

What I didn’t notice, or chose not to notice was the presence of my friend. Sometimes I heard her chatting with the men. Laughing with them. This was too confusing. She was never bruised. I never saw her having sex. Finally, I saw her taking a load of cash.

She saw me, and laughed.

CHAPTER 6

I was changing, changing into a person I didn’t want to know. A person I grow to hate.

I put my terror deep down into my stomach. I chose to forget that I had a brain. I stop imaging that I needed love. None of that mattered. I was just a piece of shit. Why else did i live with pain all the time.

I was living by the skin of my teeth. Personally, I had no idea why I was still alive. I knew I still alive, for I saw in the morning.

Once I took an overdose, I was unconscious for a few days. I was able to touch death. I don’t why I survived, only that somewhere there was a fierce will to live.

Somewhere a voice saying –

“Live,1 day you will tell your story.”

CHAPTER 7

Abuse destroys memory. That’s all I know. When I remember, it’s all messed up. I remember with doubts that any of it can be real, knowing it is the truth.

Abuse destroys emotions. That’s all I know. All that is left is an empty shell. Crying hides in corners. Anger rises as bile from the pit of my stomach, only to get struck in my throat. I put compassion deep in a grave.

I don’t want to remember, I don’t want to feel my teenage years. It is a broken time.

I had become a person who walked towards danger. It didn’t matter, I would be dead soon.

That time didn’t matter. It mustn’t matter. Now, I look at my past. I want to see beyond the sickness. I want to see with tears. All I feel is a coldness. I see that I survived. I want to miss out that time, and go straight to the end. That would be so easy. I could avoid what I don’t want to see.

Only, I must remember, I must allow myself to feel. For that time belongs to me. All I know that as I remember, I’m learning to rest.

I can remember that I am wandering the streets. I can remember that I cut my arms. I don’t why I keep cutting, only I can’t stop.

Anyhow, I have forgotten who I am.

CHAPTER 8

Now I try to lay down some of the abuse that I can remember. Maybe then, I can gain some stillness.

When I do remember, I always forget my age. All I feel is others hate all around me. All I know is that I deserve their hatred.

I thought I could be friends with men. All I found was rape and battering. I taught myself that I was an object to be used. I was a slut after all. I chose to stop feeling. I watch as their eyes went into me. I was still as they touched me all over. Always, I forgot they could be friends.

I just know whatever happened couln’t be stopped. There was nothing that I could do. It didn’t matter, for now I was nothing.

I became angry that I still search for love. I thought that I would find a lover. I imagined I would be brought flowers. I would taken to the cinema. I would be special. Someone would like talking to me. I would be seen.

I so wanted to be ordinary.

All I knew was to accept violence. I remembered as men fucked me in alleys, behind pubs. As they unzipped my trousers, I lost all emotions. They never look at my eyes. I was just a hole where they left their sperm. If they did speak, it was to call me names.

I remember a man screwing me in a graveyard. I remember the coldness of the stone. I know the man didn’t see me. All I could do was to imagine sinking into the grave, there I would suffocate. All I heard was –

“Was that ok.”

I had separated from my cunt. it was nothing to me.

After all, my cunt was betraying me.

CHAPTER 9

I can remember events, events that penetrate my brain. What I don’t remember is how I continued.

Looking back, I see a person who walks towards death, as she wanted to live so much.

I hear somewhere –

“This is not all there is. Please child, hold on in there.”

CHAPTER 10

I’m walking. I think I’m walking home, I know I’m walking somewhere. I walk down a familiar road from the same old pub. I know the route by heart.

I imagine the streets are safe.

I allow myself to glimpse happiness.

I see a bunch of skinheads sitting on a wall. I see people avoiding them. I think nothing. I see them spitting. This means nothing to me. I walk straight pass them.

They see me. They know me, know I’m easy.

They surround me. I don’t think, this is nothing. They push and poke at me. I hear their words, I see their laughter. I imagine that I am safe. I hear –

“There’s only 1 thing to do with a dyke.”

For some reason, I thought of Anita in “West Side Story”. I thought these things don’t happen. Not with all these people walking round.

Only, I felt a hand reaching into my cunt. I heard skinhead girls screaming at me. All I could feel was their eyes staring into me.

I lay there like a dead fish. I just wanted it to be over.

From nowhere a policeman came. He wasn’t worried, saying –

“Calm down, boys. Don’t be silly.”

I saw he was laughing with the skinheads. Nothing mattered.

The policeman turned to me –

“You know, it’s not safe to be out so late at night.”

Then I walked home alone.

CHAPTER 11

I had decided to give up on trust. I live in a world where I had to make my own rules. As I tried to invent my life, I had no idea where to start.

All I know was that I had to changed.

Until I changed, everything went on as usual.

I was betrayed by wanting to be friends with men. I was always caught with their violence. I lost all hope.

I wanted to find friendship in a man. I thought then I could be normal. Then, I would be able to relax.

I thought I could be close with a man. A man I thought I didn’t fear. A man I thought as a joker.

After he went I sat in shock, I had forgotten how to speak. I just had to shut it out.

I just shut my eyes. I couldn’t cry. I felt my body shaking. I must remember how to stay in control.

All I can think was that he had been a good friend for years. He had never touched me before. I remembered I had always felt safe with him. I had been drunk in front of him. After all, I had never felt fear around him. With him, I could imagine that I could trust men.

Here now, he’s smashing all that. Here now, he places me back into the sewer.

He stayed destroying me for 6 hours. Still, somehow, I imagined he was my mate. I needed that idea, it felt safe. As I saw his eyes staring into me, I knew our friendship had gone. I knew not to fight.

For some reason, my pride got in the way. I keep telling him to go.

He just hit me, so hard, I hit the wall on the other side of the room.

So, I give up. After all, I wanted to live.

All I could feel was his hate creeping in on every inch of my room. I knew there was no escape, only there may be an end.

He told to get undressed. I knew to obey him. I knew to stop thinking.

When he was fucking me, I could hear him asking me what I scared of. Then he would do that. Sometimes I heard him speaking to me in a voice of a child. All the time, he was giving me pain that I couldn’t imagine could exist. He bit, scratched and ripped at my vagina. I imagined he was tearing me out. He placed his penis in every hole he could find, including my left ear. He tied me up. All the time, He wouldn’t stop speaking.  He told me he was doing aversion therapy, taking the place of my stepdad.  After all, he was curing me.

I lay under him, I try to remember to keep breathing. Itried watching trains passing by the window, I imagined that I would be fine.

Only, I stopped breathing. It felt so nice. It was calm, I was floating away. I just looked down, seeing someone, seeing me. Seeing a lump of flesh getting fucked. I see it so clearly. I see his penis in my mouth, pillow over my eyes. I see his fist in my cunt. I see it all, I won’t believe it. I will just die. That would be so easy.

Only, he is pouring hot breath into my lungs, saying –

“Don’t die on me, bitch.”

Even now, I hate him. I hate that he betrayed me.  I hate that he wouldn’t allow me to die. I hate that he wanted me to remember him. I hate that I can’t forget him. All I know, is I wish him some of my pain.

I should have told someone. All I knew, it was my word against his. Silence was safer. After all, he said if I told, he would say how I enjoyed violent sex. Wasn’t I just screwed up by my stepdad.

So, I continued as if nothing had happened.

CHAPTER 12

I decided I wasn’t affected. Only, I was losing control. I drunk in order to die. I eat junk food, as little as possible.  I was throwing myself away.

I try not to close my eyes. If I fall asleep, I would relax. If I relaxed, the pain came back.

I was living in pubs. When they closed, I went to men’s houses. I let them hate me. In their violence, I forgot I had a brain.

I couldn’t care. For me, being raped was normal. I got smashed up, I knew it was all that I deserved.

I wouldn’t feel how terrified I was. I thought I was strong. Whatever I did, I never died. I couldn’t die.

It all happened because I was bad, that’s all.

But, for some reason, I couldn’t stop caring. I wanted to die so much. Always, something wild wanted to live. It was always there.

I would hear a child crying –

“Please make it stop. I want it to stop.”

CHAPTER 13

When I was 17, I worshiped death. I knew that hope was a useless emotion.

As I reached 17, I tried suicide. My mother caught me, she just laughed, saying –

“You can’t even do that.”

I was walking headlong into danger. I didn’t care, I couldn’t care. Safety was just a dream.

At the time, I thought I knew everything. I thought I was in control. I thought I could handle the pain. After all, I could stop it at any time.

God, I was so young.

1 night, I stayed behind at the club. I went back with the DJ. I known he hit women. He was the sort of man that I deserved.

I thought i knew how he would treat me. I was so naive.

I see it now. I see a teenager trying to make sense of her world. She is trying so hard.

I see her when I see streetwise kids looking defiant. I see their fear. I feel their emptiness. As I see them now, I cry.

Then, I couldn’t allow myself to think. I couldn’t feel. All I knew was to keep moving.

I let him take me to his flat. He never looked at me. After all, I was a whore. So far, so normal.

I was fascinated by his posters. Images of women crawling to the camera on their hand and knees. Some dragged by chains, some in cages. I thought I understood.

When he fuck me, it was so hard, so quick. I could hear somewhere I was screaming. Only, I never made any noise. I would never show that much fear.

I found he was hitting me, telling me to stop screaming.  He throw me out of the flat. I could not think if I was in pain.

Only, I could not stop bleeding. I just ignore that.

Only, the bleeding went on for days. The pain wouldn’t fade. I could barely walk. I fainted going down the stairs.

As I rose from the fainting, I heard my mum saying I faking illness. I said nothing. Only the hate grow.

Somehow, I knew that I was pregnant. Even after a test was negative, I just knew. I could feel a being slowly spreading poison into my veins. As the second test came back positive, I thought see I don’t always lie.

I don’t how I knew, I thought it would just my luck. All I knew there was no was I was going to have a baby.

How could I bring a baby into my world. A world where my mother hates me. A world where the baby has no father. How could I tell the baby it’s father is a rapist. A world where the baby’s mother would be dead soon.

No, I couldn’t have a baby.

But, I wanted something that was mine. I wanted a baby as my private prize.

So, I did the right thing. I had an abortion.

No-one asked me how I felt about it. So, I carried on like nothing had happened.

Years later, I cried for my loss. I knew I was right to have the abortion. But I had always thought I would be a mother later.

CHAPTER 14

I knew I had to escape my world. I had reached my bottom. By touching hell, I found I wanted another life. Maybe I would find myself.

I was back in the world where I was being paid for sex. I knew this world. I could be an object for men to have sex in. I thought I could forget the pain, as I was counting the money.

At the time, having money meant I was someone. Only I never could stay hold of the money. I would throw it away, it was burning into my heart. I was paid a lot, but I wasted it. I would throw it into the river.

I was drawn to men who debase me. They fitted the image I had of myself.

I found a punter who enjoyed hurting me.It was a slow suicide. I knew he would not run out of ideas of how to hurt me. I didn’t care, I just took his money. After all, he paid over the top. I would be his property,

Every time he fucked me, I felt like I was dead. But always I went back to him. I was addicted.

He anally abused me. He always forced it up me. I never had any warning. Always, he pushed me against a wall with my legs together. Often I would faint, I could feel my heart trying to stop. I never died.

I stopped the pain by drowning in whisky.

It was my way of committing suicide. I took the pain, I knew I was nothing. I was going in and out of consciousness, nothing mattered. I let him humiliate me. It didn’t matter. I got used to him telling me to be quiet, when all I wanted to do was to scream and scream. It didn’t matter. It means nothing.

Only, my body was shocked by the pain.

As time went on, I couldn’t go on. I tried to act normal, to act as if nothing was happening.

Once after being with him, I went to a party. I walked across town, ignoring the pain. I ignored the blood in my knickers. I walked, imaging I would forget. At the party, I danced like there was no tomorrow.

Then I sat down. The pain shoot up me, going straight to my heart. I fainted. I had lost control.

There was a panic, others saw blood on my chair. I couldn’t understand the fuss, it wasn’t important. Before I could speak, I was being taken to a hospital.

I has always been scared of hospitals. I thought I would be locked away for good. I was scared to be ill, I could not be that vulnerable. I was scared to be scared.

There I was treated as I deserved. The nurse took 1 look of me and dismiss me. She saw my injuries were anal, told me I was wasting her time. After all, no-one gets torn there less they want it. I felt she saw who I was. I didn’t care she didn’t use a painkiller as she sew me up. She looked into my bag, seeing a wad of cash. Yes, she saw me.

I just wanted to be invisible.

For the first time, the pain was penetrating my deadness. I still made no fuss. Only, inside my screaming was getting louder and louder. I wanted to cry. Only, I couldn’t.

When I got home, I lay on my bed.

The next morning, I could not move.

CHAPTER 15

I was paralysed. My body had given up on me, all I could move was my eyes. At first, it meant nothing to me, only it went on for days.

Now I know my body had had enough, so it closed down. It would stop me from destroying myself. My body had enough of pain in every cell. Enough of eating junk food. Enough of knocking back pills in order to stay awake. Enough of cuts across my arms.

Now, enough was enough.

All I could was to think, as I stared at the ceiling.

I knew I could slip quietly into death. That would not matter.It would be nothing. Only –

“Live, damned you , live,”

I decided to live, if only to prove that I could.

CONCLUSION

This piece of writing was one of the hardest thing I have done. This is because it goes back to a time that seems to have no end.

Only, there was an end.

Now, I look back with awe and wonder that I came out of that time alive. Now, I look back and I am deeply proud of the person I was then. I see I was always a fighter. I was never destroyed completely.

They could rape my body, but they could never reach me.

I cannot say that I was a good person then. Only I don’t care, for I survived.     

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4 responses to “Always Remember

  1. Thank you for sharing this with us. This is an incredible piece of writing, and it helps bring us closer to understanding what abuse is, what prostitution is, so that we can all put ourselves on the side of human dignity and courage.

    ‘Abuse destroys emotions.’ And how.
    This is something feminists desperately need to understand.

    Like

  2. This was such a powerful read, thank you so much for having the courage to tell the world your experiences. This really moved me because I feel like I can empathise to this bullshit repeating itself on you over and over again.

    “They could rape my body, but they could never reach me.

    I cannot say that I was a good person then. Only I don’t care, for I survived.”

    This is so fucking true. No matter how they try and disable us, we’ll still be here.

    My thoughts and good feelings are for you Rebecca. Everytime I think about another womyn having to go through anything similar it just breaks my heart.

    Like

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