Oral Rape Flashback From a Seemingly Innocuous Trigger

***Possible triggers, as if you hadn’t guessed***

I’m so tired and miserable.  I want to sleep – forever.  Accept that any way you will.  I don’t like this consciousness.  I don’t like this life.  In some of my brighter moments, I delude myself into thinking it might get better through a combination of therapy and medication.  In my darker moments, I find that suggestion laughable – well, I would, if I were able to laugh.  Either way, it always come back to this.  The darkness always comes, even if it’s occasionally interspersed with mere clouds (or, very rarely, actual sunshine).

If the simple act of brushing your teeth can, in an instant,  send a person knock a person back in time by over 20 years, what hope is there for that person?  I was just brushing my teeth.  All that happened was that I swallowed the foam creating by the toothpaste – unfortunately it caught somewhere in my throat, I couldn’t clear it instantly, and I ended up choking humiliatingly for several minutes.

As this went on for a few seconds, I was in my bathroom.  Without warning, though, I was no longer in my bathroom.  In one fraction of a nanosecond I was a child again – a child in the midst of a terrifying, perplexing and seemingly life-threatening horror.  I was in that lane at the side of their garage, aged maybe five or six, being fucked in the mouth by him.  Choking.  Gasping for breath. I’m trying to move…that thing…out of my mouth, but he pushes it further in, and pushes me even harder against that sort of spikey wall.  I can’t get away.  Please help me.  Spluttering.  Spit and stuff is dribbling down my chin.  It goes deeper again.  I’m still choking, even worse now.  Sweating, gasping, whimpering, dying…please let it stop.  Please, God, I’m sorry. Whatever I did I’m sorry.  Please let it stop, please.  Just let me die if that’s what it takes for it to stop, if you want me to die than that’s OK.  Cough, splutter, cough cough.  Gurgle choke…I can’t breathe.  I’m choking.  I think I’m dying.  Please let me be.  Please let it stop…

I don’t know how long it lasted.  Too long, whatever the case.  Half a second is too long to go through that.  Whatever the case, I was rendered a mute, shaking wreck in its aftermath anyway.  The sheer degradation of the imagery is some of the worst of it all, though the sensations of being choked half to death are hardly exhilarating and drenched in fun either.

I sat down in bed for a while and just…I don’t know.  Existed?  I then lay in bed and started cuddling my teddy bear like the pathetic little child that I apparently am.  I eventually ‘came round’ enough to read a little and, surprisingly sensibly, take a hefty dose of Zopiclone.

And so to today.  I was crudely awoken by an alarm I’d forgotten I’d set on my iPhone.  For a few moments, I pondered where I was – the room initially seemed unfamiliar.  I sleep in a single bed in Mum’s house.  My Little Pony on the wallpaper.  Or else…well, sometimes I sleep there.  But not here, I don’t know this place.  Where is it?!  Where have they taken me?! Oh, wait Pan (Aurora?) – that was then, this is now.  You’re actually nearly 30 now and you’re in your partner’s house, in his bedroom and in his bed.  Oh.  Oh good.  I will be safe here, then? Well…yes.  I think so, yes.  But I wasn’t safe last night, was I? *whimpering* Um…well.  No.  No.  I suppose you weren’t.  [Long pause].  But don’t worry, you’re OK now.  Really?  Do you mean it? Yes, I mean it.  I mean it absolutely.  OK then – if you say so.  Thanks.

But wait.  Fuck!  I recalled with horror as I lay there that I had agreed to go to my mother’s house today. Nothing unduly awful about that, you might say.  However, the conversation I had had last night with her on the heinous device that is the telephone had revealed to me that the McFauls would be at her house when I arrived.

For the record, Paedo was not going to be one of those in attendance.  It was due to be my aunt Maisie, cousin Sarah, cousin-once-removed Suzanne, and cousins-twice-removed Marcus (almost three) and Sean (almost one).  Fine?  Hmm.  Not really.  You can’t avoid at least hearing of Paedo, and with a hideous flashback so forefront in my mind, and Aurora’s co-conscious uncertainty underpinning much of my thinking, I knew that merely seeing those who had intimate acquaintance with him would be deeply triggering.

I picked up my iPhone, intending to call my mother and tell her I wasn’t coming.  The idea of facing Paedo’s family seemed like a cross too huge to bear.  Instead I quite typically failed: I just stared at the thing, before whinging about my unfortunate circumstances on Twitter.

Anyhow, it’s not my mother’s fault – nor the fault of the McFauls who were visiting – that I was, and am, a mess.  So I got up, got dressed and left.

I tried to avoid a lot of conversation with those assembled, but it was of course impossible.  They enjoy talking.  Why?  Why?!  What is there to say that is even remotely worthwhile in this sickening universe of shite?  Besides, ‘They’ and Aurora were keeping a running commentary up in my head, as they have been doing for about 24 hours now, and not blurting the whole sorry story out to the fuckers was a frustratingly difficult undertaking.

Yet I managed to keep my gob shut on that point, hard as it was.  In fact, at one point when I got a second to myself, I was acutely

Sorry, I just had another major choking fit right now.  The memories invaded my head, though it didn’t become an out-an-out flashback.  It lacked the ‘realness’, the sense of it being ‘now’, the physical sensations – but the images still drilled themselves deeply into my psyche in the few minutes that the choking fit went on for.  My mother dashed from her position on the other sofa to help me; she was (and is) on the phone.  When I recovered and she returned to her call, she said to the individual with whom she is conversing, “Pan often takes these terrifying choking fits, usually for no obvious reason.”

Really?  Do I?  My mother has been known to be guilty of embellishment on occasion, but let’s give her the benefit of the doubt on this occasion.  If this really happens a lot, and happens randomly at that, then that is very odd.  Potentially telling.

‘Telling’ of something I’m sure I don’t like.

Anyway, where was I?  Oh yes, I was acutely aware of how well I was acting my fit-in-with-the-world part in front of the McFauls.  I’ve written about my ability to mask my illnesses, trauma and symptoms a lot on this blog; I am very, very good at it.  But it is fallacious, utterly fallacious.  It is such a ridiculously huge construct.  It isn’t real.  Am I even real when I do it?  Am I even real at any point?  What is ‘real’ anyway?

One of the things that bothered me most today was seeing Marcus and, especially, Sean.  Sean is so small and innocent and sweet (that I think him ‘sweet’ nauseates me, but it is not his fault).  I had these utterly repugnant images of Paedo doing that to him and I flew into a panicked rage – though a panicked rage I hid well from the others, as usual.

I should re-iterate that I think the likelihood of Paedo being ‘active’ towards either of these children – or any others – these days is infinitesimal to non-existent.  It is my mind that is the trouble here, rather than any nefarious intentions from him.  I see these grotesque images.  I am even sicker than I thought.  How can my mind even begin to think of that tiny little baby being raped by that cunt?  IT IS VILE.  I AM VILE.

Paul will tell me on Monday that I am not vile, but Paul will be wrong.  Paul and I may try to utilise our therapy sessions to make me ‘realise’ that I am ‘not at fault’ for what happened in my childhood, but in the (in my current mindset unlikely) event that that does happen, that doesn’t – it can’t – stop the images or, indeed, the actual returns to being there.  I will always see it.  I will probably always feel it.  Paul is skilled, and perhaps he can make things better – but he can’t make it not have happened.  It will always have happened. I will always be stained.

I can’t be arsed to proof-read this.  Sorry.

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21 thoughts on “Oral Rape Flashback From a Seemingly Innocuous Trigger

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  2. Oh Pandira. This is _heartbreaking_ to read. My sis and I were physically abused as youngsters which was bad enough but everytime I read of your story I feel glad that there wasnt any sexual abuse- I don’t know how you ever endured this and that you did proves your immence strength. I know you won’t beleive me but I do _not for a second_ believe you are “vile”.

    Hang in there- your life has great worth, as this blog always attests.

    Please take care
    Kate

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  4. No words are adequate, but I cannot pass over this is silence.
    *hugs*

    You are good.

    Images may never go away, but they will at least lose frequency over time.

    And seeing him doing that to Marcus and Sean is not you being bad. At all. You won’t believe me in your heart, but try to believe it i your head at least. You would not think the same of someone else. You see it because you’re frightened of it, even though in your head you know it won’t happen.

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  6. Those choking things are so horrid hon, I am just so sorry uhqve to go thru them. I just wanta hold
    U and remind u it’s
    Gonna be ok

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  8. I was going to say I have no idea what to say, that I don’t want to say the wrong thing because you are going through so much right now, and I am concerned for you. But. Hmmm. It’s not in my nature, and you are never one to shy away from comments and opinions, I know you read them all. I respect you for that, given what you are writing about so honestly and openly.

    Thoughts, thoughts don’t make people vile or evil, they’re just thoughts. There would be a lot more badness if all thoughts were solid truths and plans. Most of the shit that runs through a person’s head in the course of a day is just white noise, and shadows. Not intention, not sin, not evil. Just fluff and pictures and ideas. A thought doesn’t make you evil, especially not when it is a thought about someone else’s safety. What you are describing is anxiety for the welfare of a child who is in contact with a paedophile, based on your own past trauma. That’s a risk assessment of someone too young to defend themselves, how can a critical analysis of a situation be vile? The subject is vile and terrible, but not because of you, because of what happened, that which was done to you when You were to young to defend yourself.

    You are brave, Pan. Hold strong. Please. You are much loved, sweetie.

    Jo x

    • Oh, and yes. It will always have happened. I hate that. Therapy should have some magical erasing mechanism. A time machine or a memory delete key. And maybe it will always be a little haunting. But it won’t always intrude in this way. Our situations are different, but I honestly thought the shit would never stop. And it hasn’t really, but it’s so much less frequent, and doesn’t stop me building the life I want despite the shit. And it’s OK to be angry, and sad and even bitter, it’s OK because you earned that, and because on the whole, despite trauma, life gets better. It really does. And when I do get those moments now that seem timeless and I am somewhere else, it still feels like it will be the same forever, but that’s trauma’s trump card, it’s part of the flashback, the feeling that it is always there and you will always be trapped in it. It’s a lie, it’s a moment. It passes. xx

  9. I’m not going to tell you it’s going to be OK; that things will get better. Partly because I’m not in any good mental health position, either, and mostly because those words never help. Cliches mean nothing. If anything, they only make the situation more hurtful. So I won’t.

    But please do know that you’re not alone. I know that is a cliche in and of itself; but it is also a truthful one. So many of us understand. I certainly do and, as of this second, I’m going through the same thing – the triggers, the images, the alters, the dissociation, the MEMORIES.

    The choking fits, those flashbacks – they are absolutely horrid to go through, and though it doesn’t sound true, you don’t deserve to go through that. You didn’t deserve the abuse, either. And those images about your younger cousins? I go through that all the time with nearly every young child I encounter – knowing their situation or not. All I can think is how vulnerable they are, and how there are all those people that might….and I think the same things of myself. Call me hypocritical for not believing it about myself; but you are not nasty. You think of those things because you are the opposite of nasty; because imagine that cunt doing that to another child. You don’t even particularly like children – especially ones in your family! – yet you show concern. That doesn’t prove you’re nasty – it proves that you’re a much better person than HE ever was, and ever will be; that you are a Good Person, with a heart.

    It’s OK if you don’t believe that right now. Just know that we do. When we think of you, we think of you as a beautiful, funny, candid, sarcastic, honest, and all around kick-ass person.

    And we’ll believe that no matter what you believe about yourself; no matter what you do; and no matter what happens. We’re all here for you, and don’t ever forget that, OK?

    With LOTS of Love;
    Erika

    PS; Feel free to e-mail me.

    “I would be lying if I said that things would never get rough
    And all this cliche motivation, it could never be enough
    I could stand here all night trying to convince you
    But what good would that do?
    My offer stands, and you must choose

    “All right, you win, but I only give you one night
    To prove yourself to be better than my attempt at flight
    I swear to god if you hurt me I will leap
    I will toss myself from these very cliffs
    And you’ll never see it coming”
    “Settle, precious, I know what you’re going through
    Just ten minutes before you got here I was gonna jump too”

    Yeah we all flirt with the tiniest notion
    Of self conclusion in one simplified motion
    You see the trick is that you’re never supposed act on it
    No matter how unbearable this misery gets.”

    – Self-Conclusion, The Spill Canvas

    http://www.thespillcanvas.com/albums/one-fell-swoop/self-conclusion

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  11. Pan, what an awful experience that was and is to recall. I too find the words hard to find to express the depth of my anger on your behalf about this awful man and his actions towards you. I’m sorry though. Very sorry it happened, and that you suffer. What I do feel able to say is that the visions running through your mind about the young McFaul’s being abused are (as Jo and other’s said) something the mind seems to do to all of us, taking something terrible and playing it out in the most horrendous ways. It happens to me and I hate, detest, and try hard to push it away from my consciousness, but it does still occur. When it happens to me, it usually is something I fear or have anxiety about, it normally happens to someone I love and is vivid. I don’t think I am evil. You are not either. Take care x

  12. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I was sexually abused as a child by family members, but nothing nearly so severe as you experienced.

    I am thankful you mentioned the images you got when looking at the small boys & I hope it doesn’t make you vile. I have the same problem. I hate having those evil pictures in my head, but as someone pointed out earlier it is the knowledge of what anyone, even people who are supposed to love & take care of children, can actually do. I used to work in child protective services, so I have seen so many horror stories. Most people don’t understand when I say I never feel safe & the world is full of monsters.

    *hugs*

    ~J.

  13. I can’t add to any of the above other than to agree with what everyone’s said.
    But may I offer some practical advice?
    I get crappy effects from brushing my teeth too, everything from throwing up to full-on flashbacks. Gross as it sounds, sometimes I avoid teeth cleaning altogether if I know I’m feeling fragile [but if anyone asks, I didn’t say that ;)]. But there are a few things I do which help.
    Firstly, have everything as cold as possible. Use cold water, keep toothpaste in the fridge, I even use iced water sometimes. I’ve learnt over time that having something very cold in my mouth helps me concentrate on the fact that it’s a toothbrush, rather than anything else.
    Secondly, try to have a very strong-tasting toothpaste. Again, the strong flavour helps keep your mind on the fact that you’re brushing your teeth and you’re in control. Avoid the kinds of toothpaste that contain bicarbonate of soda. Sorry to be blatant, but they can taste salty – obviously something to be avoided.
    And finally, use a toothbrush with a small head. Some adult toothbrushes come with smaller heads, but I find kids’ brushes are the best. They are softer so you have to make sure you’re still getting a good clean and you will have to replace it more often, but a smaller toothbrush makes such a difference.
    Anyway, that’s how I get around it. Of course we shouldn’t have to, it shouldn’t be an issue and it’s shit that something as simple as cleaning one’s teeth can involve such a huge amount of forethought. But I just look at each completed cleaning session as a little victory =]

    • You are fucking brilliant.

      What you suggest seems so obvious now that I’ve read it – but I would actually never have thought of any of it. Rest assured, I will have a new tooth-brushing regime from tomorrow onwards 😀

      Thanks Ali, this is great and really practicable advice.

      Much love

      Pan ❤ xxxxx

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