How Sexual Abuse Can F*ck You Up (and other delightful musings)

It is true that our village is a small one.

And beautiful with Roman bridges (tiny), 12th
Century chapels, and all you can eat brick work.
It is also true that over 8000 people a summer
pull their aching feet (and sometimes their mules)
through the village toward the Chemin de Saint
Jacques de Compostelle in search of: themselves,
themselves, their health, spiritual enlightenment,
themselves, but mostly, it seems, something to do
in their retirement.

Before I met The Man, and after I left my husband,
I took a break from my desperate and melted-chocolate-
lake-in-the-dead-of-winter depression to walk the
Chemin for 2 non-consecutive days with my beloved
friend L.

L had ex-patted herself to France after coming home
from a yoga class to find her Thai apartment absolutely
emptied of all things, including her clothes and her man.

Enough to down even the sturdiest of vagabonds, this
was particularly difficult when one takes into account
her being on the moonlit side of 55. I am looking at my
hands as I type this, and while no one has ever correctly
placed my age, it is true that the hands hardly ever let
you down in the physical facts arena, whether years or gender.

I am sure that L looked at her own hands a lot as she
went from shock to sympathy to horror to fear from the
death threats she began receiving from her man’s new Thai
girlfriend. The south of France seemed safe, and she took
up hiding in the “holiday home” of a former student.

It is there that I met her and instantly disliked her.
She was absolutely incapable of looking into my eyes
and always on the edge of a freak-out, while being
invasive and thoroughly incapable of listening.

2 years on, as L was in the process of saving my life,
and as I became less and less capable of going a day
without seeing her, and as I thanked my lucky starbeams
for her existence upon laying my head down each night,
I thought on this reaction and how deliciously wrong
wrong wrong I am most of the time.

A tremendous and freeing thing it is to be so wrong!

So we walked the Chemin together. Or at least, we
walked a bit of the way, then a bit of the way separately,
and then again together, and then she stopped to point
out a poisonous, if flattened, snake. And we reached
a point where we sat and ate chocolate while she sketched
a little drawing of the site and then we returned to
walking as before.

And I began to feel, by the 4th hour, as I did when I
would get out of a Greyhound bus for a meal break in
the middle of absolutely f*cking nowhere except a Burger
King, a gas station, and some broke-ass restaurant thing
with electrical wires zooming over my head and I would
look out over the desolate horizon and fight down the push
to just start walking and never stop until I dropped
f*cking dead thank you very much.

Just walk on by. Foolish pride. Sing it, Dionne Warwick.
And how I would think of Keroac, Jack, and how much I loved
“On the Road” at 18, and how disappointed I was to find
that he only actually wrote one book except maybe I just
wasn’t smart enough to see the differences and nuances
and how it deeply sucked that Ginsberg was a card-carrying
member of NAMBLA and how sexual abuse is cyclical and kicks
in an often uncontrollable urge to control others through
the same means, an urge that gets siphoned into the sexual
neural pathways and how afraid I used to be that I, too,
would turn predator and sexually abuse a child, as I had
been abused, and so I decided to never have children and
then all of a sudden, I turn my back on the wasteland and
I am just off the Chemin and walking out the door of my
gold-chain wearing French ob-gyn and I am pregnant with
my own personal Sack of Cells.

Who the F*ck would Ever imagine That!!


French Fancy said...

Well not me for a start

this excellent post deserves at least one comment - and now you have it


e said...

I do hope you realise that there are things one can do not to become like the predator that hurt them...

Congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope all goes well!

French Shelter said...

Thank you so much for your concern, e. I have been in therapy for a long time concerning many things...it is thanks to this work that I find myself full of uterus and not worried about repeating my experience.

And thank you for the congratulations, aussi.