After reading about our Pornography Society on the blog Purposefully Scarred I got a little emotional. Although this post is going to be difficult for me to write, it needs to finally come out of my head and onto the screen. I’m an incredibly open person, I wear my heart on my sleeve and always have done. But some things are best left buried in the depths of the past and this is a topic I rarely speak about. I was sexually abused as a child. Throughout my life I’ve always had people who were worse off than me, and even the most horrendous things that have happened have paled into insignificance when compared to other people’s problems. A handful of my friends have stories so much worse than mine, when I put it all into context it doesn’t even feel like I have much to be sad about. Maybe it’s this attitude that allows people to get away with far more than they should, I don’t know. I think for me it has been a coping mechanism, self preservation to ensure I didn’t fall to pieces.
I was abused by two people (separately) for about two years between the ages of 8 and 10. My eldest cousin used to babysit for us and was eight or so years older than me. The other person was the son of my mothers best friend. He was a very messed up character, and often stayed with us after arguing with his mum. Although they both completely took advantage of a very young child, they were nothing more than randy teenage boys. I’m not letting them off the hook, but I’ve never viewed them in the same way I would my friends father that raped her when she was 15. Or my other friend who was so badly abused by her fathers friend that she felt she was being raped whenever she had sex as an adult.
I feel that pornography played a large role in my abuse. I grew up in an environment where people had open and frank discussions about sex around the kids, and remember being privy to many adult conversations about bedroom antics and porno videos. I know my memories are blurry but it felt like there was always porn in the house. I have very distinct memories of myself and my half brother taking it in turns to watch the film while the other one guarded the door to make sure no adults knew what we were getting up to. I couldn’t have been more than nine years old, which would have meant he was six. Our innocence was stolen in many ways from a very young age. He went on to have major drug dependency issues and was sectioned for the first time at just 21. That’s another story though, for a different day.
My point is that I grew up in a highly dysfunctional household. None of my school friends had waifs and strays staying in their spare rooms, and porn videos readily at their fingertips when they were growing up. None of them ended up being abused like I was, and I can see a massive correlation between the porn and why these teenage boys couldn’t control their teenage urges. Nowadays porn is everywhere, and I wonder how many other little girls and boys have had to suffer like I did as a result. We can’t even go to the post office to send a parcel without our children being greeted with images of naked ladies on the front of trashy magazines and trashier tabloids. We have a whole generation of young people (both sexes) that think huge fake boobs and a size 8 waist is normal. That female genitals should be groomed, and are repulsed by the sight of actual pubic hair and a post-pregnancy belly avec stretch marks. If they’re watching the harder core porn then I can only imagine what their expectations are when it comes to having sex. I’ve read some very disturbing blog posts about date rape recently and I get the feeling that attitudes are becoming warped.
Unless our young boys respect their female peers, and our young girls respect themselves it will be a disaster. I’m not an expert but from where I’m standing it feels like we’re in the midst of an epidemic.
Something needs to be done to change things.