Much of my life has been governed by the unconscious belief that I deserve to be a victim. Jacqueline Stone
At thirteen, my boyfriend and six of his friends molested me. Until that moment I had been an innocent, a trusting person. In shock, once released, I wandered across a freeway; please let a truck hit me, let it all be over.
Back home my mother shouted, “Look at those grass stains on your clothes.”
When I told her what happened she said, “You dress like a slut; you act like a slut. You deserved it.” Nothing could have been farther from the truth for I had no desire for sex. Being shy, my inhibitions prevented me from flirting, even if my life depended upon it.
After my mother’s comment, I believed in my state of shame and self-loathing of victim consciousness, I deserved being molested. I took a shower, went to the basement, lay on the cold cement floor, and listened to Tchaikovsky. Unrelenting tears streamed down my cheeks. Inside, my soul screamed. I lay still, my body numb.
I imagined my mother’s footsteps on the stair, as she came to soothe me. I needed her acknowledgement of my pain and assurance of caring. She never, however, left my father's side in front of the television upstairs.
Heyward Ewart, a psychologist,whodevoted 20 years treating victims of child abuse, wrote in his book, The Lies That Bind: The Permanence of Child Abuse, Such an event begins to mangle the personality so that the victim believes that it is his or her fault . . . . The original abuse will lead to further abuse, because of the attraction of predators. Predators, by their nature, attack wounded individuals.
Jacqueline continues. I got the message loud and clear: I am a bad person. I deserve to be treated badly. I had done something wrong. I gave those boys a reason to do what they did. It was my fault.
After the molestation, I swore I would never let a man hurt me again. How could women stay with men who beat them? I certainly would never tolerate it or so I thought.
How could I ever fully trust anyone again? No one would comfort, defend, or help me.
I stopped expecting love and started being what others wanted me to be so they wouldn't be mean to me. Realistically how could I expect love? Good treatment and acceptance had to be earned. I understand now everyone wants love, yet, we may remain unaware of how to love.
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