When you are sexually abused as a child, you learn quickly that you are not a person. You are, in fact, an object to be used by your abuser. In my case, my abuser was my father and he used and abused me from the time I was about 4 or 5 until I was 14. By the time I was 6, I knew deep in my heart that I didn’t matter. I knew I existed only to please and satisfy my parents. I was to bring fulfillment into their lives. I was not a person.
When you are not a person, the rules do not apply to you. People deserve to be loved and cherished, especially when they are children. But since I wasn’t a person, I didn’t deserve anything. I was fortunate indeed if I received a few crumbs from the table. How dare I even THINK I should get to eat a meal with human beings! I was an object…objects don’t eat at the table with the real people.
I learned to live without love and nurture and care and protection. Those were reserved for people. I learned to live with being hit and sexually used and neglected and slapped and overlooked. I learned to be happy if I was tolerated, though not accepted. I learned to live with rejection. I learned to hide myself away…the real self…the one I buried deep inside of me, in the caverns of my soul. Life was a scary lonely place. It still is. But then, I’m not a person and as such, I don’t deserve anything better.
When you are not a person, you can beg your daddy not to make you strip for him, but since you are only an object to be used, your words do not even penetrate the air around you. They go unheard and unacknowledged. They have no impact whatsoever. When you are not a person, you can plead with your father not to make you perform oral sex on him, but your pleas fall on deaf ears. Objects have no voice. Objects exist for the sole purpose of being used. Every instance of abuse just drives the point deeper into your heart. You are nothing. You do not matter. You are not a person.
Today, all these many years later, I still don’t believe I am a person. My counselor tries to tell me that I am. But I learned the lesson well and all attempts to dislodge this long-held belief have been unsuccessful. He says I can’t face the truth because if I know I’m a person, I will be very angry about how my parents, my father in particular, treated me. The injustice of it all will become clear. The pain will be overwhelming. So I avoid the problem by clinging to the belief that I am not a person, therefore, I didn’t deserve any better than what I got. The problem is, I don’t know how to see things any differently than the way I see them. I don’t know how to change my perspective because what I have always known is all I know. So I type this note, casting the question to the gods of the internet as I try to understand and find the truth. Am I a person? I am haunted by the question. I have no answers.