Probably the biggest legacy, pun intended, of my child sexual abuse is my weight. I am very obese. I don’t think this is unusual for survivors – without over-generalizing I believe that many people find the extra weight to be a protective barrier – a way to keep people and unwanted touch at bay.
For my part, my mother used to yell and scream at me that if I got any fatter nobody would want me. “Good,” I would think to myself, “I hope that includes you.”
The weight didn’t keep everyone away, but it filtered out the noise. I stopped feeling sexual. I could find intimacy when I wanted it, for the most part, but I didn’t have to fend people off. I could isolate – something I love until I hate it. Unfortunately I became a binge over-eater in much the same way my mother was an alcoholic. Now that I want it to stop I can’t quite get it under control.
Something trips my panic button when I start to lose weight. I start to feel vulnerable. Today someone remarked on how pretty my eyes looked and I wanted to vomit. And yet I am married, and we have a mostly functional sex life. At least he does.
It’s all so very tricky, sorting this stuff out. I want to stop living like a victim and start living like a survivor. My mother’s got a choke hold on me from the grave and I know it doesn’t have to be that way.
I still can’t fathom the perversity that caused her to act out her sick fantasies on me, and I still feel tremendous guilt and shame for the fact that at some point I gave in and started going along with it. I know that’s a survivor trait…it was me finding a way to live through it. But it still screws with my head.
I’m knew to this healing thing, so trying not to be too hard on myself. I’m looking forward to the other side.