Echoes of Abuse

I was abused when I was a child.

It is strange to read these words.  I’ve become familiar with that sentence only recently.  Several years ago, these words would have struck me as outlandish, over-stated, self-indulgent untruth.

I was abused.  Emotionally.  Physically.  It was as real as the keys I am tapping as I write this.

When I was a child, I was kicked, punched, slapped, insulted, threatened, and ostracized by my peers on a regular basis.  Before the dawn of adolescence, not a week of school passed, free of these events.  On a few special occasions I was spat on, urinated on, burned, and stabbed.  It is amazing how frequent and varied is the cruelty we allow in our schools.

I was brought up to believe that abuse was just a normal part of boyhood.  Boys will be boys. Adults whisper banal excuses to justify the unjustifiable.  Lately, I’ve come to realize that this is utter bullshit.

Pure.  Unadulterated.  Bullshit.

I endured this abuse from first grade through seventh grade.  Seven years.  Seven years, starting with some of the youngest, most vulnerable years of my life.  Seven years, burning self-hatred and shame into the very wiring of my mind.

Now, I might imagine that the reader is asking why?  Why did this happen?  What was wrong with you to inspire so much abuse and hatred?  That’s simple to answer.  I was inept at being a boy.  I was a gender variant child.  I was branded a sissy, a wimp, a pussy, a girl, a woman, a limp-wristed fagot… Insert any descriptor that translates into “feminine,” any descriptor that one might use to describe a boy or a man who doesn’t measure up to the masculine ideal.

If you are someone who thinks that this somehow justifies my abuse and that I simply should have “toughened up,” then I have two words for you: fuck you.  Fuck you and take your regressive child rearing philosophies and yourself back to the Bronze Age where you belong.

My father was one of those people.

He taught me that abuse was a natural outcome of my failure to measure up to the strictures of masculinity.  Aggression and violence are key.  Embrace those values and you shall be king.  Turn your back on them and you deserve your beatings.

I stopped complaining about these events to my parents.  I kept it to myself.  I buried it deep.  I pretended that everything was normal.  I fooled myself into believing that everything was OK.  Quietly, somewhere within, I believed that I deserved this violence.

This is not my fault.  This is not my shame to bear.  This is inexcusable.

If you do this to a child, you do not deserve to be graced with children.

This is not the way one builds a civil, just society.  This is barbarism.


~ by timberwraith on April 24, 2010.

One Response to “Echoes of Abuse”

  1. Amen

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: