||May 12th, 2017 Friday|| After writing Wednesday's post, I ended up feeling very strange and paranoid. I didn't want to leave my house, and I was intensely apathetic about doing anything. I've had that happen before on occasion when I've encountered something that set me off in some way. But that's not what I actually wanted to talk about. Looking over the patterns and themes in those nightmares, a very disturbing possibility became clear to me. I had chalked up my fear of rape as a young child being related to what I likely saw that night in 1994, but the themes in my nightmares suggest my mind may be hiding something else. I would be lying if I didn't admit that I have also had a fear since I was a young child that I was either raped or molested and I had blocked off remembering it from myself. I haven't thought about all this in a long while, as I've spent a lot of time not wanting to think about my past at all. From a young age, I had the view of myself as two distinct people--the me before I was five and the me from that point onward (though whether all of age five counts in that or not was something I could never decide on because I wasn't sure when I was five and six where my memories of five started from, just that my memories of 4 were definitely mostly gone for some reason), and I was desperate to "return to who I was", in particular as a teenager. I was also afraid of what I knew I had to be hiding. I was aware there were things there, at least one, but not if that was all of it or how much was there. I wanted a way to fix current me to past me without seeing what was lurking in between those two points. As my memory had gaps, I desperately tried to make sure I didn't forget anything. My memory can be very clear on the parts I can remember, but despite my efforts, gaps persisted though not as bad as that early part until 18-20. There's still a lot of gaps in my early childhood though, and I was always paranoid something really bad was happening to me and I was just shutting it out so I wouldn't have to deal with it. I was thinking these things already in elementary school. While I was telling my wife about those nightmares involving the arms and that place at the bottom of the hill, a memory flashed in my mind of something I hadn't thought about in a long time, mostly because the memories around this were embarrassing. I remembered a time my early childhood doctor was examining my genitals somewhat thoroughly for something, but I have no idea what. I think he also examined further back as well, but I don't know why. I was a small child at that point. My brother was old enough to walk around, but far too young to be in school. When I recalled that, I remembered there were quite a few times the doctor needed to examine my lower half, but it was more at the other times for bowel issues. Around 4-5-ish (I can't completely tell with age 4, again my memory for that year even when I was young was of very little things--I can't place when the above exam happened, but given my brother's appearance, 4-5 seems about right), I suddenly had issues with going to the bathroom for a while when I didn't have issues before. I was definitely potty trained long before then. I was already good enough at getting to the bathroom on my own and at the right times that I could wear regular underwear instead of pull-ups most of the time by age 2. I could go to the bathroom to pee fine, for the most part, but I did suddenly have some bedwetting incidents that were just chalked up to accidents related to my age. (I'm not sure how frequent the bedwetting was because I have no memories of anyone ever talking about me having a bedwetting problem, but at the same time I have distinct memories of certain comforters and sheets needing to be regularly cleaned because of piss. I just don't know.) It was mostly more inability to control my bowel movements correctly. I couldn't do it during the day at all, and it would always happen at night and I wouldn't be able to control it, sometimes after days of no bowel movements. My mom had to give me medicine for that on and off for what seemed like months at least, and I kept having to go back to the doctor for him to check on me wondering what was causing the problem all of a sudden and why it kept persisting. I don't think he could ever find an answer, but it did eventually stop happening at some point. At some point, someone asked me if I was scared to go to the toilet or scared of something in the bathroom, and later my mom accused me of being lazy because I kept having all those accidents at night and the doctor couldn't find a specific reason for my issues. I was also afraid of getting up at night because I was afraid someone (? I don't know who) was going to grab me and rape me or kill me (there's that again, but given the details of that one thing I can remember some of the parts of, that wouldn't be odd to be related to that incident), but usually I'd just run really fast to the bathroom. I flat out could not control myself during this time frame, and I don't know why. I also started having a lot of stomach problems around them. Much like my chronic pain issues, what any given doctor determined was the cause seemed to vary because there didn't seem to be any noticeable/logical physical cause. So I got thrown a variety of diagnosis's and one doctor straight up accusing me of just making things up for attention. Of course, it might have helped if my doctor visits were more regular and less when my mom felt like spending money to piss off my father, or if someone took me to a therapist to investigate things from that angle. Which brings me to another oddity. I wouldn't let anyone see me when I changed in PE, through middle school and high school. I was fine with undressing for the school nurse or coach/teachers when they did the check for scoliosis every year, because it was a medical exam, but outside of that, I wouldn't let anyone see me undress. Same for doctors and other nurses--I had no issues undressing in front of a medical professional. Or if I needed to take clothes off to show someone an injury, that was fine. If it was in the context of a medical reason, I felt no anxiety at all. I would take showers with friends, but changing clothes in front of them was out of the question. That specifically. I have no idea why I had such a negative view of undressing, but was then perfectly okay with someone seeing me naked or in my underwear at other times. When I'd take showers with friends, I'd wait until after they got in the shower before I took my clothes off...even though they were just going to see me naked as soon as I got in there. I'm not sure if this is related or not to the above, since there was the whole my parents kept trying to force me to change clothes in front of them even once I hit puberty. But the discomfort of undressing seemed to exist prior to puberty when it came to other people outside my family. I actually actively dreaded getting to middle school and having to take PE since at least third grade since I was afraid I'd be force to undress in front of other people (we didn't have PE uniforms in elementary school at any of the ones I went to) and was relieved when I saw that there was also a bathroom inside the changing room and I could just change in a stall or maybe hide behind the shower walls in the shower area. I also refused to play sports specifically because I dreaded the thought of uniforms and showering together because I didn't want to undress in front of anyone and I figured I'd be made fun of for hiding when I changed clothes. My parents also regularly left me alone unsupervised with people who they knew as acquaintances but didn't know well beyond that or were more familiar but definitely unsavory. Any friends my dad brought over from his younger days always wanted to get drunk, I was often left alone with the local town drunk (his home's area stands as one of the locations in my nightmares as being pure evil, but there were a lot of bad things that happened in that place), and my mother carelessly left me unsupervised when she would get psychic readings which were sometimes at people's personal houses with other relatives of the reader present and wandering about the house while I was. That, and she often left me in public locations unsupervised, they had no issues locking me out of the house in a heavy crime area (there were times outside of that time I tried to run away), and often neither of them would check on me at all for hours on end even at family get-togethers. To say that a variety of people had easy access to me on a regular basis is an understatement, and that's not even getting into some of the creepy behavior my own father exhibited towards me at times. I think about how in all those nightmares, no matter what form my attacker is coming in, it's a man who's face I can't see, it makes me think I'm blocking out that face because I know it very well. It's no stranger, it's someone I've seen many times before, but what connection that person could have to me I have no idea. But I don't know if anything actually happened, and accepted the idea something like that may have happened and I may remember that one day is hard to accept despite me having suspected that throughout my childhood. I have always been afraid of what's missing in my memories given what I can remember. One other oddity. Another uncomfortable subject. While I was unusually interested in sex at an early age and finding sexual things (like porn) in secret and having lots of sexual fantasies that suggested, in retrospect, far too much understanding of sex (including fetish things, by age 5), I was also very adverse to anyone even mentioning anything vaguely sexual or talking about sex throughout elementary school and into high school (with the exception of sex ed, being in an education context never bothered me). While I definitely wanted to have sex (actually rather early, I was wanted to have sex as early as 10, if not earlier. Like I do have some memories of wanting to have sex in 3rd grade, which is what, 8 or 9 years old? That weirds me out now.), I was also disgusted at the idea of anyone touching me. There were some other confounding issues on top of that I don't want to talk about here, but this was particularly a I don't want people touching me thing as the main reasoning. I don't know why I felt that way. I didn't care that my dad actively didn't want me to date or have sex with people, no matter how he exploded over the mere potential of me being even vaguely thinking someone was attractive. This was unrelated to that. It was a strange contradiction in my mind--the want to jump straight to sex with pretty much anyone who would give me attention (I'm not even talking about a dating scenario, I mean like I was thinking, "what if this random person right now wants to have sex with me? we'll definitely have sex if that happens. I can't say no. It'll happen. I'll want it. I'm bad."), and the refusal to engage in any sexual activities because I was also afraid and repulsed at the idea of anyone even so much as kissing me beyond really innocent quick pecks much less touching anywhere else. French kissing both interested and repulsed me at the same time, specifically. Given hugs also made me vastly uncomfortable for most of my childhood and teenage years. I really couldn't stand be hugged from behind. Thinking back, there were so many places on my body that I couldn't stand anyone touching, and what disturbs me is I can point to reason why for some of them, but not all of them. As a teenager, I regularly wondered if I'd had sex before and I couldn't remember it, or if I had been having sex frequently all this time and I'd been blocking myself out from remembering these things I was doing. When I was a virgin (I mean, I presume I was a virgin...?), I was always afraid I was going to sudden realize I had an STD and not from any misinformation on how those are spread. I was actively worried I had sex before and couldn't remember it, or that someone did something to me while I was unconscious and that would be the proof of what I couldn't remember. The fear that I had sex before started to crop up in my head around fourth or fifth grade, but I didn't start to seriously consider it as anything more than strange paranoia until later middle school and I thought about it constantly in high school. I avoided strangers, especially adult men of a particular age bracket (what do you know, the same age bracket men who'd try to hurt me in my nightmares) and being alone with adult men around that age even if I knew them. I was just really certain someone was going to touch me or make me have sex with them, and I also seemed turned on by the idea despite being repulsed and afraid of it. My pre-teen/teenager mind was very confused by my own thoughts. My desire/fear of sex "suddenly happening" extended to anyone I encountered, male or female, regardless of age (so long as they were my age or older, this thought didn't exist towards people younger than me unless they were relatively close to my age), but the absolute dread and need to escape only happened with adult men roughly 20-30's even though I isolated myself from physical touch from everyone. Much older men didn't scare me in this way. I don't have this fear anymore nor the repulsion, but this did mess me up in particular in my teenage years. I'm completely sexual functional at this point. Ironically, I think regular, normal sexual contact actually helped me get rid of that. (And is some of the things I can actually remember from 18-20, actually, despite all the big gaps of memory there.) As a teenager, I sometimes told people I was asexual to hide my repulsion and distance myself further from engaging in sexual contact I both wanted and didn't want and feared I couldn't escape from if it presented itself. This was before Tumblr existed, so that wasn't an influence as to why I picked that word. The word is just self-evident for what I wanted to convey. I certainly had more than few issues I needed to deal with before I could admit what my real sexuality was. Sometimes I think, if I'm okay with remembering being beaten, having my mom give me death threats while she pins me on a bed, being slammed against things, and all those sorts of things, what the hell did I block out? Thinking about that also makes me wonder if my parents were even more physically abusive than I actually remember. Perhaps it's nothing at all, and I'm trying to make connections where there aren't. But, looking back, I'm not sure. There's certainly evidence of something being off, but I'm not sure if it these things would be from the thing with my mom or not, given some of the nightmare stuff. I just don't know. I don't know if I want to know. I've been afraid for a very long time one day something is going to set me off and I'll remember something more disturbing than I can comprehend, and I'm really not ready for that. I hope that's not the case, but I still have that lingering fear there is something that I've buried so deeply and thoroughly I have no recollection of it whatsoever, and one day it will just crawl back out of the earth and drag me under. I don't think I will be dragged under though, if that were to ever happen. While looking back on all these things has been painful and uncomfortable, I think I'm at a point where I can handle much more and it's becoming easier. When it comes back, if it does, I don't think it'll break me like I was afraid it would. It does make me wonder, thinking back to those times when Anna and I would watch Kite and talk about how we connected with Sawa and Oburi, what was she really telling me and what was I telling her? There was something we danced around in our conversations, something obvious to ask that never was. I'd rather not think about that. I spent a lot of my time when I was younger in isolation, playing games, listening to music, watching anime, reading books. Anywhere I could go to escape myself. I think I've mentioned before about how I was suicidal from age 9 to 19, and regularly by around 11. I would wake every morning and try to think up at least ten (and eventually, at least one) things to look forward to as a reason to not kill myself. I always kept knives in my mattress for this purpose and would hold the blade up to typically my wrists, though sometimes I would position it against places on my chest to pierce my heart or lungs or against my own throat (that one was rare because I figured I wouldn't be able to completely slit my own throat). When I reached my desired number count, I put the knife away. At nighttime, the knives served another purpose for me. I was afraid someone would try to rape me while I was unconscious, so I wanted a weapon or two close at hand to retaliate with. My mom would always complain that knives were missing and she'd eventually find them in my room as she snooped around looking for money or to throw away my things and I'd make up the excuse I forgot to bring them back to the kitchen after eating something. Then she'd yell at me for eating in my room instead of wondering why I had +10 knives hidden in my mattress. Outside of that, I did do some self-harm. My primary form of self-harm involved scratching with something that couldn't easily cut through my skin, specifically so I would be forced to scratch myself repeatedly and with heavy force before I could see "results" and thus inflict more pain upon myself. I typically picked the inner part of my arms. Common items used included dull scissors, sewing needles (after I found that sewing kit in that broken machine my mom gave me--I think I used them for self-harm as often as I used them for fixing my clothes), pens, and pencils. For a while, pens and pencils were used the most, then later needles. I usually had cuts and bruises all over my body anyway, so no one really noticed. The only times I was asked about it by people when they saw my arms, they ironically pointed to the completely benign marks on me that were from animals/plants or falling. (I fell a lot. I don't have good coordination. I'm pretty sure I've mentioned my ongoing problems with coordination and directions.) People would think a scratch from a cat meant I was suicidal, but completely overlooked the smaller patches of scratches and rough skin elsewhere on my arms. I never used a knife for this though. The knives were reserved exclusively for either self-protection or self-ending purposes. It sounds strange and dramatic to want to induce pain, but it didn't really feel that bad. It felt more like relief, though sometimes I did it as a form of punishment to myself. I usually did this if I couldn't force my emotions down and it became too intense. I think I was actually trying to distract my mind from the emotion by inflicting another pain for my mind to shift its focus to. Sometimes, I covered up these marks by drawing on my arms. Teachers would then yell at me for "distracting the other students" and say if I keep doing it, I'm going to go to ISS. So I wore jackets more because I knew if I got ISS for any reason other than fighting my parents would explode at me. (And as usual, my brother was free to get ISS frequently and they didn't care.) They made this quite clear to me multiple times I would be in all sorts of hell if I got even a single day in ISS unless it was specifically for fighting and even then I'd be in trouble if I lost the fight. My list of simple things that where regularly on my "I have this to look forward to so I shouldn't kill myself" list when I was a child: -DBZ comes on today (weekdays)/Monday (weekends), maybe this episode will even focus on Gohan (my favorite character) -I might get to see Anna today (I had a crush on her for a long time, and I refused to date her for a variety of personal issues that we both had--I know more than ever that would have been a disaster...I refused to date a lot of people I was interested in) -There's still (x) amount of Harry Potter books that haven't come out yet, and I have to know what happens to Harry -Something unexpected and good might happen, there's been so much bad so surely one day has to be a good day at some point and maybe it's going to be today -I haven't beat this video game yet, I need to see the ending(s) and unlock everything There were other things that were more specific to that day/smaller time frames, but these were pretty recurring ones. It's not a very long list, and how important I could convince myself some of these things were varied so even if they were on the list one day, they might not be "good enough" the next day. In high school, at that point DBZ wasn't really on regularly and I wasn't in contact with Anna anymore after ninth or tenth grade, or much of anyone from middle school towards the later part of high school. It became a lot harder to convince myself to get up in the morning and not want to just end it. I would often hope I'd wake up in an empty world where no one was there and I could just wander aimlessly, or I'd die in my sleep or fall into a coma and dream forever because while I was terrified of having nightmares and of falling asleep by middle school, by high school I preferred the nightmares over waking up. Any pain in a nightmare isn't real. I'm not really being hurt. This didn't make falling asleep any easier. My insomnia was actually at its worse when I turned 18. At some point I would have times of being unable to sleep for three days at a time, then collapse into sleep for another three days. (And no one gave a fuck. I was just told I was lazy.) That was also at the point my weight was at its lowest post-puberty. Harry Potter also dropped off the list when I was 17 because it ended, obviously. That still left video games and the vague wish that the day might be good, and occasional things that happened here and there. I stopped being regularly suicidal abruptly at 19 after having a mental breakdown. I have almost no recollection of that month, in what is already a patchy span of memory. From 18-20, my memory is mostly blank in general, in ways that's different from some of the other gaps in my childhood outside of 1994. But I know my suicidal behavior stopped, and part of that was I simply didn't care about anything at all. Emotionally, I was at complete apathy most of the time outside of brief times when I'd be with my then girlfriend (who is now my wife). Even though I didn't want contact and wanted isolation, I also wanted physical contact and companionship and affection. At some point, my loneliness and desire for company managed to overpower every force in me that had been pushing me to further isolation. I don't know what the difference was at that point in time versus before, but something in me changed. One more note. I mentioned above there were times when my parents locked me out of the house outside of that one time when I tried to run away from home and they locked me out as a punishment. There were other times I got angry and walked out to cool off and she'd tell me to go outside or "leave" if I don't like being there so much, and as punishment, I was locked out from both the front and back doors the moment I stepped outside. (This is still primarily when I am a young child, and obviously still in that really shitty neighborhood) Sometimes, my grandmother or aunt would stop by and invite me to come over. Neither of them informed my parents they were taking me, though I suppose they could have called if we went back to their house. They certainly couldn't of if we went to a store immediately from there though. Whenever we were done doing whatever it was we were doing, they would return me to the house and knock on the door saying they were returning me. No one called to check on me, and my parents weren't the least bit concerned or curious where I had been for the last several hours. Sometimes, if I were bought things, they would complain to my aunt/grandma that I didn't need things. One of these times was on my birthday where my mom was flipping out over something about me being ungrateful or something, so she told me to leave the house. I went outside to the front steps and sat down. She then locked the door. I had chicken pox at the time, so I wasn't in a particularly good mood in general, but my mom and every other adult went on about how it meant I could stay home and be lazy on my birthday so I should stop complaining. Anyway, my grandmother comes by and takes me to buy gifts for my birthday. We come back and my mom lets me and her in after my grandma knocks and she bitches about the clothes I was bought. (Years later after I long outgrew those clothes, she then bitched when I threw them away that I was wasting my parent's precious money. By throwing away clothes they didn't buy me.) For some reason, she always wanted me to leave by going out the front door and not the back to our fenced in backyard. Nope, the front, which was a place I was specifically not allowed to play in unsupervised at any other time. But as a punishment, it was fine for me to sit out there for hours without anyone watching me. I tried to tell myself she was somehow actually keeping an eye on me, but the only glass on that part of the house where she could see me would be through the door I was sitting in front of. There were no windows on that side of the house, so the only way she could see me would be from a place I would be able to see her at, whereas there were plenty of windows on the side of the house that overlooked the backyard. I always checked to see if she was watching, but she never was. Sometimes, I'd sit and watch her instead, while she'd sit down and watch TV, suddenly no longer needing to do whatever she was so urgently freaking out about before and clearly not the least bit interested in what I was doing. This entry was more difficult to write than my last one. I think I've come to realize a few things about myself from it though, so there is that. I don't know what may be in my memories somewhere, if there is anything at all. Maybe it's nothing. If there is something there, and it comes back to me, I think I will eventually be able to accept it. But still, I hope I'm just overanalyzing.