Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Confessions of a Survivor Who Worries About Mothering

This is a submission for the month of July on sexual abuse. This topic may be triggering and painful to some readers. Pregnancy loss is also mentioned. Please continue with caution.

 © 2012 Karissa Marie

"Being taken advantage of by someone that I trusted has left me a fractured mess in some aspects. Things that are supposed to be enjoyable are sometimes terrifying. People who are supposed to be comforting often drive me away. And gestures meant to put me at ease sometimes make me feel uncomfortable.

After being sexually abused as a child and having a marriage where I was only wanted for my ability to please someone else, it is probably not surprising that I have some issues. I’ve participated in a lot of therapy and have put a lot of years of distance in between myself and the abuse, but in some regards I will always be damaged goods.

What scares me the most is not fear of the past, but fear of the future. Despite meeting the love of my life, I fear being unloved. Despite being valued and respected, I fear a repeated loss of dignity. Despite wanting to create a life outside of my own body, I fear that I won’t be able to protect that life, because I have failed in protecting myself in the past.

Recently, I experienced a miscarriage and I found myself feeling guilty because I didn’t do enough to protect the life within me. Before I miscarried, I worried incessantly about if I could handle the physical sensations within me or not. The sharp hormonal swings of pregnancy scared me and my suddenly overactive sex drive flooded me with shame.

When the pregnancy symptoms began to subside and I knew the fate of my baby, I felt dirty for holding something inside of me that should no longer be there. I was almost glad to not be a mother yet and I challenged my own ability to make decisions. I seriously considered taking birth control.

Thankfully, that idea was short-lived, and I am again trying to conceive, but now I face the challenge of sometimes being intimate with my partner when I don’t really want to, based on the ovulation timing of the month. I sometimes have to remind myself that there is an end goal that I wish to attain and in order to attain it I have to do certain things.

I feel guilty that I react so negatively to something that should be beautiful. I feel a child should be conceived in love and bliss, not fear and forced apathy. When I am able to start my own family, I fear the limitations that I may put on myself and on my future children, all in the name of safety. Everyone says that safety is so important, but I’m afraid of going too far.

Overstepping boundaries in an attempt at protecting another is still a violation; will I be able to draw an appropriate line? Despite wanting a family so badly, I fear that that family will never be happy due to my own paranoia."

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