the trauma i never knew i had: navigating childhood trauma 29 years after the fact

This post is by Vesper, reposted here with the permission of the author.  You can read the original post here.

content warning: explicit talk of childhood sexual abuse & religous trauma without going into detail; explicit mentions of acephobia, biphobia, homophobia

this is one of two posts that i’m going to (hopefully) post on the topic of sexual abuse / violence and consent issues. this specific post is a submission to @resourcesforacesurvivors‘ series on Intersectional Ace Survivor Stories and pertains to navigating childhood trauma and religious family as a not-so-young-anymore black, non-binary, bi / pan asexual. while i have talked briefly about the topic of this post in a video, for the most part the experiences discussed in both posts are ones that i’m only just now sitting down and thinking about. please bear with me as i try to put things into words.


i’ll be honest with you. i’m extremely hesitant about posting this or drawing any kind of connection between myself and sexual abuse. why? well, for one, my online presence isn’t exactly anonymous. on top of that, i don’t actually view myself as a survivor. even identifying as a victim at all is something that i’m still coming to terms with.

regardless of how i view myself, you, dear reader, might view me as a survivor and/or a victim after reading this (or the upcoming) post and quite frankly, i’m not sure how i feel about that. it almost feels like posting this is a calculated risk of sorts that i’m taking.

the goal: to put a story that seems to be uncommon out there for those who might benefit from hearing it.

the risk: being viewed as or associated with something that i don’t don’t even view myself as or associate myself with. having people attribute who i am to this trauma.

…well, enough with the stalling. here goes nothing.

when your (a)sexuality and/or gender is blamed on childhood trauma that you didn’t even know happened to you, how do you even begin dealing with it? and where do you even go from there?

Intersections: Being a Disabled, Non-Binary, Autistic, & Ace Survivor

When I was 14, I thought I was normal. Now, come the age of 20, I know that I had PTSD by then, caused by parental abuse, as well as an autistic spectrum disorder, as well as both dyslexia and dyscalculia. The last three I’ve had all my life, but were not diagnosed until I left home. The PTSD, as far as the therapist and I can track, started somewhere around the age of 8, about the same time as a dissociative disorder also came about. […]

In terms of other support… Being non-binary makes things really hard. Almost all of the help for victims of sexual assault — and everything bar criminal prosecutions in my area — are gendered. I don’t identify as a woman, so going to somewhere advertised for women is a big no for me, but I don’t identify as a man either. The general mental health care professionals are fine with my asexuality at first — but as soon as I bring up what happened it becomes something to be cured. And, well, my physical disabilities mean I can’t actually get to things such as group support for victims, or even most of the places where counselling is offered. The only ones who will come to places I can get to to meet with me are those referenced above, who want to use the therapy to make me a normal, straight girl (in their words), not to help me live my life.

survivour ace – ace survivour?

This post is by meeresbande, and the original version of the post can be found on their blog.

Trigger warnings: Discussion of childhood sexual abuse and trauma (although no specifics), mention of abusive parents

I’ve known I was a survivour of childhood sexual abuse (csa) since before I knew words for or even a concept of asexuality or aromanticism. I was 19 and my first trauma memories resurfaced. I was terrified and I didn’t dare talk to anyone, not even my therapist at the time. But I also had an explanation for myself, for why I never had a relationship and didn’t even want one. I needed one and the “excuse” of still being too young for relationships and dating didn’t work anymore at that age.

So a part of me was relieved to find out that I’m a csa survivour. (But aro/aces aren’t oppressed and don’t need safer spaces, no, a mainstream society that makes someone feel like this sure is totally a-ok and safe for aro/ace spectrum people, sure…)

Hyper-kink-mode

I never know how long these things’ll last. Sometimes it’s just a day, sometimes it’s months. And it sure doesn’t feel like it will ever stop. (It’s everywhere and everywhen, how could it stop?)

And it can be years in-between, and I can forget how to handle them, get out of practice, lose all my contacts and coping strategies. I don’t expect it to happen again.

The way I am right now, is the way I expect to be in the future. (Probably has a lot to do with my being autistic, but.) And expecting to forever be constantly thinking about kink stuff in an urgent way, is… exhausting, to say the least. And it urges action, since this won’t resolve on its own, if indeed it will never shift back to being less “AAAA!!!”

a revolution for the crooked souls.

I’m a “bad” rape victim.

A Model Rape Survivor doesn’t know her attacker. My rapist is essentially a stranger to me, but that night was not the first time I had met him. She is dressed modestly and cannot be held responsible due to those clothing choices. I wore one of my shortest dresses and no bra when I walked into his apartment. She’s virginal and chaste, only doing the appropriate sexual things with appropriate people. I considered myself a virgin at the time, though I’m sure other people might disagree, but I’d gone to his place to mess around in the first place.

Personal narrative from an anonymous author

My experiences have caused me to lose faith in the idea that people will come to understand and acknowledge my sexuality without an explicit statement that I am asexual. Even this statement rarely generates understanding or compassion from friends; usually I am met with confusion, discomfort, or even silent denial in the form of attempting to steer the conversation elsewhere.