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I was raped by porn.

by Mirrie Parks 11 months ago in trauma

A true story from a trauma survivor.

I was raped by porn.
Photo by Sukhveer Hans on Unsplash

There is a magical phase of childhood where the veil is still thin, memories of past lives can still be accessed, images and sounds can come through from other dimensions. A child’s imagination is open and curious. Whole landscapes can be created in the minds eye, full of colour and adventure. Characters can be birthed and excitement can be chased.

This phase is also when a child’s mind is the most vulnerable. From birth to about eight years old a child’s pathways are forming. The foundation and fundamental belief systems are established and it’s in these vital years where a child will determine whether or not the world is a safe place to be. For me, my beginning was filled with abandonment, terror, violence and a myriad of things no child should ever experience. One of those things being hardcore, graphic European pornography.

Now when people talk about pornography there are certain images or scenes that will automatically pop into your head. It is such a normal part of society now, so many of us have been exposed to it to some degree, even down to ‘family friendly’ advertising. Sex sells right? Well pornography shouldn’t even be classified as sex to begin with. It’s actually stylised rape portraited with a Hollywood filter.

It’s a confusing time when you have your sexuality ‘activated’ from the age of five. It’s an energy that shouldn’t be unleashed yet. Put aside the obvious shock and horror of the moral and ethical side of things, but just energetically speaking a five year olds body is not ready or capable of handling that power. The vulnerability opens the vessel up to all kinds of mayhem. Attachments, entities, wounds and not to mention the physical confusion that ensues. The pheremones would be subconsciously activating darkness in other people who interact with said five year old as well.

I had a beautiful childhood. I also had a traumatic one. I still haven’t unlocked the suppressed memories of exactly what happened, but I know the types of situations I was frequently in and they were damaging to a child. My trauma started in the womb, an unrelated man decided it was his right to punch my mother in the stomach, now you may have different beliefs to me but I know that trauma can begin in the womb. It doesn’t have to be senseless violence either. A foetus can hear what’s going on, and also pick up on certain chemicals and hormones the mother is producing, such as love, stress or fear.

After surviving the random man punching me and a stressful breech birth, I came into the world. To be honest I’m not surprised I was breech birth because I think I realised what life I was about to live and changed my mind. My mother was troubled, her pain was heavy and she turned to drugs and alcohol for comfort. A crying baby isn‘t very conducive to that lifestyle so it didn’t take long before I was an inconvenience. Fast forward for the purpose of this story to when I was five and starting on my second primary school.

I can still remember staring at my feet, I was standing on the faded yellow circle where each class assembled for the bell. Holding my mums hand I was so scared to be in a strange new school where I didn‘t know anybody. Refusing to look up, I can remember another pair of small feet walking towards us. The shiny black school shoes stopped right in front of me and a little voice said with an outstretched hand, ‘It’s okay I’ll look after her’.

The little girl, who is still someone I consider a sister to this day (trauma buddies for life), took my hand and off we went to be brave little primary school kids. This all sounds like a lovely platonic meet-cute where we skip off holding hands to play handball, but infact it was the beginning of a lifelong trauma bond. See, kids will look at their surroundings and assess what it ‘normal’. Developing a healthy understanding of what is normal and what isn’t is hard to do when you have two very close friends that share the same trauma. What may have seemed shocking to me, if it had only happened to me, appeared ‘normal’ because it was also happening to my best friend. It wasn’t until much later in life when I watched the faces of my friends twist in horror as I shared some of my experiences, that I actually absorbed the magnitude of what I had been through.

Hindsight has given me the ability to look back over my life and begin the process of acceptance. As I heal and educate myself, more and more of my experiences start falling into the ‘that caused damage’ bucket. The bucket gets so full I start another bucket, and another. The realisation that nearly all of my sexual experiences were non-consensual caused me to shut down my sexuality all together. I was mid-30’s and all of sudden a huge part of my identity was wrong. It was broken. Unhealthy. Damaged. Still years later I am working every day to rebuild from the ground up - a healthy and safe sexuality.

When I say that nearly all of my sexual experiences were non-consensual I don’t mean I was held down and raped, I was there (physically), I was present, but I wasn’t saying no. I was partaking, but I thought I had to.

I thought that’s what I had to do.

I thought that I wasn’t allowed to say no.

I thought it would be too embarrassing to say no, so I didn’t.

I thought it meant the guy ‘loved’ me.

I thought that’s how you showed love.

I thought that’s all I was good for.

I thought it made me feel good.

I thought it was okay.

But it really wasn’t. At all. There were times I felt maybe the guy should have picked up on my resistance, surely he felt me tense up at his touch. Surely he can see I’m pulling away. Oh that’s just ‘how boys are’, right? Not to say I blame any of them. They were young (some of them) and trying to find their own way in the world. There isn’t any good that comes from pointing the finger. There are huge issues that cause sexuality as a whole in our society to be fundamentally flawed, but I look forward to a future where women no longer have to share these types of stories in the hopes it will resonate and be a beacon to other women who have been through the same.

Discovering that graphic, intense, nasty pornography at such a young age set in motion a lifetime of fractured and painful experiences. It was compiled alongside other trauma but the outcome was a messy cocktail of substance abuse, underage sex, underage drinking, impulsivity, self harm, body dysmorphia, mental health issues, eating disorders and pain.

I can still remember my tiny little body getting tense. My chest tightened and I sat cross legged in front of the screen with my mouth open. I was frozen. I couldn’t look away. There was a stocky woman, holding down another woman, straddling her face and raping her. That was one of many scenes that even now, thirty two years later, when I think of it a certain part of my brain feels prickly. There was other stock standard porn I was exposed to, as well as my mum and my trauma buddy’s mum both having sex in front of us with random men. Generally sex was forced upon me at far too young of an age when I was vulnerable, suggestible, malleable, pliant and it happens everyday but nobody talks about it.

Without even being capable of comprehending what was happening, the images I was consuming was turning me on. I was a child physically reacting to pornography. Think of a five or six year old, even a seven year old that you know, think of their capability to absorb things. Think about when a child that age sits in front of a TV or any screen, they are mesmerised, part of them not knowing what is real and what is fantasy. They sit, glued to the input they are taking in and it can sometimes take a lot to get their attention away from what they’re watching. Now when you pictured that child, sitting crossed legged on the floor, turn and look at the TV they’re watching and imagine it was some graphic rape scene out of a gross European porno. I too shared in that feeling you’re having now, but about myself. That would have been a moment of developmental trauma that has become part of complex post traumatic stress disorder (c-PTSD) I’m currently navigating all these years later.

Sex was intriguing because of what it did physically, but terrifying because I did not understand what was happening. To have your first introduction to sex at such a tender age, by scary strangers on the television, is damaging. My memories and timelines can be hazy, a lot of the time I can’t trust my memories and I have a lot of blacked out time where I have no idea what happened. From that unhealthy start to my sexuality, I became overly curious and driven by anthing sexual. Everything had an air of shame around it though.

I started dating when I was about 12, males enticed me. All ages too. It probably goes hand in hand but I also grew up with ‘daddy issues’. I didn’t know who my real father was and never had a stable male figure growing up. Just scary ones that cruised in and out of my mother’s life, and therefore mine. A pattern which repeated itself later in life with me choosing abusive men who only wanted to use me. My first actual experience with sex was pretty typical, my Year 7 boyfriend and I planned it, we were safe in a friends house behind a locked door. Prepared and scared is how I would describe us both.

From there, I became more and more wreckless with my choices. I became overly sexual and cruel teenagers started gossiping and giving me a reputation. All pretty stock standard, high school is hell and teenagers are the devil, but adding in excessive binge drinking meant I collected a fair few shameful memories. One instance in high school, an older guy who I had met maybe once - took my hand in a local shopping mall, led me outside away from my friends and proceeded to have sex with me in a doorway at the back of the shops. In broad daylight.

It wasn’t rape though, it wasn’t like I said no. And thanks to porn, my body would betray me at the slightest intimate touch, I would be ‘wet’, physically. But emotionally? Spiritually? I had checked out. I grew up to be addicted to porn, I would even watch it at work on my mobile and masturbate in the toilet. It consumed me. I had no boundaries and I wouldn’t say no.

As I got older I thought I was taking my power back by claiming my overt sexuality. I would call myself a ‘nympho’ with a misguided sense of pride. I would proudly wear it as a badge of honour. Yes, I was alluring and sexual. I was great in bed and wanted sex more than most men. It took a lot of self reflection and healing to break free from that conditioning. What I was really, was a broken and abused young woman who longed for love and connection.

I thank my lucky stars I grew up in an era of dial up internet and rotary phones though and my heart goes out to anyone growing up in today’s culture where everything is uploaded onto the internet. That is another thing that terrifies me, for me to be sitting here sharing this story - my little self had to search through the back of cupboards to find a VHS tape in a black unmarked case in order to see what I did. The poor kids in todays world are completely unprotected. They have the entire internet at their fingertips, nasty Euro porn and all. Which is why is it is imperative we keep talking about these issues. We must remove the stigma around sex. If it remains that undercover VHS monster, lurking in the back of the cupboard how we will ever set our children free from the hold pornography has on us all?

Pornography is damaging, abusive, conditioning, brain washing and a theft of pleasure. It promotes violence against women, it teaches boys to abuse women and tricks women into thinking they like it. It creates unnatural expectations and steals the innocence from sex. Such a natural, healthy part of being a human is our sexuality. It brings forth life. It heals and creates and empowers us. But not when it is toxic, shameful and perverse. Society has become so desensitised that there is a void being created which gets filled with darker and more twisted content every second. As I take each day one at a time, and I take small steps to healing my wounds caused by pornography I want to share my journey along the way, in the hopes I can spark some healing in others who may not even realise they too have been raped by porn.

trauma

Mirrie Parks

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