by Jennifer Stuck
When I first started opening up about my childhood sexual abuse, I felt like I was carrying a deep dark secret that made me different from other survivors. It was the part of my story I always skipped over when talking about my abuse—something I could barely admit to myself, let alone anyone else. It was the fact that my body responded to the sexual abuse I received as a young child.
When my abuse first began, he would perform oral sex on me (when I had no idea what that was or that it was wrong) and then he would tell me I had to do the same for him. Every time I didn’t want to do one of the disgusting things he requested, he reminded me that he had done the thing that felt good to me, so I had to return the favor.
I learned to hate myself and my body, and I blamed myself for the abuse. I thought I must have just been an over sexual kid and brought it on myself.
But in reality, I never asked to be sexually stimulated, or for the “responsibility” he placed on me of pleasuring him in return. The fact is, the human body is made to respond to sexual stimulation, and my body was designed just like adult —with one important difference. As a child, I was supposed to be allowed to go through a natural process of maturating and discovering sexuality on my own. Unfortunately, my abuser interfered with that process.
Thankfully, now I know that although they are rarely talked about, sexual stimulation and even orgasm are extremely common during rape and abuse, and it doesn’t mean that I wanted it or enjoyed it and it didn’t make my abuse any less traumatic. Through my healing, I’ve come to see how my abuser manipulated my body as a way to manipulate my mind and keep me submissive to his abuse.
Now as an adult I can clearly see that it wasn’t my fault that I was abused, or that my body responded to the abuse. And since opening up about my experience, I’ve found that I’m far from alone. I for one won’t stay silent anymore. I don’t have to be ashamed about my abuse and I won’t keep it secret ever again.
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Jennifer Stuck is whole-heartedly pursuing physical and emotional health and is determined to heal the wounds of her childhood sexual abuse. She loves to write, especially poetry. She is currently studying for a career in Physical Therapy. When she isn’t in school Jennifer is at home spending time with her two beautiful daughters.