My Dear Friend,
Many thanks for taking the time to write to me and apologies for the delay in sending a response.
I think you have managed to build a good picture of what has been happening with me.
For completeness and to correct some parts of the story line (although they make no difference to your conclusions) and also to make some additional comments:
- The first cousin that abused me didn’t live next door. He lived at my grandparents’ house which was maybe 1 and ½ km away. But when it happened for the first time, it was at my home when I was only 6, and then it carried on mostly at an area at back of the garden of my grandparents’ house. And it was one of the reasons I never wanted to visit my grandparents. But my mother forced me to. Sometimes we’d play hide and sick with the other cousins and he would make sure that we were hiding in the same place so he could abuse me.
- Maybe a year later, another cousin who lived two doors from me also started abusing me, and most of it took place at the back of my grandmother’s house (from my father’s side) who lived next door to me. Sometimes it would be at home when he knew my parents weren’t there. Coincidently, when we were also playing hide and seek with the other kids (another group of kids, not the same as with the first cousin), he would also make sure that we were always together so he could abuse me. Few months later, he asked if I’d let another cousin his age have sex with me, to which somehow I managed to say no, few years later he asked if I could have sex with his best friend, to which I also said no, but one day this friend called me around to his place saying that he wanted to ask me some questions about a girl from my class that he fancied. He lived 3 doors down from me, and when I went there to answer his questions, he started touching me and took me to his bedroom. I was maybe 12 at the time, too scared to say no but also with mixed feelings, as I was reaching puberty and started to like this guy.
- At school, I was in the middle of rich kids. Since the very beginning, when I was 5, they made fun of my father’s old car and of the very old and modest house where I lived. Luckily the school gave us free meals, so we all ate the same food during the intervals and were not allowed to bring any food from outside. However, at the end of the lessons, the “place to be” for all those kids was just outside buying junk food and sweets from the tuck shop and play games. As I didn’t have any money I never joined in. I attempted to join in when I started stealing small quantities of money from my father. He found out few times and was very cross. One day the quantity was too large and ended up in the hands of another kid, which resulted in my father being called by the Head Teacher. Since then I never stole money from him again. The other kids in the school also made jokes about my body. In my early teenage years I was very slim and they made jokes about my thin legs and flat bum. As you mentioned in your letter, they teased because I wasn’t trying to date any girls or have the active sexual life that they were having. Sometimes one of the guys would approach me, usually it would be a very popular guy in the school (good looking, rich, the one sleeping with all the girls) and he would indicate that he was interested in me. But I knew a group of people was watching hiding somewhere expecting that I would go along and they could laugh at me. Sometimes the few people that I considered as my friends were part of this group. Coincidently the same happened in London at the dance school. But not because I was gay, they just wanted to laugh at me.
- When I came to the UK I was a very quiet person, hardly spoke anything. I had a boyfriend for just over 2 and ½ years and at around 19 I started dating James. With James, I experienced drugs until around the age of 22-23. James has always been very controlled with his drug taking, and he made my drug taking very controlled too. After the age of 23 I didn’t touch any drugs until I was 27-28.
- In relation to sex, I have always had a very high sex drive, and as you are aware, there were days when I was meeting up to five guys. But this was always safe. In fact, I was paranoid with this, there was no way I would have unsafe sex. It wasn’t until my drug addiction kicked in that this changed. However, the sex addiction was already a problem at the time. I would stay whole nights awake looking for sex and go to school without any sleep, or not do the important things that needed doing, such as studying.
Throughout these years, before I was 27-28, there were always occasions when I was abused and I didn’t know how to react. I confess that there were occasions when it didn’t occur to me that I was being abuse since this was a regular thing since I was 6. So many men touched me inappropriately and abused me. In one of the first places I stayed in London, when I had just turned 17, I stayed with a friend of a friend, I rented his couch for £50 a week. But one night he told me I could sleep in his bedroom. He had this enormous bed that could probably take more than five people. I went to lie on the opposite side of him, quite far on the bed. I didn’t actually want to sleep there, but I wasn’t brave enough to say it. He started watching porn and wanking. I was horrified. He started touching me and we had sex. I didn’t resist, I didn’t want it, but I couldn’t stop it, I wasn’t brave enough to stop it, and I felt disgusted with myself after. Many months later in this same flat, a friend of his was visiting and we had to share the same sofa-bed. In the morning, I woke up with his friend touching me and wanking next to me under the duvet. He made attempts to penetrate me. I didn’t say a word, I didn’t move, I just made sure he wouldn’t penetrate me. He ejaculated on my skin and then pretended nothing had happened. These are only some examples of when I allowed men to take advantage of me and I was too scared to resist.
So I agree with you when you say that I learned not to look after myself and only attend to the needs of others. When I was a child my mum never wanted us to raise our voices, to respond to any criticism, or to defend ourselves, because she was scared that something worse would happen. So we were always quiet. I lived in a community where image is all that matters. What you dress, how much money you have and what you do determines whether you have friends. So I grew up in an environment where I was always being watched, judged and talked about. Today I don’t care about it anymore, but the feeling is still within me. I hear the police siren and I think I have done something wrong (even though I know I haven’t), if I am inside a supermarket I am careful about how I handle the shopping so they don’t think I am stealing, in the coffee shops I make sure I am standing away from the fridges so they don’t think I am stealing drinks, before I enter any building with security at the door I instantly have the impression that they won’t let me in. In the gym, shops, restaurants and bars I always feel like I am being judged, like I shouldn’t be there, and that people avoid me.
I assume that because of this, my mind is always in a different world. I’d say that, over half of what I think during the day, I am imagining a conversation, a relationship or any situation that I either expect will happen one day, or I know it will never happen but I still think about it because it gives me comfort. The other half of the time I use my mind to look around me, looking for nothing but at the same time looking for everything, some of which I can’t define. One of the thinks I look for is Alex, the rest I am not sure, maybe some kind of acceptance from everyone around me. Everybody seems to have something I don’t have and I stare at them and imagine what it would be like to have what they have.
Another part of my imaginary world is when I listen to music or watch a dance performance. I always imagine that I am the person singing or dancing, and that the people watching are the ones I crave attention from, and they are thinking how amazing I am and want to be my friends. Maybe that’s why I want to spend such a long time in the gym, because I am listening to my favourite tunes and throw myself into this world that doesn’t exist.
I think my immediate problems is sex addiction and Alex. I am scared that, to take Alex off my mind, another man must come into the story. I have deleted the sex apps and I am avoiding looking at other men on the streets. I seem to be getting better at it.
Apologies for the long letter. But I hope it provides more information about my problems and it helps with how I’ll reach recovery.
Many thanks for reading,