Not only I survived CSA, but also an anti-gay “therapy”

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Thrive Deib

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In the following paragraphs, I describe some events that can be considered disturbing for people sensitive to graphic description of violent events. Please do not continue reading if you think you could feel triggered.



***** TRIGGERS AHEAD *****




It’s been more than 15 years since I first visited a gay bar when I was in my early 20’s. I progressively came out to my friends and family. Today, no one who knows me thinks I’m hetero. I even had a relationship with a guy, but it only lasted about three months and he was a guy who I didn’t really like after all. But when it came to begin a relationship with a man I really liked, somehow I found a perfect excuse or a way to sabotage my own happiness. It seemed to be an inexpiable curse that had to do with some random trauma during my childhood, but I never dug deeper until recently.
When I visited Berlin two years ago, I was triggered by walking through the Holocaust Memorial during a guided tour. The place consists of evenly spaced pillars of concrete that create the sensation of walls and passages where only one person fits. If two people walk on parallel passages, they’ll see each other on the next intersection, but if one of them changes direction or stops, they won’t meet. I couldn’t explain why, but I felt oddly familiar with the sensation of being in a similar place and losing a beloved person in a passage intersection. I almost cried in the memorial under that feeling. I started having flashbacks about the movie “La Vita E Bella” which deals with the subject of a Jewish family in a concentration camp. I though I had just “connected” with the pain and the anxiety that the characters felt while being separated of each other and having to deal with the uncertainty of not seeing them again. After a short time, I just recovered and joined the other members of the tour.
A few months later, I started having flashbacks and recovering memories about my abominable mother taking me, almost every weekend during my childhood, to different houses around the city and to an underground facility underneath a church in the city center to be indoctrinated and sexually abused as a means of entertainment for some influential acquaintances of her. My last memory came on July 2021 after I finally dared to post a Facebook profile picture with the rainbow flag frame on it. I had a very distressing nightmare that night in which I was inside a building and in front of me there was a very narrow passage, like a slaughterhouse lane. In the dream, I started talking with someone who I felt like I knew very well, but I can’t recall who they were. Suddenly, a crowd forces us to walk through the lane. On the other end, I try to find my companion, but I can’t find them anywhere. I continue walking with the crowd through a wider corridor and then, around a corner, there are some stairs and another narrow lane. I continued walking with the crowd, but started feeling panic. At some point before climbing up another staircase, I stopped walking. In the dream, I felt totally disoriented, panicked, desperate to find my companion and with the heartrending sensation that I may never get out of that place as if I was inside a labyrinth-like neighborhood. I woke up on my bed feeling completely distressed. I couldn’t sleep for the rest of that night and kept the sensation that I had lost someone in a similar slaughterhouse.
After trying to make sense of that dream I realized that not only my abominable mother had abused me but, also, after my “cherry was popped” by the man who was entitled to his “droit du seignore” on me, she enrolled me in one of those workshops to “cure” homosexuality as she noticed that I “didn’t show interest in pleasing her or any other woman”. Of course, as any other abusive person, she didn’t ask for my consent and she didn’t mention where she was taking me. I only have several flashbacks of me being in the same room with some feminine men being nice and “teaching” me their manners until I imitated them and then, somehow, I’m in another place being ridiculed and humiliated by other men who abuse me by hitting my testicles when I move my hands like the fem-guys did and inviting others to the show by saying “Ese güey es puto” (“That cunt’s a fag”). They literally made me eat feces and threatened to electrocute me if I didn’t passionately kiss some hideous men who looked like beggars if I didn’t show them I was “man enough”. I was not allowed to look at their faces otherwise I’d be punished, but I guess they were some trained hit-men who knew how to torture a nine-year-old boy without killing him or leaving physical marks. After all that process I was finally allowed to see my abominable mother. I had been intentionally starved since the day before so seeing that woman again meant that I could finally eat something. The relief I felt was almost a religious experience. In other sessions, the abominable mother was not present, but other women were the ones taking care of me, I guess the intention was that my mind would associate the presence of women with food and well-being while the presence of men would trigger aggressiveness and fear. The swap of environments would be made by covering or forcing me to shut my eyes. Disobedience would be brutally punished.
I have to say that the indoctrination was effective in repressing any sensitive behavior from me. I was passively homophobic, but I didn’t actively hurt anyone. The indoctrination also took its toll on my academic performance as I had to repress all the memories while I was at school, making me look like as a numb autistic child. The abominable mother pretended she didn’t know anything and opted for overcompensation.
I’m almost 40 years old, and I will probably never recover from the damage that those people made to me but, hopefully it will sound an alarm on others that a child who suddenly changes their behavior is not something “natural” but could be a sign of abuse and negligence. It could also affect other children as indoctrinated kids can suddenly become toxic, tyrannical or even violent if anything triggers them and could hurt someone if approached without caution. There's no easy way to help a child that is visibly abused. I can't say what would be of my life if my abominable mother was taken to jail because of the abuse she was performing on me. I guess one of my teachers reported how I suddenly changed and they were diplomatic enough to tell my abominable mother that "maybe someone was touching me in inappropriate ways". One of the things I remember from that time is that someone gave me an activity book named "No me toques" ("Don't touch me"). That book talked about how children can take care of themselves and used puzzles to teach ways to protect their integrity. Those puzzles became my mantras to protect my sanity in that madhouse. Hopefully, more children will have easier access to those resources and learn how to prevent abuse. A weak point is that those puzzles were focused on preventing abuse from strangers, but still didn't consider relatives or even parents abusing their own children. I guess it's so hard to even consider but even with that flaw, it helped a lot.
 
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