Talking About It

It occurred to me that I had never gone into detail about my past traumas when talking to my fiance. He has always been aware that some things have happened in my past along those lines, but he wasn’t the kind of guy to press for more information. He has always been the type to let me say things in my own time.

After starting this blog and feeling a bit more brazen, I felt like speaking up about it and finally letting him know exactly what happened to me and who the perpetrators were.

So I told him about my brother, and what he did to me. I told him about my sister, too. I withheld information about other deceased individuals because I just feel a little hesitant to speak ill of the dead. Besides, the one main person who has passed who did something to me when I was little, was a good person later in life. What he did to me wasn’t as invasive or offensive as what my brother did, so I don’t really want to bring it up and risk hurting relatives of his/ours who may see this some day.

When I finished recounting the events that took place so many years ago, I asked him how he was feeling about it. He said that he was even more angry at my brother than he already was before I told him everything. See, we have given my brother a lot of money before when he claimed to be in times of great need. I told my brother not to worry about paying me back, but my fiance feels like a man should consider his younger sister more than that, and should pay me back for giving him so much when we ourselves are not affluent by any means.

While I was telling my story to my fiance, my hands were shaking and my voice was breaking or trembling. I don’t know how to describe it. So it was a little bit of a challenge to summon up the courage to actually say these truths to him. Somewhere deep down, I may have been a little fearful that his opinion of me would change after hearing all this. But it didn’t. We, in fact, have been really good since.

I’ve felt free and authentically myself in the few days since telling him about my past traumas. It’s strange how I suddenly feel able to share even the smallest things with him, like when I’m excited that my favorite Kpop group (BlackPink) has just released their new music video. I feel… almost normal. Maybe keeping these details locked away inside for so long has brought about different problems that I didn’t know it was causing. I don’t know, but I feel much better having talked about it.

As always, thank you so much for reading!

Let It Out

It actually feels like a tiny relief to get this all typed out. I feel a little bit better when I publish these confessions of mine; these dark family secrets.

I encourage anyone with similar traumas to let it out, get it out, tell someone, write it down, anything. I’m positive I’m not the only one. If these unspeakable things can happen to me, they can happen to anyone, and they probably have.

Talk to someone you trust, start your own blog, e-mail me, whatever you need to do or can do to get your story out. I am starting to feel a little less shackled by these secrets I’ve held in for so long.

Please, if something similar has happened to you, if it monopolizes your thoughts and your nightmares, find some way to get it out. Even just putting pen to paper would do it. Journaling is very therapeutic.

Thank you for reading.

Something Else I Probably Shouldn’t Write About

My brother wasn’t the only member of my family to be inappropriate with me in my youth; not by far.

My sister also made me do gross things like suck on her toes. At the time, I thought we were playing. She hated me pretty much from the moment I was born, so any time spent with her, which I craved, was a blessing in my eyes. I always wanted to be close to her and to have her approval.

She only gave me that when she got something out of it. I didn’t realize until recently (again) what exactly it was that she got out of that brief period of time when we were close and she didn’t act like she hated me.

Perhaps she hated me so much that the sexual abuse was another way for her to punish me for being born and taking the attention away from her. I was born when she was four years old, so it’s not far-fetched that she could feel a great sense of resentment for me being the new baby. Again, I’m only just realizing this all in the last six months or so. My entire life, these interactions with my abusive, toxic family members felt commonplace to me. And I always wondered why my friends’ parents didn’t want them to have anything to do with me. It was because they could see how messed up I was.

I think I was the only one who was unable to see it. Until now, that is.

Words can’t really accurately cover what went through my head when I realize what my sister was doing while I was sucking on her toes. I’m disgusted, I guess, to say the least.

She always used to do strange things around me. She would stand behind me with her arms wrapped around my waist pressing her pelvis against my bottom, and just sway there with me while I cooked at the stove. I remember feeling extremely uncomfortable while this happened. She has even paid me (when I was eighteen) to jump in bed with her boyfriend who she knew wouldn’t have his contacts in. She knew he would mistake me for her, at least at first. I did what she asked; I kissed him. She paid me five dollars to kiss her boyfriend.

I don’t know why. That just always seemed weird to me.

Later in life, she would cheat on her husband with a guy she met at a dollar store. I didn’t know she was having sex with him, because she constantly told me I should go after him and that I should date him. She was having sex with him the whole time.

My best guy friend in high school and college was extremely friend-zoned, and my sister told him, “If you ever stop chasing Krista, I’ll screw ya.”

WHAT IS THIS CRAZY THING SHE HAS FOR ME?

I never understood her, and I never will. She doesn’t speak to me now. I am glad that she doesn’t. She has been inappropriate with me, tried to go after most of my boyfriends, and tried to get me to go after most of her men. The father of her daughter told me once that she wouldn’t mind if he and I were to have sex; this was like two weeks after they met. It rang true to me. By that time, I was accustomed to being sent after the men in her life.

She and I share the same mother and father. Our other brother, who also shares our Asian father, once held my head in a vice grip between his knees and said he wouldn’t release me unless I “licked his weiner.” I told him I’d lick his knee. I was like eight or nine. I didn’t end up having to lick anything. Thank God.

My oldest brother, the subject of my first post, had a friend come stay with us for a long time, too. His name was Kevin. And he also was inappropriate with me. He touched me in my crotch. By that time, I had no idea what he was doing was wrong, because so many people had touched me there already.

I don’t want to speak ill of the dead, but there are deceased relatives who lived with me also, who were also inappropriate with me on several occasions.

I can say with certainty that the only people closely related to me who were never inappropriate with or around me were my father and my maternal grandparents. My grandpa is actually my first influence when in came to writing. He was always in his room, sitting at his desk, writing something. I liked to sit on his desk and watch. They’d let me play with a pencil and some computer paper. I’d pretend I was writing just like him.

My father rented a karate movie with a very PG sex scene in it once when I was visiting. He wouldn’t allow me to look at it, though. That’s literally the only time I remember anything nearly inappropriate happening around him. My father was a good man.

I would really like to know how all this sexual abuse has resulted in the person I am today.

My sister also used to beat the shit out of me when I was very young. Like I said, a deep seated hate for me her whole life.

Today, I have some unusual quirks. I don’t like to be stared at. I don’t like for people to stand directly behind me. I can feel when a person’s eyes are on me; I am very keenly aware of it. I’m somewhat paranoid, jealous and insecure. It is sad to think that I may not be so much trouble in my current relationship if I was just treated right by the people around me when I was growing up.

I hate a lot of things about my past. I wish I could forget it all. Maybe I’d be an easier person to get along with today. Maybe I’d trust people a little easier. Maybe I wouldn’t be anxiously afraid of someone messing with one of my small children.

I wish I had a degree in psychology and could figure out for myself why my family members did the things they did and how I can learn to let it all go and try to live a normal life.

Why I’m here

I have issues.

I know it’s, like, trendy right now, or whatever, to say that you have issues or to claim to be an introvert or have social anxiety… But those statements are actually all true for me. It’s not nearly as cool or cute as one might think. It’s difficult to be this way. I can’t wait until the mental illness fad fizzles out. Those of us with real mental illnesses can tell who is and who isn’t struggling inside. Well, I can’t speak for everyone with problems, but I can sure tell.

Or maybe it’s judgmental of me to assume that I can always tell when someone is only saying they have mental or emotional problems just to be hip. Honestly, it’s not nearly as hip as these people hope it is.

So… I am here.

The reason I’m here, turning my personal trauma into a blog, is that for some reason lately, the traumas from my past are affecting me more than ever before. It seems the longer it has been since the trauma, the more that particular trauma will bother me day-to-day, the more dreams/nightmares I’ll have about it, and the more time I lose in flashbacks about that event.

The earliest traumatic event that I can remember is the thing that is plaguing my mind far more now than it ever has. I used to tell people about it, and I was so blasé about it when I spoke of it before. But today, I brought it up to my fiancé. In my mind, I had already talked about this with him.

I really feel like I’ve told him about this before. But he reacted as though it was his first time hearing it. Maybe I’ve told so many other people about it before, I could have just assumed.. or forgot… I don’t know.

So, it happened when I was five or six years old. Definitely not four, definitely not seven, but I can’t remember if it was five years or seven when this happened to me.

We were just playing a game. I was having fun. I don’t remember why I wasn’t wearing underwear, but all I had on was a night gown. Like a long sleeping dress thing. We had two plastic chairs in our living room, facing one another. My brother sat in the one closest to the kitchen and I sat in the one closer to the hallway that led to my mom’s bedroom. They were probably about three feet apart.

It feels so negative talking about this today.

My brother wanted me to tumble out of the chair I was in, and do a headstand when I got to his chair. So I did. He was ten years older than me and I always felt closer to him than any of my other siblings. That didn’t change after this happened, and I don’t know why.

So I was in my little plastic chair, and I did a forward tumble on the floor, it was so easy for me back then. I was always tumbling. And when I got to his chair, where he was sitting, I initially had a little trouble getting into a full, upright headstand. But with his help, I quickly mastered it.

He held my legs so I wouldn’t fall.

Once I got really good at the headstand, he gave me an added challenge. Could I tumble to him, go into the headstand and do a split upside down without falling? Sure I could! I had mastered the headstand (with assistance) and nothing felt beyond me. So I rolled, did the headstand, opened my legs into a full split. And then felt something.

I didn’t address it at first. I didn’t know what was going on, really. To be perfectly honest, I thought all these years (28 years) that it was his finger I felt. I realized only recently (and this is probably why it has been bothering me so much lately) that it was his tongue I felt.

After the headstand, I was supposed to tumble back to my chair and get ready to tumble again. I paused for a second this time, and then went ahead and tumbled back to him to do another headstand. I felt it again.

When I tumbled back to my plastic chair, I stopped and said, “Don’t do that thing this time.”

He agreed and he didn’t do it again.

I don’t remember how long it was before I realized I should tell someone, but when I did, I told my mother. She was the most prominent authority figure I could think of, or that I had access to. The consequence she gave my brother was… to sit on his bed.

He and I, along with my other brother and my older sister, still shared a bedroom. the girls’ bunk beds were on one side and the boys’ bunk beds were on the other. And all he had to do to atone for what he did to me, probably a kindergartener, was to sit on his bed.

Back then, I felt this was just. Sitting on our beds was something we didn’t want to do. It’s why our mother made us do it. Growing up, through my adolescence, my teen years, my twenties, I remembered what he did to me. I never forgot it. But our relationship never changed. In fact, we stayed close. I might go so far as to say that he and I are the closest of any of our siblings.

I spoke to him today, in fact. But this molestation was heavy on my mind during the conversation. For some reason, only in 2018, almost thirty years later, I am finally disturbed by this memory.

I’ve seen documentaries in which abuse victims suddenly remember something decades after it occurs. But this isn’t like that. I never forgot this. I just didn’t feel as wrong about it as I do now. I don’t know why I’m suddenly able to see that my oldest brother molested me.

Now, when I say our relationship stayed the same all these years, I don’t mean that I forgave him or thought what he did was okay. I just mean it was never brought up again. By anyone in our family. I never confronted him, and for the most part it was out of my mind. It was out of my mind, until he started dating my best friend when I was nineteen.

We were just out of high school. I didn’t mind the fact that they were dating. I was a little hard on my boyfriend at the time, because my brother was taking my best friend out to dinner and they were going to the fair and seeing concerts together. My boyfriend and I never really went anywhere. So I was jealous.

One day, I was at my boyfriend’s house (we all lived in the same city), and my best friend and brother’s girlfriend came over. She had some concerns she wanted to express to me. She said that she and my brother were having sex, and for some reason he always wanted her from behind. That didn’t seem that odd to me, but what she said next… did.

He always wanted her to wear her hair down when they were having sex. I was notoriously afraid of people seeing me with my hair up, so it was always down. This coincidence did not escape her. But even more erie, she told me that the night before, they were having sex and it was very dim in her bedroom. My brother looked at her and brushed her hair over her ear. Then he said, “In this light, you kind of look like Krista.”

That’s me. I’m Krista.

Now my friend and I were always mistaken for sisters or at least very close relatives when we were in school. This wasn’t a huge surprise that someone would say we look alike, but it was a little off-putting that my brother said that to her, and when they were in the throes of passion. My brother who molested me.

As my friend was confiding in me with all of this, something specific came to mind. Just a few days prior to this conversation we had about my brother, he came over to my house. I still lived with our mom. I was in the kitchen, standing on a chair, looking in the cabinet above the stove for some spices for what I was cooking.

My brother came into the house and walked straight back into the kitchen. He approached me, standing high on a chair in a long skirt, stretching far so I can reach the back of the cabinet, and he said, “You are the perfect woman.”

I played it off.

I played everything off all the time.

I grabbed his chin and told him he was sweet, then I got down from the chair with the spices I was looking for in-hand.

There is more.

A few short months later, my brother and my friend were broken up and he had moved on to a woman who worked with my mother. She was quite a bit older than my brother, whereas my friend was quite a bit younger. I liked them together. I thought they would make a great couple.

He came over to my house again. He was no stranger at my mom’s house. I had one of those old flip phones with the tiny screen that showed the time when the phone was closed. I had my tiny screen changed to a picture of myself with my little boy. He picked up my phone, looked at the picture, and said, “You kind of look like [my girlfriend] in this picture.”

Instantly, I thought of my friend and what she told me he said to her one night a long time ago.

Now, our mom has died and my brother and I stay in touch via social media. I am not in touch with any of my other siblings. Nor do they want to be in touch with me. For the last several years I have been grateful that my brother wanted to talk to me.

He and I don’t look alike. We have different fathers. His dad is white and looks just like him. I look just like my Asian father. We share a mother, who was 1/4 Choctaw, and mostly white.

Today, while I was talking to my fiancé about him, I wondered aloud if I should ever confront him and tell him that I have always remembered what he did to me. I wondered what would come of it if I did. Would my life get a little better? Would it relieve anything in me at all? Would literally anything change?

Anyway, this is why I’m here.

There is a lot of this kind of trauma in my past. Much of it is in my not-so-distant past. I can see and feel how I am still affected by all of it. What I don’t know is how to get past it.

I’m really thankful, though, that I have my fiancé, my three kids, and my in-laws. I’m so serious when I say that I came into this new family as damaged as a person can be. I tried my best to push everyone away from me once I felt like they were getting too close. it worked for a little while, but I was only hurting myself. When my fiancé and I reconnected with his family, they accepted me again and I really feel like I only learned what real, pure love was when I became a part of this family again.

Thank you for reading.