I have spent all week avoiding the news, turning pages, clicking past, closing my eyes. Closing my ears.
But you can’t.
I’ve spent the week trying to avoid the knowledge that I was being triggered, in the most massive of ways, just by coverage and words. It’s like my insides were retrieved and pulled back in time, to another place. I wasn’t that little boy the the showers, but dammit if I don’t remember the feeling of knowing, of knowing without a fucking doubt that someone knew. Someone saw and someone could have stopped it and someone did nothing.
I have lived my life with the knowledge that I wasn’t worth saving. That I wasn’t worth the effort of protecting.
It sounds like the simple choice an adult could make. Get involved, don’t get involved. Walk away. Pretend you didn’t see. Pretend no one if hurting. Pretend there isn’t a little girl naked on film, film in your hands.
Wash yoru hands of it.
To me, it makes you complicit. It makes you guilty, If my eyes had reached to you, much as that little boy would have reached, in anguish, in horror, in terror, and you could walk away, are you any less a monster?
Somethings are just wrong. I, like many others this week, have spent time reliving our monsters, playing it over and over in our heads. The knowledge that we just didn’t matter.
That we were something to walk away from.
I can’t listen about the man who just got 5 years for 4.5 MILLION images of child pornography without wondering if I’m one of those pictures. I will never know. I will never know if the man who took the pictures while the other man directed the action ever felt bad when he walked past me in the street. I wonder if he ever thinks about what he did, about the full impact of what he did.
On bad nights I wonder if he kept them and enjoys them still.
On bad nights, the voice whispers to me that I must be unworthy, I must be garbage, less than some, a null value. Why else? Why else did this happen? Why else was there a cold wet tongue in my mouth at 8, fingers at my chest? Why else are there memories colored by condoms and pain and frigid terror, a red wash to the skies behind my eyes while my body goes rigid and eats it’s own screams?
Why the fuck else?
Why else would anyone destroy a child, if they were nothing to begin with?
I don’t have the answers. But you know what I do have? I don’t trust anyone. I try, and I bind my lack of faith in pretense and poetry, but there is a nagging doubt behind me always, nodding. They will betray you. They will ruin you.
You will deserve it.
I hate myself. Every child who has been touched, every adult who has felt the power leave their limbs will nod and understand this loathing, the scars on my body where I’ve dragged metal through skin, the sudden shudder to my voice. There is such hate inside of me, a burning seething wreck, stranded lonely. I cannot soothe it, or break free from it. Instead I cover it with the cotton of time and walk from it in hope.
And you will never know.
Your skin will turn cold at a lover’s touch. Your stomach will curdle, your breath will catch and you’ll resist the urge to call out your own name in rememberance. You’ll forget the difference between memory and a dream.
As if there was ever one anyway.