Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Stolen images. Stolen innocents.

On January 10th, 2012 I received an email containing images of me as a child.  Those who regularly read my blog and happened to catch entries before I deleted them witnessed my subsequent breakdown.  I was sitting in my car after my DBT class when I decided to check my email on my phone.  I opened an email from a really horrible name @hushmail.com.  The subject was "You make me sick."  I clicked on the weird message, and the attached photo and became frozen.  I literally could not move.  I could not look away.  I couldn't breathe.  On the 10th day of 2012, I learned that I was in child pornography.  To say I freaked out is...  Well I don't know what it is, but I exploded and melted until there was nothing left.  I sat in my car until I could breathe again and then drove around the block to a grocery store where I purchased razorblades and vodka.  I drove to a park, planning to drink until I disappeared, but the magic liquid in that glass bottle didn't make me disappear.  The more I drank, the more lost I felt.  I became nothing but raw emotion.  I was swallowed up by my past, flashbacks, insanity.  I sat in a park,, drinking, slicing my skin with razorblades, and praying that someone would come hurt me, beat me up, kill me.  I sat there like that until I walked home and passed out around 4AM.  

I received three more photos after that and have had to deal with people from the FBI and LAPD.  Today I learned that the IP address of the computer that sent those photos is in Arizona.  Not a surprise, but still painful.  I feel like a little girl all over again.  I don't want people to know what happened.  I feel so much shame.  So much guilt.  I don't want anyone to get into trouble.  I feel disgusting and sad.  I feel so confused.  I love the people that I'm supposed to expose and punish.  I don't want to hurt anyone.  I've hurt so many people.

I've had my past blown up in my face and drilled through my eyes.  I do not have any memories of photos being taken and I still can't remember, but I think about them all the time.  How many exist?  How many people have seen them?  Did/does anyone know it was me?  If I don't remember the photos, what else can't I remember?  Why can't I remember the photos?  I found myself staring at the photos repeatedly.  Just staring.  Not really thinking.  Just staring.  Disbelief?  Some morbid curiosity?  I'm not sure why I kept looking at them.  It's like seeing it through my 9 year old eyes all over again.  I'm that little girl in those photos all over again.  It's hard to believe how little I was.  It's hard to believe how much bigger his body was than mine.  It's hard to believe I was part of that.  It's hard to believe I didn't tell anyone.

I want to remember but I don't want to remember.  I don't know what I want.  I wish I didn't ever find out that there were photos taken and I wish LAPD had never told me that I was now a "known victim."  I did not want to know that they had seen me before.  People have been calling me a liar my whole life and there have been times where I started to think that maybe it was all in my head.  While being called a liar was extremely painful, it offered some comfort in a weird twisted way.  Maybe they were right.  Maybe none of it really happened.  If it was all a bad dream then maybe I'd be able to wake up.  Maybe the flashbacks, panic attacks, and cutting would stop.  Maybe I'd stop jumping at abrupt male voices.  Maybe I'd stop being afraid of men.  Maybe I still had a chance at being sane and normal, and a little less fucked up.  Maybe I'd stop wanting to die.  These photos take all that hope away.  These photos bring extra pain.  These photos are undeniable proof that my nightmares are real, that the monster under my bed is real.  The monster that lives inside me is real.  That I can't wake up.  That these flashbacks and panic attacks, and horrifying dreams are here to stay.  That I was really part of some really horrible, disgusting things. That I will always be fucked up. 

Discovering that I've been part of child pornography adds a whole new level of pain and destruction to my history.  I feel violated and exposed in ways that I didn't before.  Those images are out there forever.  I feel so confused.  So ashamed.  So sad.  So angry.  So disgusted.  By the situation and by me.  I feel so sick and dirty.  I feel so much more shame and fear that people will find out and judge me.  I was forcibly raped and it was captured on film.  I was willing and it was captured on film.  I used it to get attention and it was captured on film.  I was in so much agony and it was captured on film.  I enjoyed it and it was captured on film.  One of the most confusing, traumatizing, and painful times of my life has been frozen in time forever.  It can never be erased.

The most intimate and vulnerable part of a person is their sexuality.  The most intimate and vulnerable part of me was exploited and exposed for everyone to see and it will continue to be forever.  The most intimate and private part of me has been captured in images forever.  It is the part of me that I'm supposed to give to people I choose to give it to.  It's supposed to be the way I connect with someone.  The way I love my partner.  It's supposed to be my choice who gets to see that part of me, but I no longer have a choice.  It has been stolen from me.  It was stolen first by my foster father and it is being stolen by everyone that looks at those photos.  My foster father stole my sexuality and my body from me and those photos will continue to steal a little bit from me for the rest of my life.  I will forever be wondering about who has seen them, who is looking at them right now.  Who is enjoying them.  Enjoying all my pain and shame.  How many other little girls are being hurt by them, because of them.  Because of me?  I will forever feel guilty that I didn't tell anyone.  That I let it go on for three years.  That I didn't prevent anyone else from getting hurt.  Those photos document one of the most painful, shameful, and confusing parts of myself and every time someone looks at them, they steal a little bit of me all over again.