Hi, Geoff. I welcome your thoughts.
For a long time, since I was a child of around 12 years old, when things really started happening, I responded by closing myself up, I learned to wear a mask of indifference and even believed I did not care. I denied so much, even how and when I lost my virginity.
I tried to be like most teenagers I saw around me, not understanding how many of them may have been abused too, and tried to have at least one boyfriend. I realised years later, I had told him I was still a virgin, even though that was taken three years earlier.
I imagined nothing could get beyond my imaginary barrier. Not in, not out. I felt it necessary. I was convinced I would be at the least, sharing the blame for things done to me, or disbelieved.
Later, I would likely be told not to talk about it to anyone, just as I was told following my attempted suicide (I'm going to get another email now!), and therefore had no support then.
& then, learning I could not trust my own father to keep his hands off me.
My (ex-)ste-mother was unapproachable, had been emotional/psychological for as long as I had known her. No help there.
I kept every location where I might spend time separated in my head. Home, school, neighbour's house, anywhere else I spent time. Also within each, I kept events segregated as well. For example, I would not consciously know of how I had been abused at home, while I was at school.
When I left home, I was so into this self-protective mode, I kept doing it. I didn't recognise I was allowing other people to abuse me too. And when I did, it would be months into the relationship. Escape time!
A couple relationships were much more involved, over something like 14 years each, overlapping. One was with a previous Psychiatrist, breaching therapeutic boundaries.
I was barely existing, moving through feeling untouched and as an observer of life. This state of existence cannot and would not hold up forever.
I am sensitive to how I am regarded by others. I had to admit the words I heard were felt very deeply, like bricks flung at me. Sticks and stones, my bum!
So I didn't permit myself to be aware at all.
But wouldn't it be better to find a middle ground, or learn how to be judgemental about how people treat me? I might think, I disagree, or I understand where you are coming from, maybe even take a little on board? All relevant to each situation.
I am not this disarmingly gorgeous cat - I admit: am human, just not happy about it.