I wrote this as an addition to the childhood abuse post, but it became long enough that I may as well make it its own post. The first addition is about my dreams in elementary school. The second addition is about sexual orientation/identity.
Addition: In elementary school, I had dreams at night about how he and I were at war. In real life, I used to set up bells and stuff so I could hear if doors were being opened. I positioned all of my stuffed animals around so they could see every corner of the rooms, like that would protect me. In my sleep, we were at war and he was trying to kill me. I’d have to trap him or kill him first. It was life and death.
So I never really thought much of any of this until I got back from college with a mental breakdown and everyone was questioning why this had happened and on and on. That’s when they started asking me all these questions and learning more about this time period. That’s when I was diagnosed with prolonged PTSD, depression (again), anxiety disorders, etc etc. But really, I’m not convinced this played that big of a part. I think it did set me up to be in such an unhealthy relationship as what happened out in college, but I don’t think it extended beyond that. It was just life and it’s a part of me. Maybe it wired me to be more anxious, more sensitive, more observant of certain things. But I don’t feel damaged by it. Just different. But I was different to begin with.
It’s not uncommon for people with Asperger/autism spectrum disorder to experience ‘abuse’ and not think to report it or really notice that something is out of place. I was already different and I think that’s the point. (Here is a link for you to learn more, from Disability Studies Quarterly journal.)
Additional Addition: He also did verbal experiments to try and make me grow up to be a lesbian. For a stretch of time, he only called me “Lesbo” and talked about me as a lesbian and stuff. So even though I went on to middle school and never saw him again, I spent middle school wondering if his experiment was going to be successful or not. I kind of hoped it would be, because I was rooting for him. But I never found a female attractive. I never found a male attractive, either. I found nothing attractive and had no sexual interest in anything or anyone until I was like 22 years old or so (I was EXTREMELY averse to anything sexual until around then, actually). But I used to be quite concerned about it and always wondered if I liked whatever female as a friend, or more than a friend, or etc. etc. For some reading on this, here is a link to an article on Sexual Orientation OCD thoughts.
Besides, this person had already made me ashamed of my self and body in every way possible and ashamed of being female. I believed I was supposed to have been born male and often wondered if somehow I was actually born with two genders and my parents chose the wrong one. In my dreams at night, I was nearly almost a male character. Sometimes I was even dating a female in my dreams. This sort of thing still happens — I’m often male in my dreams.
The difference now is, I don’t care. None of it matters to me. I’m just a human. These things used to cause me a lot of anxiety but now, it wouldn’t matter to me one way or another. I’m not an exceptionally feminine human but I’m not masculine, either. (I started letting coworkers dress me in feminine clothing a few years ago, in one of my attempts to fit in better. And I try to get my hairdressers to give me a feminine style, to fit in better.) My favorite person in the entire world was my best friend in 12th grade, and he was a male, but had a lot of feminine qualities. Neither of us really fit our gender roles that well and it didn’t matter one bit. He is the only person on this planet who actually made me feel like I fit in and I knew he loved me exactly as I am. He’s the only one who’s EVER looked at me and I KNEW how much he loved me. I lost him when I had my first mental breakdown.
For me, that’s actually the biggest tragedy in my life – losing him as a friend. I can accept everything else that has ever happened in my life, but that one cuts to this day, even though it was more than a decade ago.
In college, a girl did ask me out, but it was in the midst of my breakdown and I didn’t have any mental energy to deal, so I said no. I couldn’t allow anything into my life. She had been my best friend the year before but I wasn’t sexually attracted to her. Still, I probably would have said yes under normal circumstances. Because I’m still rooting for him to have succeeded in his experiments.
(*OCD note: This is Topic#023, which I am making myself use, and that’s a big deal for me. I’ll be writing about OCD numbers someday.)