When I broach the topic of my own sexuality and where I am inside of it, I am sometimes told that my state of mind and feelings regarding my sexuality are just skewed by my child sexual abuse. I don’t completely disagree with that perspective. It’s not a new concept. It’s a scientific fact that child rape shatters a human both mentally and physically.
I do however, disagree that’s its skewed. I wouldn’t use that specific word. My whole view of sexuality was formed from being raped as a child. To define my perspective as skewed is implying that I once had a choice to know what sexuality even was. Just as I have had to travel a path of re-programming my DNA back to its authentic thought perspective form, to expel physical and mental childhood trauma, so I’ve also had to do work specifically with my sexuality.
“You see, I’ve never loved my body, but not because my body isn’t lovable. It’s that the natural urge to love myself in any way was taken from me by abusive adults.”
You see, I’ve never loved my body, but not because my body isn’t lovable. It’s that the natural urge to love myself in any way was taken from me by abusive adults. When I say, “never loved my body”, I don’t mean standing naked in front of a mirror and being happy with what I see. I didn’t love my body by not caring how it was used. I didn’t know what boundaries were. I didn’t know that I had an option of saying no. By the time I was old enough to learn I could say no, I was formed into a fearfully compliant and sexual system. I often moved into a space of sexual robotics, dissociated away from the act itself, even convincing myself that I loved individuals I did not love, so the programmed guilt of my sexuality would not plague me.
Growing up in a religious cult, I was taught that my body was a temple. Masturbation was a sin. Females who had sex before marriage were vile, dirty whores. Girls who were caught being seductively raped by much older men were blamed for their own fear and compliance. We were taught that our bodies belonged to the Christian God until a husband was chosen for us.
We were taught purity in conjunction with being raped by pedophiles, who came in droves to backwoods communes full of children; pedophiles who sought healing from the religious ministry, a ministry more intent on their doctrine and accepting the pedophiles into the fold to cast out the “pedophile demon”, than on the safety of us children.
If you think all rape is violent you are wrong. There are many ways a predator takes what they want from children and/or adults. Sometimes it’s soft coercion through gifts and items given, so the predator can later say, “Now you owe me.” Sometimes it’s offering sweets, toys or gadgets to little children. Sometimes it’s seducing a teenager or adult who blindly believes and hopes for love. Sometimes there is the use of drugs and/or alcohol. Sometimes it is taken by force as the victim fights to no avail. The list of ways rape is enacted is long and varying.
The media tends to highlight violent rape when soft coercive rape is possibly more often used. It can leave even the victim blaming themselves. It can coerce the victim into believing they participated and even enjoyed it. It shatters the mind into countless pieces.
Whether through physical violence or mental coercion, when the intent of the rapist is to TAKE for them-self, it is, indeed, rape. It is not a fully consensual act. Children cannot consent to and should not be consenting to sexual acts. It is a violation for which there is no coming back. There is no argument for this. The fact that child rape damages a human so deeply, is proof enough of its dissecting aftermath. When fear or falseness is involved in the taking of anything from another human without their awareness, it is an absolute act of taking. It leaves scars. It leaves a broken body and mind as the predator walks away full and fed.
Shattered throughout my whole-body system, physically and neurologically, I ran through life in many modes. At times I was in fight or flight for days. Other times I was dissociated. I had other states of being come into my forefront as the authentic me wandered and self-moved like a robot behind them. I had no way to gauge what was healthy for me.
I would search many facets of sexuality, from bisexuality to the lifestyle of fetishes and BDSM; to poly-amorous attempts and more. Being a sexual abuse survivor, I had no self-awareness to connect my spirit with my sexuality. I had yet to call my soul back into my body. Instead, sex became a way to both numb and sometimes expel rage and pain.
I had been trained to never say no. I had been trained that saying no would leave me punished and/or shunned. Saying no meant I wasn’t a good person. Saying no meant I was selfish. I had been trained for compliance since the age of three. It was all that my mind and my body ever knew.
Many victims of sexual abuse take a journey through exploring extreme sexuality. I do not blame them or judge them for this journey. There is both a disconnect and a confusion in the mind towards our sexuality when we have been raped starting at a very young age. We sometimes become dominant to control being hurt. Yet, in the quiet of our mind, the pain still exists. We sometimes become compliantly submissive, believing if we give our bodies fully, that we will be loved, often ending up further abused.
I am not ashamed of my sexual past. You should not be either. Let no one shame you, and please do not shame yourself. All my experiences, especially the ones which left me hurt and damaged, with more scars, remnants of my pain left in the hands of men who only cared about their own wants and having visuals to hold for their own pleasure, have formed me into who I am today. This does not erase their accountability for their predatory behavior. Acceptance is merely my path to freeing myself from the hold these sexual patterns have had on me.
I believe deeply in my own sacred sexuality. I now know that my vagina belongs to MY body. I am not a fan anymore of the ideal that sacred sexuality means giving my body away. This does not at all feel in alignment with my spirit or what makes me feel comfortable inside.
I have misgivings about the industry of sacred sexuality. It is a new-age trend rife with predators, many seemingly moving through one partner after another, and charging money to other humans to “free them from their sexual traumas and blocks”. One can only wonder the effect this has on individuals emotionally, especially when they have been severely sexually abused. I see the trends of sexual gurus, and their followers crawling behind them, believing that “free sex” means “healed wounds”. I’ve see the aftermath from those who have awakened to understand they were being preyed upon by ill-intended individuals.
I am becoming very comfortable in owning this personal space. As the numbers of my age rise, the more I am deeply connected to the ethereal strand holding my body together. I have come to many realizations over the years. I have given my body to other humans for the wrong reasons, most of which did not align with my greater good.
Sexual healing, for me, has been learning to say no without fear of rejection and loss.
Healing from my sexual abuse has meant being willing to walk away from anyone who can’t respect the space I am choosing to be centered into, who would still coerce me or place me in a compliant or humiliating position, even after me having said it wasn’t where I wanted to be. Healing has meant walking away from those who may have a hold on this part of me. Healing is putting my body first in health and energetic care. Healing has involved learning to be alone with myself without feeling lonely and loving my body with a healthy perspective.
I dare say be mindful of your intuition, fluttering there below your rib cage. If you feel as I feel, in a space of exclusivity, with no urge to give yourself to others out of a “free sexuality” trend following or patterns of past abuse, don’t let anyone persuade you away from yourself. Do not judge, but more so, do not let yourself be judged for not following along with any patterns of group think. You have the right to be an individual with your own choices.
This poem grew out of this journey, as my childhood sexual abuse has been the deepest wound I’ve had to clean. It is the wound which has held the densest toxins and had the strongest hold on me.
There are kisses invisible
Sent by men who
Stare at ceilings
Dripping with strands
I don’t dare travel there.
Beach town getaways,
Watching watery sunrises.
For such privileges.
Floating to other circles,
Hoping for different hues;
Some call it
‘Being loved unconditional.’
I don’t know what
That feels like.
I know abuse and use,
Sex feigned as passion.
by Vennie Kocsis, 2015
As I am rising higher inside of my own power, I am wielding an invisible sword called boundaries. I reserve and demand the right to say no. I do not consent to being love bombed and flattered into giving myself away. I hold onto my power, as it is my sovereign right to be in full control of my human body. My mind can no longer be persuaded to go against the greater good of my own thoughts and desires.
As it is, so shall it be. Vennie Kocsis is the best-selling author of Cult Child and the hostess of Survivor Voices Show and her live Sunday broadcast Off the Cuff. She is an advocate, poet and artist.