I was talking to someone yesterday who got me thinking… I’ve talked about S several times in this blog – she was born to protect the rest of the system from the sexual abuse and to cope with the psychological and physical abuse from the sister. I’ve said that I respect her, but I’m also scared of her – what she holds and what she does. I’m now wondering if is it possible for those factors to co-exist?
Yesterday, I became very aware that I have pigeon-holed S… I am comfortable with labeling her as the “sexual one”, and the one who “lives and breathes sex”. But what I forget when I say that, is that she is more than just “sex”. She has shown this in the past by talking to other survivors and NOT turning the conversation to sex. Another indication that she is more than what I imagine her to be, is one of her interactions with Kriss earlier this year. Yes, that conversation involved sex, but it was discussing the past. She was trying to heal. I wonder how often I have put the brakes on her healing…
I’m not really sure how to deal with this information. I know that I’m not ready to face what S holds. I also know that I don’t have to re-experience every aspect of the past in order to heal from it. But on some level, I will need to face what S had to do. I truly admire her strength and courage. She stood up to the sister when no one else could or would. She has come forward at other times to help us when we’ve felt bullied, so I know she is more than sex. But it’s so easy to pigeon-hole her with that label. The ultimate in irony and hypocrisy – we HATE being labelled with a diagnosis, yet I gain comfort from labelling S.
Realistically, my next step should be to talk to Liz about S. But this will bring up the whole sex issue. I don’t think I can do that, there’s so much shame, disgust and rubbish tied to our ideas and feelings about sex that I don’t know if I can. But I also know that I need to do something. S is acting out in ways that are harmful, possibly as a way to gain some needed attention. If I don’t act soon, how much damage will I do? What is worse, finding out what it will take for S to be heard and healed, or ignoring it all?