Trigger Warning: Contains information about sexual harassment & sexual assault which may be triggering to survivor. *For the purpose of this post, I’m using gender specific terms as those were the terms used when I was taught about these misconceptions.
It is scary, now that I look back at all the things I was told as I was growing up.
As a little baby, our minds and thoughts get filled with stories, information, experiences of all sorts that fill the white pages of our mind. Then education comes in, and help us fill the gap between the information we learned by connecting new dots and breaking the dots leading to misconceptions. But when it comes to sexuality, where is the education that help break the path leading to misconceptions?
Misconception stains our mind. Even the most magical erasers can’t completely erase it. They have been carved. Deep. I wish it was as easy as pressing the delete key, but no.
For me, these stains trapped me from walking further in my life. It sealed my voice and forbid me to be who I could have been.
- Rape is only when a stranger forces you into having intercourse with them and threatens to kill you if you don’t.
- Sex is a drug that you should not touch.
- Women are born to please men.
- A man will not love a woman that has been “broken” by another man prior to marriage.
- If a man needs you and loves you, pleasuring him when he wants it should be your priority.
- A man will stop loving you if you stop providing him with sexual pleasure.
- Saying no is a sign of disrespect.
These were my stains from the age of 6 to 20. These were the things I was being told and taught during my childhood.
There are more. Many more. But these were the ones that bruised me the most.
It made me accept rape for what it is and it made me remain indifferent about it even after experiencing it. Why? Because ignorance. Because I thought the person had to be a stranger to be called rape.
But who taught me otherwise? I was only a child…
It was only after learning the real definition of rape, which is:
At ANY point, during any act in which your body is violated or utilized for someone else’s sexual gratification — be it via genital or oral penetration, or more ambiguous acts such as being made to feel another’s body against your wishes, et cetera — if you have made clear, even as simply as saying no once or pushing the other person away, even as simply as NOT actively participating and NOT saying yes, that you do not wish to be sexually engaged or used, and have been forced, through physical force, coercion or threat to do otherwise, you have been raped, sexually assaulted or abused. – Definition from Scarleteen.
that I’ve came to the realization that I’ve been raped more than countless times. Orally, vaginally and anally. All by people that I’ve treasured dearly, and people that I once considered friends. I always thought it was just a thing men would do to me because they “loved” me, but I never thought that what these people were doing was actually violating my body. Well, they never threatened to kill me, so how would I have known.
I remember I used to feel bad about myself when I tried to force out a little “no” out of me. They loved me, and provided me with all the care, and all I could give them back was a “no”.
I was taught that it was disrespectful to not provide it, especially when a man that loved me so dearly needed it. So how dare I say no? And these men, they didn’t hesitate to remind me of my disobedience. Then, all I was able to do was close my eyes, and silently let my tears run down my cheeks. I had to accept whatever was going to happen to me. I couldn’t fight back or hit them, because they loved me, and because I loved them.
I felt disgusted, dirty, and extremely in pain. Sometimes even confused. This is not what I wanted, but in my mind then, there was nothing I could have done to stop it from happening.
If only I wasn’t that ignorant back then. If only someone told me otherwise. Maybe I could have walked a different path. Maybe things could have been different. Maybe I would have loved myself or my body more. But that’s all the past now.
I’m writing this post not to talk about the experiences I’ve had – I’m not ready for that yet – but I’m hinting out glimpses of events because I want you to see how dangerous this combination of ignorance and misconception can be, especially for children that are being secretly taught these misconceptions.
The worst is that these children can disguise themselves so well. The mask they put on their face is to perfection. I know it, because I created one.
This community has helped me get over this past, create new path, and connect new dots to what sexuality really is. This community has helped me dim the stains in my mind and carve new images out of the ones that polluted my mind.
But it took me a long time to realize this deadly combination.
And you, that is out there, still living in ignorance and pain, I want to tell you that it is ok to beignorant, but don’t shut yourself up. Gather up your courage and seek out for information. When you start feeling that something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. Trust yourself, and believe in yourself. Believe that what you are feeling is real.
And…I don’t know if it’s even possible to spot a mask on a child’s face, but if by some miracles you do, please break those misconceptions.
Misconception and ignorance carves a deep hole, and the longer it takes to realize this, the harder it is to dig out of the hole.
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