People often ask, “What are the long-term effects of CSE?”. Well that’s a question that I could talk about all day. But I am sure people are already sick of hearing me going on and on so.. I have decided to pick out one of the long-term effects of CSE.
My eyes are closed. Not in a nice relaxed way as if I am laying on a beach sunbathing with the sun beating down on my face. They are screwed up tight. Just as my hands are. I imagine that my eye lids look like two walnut shells, all wrinkled and crinkled.
I am not sure that closing my eyes was a good idea. Because now I don’t really know what is going on. All I know is that HE is still there. Because he is talking to me. I am not sure if the lady is still there. I can’t hear her, but I have learnt that just because you can’t hear them does not mean they have gone.
I am laying here, and I feel so small. I can feel my heart beating in my ears. Boom boom…boom boom. As I lay here I start having flash back to the other times I have been in positions like this one. Not the same, you must understand, but similar. I always get the flash back when I am laying in this position. Some of the flashbacks… memories… what ever they are, they are not clear. They swirl around my head and dance in front of my shut eyelids, images and memories of people that had power over me, who should have cared for me but did not, taking advantage of my small size and vulnerability. I can’t see faces but I can remember noises and smells. The smells. I have a thing about smells. They always bring up memories.
Then there are flashbacks that are as real as the day they took place. People making me do things that I did not want to do. Once again talking advantage of me. Hands near my mouth. Pulling at my mouth. I can’t breathe but I will do anything not to open my mouth. Their faces. That’s why sometimes I close my eyes in these kinds of situations. So, I don’t have to remember how they look at me.
This situation I am in right now, I remind myself, is my own fault. My own choices and behaviours have led to this. He is talking softly in my ear. I can smell his breath. I want to get up and run. My whole body is telling me to RUN. Get away. Now.
Of course, if I do that then there are implications. Just as there was back then. For one, money is involved. People can get quite…forceful ..when money is involved.
Oh god, I can feel hot tears starting to roll down my face. They burn as they run down my cheeks. Another flash back…sound this time .. “Do you think we care if you cry.. Carry on… see if my man don’t make you cry for real”
The tear stops. Just like that. A trick I learnt a long time ago.
I am back in the hear and now. “Just open your mouth” he keeps saying. Over and over. He knows I don’t want to. Can blatantly see that I do not want to. But he just keeps on and on. Both he and I know that he would much rather that the person laying here right now was at least pretending they wanted to be here. At least showing they were willing. Unlike me.
Sad thing is, I know I have too. I have got myself into this.
I open my mouth. His hands are too big. His presence is too big for my small frame. I am so small, and he is soo big. He starts to pull at my mouth.
I can’t. I push his hand away and mouth “Please”. Then I can hear her in the room. She is saying that this is pointless.
I start crying. Not big sobs. Silent tears. Tears of failure. He tells me to open my eyes. I do.
The dentist looks at me and tries to smile. “I am afraid that you will have to try another surgery” he says. I go to say that I have tried many and non-can help me, but he has already turned his back to me, getting forms for me to sign. She, the dental nurse bends down as the dentist chair starts to straighten up from the laying down position back up and says, “This is common with abuse victim’s lovey, they can’t get the treatment done and we can’t force them”.
So, I leave. In Pain and still embarrassed of my smile.
And that, is just one of the long-term impacts that CSE victims may have to live with.
So, let’s do all we can, every day, to stop anyone else becoming the victim of CSE.