Hello blog readers, this is Julia.
I’d like to share a story from when the body was 16 years old. I’m going to write mostly from my personal memory, but not everything that happened was when I was fronting, so I’m going to mostly use “we”. I hope that’s not too confusing.
So this would have been in 1999, during our fourth hospitalization. We’d been discharged from our third hospitalization one day after attempting suicide (yes, we were still a patient IN the hospital…if you can figure out how that makes any sense, I will give you a prize). After trying to kill ourself, the psychiatrist from the facility told the parents that we “scratched ourselves” (that was 16 years ago and you can still see the scar running up our left wrist….some “scratch”. Fucking asshole.) He also told the parents to kick us out and let us fend for ourselves. The parents apparently didn’t think this was a good idea (although they eventually did kick us out for being gay) so they asked the mother’s parents if we could live with them. They said yes, so when we got back to town all of our things were at the Grandparents’ house. The mother’s childhood bedroom was now our bedroom. (Talk about repeating the cycle).
That lasted from Monday until Thursday, when I got really out of control and took all of our prescription pills and overdosed. We had to go to the Emergency Room (again) and this time the school psychologist (the person we now call “Mom”) helped us get admitted to the state hospital instead of being sent back to the private hospital that just discharged us even though I’d just slit our wrist open. The private hospital had been threatening to “send us to the state ward” which was apparently much, much worse.
Which, whatever, it wasn’t great, but it was better than the damn private hospital. The private hospital was fucking awful. There was essentially no supervision there. We did all kinds of shady stuff there. One time our roommate, Tricia, caught our hair on fire after River turned her in for smoking in our room (guess she forgot to mention where Tricia hid her lighter). We also had a lot of sex with other patients and did a lot of drugs. Sometimes other kids’ parents would bring us the drugs. Sometimes this one girl would sneak out through a broken window, get drugs from the streets, and bring them back. She was basically from the streets because her Mom was a prostitute who started pimping her out at like 3 years old. She was a tough bitch, but she never washed her hair. This was all just when we were a minor. There are even worse stories from when we were back in the private hospital at 18 (don’t worry, I will save those for another day..).
Anyway. During the first time we were at the state hospital, they did a “body scan” on us. This means they had us take all of our clothing off except our panties and they inspected our body for scars or marks or whatever else. I remember wearing a light blue robe during this ordeal. We had a large bruise on our left arm, but I hid it from the nurse with the robe. I remember that her name was Carolyn. I think she was uncomfortable with checking that part of my body because of my tits all hanging out, so she wasn’t paying close enough attention to notice I didn’t pull the robe down my left arm.
So a couple days later, a different staff member noticed the bruise. She asked where it came from. I lied. I told her that my “boyfriend” grabbed my arm while we were driving together. Why did I lie? Because the bruise was actually put there by the father. But the last time one of us told a social worker that our parents hurt us, the mother came to the (other) hospital and screamed at me in front of everyone. She called me a liar and said if I didn’t tell the investigator that I lied, they would take our little brother away and put him into a foster home where people would hurt him. So…when the investigator came, I told her that our parents were just “old fashioned” and believed in spanking for punishment. My siblings told a similar story so nothing happened. We fell through the fucking cracks, yet again.
The state hospital staff called the parents and asked if I had a boyfriend and if so, did this story sound “feasible”? The parents said we did not have a boyfriend at all. So then the staff decided I had bruised myself and put me on supervised showers. That means you have to shower with the curtain open and someone sitting on a chair watching you the entire time you are showering. It was awful.
This also planted the seed for us to be known as liars. Which means the staff started questioning the validity of everything we ever said. Including the fact that our neighbor attacked us a year earlier (at this point none of us had told anyone about anything else). But I had told the school psychologist that our neighbor attacked us and she told the parents, so this was a thing people knew about.
One day, shortly after the bruise incident, our hospital psychiatrist came into my room. I was sitting on my bed, reading. She pulled up a chair and then put her feet up on my bed. She said she wanted to talk about what happened with our neighbor.
At first she asked simple “yes” and “no” questions, which I answered because I was fronting during this attack. Then she asked for more details. I really did not want to talk about this, but it seemed important to her, so I kept talking. Then, once I told her that he made me suck him off, she stopped me. She said, “So you’re saying that he orally raped you?” I wasn’t entirely clear what she was saying, so I just blinked. She rephrased the question: “You’re saying he made you give him oral sex?….a blowjob.” Then I was like, oh right….yes. Yes he did.
So then she leans back in her chair and says, “Well if that’s the case, tell me what semen tastes like.”
I did not answer the question.
I don’t know why! Even as I sit here and type this, I can answer that question. But it caught me off guard me or whatever, I guess. Plus I felt confused because once she asked me that I wasn’t sure if she meant HIS semen or just semen in general. And let’s be honest, that shit varies. So I guess I was also thinking, “Well, it depends…” but I didn’t want to say that because I didn’t want to tell other secrets. I felt trapped. And scared.
That was that. She decided I was lying and she called me out on it right there in my hospital bedroom, her gross feet still on my bed, two feet away from me. She told the other staff and they wrote it in our chart. We weren’t allowed to talk about it anymore. It didn’t exist anymore. This violent rape become nothing more than a story told by a very manipulative teenager.
So from that day forward, we were liars. Every doctor and therapist we saw after that was told the story of our lies as a warning for our potential to lie. We were called “Borderline” and this apparently explained our “lies”.
At this point there was no one left to tell, but even if there had been, I sure the fuck wouldn’t have opened my mouth again. Nor would the Others. We’re not stupid. So we went nine years before talking again. Which meant nine more years of being hurt instead of being protected and taken away from those parents.
And it means that, even now, we can never trust that people believe us.