Sam had a hard day yesterday.

It as a lovely morning. I think I was myself. I can’t remember. I did the usual things and then, around seven, with ice still frozen in the road and the grass still coated in white frost, I took a walk down to the holy site. It was a nice walk around. I wanted to walk longer, but my feet turned to ice blocks.

Then I came home. I was Charlie for a bit. He was sad at coming to understand how badly he was hurt. No one touched him—that was not his role—but what he had to do to others hurt him just as much.

Then I went to the toilet. And I wouldn’t mention this, but it was the pivot point for Sam’s whole day.

So I was Charlie and I’m in the toilet and I look down and there’s blood. Which is not a tremendous surprise to me, but it is for Charlie. He’s not happy about this. He knows what this means, and he is alarmed. But it does not remain that way.

Sam pops in, and Charlie was dismayed, but Sam is terrified. Sam can only think of other things that made him bleed. Brutal things. Things that no one should do to anyone, let alone to a little child.

Sam’s equation is simple: Inside parts are for putting things in and making him hurt. The blood is proof of his inside parts. Ergo, someone is going to make him hurt.

He doesn’t want inside parts. He wants someone to take them away. He cannot fathom any other way to stop hurting.

He is two.

And so we watch cartoons for a while. He listens to lullabies. He is pleased with himself because he downloaded a new cartoon, and although I help him with these things, he sees it as something he is doing. And he’s proud of himself for learning how to use the computer.

So he’s okay.

I go for a bath. In the bath, because he is still half-there and because he is again aware of the body, I try to explain to him about girl’s bodies.

He is terrified again.

Nata had a baby inside her and they took it away and died it. Are they going to take me away too?

Sam is little. The difference between himself and a fetus seems small to him.

Again, it is necessary to peel him off the ceiling.

I had not remembered Natalya’s abortion exactly. I remembered something, but it was entirely incoherent. It seems whenever my language skills were exceeded by the content, the memories are like this, because I am trying to use pictures in my head to leverage my comprehension. I cannot construct a coherent narrative of what is being said. I can only throw up pictures of the fragments I am able grasp. What I remember are those pictures. There are other experiences that really happened that are incoherent also, but they are incoherent in a different way.

The Kamchatka memory was like this, and the abortion memory is like this. Except that the abortion memory is frightening. It was, first of all, one more thing done to her body Natalya did not get to choose. And, second, it was a scary medical procedure she did not completely understand. So I am frightened listening to her describe it. I am frightened that she is in pain and she is crying. And I am sad because I had come to love that baby—or at least the idea of the baby—growing insider her too.

Sam is sad then. He lies in bed for a long time. He sleeps. He just wants to cuddle under the blanket.

We get up at last because it is past lunchtime and he is hungry.

All is well for a while. I make lunch. I have a nice cup of tea. I make rotis in case anyone feels like punching dough. I made them yesterday too. They are edible today. Yesterday they weren’t quite up to that level.

Then it is time to deal with the whole menstruation thing again. Which is fine, except Sam is evidently very interested in this and he pops up again. He is not terrified. This time, he is very excited.

Aunty aunty aunty aunty

He wants to chat with my friend. He wants to know if he can make a baby like Nata did. I have no idea where he’s going with this at first. But he is thinking maybe he can kind of push reincarnation along. This turns out to be impractical. But in the course of the conversation things inside comes up again. He is terrified all over again.

For him, the whole world is populated by individuals who want to put things inside him and hurt him. It is not just a bad daddy who wants to do this or a bad Yuri. It is absolutely everyone.

The scale of the abuse makes it incredibly hard to deal with.

He shuts down and decides not to talk anymore. He cries for a while and switches out, but I can still feel him there in the background. I can feel how sad he is, and I am sad too. It is hard to grasp, as an adult, exactly how malignant the world was that I grew up in, exactly how hateful and how harmful it was. It seems it cannot possibly have been that bad.

But it was.

So again I play lullabies for him. Eventually, he emerges again, very fearfully. This is what he says:

People are supposed to put things inside and I am not supposed to break.

It is his fault he hurt. It is his fault being raped damaged him. But being raped is the natural order of things. The problem is only his pain.

He gets it eventually though. He gets that his daddy was bad. It is not really everyone that wanted to hurt him. Many people did, but daddies are supposed to protect their children from bad people, even if there are a lot of them. No one protected him from anyone. He was placed instead right in the center of evil. He was hurt because his daddy failed at doing everything he was supposed to do.

Then he cries a lot. He wants a good daddy.

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