I am aware that there are some other things to deal with, to say the least. I am aware that over the course of the last year, I have mostly worked through death and grief ad there is this whole stream that I have probably barely touched, and that is every part of the abuse that has to do with sex.

I have worked out the broad strokes of that, but not the details. All that matching up of things that I talk about I have only just managed to approach.

I can only hope it will be easier because I am better at processing emotions of every kind now. I can only hope this year will be easier than last year. I can only hope that at least one stream has been worked out some at least and I don’t have to do them both together entirely from scratch.

I have some of the sense of both elements: that they were totally shattering, so horrifying and sense-defying that it seemed I could not live beyond them. My brain was never going to arrive at the next moment, because it could never grasp the last one.

As an adult, I can make sense of it, but that does not actually change the memory of it. That does not mean I can remember being five and having no concept why my dad would want to string me up from the roofbeams and then get off. When you’re five, you only just grasp that sex is something mommies and daddies do and you aren’t even entirely sure why they do it. Someone may have mentioned that it feels good, but it makes you want to throw up. Even if the same parts of your body feel good, you still want to throw up. Why does your daddy do things that make people want to throw up?

It’s totally head-breaking and, unlike homework you find too hard for you, you cannot run away from it or refuse to do it.

The other thing you can’t figure out is why you go along with it. That is head-breaking too. You have no concept when you are little of compliance or how that works. You have no idea even, probably, that you are scared. The scared feeling is shut away. It has to be. That is part of the compliance. No one wants you to be scared, unless scaring you is their particular thing, so mostly you are not.

You have no idea that is literally life or death that you trust the adults in your life, because if you cannot trust them, then the bad ones will destroy whatever is left of you and the good ones will fail to protect you. You don’t even understand that there might be two different categories of people ones: helpful ones and malignant ones. You just do what they say, because you are scared and that is what scared children do.

It is wired into you.

That isn’t part of the memory. That is the adult making a memory out of it. The child remembers having her head broken in by the impossibility of it all and the way none of it even makes sense. You know what sexy ladies look like. You have seen them on TV somewhere. You are not one of them. You are five years old or three or thirteen or whatever and you are a long way from that.

The child remembers, too, the anguish of it. She remembers wanting to cry out. She remembers wanting to beg, and she remembers none of these things happening. She remembers the silence of it, the way her feelings can never be articulated or said, either during what happened or after. She remembers that as being headbreaking too. The child has no sense of why it cannot be articulated or that speaking is scary.

She does not know that society often blames the victims. She feels that, but does not know it.

She does not realize that the adults in her life appear to her to be larger than life, more powerful than others, and immune. She does not realize it seems this way because they are breaking the law and getting away with it, and they have been doing it for a long time. She does not realize when you are little this seems to be a reasonable conclusion: they are stronger, smarter, better than others. Not they have been lucky for a long time. Their luck might change as the soon as the first little girl tells on them.

She does not realize that no one has helped her and so she does not expect help.