Her parent’s home was ruled with an iron fist by a man who had no use for female opinions. Children were to be seen but rarely heard. Children were accessories to be shown off. Punishments for transgressions were instantaneous & brutal even as a toddler. It was not a happy place to grow up. Her mother constantly ridiculed her eating habits, saying she would end up looking like her cousin J (the relative she admired most in her life who was a very large lady with children in her age range). J was kind & encouraged her to play when she was too terrified to touch anything for fear of being beaten. If she was caught snacking or taking another helping at dinner, her mother yelled she would end up looking like J whose husband left her because she was too fat or she would never attract a man.
At school the boys teased her mercilessly when she developed early. Snapping her bra strap & bumping into her in the hallway to cop a feel were regular occurrences in junior high school. In high school she was surprised by her popularity with boys. Then she found out the boys she had dated were claiming she had been sexual with them when nothing had happened. She was humiliated & stopped dating altogether for a long time.
At 14, when she was caught kissing a boy, her father called her a slut, a cock tease, a whore. Many years later she found out her parents had to get married before her mother was 17 due to pregnancy. At 16 she dared to argue with her father & her mother had to pull him off her before her father killed her with his savage beating. Her boyfriend at the time talked her out of calling Children’s Services & was comforting for a few weeks which he misinterpreted as something else until she tried to break up with him, then he raped her. His explanation at the time was he thought she would stay if they were better connected. She didn’t report him to the police because he made her believe she had encouraged him.
A year after high school while she was working as a model, a stranger attempted to rape her on her way to work one morning. She fought hard & he was unable to complete the act before someone came into the building & scared him away. Although her boss discouraged her, she reported the attack to the police & her attacker was later caught but she never told anyone in her family what had happened.
Instead she ate her feelings. She put a layer between herself & men who might hurt her. And every time a man hurt her she added another layer. It became her safety blanket.
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