Saturday, November 19, 2011

Unanswered Questions of a Wounded Lesbian .

I’ve always been asked several questions about my sexuality. Questions like “Rina. why are you a lesbian? Or “Rina, why’d you date women and suddenly choose to date men?” You can pretty much say that my life revolved around questions. Questions that I never answered because the answers hurt too deep for me to speak about it.

See, what people don’t know is that being a lesbian wasn’t a choice for me.

Aahhh, I know now you guys are all probably curious as to why. So, since it’s been such a mystery for so many years, I guess it’s time for me to unveil the answers to these dire questions.

Let me take you all back to when I was five years old. I was sitting on the living room couch right beside my grandfather having gibberish conversation with him. He asked me to come sit on his lap in which I willingly did because of course, every little girl loves sitting on grandpa’s lap. So, I sat there and listened to him tell me stories about his life adventures and all the fun things we would do when I get older. As the conversation went on, I could feel my grandfather’s hands slowly move closer and closer to my girly parts, in which you can say is the beginning of my lifetime of sexual abuse.

As a child, I never knew that what my grandfather was doing was wrong because from my understanding it was “nap time” or “playtime.” In a child’s eyes, nap time and playtime was something fun and relaxing and since I was grandpa’s little girl, every time spent with him was special to me or at least I thought so.

This became a daily routine, I’d wake up, brush my teeth, eat breakfast, go to school, come home from school, and then came “nap time.” This went on until I was thirteen years old, unspoken about to anyone.

I can’t forget to mention that while all this was happening I was also brutally abused. From getting locked in dog cages to being tied to railings to not being fed for days, was my life growing up.

Now let me take you back to when I was eight years old. I was sitting on the couch at my uncle’s house. You can say that the couch was the hot spot for me. I was sitting right beside my older cousin and again I was asked to sit on his lap, in which you all should know by now, I did. He placed a soft little pillow on top of my legs and began to fondle me under the pillow. I didn’t think anything of it because I thought we were having “playtime.” I thought in my mind, if grandpa can do it, there shouldn’t be anything wrong if anyone else does, right? My cousin did this on several occasions until I stopped going to his house.

While all this abuse was happening, my father was in the Philippines dying of diabetes. Because of this, at age nine, my two brothers were sent home to the Philippines as asked by the doctor because they thought this would keep my father alive.

Who knew that not having my brothers and my father around would lead to more sexual and physical abuse. I sure didn’t.

At age eleven my father passed away, which led to the beginning of my five long years of depression.

At age thirteen, my grandfather sexually abused for the last time. I remember I was in his bedroom asleep and he came over to me to do the usual. When he was done, I remember us staring at one another dead in the face and it hit me as hard as it hit him that what he was doing was wrong. My grandfather stared at me as if he realized that I wasn’t a little girl anymore. At that age, I discovered that all this time, what I thought was “nap time” or “playtime” was something that wasn’t real, something that wasn’t right, something that was a lie, and I was living in it. And that thought alone sadden me for a very long time.

A year later my grandfather passed away. Although, everything that he did to me was dishonest and wrong, all I can remember was crying and hurting because I lost the only father figure in my life. I never hated my grandfather for what he did because he gave me love that I always wanted to receive from my father, love that I felt was pure and genuine and ended up being a lie.

My grandfather’s death led to an extreme amount of sadness in my life. I never spoke about the situation until I was fifteen when I finally had the strength to tell my family. At this time, no one knew how to react to the situation so everyone acted as if it never happened. My family’s reaction to my experience was one that I didn’t expect. I wanted support and understanding but instead I received nothing.

This led to me hating myself for a very long time.

With the amount of abuse that I have experienced in my life from men and never having a positive male figure in my life, I was never able to trust them. I have always thought, if I can’t trust those in my family, whom can I trust?

I trusted women.

Women to me were my saviors. I stayed away from all men except my brothers. When I was with women I felt safe, I felt love, I felt happiness, I felt feelings that I never felt when I was a child. In a sense, being with women made me feel that I could relive my childhood again.

They made me feel free.

Significantly, they made me feel like I could trust again.

And then came a time when I was twenty-one years old. I went down to Virginia with my family to visit our family priest. He was one of the few men that I grew to trust, a man that I wanted to do my wedding ceremony and baptize my children.

I haven’t seen him in over five years and so I was very excited to visit him and sooner or later it became clear that he was quite excited to see me. The trip went very well but from the beginning I knew there was something a little fishy about this man. I noticed that every time we spoke he would place his hand on my waist, which I thought was odd because I didn’t feel comfortable that my priest touched me in that area. He also constantly kept telling me how beautiful I have grown to become, which I was disgusted by.

The last day of my trip, this man sat me down on the couch, yes the couch. And as my cousin did, he placed a pillow on my lap and tried to touch my girly parts under the pillow. As he was doing this he whispered in my ear and asked me to meet him in the bedroom. We were in front of my entire family and I didn’t want to cause a scene so I got up and removed myself from the situation. He later then tried to kiss me and force himself on me while I was stepping out the bathroom.

This very moment was such a significant part of my life because for once I was able to stick up for myself. To be honest, it was hard for me to deal with because it brought back those emotions I felt growing up. Again, I became a little depressed and until this day I still deal with this problem.

Being sexually and physically abused all my life has taken a turn on me. I deal with it everyday but it is something that not many people know about it or can even tell. I walk around with a smile on my face even when my days get extremely hard.

Although, being a lesbian wasn’t my choice, being a lesbian was my strength, was my source of staying alive, it was my way of giving myself another chance on life.

So, with that said, do you all have any more questions because before you ask them just know that your questions will lead to a lifetime of answers.

Peace Love and Rainbows,

Rinagrace

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