Trigger Warnings – This piece is graphic, but they’re words I needed to get out. I could have journalled this, I still might, but sometimes I just need to be heard; I need someone to hear me and understand me and believe me. Some might call it attention seeking; I call it breaking the silence that was forced upon me. I suggest other survivors don’t read this.
I’ve spent the last twenty-four hours or so being half stuck in flashbacks and memories; distractions fell short, feeling the love and the care from those around me temporarily eased some of the pain, but the moment they were gone it came rushing back. It’s been constant, low level. A slide-show playing consistently in the background.
I think I know what’s triggered me, two things actually. One longer lived; my constant denial and questioning of myself. The seeming disconnect I have with myself and my own mouth and words; using words like ‘trafficking’, knowing they’re true on a cognitive level, but inside reeling as I doubt the validity of those words. To the point where my brain’s automatic, C-PTSD motivated response is to make me see the truth; to see the validity of that word, those experiences, by bombarding me with more proof than I’d ever need. The other, a more basic and obvious trigger; researching the witch hunts for a friend and coming across a video. A video depicting trauma, graphic torture, clips from a film that had so obviously been produced by a man; semi naked women being tortured repeatedly. This was more than enough to fuck with my head.
The exact tortures may have been somewhat different (but then again, the deeper you get into the world of kink, the more and more some of the equipment seems to resemble torture devices of those ages) but I know what it’s like to feel pain, I know what it’s like to be tortured to the moment where you’d confess anything, agree to anything just to make the pain stop.
I was always a favourite, I was always considered one of the ‘best girls’ amongst all of those that were trafficked and raped beside me. That’s obviously not something that I’m proud of, just dully acknowledging. I had learnt to severely dissociate before I’d even properly learnt how to write. I had learnt to detach myself completely from my body, block out the pain, dive into a fantasy world, convince myself that what was happening just wasn’t happening. As I got older, I developed this ‘skill’ even more; it was what kept me alive but it was equally what made my life worse. I could take the pain better than almost all the other women there; I could do the extreme things that others simply broke long before getting to; I became a project, a test, a toy, men fought for the chance to see me, to hurt me, to find my breaking point, but I was long past broken, that was exactly why I could take it.
My body looks pretty good for what it’s been through (yet another reason to doubt myself and my experiences – yet another reason for others to not believe me), but I guess bodies can be more resilient than we give them credit for and injuries do eventually heal, even if not fully. I mean, yeah, my knees are still beyond fucked up, as are my shoulders, my ribs never healed properly, my hands lose grip from time to time, I’m in pain daily, scars litter my body, but generally I look better than I should.
My head is swirling with memories today; remembering the torture, remembering client after client trying to break me, trying to get me to scream and cry and beg. Sometimes I would, when it would be convincing, just to make the pain stop, though it rarely did. I’d give them exactly what they wanted to make the pain stop. I became a project, to see what I could endure, to see how far they could push it. Others broke so quickly before I did, they wanted to see how much the human body could really take and I gave them that opportunity.
Beatings, repeated rapes, anal rapes, gang rapes, penetrated with objects – from toys, to anything they could find, to knives; repeatedly drugged, deprived of sleep and food and water, tied and contorted – easy access, pain and vulnerability; the humiliation and the degradation and the shame – being pissed on, cum on, shat on, forced to eat all the above; suffocated – denied the right to breath; whipped, cut, bones broken for their pleasure; forced to orgasm over and over – so they can tell me I like it; pierced, shocked, drowned, sewn shut, burnt, them hurting other women and girls if I didn’t co-operate; forced on the floor, collar around my neck, treated like a dog; recorded for their pleasure – my rapes and tortures put out there for the world to see, still out there for the world to see; tortures I never had the words for, that I don’t care to find the words for, where the memories hurt enough, memories I no longer want a name for.
I just remember pain, over and over. I remember wishing and hoping that they’d just let me die. That they’d make a mistake, push it too far, that I’d just die, that I’d just finally be free from the pain. I did die a few times, but they always found a way to bring me back. I stopped hoping it would be over, I started hoping they’d just kill me. There are still days where I wish they’d just killed me.
To so many torture seems like such a distant concept; something that happened in ages past, or countries far away, but it happens much more than you think. It happened to the girls and women around me. It happened to me.
Girls and women are still being tortured; the persecution of women and girls didn’t end with the witch trials.