The comfort factor of sex
I had heard of a man I wanted to meet. He had operated in the world in which I was trafficked and abused as a young child, as an adult man. Aspiring to be one of the big shots, he reached a point at which people died because of his actions. When he had climbed high enough, he was confronted with the darkness of child ritual abuse of his world. Unprepared for this reality, unable to stomach the abuse of children, he started to back out, not an easy task to accomplish.
I had heard of this man through someone who had wanted to interview me for a while. A therapist, I liked her interview style, and thought we could do both an interview and also set up a meeting with this man. I've never met anyone who has come back from this world. These are the people who are the most far gone, completely absorbed in this secret addiction to power that has the entire world in its grasp.
I was raped by many men, all indoctrinated into the fellowship of silence that exists at the top levels of the power structure. I was given to some two hundred adult men over the course of five years. They were men from different backgrounds, from different countries, but they all had this in common: They were all white, and they all would do anything to get to the top. Many were "beginners" and didn't realize we were being photographed for blackmail. They all feigned discomfort, and it was I expected, every time, that this man would refuse to go any further. I was between six and eleven years old, never looked a day older than my age. I was never particularly tall. There was no way any of these men, no matter how high or drunk, could pretend I was old enough. Not a single one of these two hundred or so, ever stopped himself.
Hearing about this rare person who would have been that man, who would have broken down when faced with the child I was, who would have stopped himself and did stop, was important, and a meeting seemed in order.
It was not easy to travel to the place where the interview was to take place, as I was trafficked there as a child. My memories of that episode are vague, and I feared that I would hit upon vistas or objects that might trigger me into flashbacks and emotional overwhelm. Instead, I found myself reconnected to long-forgotten little comforts from childhood.
The therapist was hesitant to bring this man in while we were interviewing, and even would have preferred to spend the day just with me, and not have him be part of this. But he and I had already connected, and he insisted to her that I might want to have him there, and I agreed, and she accommodated us.
Sitting at a kitchen table of a small farm, the stage was set for the interview. We started the interview without him there. He was to join us somewhere in the middle. It was one of the heaviest interviews I've ever done. The therapist's empathy, and her tears, made me speak differently than usual. I shed my adult self to reveal the child herself, who had experienced these horrors. For an hour, in this safe setting, the girl spoke. I cried for things I was never before able to cry about, connecting to grief buried for over forty years. The atmosphere was safe, the emotions raw, the child completely exposed. Just as we took a break, he arrived.
As I met him outside on the lawn, I was shaking, freezing. He said I must have expended a lot of energy, took off his wool coat, and put it over my shoulders. He was wearing a suit jacket, and mentioned that he realized it might be triggering for me to see him in a business suit. I assured him it was not.
As we walked back to the house, he began talking, mixing heavy stories about other survivors he had met, with information about the elite system, with his own story of childhood abuse, with sexual jokes. Emotionally open and vulnerable, I dissociated. My physical shell remained present with him, one part dissociated, and my adult self took note.
He was also clearly emotionally affected by our meeting, and seemed to want badly to give me something. Behind his impulsive oversharing I could see that his own young boy had been activated, and without connection to an adult self fostered by self-esteem, it is near-impossible to control these parts-escapades.
His presence affected the interview in ways I could never have imagined. When I was speaking about my current service work after thirty years of healing, I felt as though I was trying to prove that I am a somebody. I speak about my work in interviews so often, it was very strange to find myself as though I were weak trying to be strong, because I know my strength - it comes from one place only - and that is my capacity to be vulnerable.
When the therapist asked me what people could do to make a difference, I spoke about the basics of the Unconditional Model I developed, for everyone to look inside themselves, to examine inner power dynamics, and as they melt away, so will the outer power structure change. Again, I felt that my words were not landing.
After the interview concluded, we went out for dinner overlooking a lake. I found myself staring with some fascination at grebes, crested ducks playing on the water, aware of my unmet need to be cared for after this intense opening of the heart. As the man/boy claimed the attention of the therapist, I felt abandoned by her, and I was too open to bring the adult back entirely. When he turned to address me, I expected the little child who had just bravely bared her soul would finally receive the attention and affirmation she craved. He asked what I had learned from him.
My adult self would have answered that I was in no state to put my attention on him, that the child inside of me was in need of comfort and love. My adult self has at times rallied people into changing their behavior in the moment. Then again, I do believe if he had met my adult self, his reaction to me would also have been different - we were both stuck in child parts, activated by each other. The child in me who had been revived, did what she knew how to do, and that was to avoid confrontation, give in, and please the man. I tried to answer.
Minutes later, he again turned to me. I thought: 'Now he's going to give me the appreciation I crave.' He began: "I'm not sure why I'm saying this, but it seems to me that you could try to think more universally when you speak."
I noticed that he was criticizing me. I couldn't believe it. I could barely hear what followed next but realized he was referring to my mention of the Unconditional Model during the interview, for everyone to look at their own inner power dynamics - ironically, as he was trying to dominate me. My adult knew that he was way off. For an instant, I envisioned speaking out on behalf of my inner child, but she was too present and too frightened, and said: "I'll consider it."
Circumstances had me leave the party, much to the chagrin of the therapist who had wanted to spend time together, with just the small crew that had been there originally for the interview.
That night, I returned to the farm where I sat at the same kitchen table, talking into the night with my host, whom I had met earlier that day. Practicing celibacy for several years, I am rarely attracted to anyone, but I did find myself physically drawn for once, and moreover found in our conversation all the validation and respect that had been missing earlier.
The girl inside of me was still present, and she was still seeking comfort. Our conversation got personal, and he shared some things about his private life that revealed, among other things, that he was single. It seemed easy, and possible, to spend the last night in Amsterdam in the bed of my host instead of mine. He seemed moved by me, and I'm not sure if he was so mature that he would have refused a one night stand. In his arms, I would find the love and comfort that the little girl had been seeking all the years she had been abused. The arms of her abusers was the very place where she had found something akin to love. Skin on skin, replicating the nurturing warmth of motherly love, it was tempting to find that love-substitute once again. All the stars were aligned.
Perhaps my host would have refused easy sex; he seems like a really good man. I never found out, because my adult self is alert enough that I would not fall into such a trap. I went to my own bed, and the next day left with a longer-than-usual hug, grateful for my host's kindness.
Arriving back home the next day, I got sick. Nauseous, I convulsed over the toilet, but nothing came out. For six hours, the nausea and dry retching welled up in waves. In between, the events of the previous day played through my mind.
I spent very little time fantasizing about giving the right answers during the dinner with this man, knowing how I had torn my heart open for the interview. I could acknowledge that it was a miracle I had had any presence of mind at all. I could see that this man who thought himself a hero or mentor of mine, whom I had wished would be both of these, wasn't, and I started to feel angry that he had not been more respectful.
Through my anger, and through the support of the therapist who had led the interview, my own therapist and other safe people, the child inside of me was vindicated. She received the love and respect in the right way, through my own deep acknowledgment of her needs and her courage. The man is not my hero, but that little girl is and was always heroic.
Every time I expect a man to emotionally make something right for a young part, I find a self-inflated boy, high on male privilege that covers his own trauma, preventing him from going deeper.
I harbor no hard feelings. He is on his own healing journey, and he will find his way to humility and respect towards those who were harmed by the actions of his past for his own redemption. I hope that he will find the self-love to forgive himself completely, and heal.
In this age, we don't need another male hero, but female strength. Women need only to realize their power has nothing to do with macho-posturing or tough-talking, but is grounded in endurance, patience, and the motherly art of seeing the child in everyone.