Trigger Warnings: This is really heavy and talks into detail about rape, abuse, domestic violence, suicide, mental health, eating disorders
“I wake up
Sweat drenched, quick breaths, panic
Vomit - 23:14/The Onward March (Full Version), January 2014
I never imagined I’d someday go fully public on this. After yesterday’s incident on the bus I tweeted quite a few things, some of it nearly most folks who know me now did not know. There are truly just a handful of folks who know the entirety of it in depth but even then there were a lot of things I did not tell them, either. Except for my lovely doctor team who know everything for medical reasons.
I freaked out a lot of people but there were also some folks who had no idea why I was having panic attacks.
At this point there’s really nothing else much I could possibly lose by posting this.
I hope this helps explain why I am the way I am when it comes to certain things like guns, knives, why sometimes I’m totally fine with hugs and other times I immediately ball up and begin a panic attack, my avoidance of my hometown outside of my birth family situation, why I disassociate once people begin fighting in front of me, unable to watch movies with violence, etc.
For the questions on mental health status I am diagnosed with PTSD, adjustment disorder with depressed mood. Suicidality is something that is closely watched for due to my younger brother’s death by suicide but I haven’t been to my doctors in over a year now due to the lack of health insurance/income.
I posted the full versions to a few things I quoted here but I’m too tired to fix formatting now. I’ll be off the internet for a day or so to really calm down.
Few things to preface:
All of this happened before I came out and transitioned along with my younger sibling, Skylar, so any reference to us with feminine pronouns or references is for the sake of explaining this all.
I am grey ace/asexual. Even now after positive experiences my brain has not changed the way I view people or myself. If I am kissing/anything sexual I do not recognise that it is because I am being viewed romantically/sexually. While I recognise lots of folks see other folks sexually I do not realise in my own head that that is a thing. For me it is a ‘click’ for anything and it may be a single click only or multiple. I guess that’s weird.
I’ve been described as passive to a fault. It is near impossible for me to confront someone who is, say, touching my upper thighs without consent as I immediately shut down myself.
Also might as well throw in I’m queer/trans/poly (if by now you haven’t realised it hi, I’m a transboy/nonbinary peep on hormones since July 2014).
To explain this all I need to talk about my first Defcon.
I was 17 years of age at Defcon 21 the summer before senior year of high school. You can roll your eyes but going to Defcon and Queercon saved my life. I was ready for the end but figured I couldn’t without at least having finally gone once after years of trying to attend Defcon and HOPE.
“-that I found something worth living for. Numbers. Numbers have always fascinated me. Yet this time it was related to something that I was good at, something that I realised could help people. I found others like me who were absorbed by numbers, codes, and questions. I expected to meet no one there but the badges that had strings of numbers printed on them opened up conversations and friendships formed quickly. The idea that numbers could bring people together struck like a firebolt, kindling a fire inside of me.” - Common App Essay, Fall 2013
It was more than being a suicidal teenager.
Growing up I quickly learned that my family situation was abnormal.
“First grade, Miss Schwan–we all called her Miss Swan–educated us about the word “abuse.” My insides twisted and turned, my body numbing as she listed off symptoms of abuse, hoping no one recognized the bruises that covered me.
If only [birth] mother never hit me, if only [birth] mother never screamed at me to kill myself, if only [birth] mother loved me like my friends mothers, then I might live without fear. It hit me then, my [birth] mother abuses me whereas other mothers love their children.” - A Taste of Freedom (Full Version), Fall 2013
Experiencing a computer from 3 years of age and access to the internet beginning at 5 I found solace in the people I met online. It was the only way to cope with my home life and I relished in a world that my birth mother could not touch. I changed handles and identities every year or two until I was 13-14 years of age if I accidentally realised I messed up (e.g. claim I was 17 years when by then I should have already turned 18 years).
Random but lockpicking and finding creative ways to break into my childhood house was a necessity. It was an either I manage to sneak myself in there to get some sleep for the night or I’m on the streets again.
Quite a few things happened in this time period online whether it be a guy in his late 20s tell me we were dating to which folks in the community quickly ran to protect naive little old me and end the ‘dating’ (I thought if someone told you you were dating you were), or the folks who tried to get child pornography of me (again people quickly ran to protect me and double checked to make sure I was safe and that I didn’t send anything).
I was pretty naive and apparently I still am to which I can’t argue back really.
I’m rambling now. A few things to set up the following situation of how I was groomed my freshman year of high school:
“Death never found me. Instead I went through three hospitalizations within four months of my eighth grade year, kept safe from popping pills, sharp blades, and from myself, as they made me gain weight until I hit 101.3 lbs.” - Common App Essay, Fall 2013
just leads to
devouring pills by
hours lingering for
years to take
tolls on my
me” - Effects of Medication (Full Version), June 2013
My birth mother frequently kicked me out, would always tell me to not return, I’d be sneaking back in eventually at nightfall while she was working at the hospitals or passed out in front of the TV. Eventually at some point we’d awkwardly acknowledge I was ‘back’ silently, the room tense with fear on my part to see how she’d react. Then the cycle would begin again.
I was desperate to secure my own place but being a minor and even after getting a job a month later after turning 16 years of age no one will rent to you alone. I never knew if I’d have a roof over my head or not.
Freshman year at 14 years of age I got a message from someone I did not recognise. They said we had already talked before to which I did not recall but they assured me it was them and talked about things we had apparently talked about before. To be fair it doesn’t take much to d0x a kid who posts about things they like and their life online and gaslighting is effective to a vulnerable person. Within hours I was revealing to them about my life and they talked about theirs.
They did IT at a call center for a office supply retail corporation. If you haven’t figured it out by now they were an adult. What defines an adult here? Someone over the age of 18 years who drives to work, does IT support things on the phone, drives back home, talks to underage girls online.
At some point when I was 15 years they ‘asked me out’. Folks in the communities who knew them, many of them former victims who never reported it, began popping up out of nowhere telling me things he had done to other girls: all minors, too. I ignored it all. My close friends also began talking to me about things that person had done to them, too, telling me to get out. I ignored it all. I found out about their little sister who by the time I met her was in mid-elementary school and they explained to me they were kicked out from their mother’s place for ‘just’ masturbating in the same room then being found doing this as she was ‘asleep’. I ignored all the red flags.
To be fair a lot of it wasn’t ignoring so much as a cycle of abuse having already begun. Whether it be being told to block my friends, block the people pleading to me with their abuse stories, I was already under their control mentally and emotionally. A lot of gaslighting.
I needed some place to live and they were willing to move from Florida to Wisconsin so they could be with me. That seemed like an optimal plan to me since we were ‘dating’, right?.
If you don’t know me I like to optimise things a lot. The idea and definition of ‘dating’ had not hit me because I had no reference to base it off of. Definitely not my birth parents with separate banking accounts where my birth father charged interest to my birth mother borrowing money until her next paycheck magically disappearing thousands of dollars in a matter of days. That or the threat of divorce every time my birth father wanted to do something for me to which my birth mother would not allow him to do like go to my 8th grade graduation (and again for the 12th grade graduation but by that point I was adamant on not even inviting them anyways). I wasn’t thinking through on this emotionally. Instead it was logistics of living arrangements and planning for the future. I’ve been referred to as a bot emotionally to which I disagree, I care about people a lot. I guess I just don’t know how to express it in a way most folks understand so the accusation makes sense.
A lot of horrifying stuff happened before October 2011 that I’m still not willing to talk about yet. They flew to my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin right after my 16th birthday. We went to the movies. They put their hand on my thigh. I was frozen. We left the movies early. They took me to the room they reserved and I told them I didn’t want to. I didn’t feel anything sexually.
That was ignored with them forcing their mouth onto mine in the shittiest attempt at kissing I’ve still yet to meet someone worse than them. Pain, screaming into a hand, a bloody condom later, it was time to get ready for dinner. They bought a ‘grown up’ dress for me, ‘grown up’ heels, I had to buy a new bra for the dress. I was told to tell people I was 21 years of age and also throughout the duration of this entire nightmare. Dinner was them touching my upper thighs and crotch. After dinner it was back to the room, the dress pulled up, another bloody condom again. Repeat similarly for the entire time they visited.
I was numb. I felt cold. I felt like something was on me and I couldn’t get it off. It’s a sensation of needing to scrub myself clean and I’m still not clean enough. It couldn’t be rape because we were a ‘couple’ now, it wasn’t rape, was something I’d be told over and over by them.
That first weekend after my 16th birthday was just the start. I had to find work to help them pay for their new room they’d be renting. I had to feel scared and depressed for them that I caused them to want to move to me so I stressed about finding work until I began in November. They moved to downtown of my hometown by the end of the year where I had just made enough to pay their rent deposit and first month’s rent.
After all we were ‘dating’ and this is what ‘couples’ do.
It became a cycle of school, work, school, go to their place, have my clothes removed as they’d stare at me, then proceed with it, I’d be left bloodied by the end. They had to have access to my Facebook account, all of my messages, and texts because that is what ‘couples’ do even if I did not receive the same back. They made sure to block people who tried to say anything to me out of concern or got really suspicious and asked me why I was being messaged by other people. They messaged people posing to be me to thwart their ‘attempts’ at ‘stealing’ me. After they bashed and destroyed their laptop during a fit of rage my laptop was now theirs to use until I could pay for a new one because it was my fault they got mad at me for trying to prevent them doing what was ‘right’ with them having sex with me.
They complained about my weight being too low to be ‘sexy’ as I was in the 75-90 pound range varying. I couldn’t be a ‘real woman’ without hips and breasts to which I had the body of a child. They said my hair wasn’t Asian enough (my hair was a mix of really dark brown and what not) so I had to dye it black. They said I wasn’t pristine enough and always talked about how Japanese women were more beautiful than Koreans.
The first time they hit me across the face they apologised. It stung. Eventually I got used to the cycle of being thrown against the wall, their hands around my throat choking me as they screamed into my face, being beat while restrained and unable to move. This was all normal because we were a ‘couple’ and couples fight. Later on if I got lucky I got an apology.
Am I pregnant
Do I have an STD
If I speak up my life is ruined
I want to die
Fucking slut” - 23:14/The Onward March, January 2014
I really, really, did not want to have sex if I have not made that clear by now. I’m thankful now that kissing was not ruined by this person because they only really cared about shoving their penis inside of my body. If I ‘really’ messed something up they’d force anal onto me and they had to do it simply because it was the punishment for something I did wrong.
Condoms quickly became a memory to October. Did I mention at some point of my life because of my hormone issues/needing to start puberty a gynecologist placed me on birth control to start having periods? Yeah. Birth control immediately worsened my mental health so I wasn’t taking it frequently. Due to never really actually knowing when I was supposed to have a period from having missed pills and being highly irregular (sometimes every few weeks, sometimes every few months) they bought a lot of pregnancy tests.
There was one day they walked me from their apartment to the bus so I could go to my birth parents place. Out of nowhere I immediately felt possibly the worst physical sharp pain in my life. I had no idea what was going on. I eventually got home, went to the restroom immediately. Blood everywhere. And then I saw it in all of the blood clots and tissue.
Genetically I’m inclined to be infertile/miscarry heavily.
I told them what happened, they said I was very mistaken and that I was just on my period in an angry way.
Over time I didn’t realise I had stopped talking to any of my friends for the most part, was lying terribly about how things were going, and I had isolated myself. Part of me wished my teachers at school would report the bruises on my neck that were impossible to completely cover. I always wore long sleeve to hide the rest on my body.
I had no one in the world left besides them, something they’d tell me frequently. I was worthless, I was friendless, they were the only one who understood me and cared about me. They began encouraging me to drop out of school and work full time. I quit doing ballet, jazz, and tap. I stopped going to the youth leadership board meetings for the non-profit I was a part of.
I tried my hardest to leave for a while.
The first time out of many I tried to run away from them they got their two German exchange students at the university to help look for me saying I was having a mental episode or some other excuse. One of the roommates and I did an exchange of looks before I crossed behind the white door into the white room where I was thrown against the wall repeatedly, beat harder than I had ever been in a long whiles, and strangled.
The second time I tried to run away I forgot my backpack with all of my school stuff. I had to go back for it. I was a bad person for trying to leave them and that was the first time they cut their wrist with a knife in front of me saying I caused them to do that and that I hurt them. Then I got beat for it like the first time.
There was the time I tried to break up with them out of many attempts to get out downtown. It was a very bad day, this time they had willingly offered to pay for my lunch for the first time in months, and proceeded to say how ungrateful I was for everything they had done for me even though I was the primary payer of the rent entirely on my own. I was dragged down State Street as people watched, them yelling at me the entire time, to their apartment. I still remember seeing the officer’s car on the street as we turned the corner.
Things kept worsening after each attempt. It became abundantly clear I was adamant on leaving them to which death threats began. We’d both have to die if I left. They were seeking to get a gun once they had money (they swore they were ‘looking’ for a job all the time but it never happened after they got fired from a restaurant nearby) and talked out their fantasies of us both dying. We were soulmates and had to be together, in life and death, always.
The knife to my throat digging in to cut me as they cheerfully talked to me about how it’d all end. Of course this would not have to happen so long as we did not ‘break up’. They really liked to happily talk to me through all of these times on how it’d go down.
I got used to things as it was a daily occurrence. I guess in my head I kind of just floated off into my own world. They got mad at me for that as I no longer reacted and of course it was my fault I was ‘ruining’ it for them. Anal was used rarely but when it happened it was primarily as punishment. To that I just remember staring at the white door knowing it was so close to me yet so far.
It was weird for being yelled at and strangled for crying before, now I was being yelled at and strangled to attempt a reaction out of me. There was of course always the option of punishing me but I guess they were more interested in Asian vaginas because mine was ‘especially pretty’ to them since it was Asian. And a vagina.
I stopped looking at the door as much and more at the ceiling thinking to myself 2, 3, 5, 7, 11…
So now I really quit life all beyond life itself.
Until August 2012 when they mentioned, after seeing a photo of my younger sibling and I together on Facebook, how ‘cute she looked’. My brain immediately cleared and clicked together. I had to protect my younger sibling. Lots of careful planning, I turned 17 years of age that October to which I do not even recall any of it as I’ve blocked it from my memory I guess as I was focused on escaping. It took me to the end of December to successfully get the majority of my things out (as I said living circumstances at my birth parent’s house was not there) without them suspecting anything.
I finally told them at the end of December I was completely done with them. At this point the last time they had seen me was early December to which they were desperate in making sure I understood that we’d both die if I left them. They had the option to either move back to Florida and get away from me or I’d report it. I was bluffing this one, I didn’t intend to report it because I was too scared. They bought it though after protesting to me on Facebook (I knew if I had tried to do this in person it wouldn’t have worked), said they were suicidal and it’d be my fault when they died, etc.
Their own mother messaged me on Facebook expressing how sorry she was for what had happened to me, said she understood, that they needed to get [psychiatric] help and that she’d help by paying me back for half of their flight back.
She never paid me back anything.
While I technically consider in my mind that December of 2012 to be the last of them it was actually not until a few days into January that my birth mother had to drive them to the airport because they complained they were too broke to fly, when they said that they refused to fly because they couldn’t check their bags due to the cost my birth mother paid for their bag fees. Even if my birth mother and I had arguably the worst relationship possible by this point I think she recognised something serious was happening. On New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day I was at one of my childhood best friend’s house with my other childhood best friends to bring in the year together. It was my cleanse of filth number wise.
I was informed by a former mutual friend that they had talked to [my former mutual friend] of putting a keylogger and other tracking programs on my laptop. I was beyond terrified. It’s strange how easily technically competent folks can do things like that even if they’re limited in any other type of creative things.
Skylar was my support throughout this entire period. He got whatever was left of my stuff at the apartment since xe was the only one who could actually recognise and differentiate my things from their things with our birth father as I was too terrified to go back to retrieve my things. Following this for the next year and half until I graduated high school he talked to our birth parents to not kick me out (as much anyways). I refused to go to school and I was a complete zombie. Skylar was there for me the entire time.
Every single failed suicide attempt Skylar was there for me, even if I was sobbing and sitting in a pool of vomit that had projectiled everywhere in the bathroom. The last time that happened strongly Skylar pushed me into the shower, got me out of my vomit soaked clothes, listened to me sobbing in the shower while xe cleaned up everything swearing the entire time at the vomit. Nearly every day Skylar was by my side. I had the best brother in the world and now xe is dead.
I felt like I had been ruined, that I was tainted, that I had done everything wrong in the world and deserved this to happen to me. This was amplified by my birth mother telling me it was my fault it happened, a few former friends who had warned me that they had done things to them or tried to and were angry with me, saying I should burn in hell with them. I didn’t feel worthy of human companionship, thought I should be removed from society, the whole lot. I was admitted once more into the psychiatric hospital where they also dealt with my eating disorders.
Turns out all they did was file the most minimal report possible. I found that out later after certain events occurred and that person ended up sitting in my new workplace at Chipotle after having only lived there for four months. That’s a different story now though and one I don’t want to explain at this time.
December of 2013 at the very end I got tested.
“I never saw you cry so much but I can understand why
Chlamydia - Negative
Gonorrhea - Negative
Hepatitis B - Negative
HIV - Nonreactive
AIDS - Nonreactive” - 23:14/The Onward March, January 2014
And that’s a pretty good short summary of my life in this regard from when I was 14 years of age up until I was 17 years and slightly under 3 months.