In the second part of a Soul’s Code exclusive from the book Sins of My Faith, Marina explains that what seems like denial is self-protection
BY MARINA GIULLIANI (read part one) : “It hit me like a cold slap. That’s when it all started!” I made the connection on a chilly February afternoon, but didn’t realize the impact it made on the last forty-four years until two days later. I’d been in Vancouver, with my best friend of over twenty years, trying to get perspective on my life. We had shared a lot of memories, but this particular piece of my life story never surfaced until after I returned home.
“I never told you this before. . .” I stated bluntly in an e-mail conversation with her, “. . . because it was never a concern and because it wasn’t traumatic, but, when I was a little girl, my grandfather used to touch my genitals. I loved the way it felt, so I never thought much about it.”
“Fuck!” Lori replied violently. “Here I am reading your letter and buried deep down is THIS message! You were sexually molested! No one touches a child’s genitals! Did your mom or dad know about this? Marina, this is huge stuff. No wonder you are so disconnected with the sex thing! You may have thought it was all right then, but now that you are older you must understand it was more than just feeling good. I wish I was there to hug you. This must be awful for you.”
But it wasn’t, so I never really paid it any attention. It cropped up a few times in my past, but I beat it down with a stick, because compared to stories I’d heard from other women who’ve really suffered in their lives I just couldn’t justify making an issue out of it.
“Life’s a joy isn’t it?” I continued. “If someone told me that story, I’d say exactly the same thing, but you’d react differently if it was you. I didn’t say I wasn’t molested. I just never really thought about it or put the two together.
“You know, denial is what protects most of us through anything. Even when I mentioned it casually to someone else, the reaction was, ‘It doesn’t seem to bother you. You seem to have put it in perspective’.
“Now I can finally say it out loud because my dad’s dead and he adored his father, as did the rest of the world. It would do no good to tell any one in my family, at this point in their lives, that the man they thought was so wonderful did this to his granddaughter. I can’t tell my mother or my sister because they don’t need to feel worse than they already do.”
But man, Lori was adamant! “Why is it your responsibility to let your grandfather’s image live on in the memories of others as a person that he was not. It’s not up to you to protect him and the image everyone had of him.”
What appears as denial may not be
So I continued to explain it the only way I could. “My family, like all families is quite dysfunctional on all kinds of levels. In our case it’s a Catholic thing. Unless you’ve lived with Catholic guilt it’s really hard to understand.
I’m not protecting my grandfather, I’m protecting me first, because I don’t want to deal with their reactions, shock, questions or anything else and I’m protecting them second because it’s one more thing that would just bury them in more Catholic guilt. My whole family is very Catholic. You know that!”
And so it happened. I lived with it. It wasn’t violent or unwanted. I’d climb up on his lap. Stroking lead to intimate touching which lead to feeling good and when I wanted to get up and leave I did.
He never pursued me and as I started entering puberty I decided it would stop and it did. For good. I was definitely in control. That was my first real taste of how to take control and keep it. In the years to come I perfected the technique.
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- The Power of Now leads to the Power of Marina
- Forgiveness was my final release from years of pain
- Sex and the single-minded girl
- A brief history of my post-childhood sex life
- A child’s false God