I lived with PTSD for 40 years, after molestation by a Catholic priest at age five. Read my story as I write it here through 2015.

This is a True Story

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Priest Rape as Child leads to bad times with men as an adult

(Mining my journals and finding back story) 

I hate it when my story comes up in conversation with someone I've recently met, because I know when they realize that recovered memory is part of my experience, I will see their eyes glaze over as if now they wonder if they can believe anything I've said about anything anymore.  

This time (Fall 2011) I was explaining to Lana that I'm not the same person I was up until age forty-six or so, how recovering the repressed memory of being molested by a priest at age five when I was forty-five caused almost everything in my personality to change.  It's convoluted. It's why I don't tell many people in person anymore.  I just write it here to tell the world. 

Recovering the memory was, for me, perfection, alignment of a dancer on a barre, as if something that had been bouncing back and forth against a lot of different walls my entire life suddenly became still.  The frenzy that drove me finally came to a stop.  A little after age forty-five I became who I really am.

Lana and I were more intimate than I usually get in conversation, so I told her my sexual acting out ended me up in really bad relationships with men, when I had them at all.  Most of the time I did one night stands followed by me kicking the guy out of my bed the next morning.  I was almost repulsed by guys after I had sex with them, it was that bad.  My story could be an endless stream of one night stands with an X rating, if I were to take it in that direction, but I don't plan to.  

I was describing to Lana how I only fell in love with really mean men, such as Elizabeth’s father. 

When Sasha Filipov and I began having sex in spring 1987, he told me he’d had a vasectomy, so I did not use birth control.  Then when I came up pregnant in the fall and I asked him how that could be, he shrugged and said, “I lied. I lied about a lot of things,” in his deep voice and Russian accent. 

“I lied about a lot of things,” he shrugged, “so get an abortion.” 

Which was not only extremely mean, but also weird, because he and I had held conversations on the topic, and he knew I believed abortion should be legal for people who wanted them, but I’d never get one. 

This man said other things that I won’t put here, then left Thanksgiving 1987 saying he’d be back in January, and never returned, in fact I never heard from him again.  By early 1988 it was real clear I was going to be doing this parent thing alone, although I did daydream that any day Sasha would walk back into my life.  All the way until Lizzie was two or three years old, I was dreaming about him coming back, if nothing else just to see his daughter and be her father. 

Instead twenty years later Lizzie on her own found her dad, Alexander Filipov.  We knew he was among the professional elite in ballet in New York City because the attorneys general in California were heavy in our lives the whole time Lizzie was growing up, trying unsuccessfully to collect child support from him. I was usually getting help one way or another from the welfare state, and California kept track, so they can get it back from me as debt. Probably still today in 2014, if I ever make any money, there will be the state of California asking me to pay back every food stamp I got when I was a single mom in the nineties with Lizzie. I’d work and report my income and it would always be so low, I’d still get a welfare check and food stamps, and it was wonderful. The welfare state actually worked in California up until, well, when Bill Clinton was President, and they decided to dismantle “welfare as we know it” in exchange for some corporate grab without replacing welfare with anything else, but I digress. 

At age 20, my daughter Lizzie went on the internet and found her father and called him by phone at his job as a ballet coach for dancers on Broadway. She had a relationship with him for the first time in her life, talking by phone and texting. She dreamed for three years that they were finally connected.  Then just before Thanksgiving, hmm, he emailed her saying, “I've decided to put that period when I was with your mother behind me as if it never happened,” or something of that level of indignity, which caused her to receive the message that to him, she didn't even exist.   

"Lizzie was even self destructive and crying when she called awhile back," I told Lana. And here I was stranded in Appalachia in a town so remote not even Super Shuttle would come pick me up.  "It ended with me saying to her, think of it as a liberation.  This mean person is no longer in your life.  You never have to interact with him again, that's something you should be celebrating."

She seems to be doing okay now, a few days later. 


I was thinking about writing a book at the time, but of course never wrote it.  The title was going to be, “He Told Me He’d Had a Vasectomy” and the cover would have featured a very pregnant woman standing on a map of the United States, because as I was pregnant and doing temp work in L.A., I made plans to move somewhere, anywhere. 

It seemed like it would make a good comedy, well the line itself, “He told me he’d had a vasectomy,” said by a haggard, bony bloated bulging pregnant woman….

So my daughter gets to be this complicated person who budded out of an apartment building romance in West Hollywood, who upon reaching the age of five, her mother looked at her and started seeing herself when she was five, and then mom started remembering something strange and explicatory that happened to her when she was five years old back in 1953… 

And this whole journey began. 

(Found in a Journal from Fall 2011.  More to come.)

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