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Sometimes I don't think it counts

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    Ryan Moulton
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    It’s really difficult to come to terms with the feelings associated with abuse, particularly when you’re not able to fully divest yourself of the blame of the abuse.

    When I was in my late teens, I was homeless due to being gay and not fitting into my family’s requirements of the person I should be. I found myself in a new city, having hitchhiked from a small town to get away. In a time of vulnerability, I turned to someone that I thought could give me guidance and support.

    What I got instead was a situation that I could not control. In a sense, to avoid a violent situation, I sold my body for a place to sleep. The man was older, more powerful, and knew he had control. I was a teenager with nowhere to go but the streets, and my little time on the streets was enough to tell me I didn’t want that life.

    I still feel like I was old enough to know better and should never have put myself into such a compromising position. I never should have allowed him to film me performing sexual acts. I was a minor, but I was not completely dumb, and yet I acted dumb.

    When I finally started to resist, I was tossed out. Unceremoniously, like garbage, thrown to the street. Told I was useless and trash.

    It’s been over 18 years since that happened, and though I think most of the time I’ve come to terms with it, it still comes up when I’m feeling vulnerable. I feel like trash. I feel like a piece of used and soiled garbage.  Weird how those things stick with you.

    I hope that’s not inappropriate to share here. I’m new to the platform and not really sure what the protocol is.  Feel free to delete this if need be.

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