The Hollow

Just an old man and his thoughts/feelings about having survived child abuse. I'm just one voice of many who are survivors.

Location: Owensboro, Kentucky, United States

I tend to be reclusive, hate crowds, can't stand loud noise, and talk too much once I know and trust you. I have a 'New Yorker' attitude and accent. Love Jewish and Italian food. I'm Hebrew when convenient and Buddhist when serious. I am INTP. See

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Rules of Engagement

Love is not an easy emotion for me to accept from another.

I have sat here and read the above sentence several times. I want to change it because it is not exactly what goes on inside me, but I haven’t found a better way to say it.

Sharing love with another is not easy for me. Well. . .Okay. That’s better. I can accept love from others. However, it is a struggle for me to trust that love. The underlining doubt belongs to my childhood experience that the human cannot be trusted. I say human because gender and age are not a consideration.

As a young boy experiencing physical and sexual abuse from other boys, I created rules of survival. Stay sharp, act dumb, and keep control. As long as I kept myself within those rules, I was not seen as vulnerable and therefore; I experienced less abuse.

I thought I would be safe with friends. They wouldn’t harm me. So, I didn’t use my rules with them. I soon learned there are friendly bullies. The problem became which ones to trust. The solution was simple. None. Make friends but never drop the rules.

That solution worked as a child, but not as an adult. It creates a conflict I’ve yet to resolve. An emotional relationship with a woman and my survival rules are mutually exclusive.

Maybe I can say this a better way. As best as I can, I never give anyone the knowledge of how to emotionally hurt me. They don’t get “inside” me and I try not showing them how I feel when they do hurt me.

That’s control.

Charles Vella


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hummm...your choice of "rules of engagement" to describe human interation is a very intersting one. It is a very military type of term is it not? It is as though you have chosen to play this game of war, this thing called life, using the best weapons you can find i.e. sharp, dumb and contol. What an intesesting mixture to have chosen and how well they seemed to work for you and yet in the end, control over love...hummm

4:51 PM  

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