A Wart on Your Hand – An Analogy to Sexual Abuse

A Wart on the Palm
Do you know what it is like having a wart on your hand?

I had one on the palm of my hand when I was 12/13, when my father was sexually abusing me.

For a 12 to 13 year old a wart on the hand is a disease waiting to spread. Everything I touched had the potential to spread a wart to someone else. Everyone I touched had the potential to get a wart from me. Everyone who had warts had the potential to blame their warts on me.

I was like Rogue. I wanted to wear gloves, or hide my hand so no one saw the wart. I believed everyone I knew saw the wart. I believed everyone I knew was afraid to get near me or touch me because they did not want warts. I was helped in this belief because people teased me and reacted with disgust to my wart. If they even saw it, if it even came up, they would pull away with revulsion.

Whenever anyone looked at me I believed they all saw the girl with warts disease. I believed they were all afraid of me, and avoided me. Surly I avoided them. I was so afraid I would spread my warts to them.

When I touched a door knob I wondered who would touch it next and get a wart. When I touched a faucet I worried that I spread warts to the whole school. I would try to touch things with my other hand that did not have a wart.

My wart was on my right palm, just below my ring finger. In all truth it was a very small wart. I was about 1/3 the size of a pencil eraser. But to me it consumed my life.

I told my mother about my wart and she did not do anything about it. So I took matters into my own hands.

I looked through my mothers kitchen drawers for the sharpest thinnest knife. Just to be sure I got several knives.

I then went into my room and shut and locked my door. I had to be careful to only do this when my father was not at home, because I was forbidden to EVER lock my door, and often I was forbidden to even shut it all the way. Even sometimes when I was changing I was forced to keep my door open a crack. My dad controlled my door as part of his sexual grooming of me.

I shut and locked my door and felt guilty and defiant for doing it. I then sat down Indian style in front of my bedroom mirror. I took the knife and cut off the top of my wart. It was on my sensitive palm. The cut wart bleed and hurt like crazy. But I felt victorious.

I then dabbed away the blood for a long time until the wart slowed in bleeding. The skin looked different there. I could see that the wart went below the skin. I remembered that warts have “seeds”. I then took my already bleeding and painful hand and dug inside of it with my knife. The wart skin was stubborn and did not cut easily. I dug and dug and drilled and scraped inside that wart. I clenched my teeth, held back screams of pain and had tears streaming down my face. Still I kept digging. The wart was kind of shaped like an onion, or maybe more like a Rose. Several layers of wart centering around a deeper wart “seed”. I dug and dug and dug, until I had a bleeding hole in my hand that looked like hamburger. I could no longer see the texture of the wart, so I could no longer tell if I got the “seed”.

I cleaned and bandaged up the area. I left it alone for several days and then reexamined it. It was clear I had not gotten to the wart seed yet, so I started scraping and digging with a dull kitchen knife again. Clenched teeth, repressed screams and eyes streaming with tears, eventually I found it. The wart “seed” looked like a mini onion, it came out in one sliver. Now I could look forward to a time when I could feel like other people again. A time when I could let people close enough to see my hand. A time when I could let my hand touch things without fearing I was infecting everyone with warts. That time would come when my hand healed and all signs of the wart were gone.

Just to be sure about three days later I once again scraped inside the hole in my hand until I was confident I had gotten all of the wart.

A year and a half to two years later I went off to Highschool and joined Beginning Band. I wanted to play the french horn, so I could make my trumpet playing father proud. I had long since suppressed memories of him sexually abusing me. I just wanted to please him so bad.

I got a bacterial infection on my lip from my french horn. My lips were constantly peeling, inflamed, red and chapped.

Do you know what it is like having an infection on your lips? You have a constant need for chapstick. You have a constant need to touch, scratch, rub the infected area. Then you are constantly concerned that you have an infectious disease on your hands that you could spread to anyone at any time. You are afraid to answer people when they ask what is wrong with your lip, because then they will treat you like you have the plague.

I had that lip infection for about five years. I only sought to go to a dermatologist after my husband recommended it.

All those years of an infected lip and my parents NEVER once thought to consider referring me to a dermatologist.

I was put on a low grade Antibiotic for one month and the infection went away.

I am sure as you read this you can see the many ways these “infections” felt similar to what it feels like to be a survivor of Sexual Abuse and incest.


5 thoughts on “A Wart on Your Hand – An Analogy to Sexual Abuse

  1. The art work blew me away before even reading the story, so intricate and beautifully detailed.
    Then the story, so powerful, complex. I felt so bad for you all alone in your room cutting away, over and over…along with you feeling you had to confine yourself from touching things or else you’d endanger others.
    Even after my eldest brother had crept up in the night and abused me, I spent the next 20 years craving his love and acceptance; that’s all I wanted.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow Grace! Thank you for the complement!
    I am soooo glad I took your suggestion to start a new blog!
    In Kindergarten we had a handwriting exercise where we would trace our hand and try to draw as many little lines inside of our hand as possible. I believe it was suppose to increase our muscle control. So when I traced my hand the natural thing for me to do was start to fill it with little lines.
    Yes, that strong craving to do anything for the abusers love and acceptance. It gives them a powerful ability to manipulate us, and leaves us with a hole that cant be filled.


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