Not remaining silent

This is the scariest thing I have ever sat down to write, but what is happening now in certain circles have pushed me towards finally speaking about my life. I cannot remain silent, not with things as they are. I cannot stand idly by as predators are being championed as heroes or defended as victims while the true victims remain in the shadows, not allowed to talk. Now, here it goes: I was a victim of sexual and physical abuse.

This abuse happened shortly after my parents were divorced. I lived with my mother, and she brought her new boyfriend over to our home. This boyfriend was the source of the physical abuse. He was very quick to anger and quick to use force. Thankfully he never closed his fists, but it was more than enough to leave marks underneath my shirt.

My mother and her boyfriend would often take weekend trips, leaving me and my two siblings home with a babysitter. It was this babysitter, an 18-year-old woman, that abused me sexually. I would say I lost my virginity at 11, but it would be more apt to say it was stolen.

These are things that someone cannot just simply erase, because it remains with you for the rest of your life. Anger becomes a way of life, and guilt believing you were the one that had done something wrong. You feel dirty, soiled to the soul, unable to love or be loved, yet inside you feel the cries of the child that can never get the chance to grow up into adulthood. If every adult has an inner child, the child of those abused are continually crying while shuddering in fear while the adult flails away trying anything to somehow comfort that child, or perhaps forget that child even exists.

For me, it was through drugs and alcohol, finding ways to deaden the pain. Once I began down this path, it was easy for me to become an alcoholic and addict, even landing myself in jail a couple of times. I drove home drunk many, many nights and I am incredibly grateful I got nobody killed. I am now sober and have been for 15 years, but there are times when I feel ashamed of those years of my life wasted. Still, I blame nobody for those days spent in a haze, not even my abusers. Those are my mistakes and I own them. I will not give my abusers any credit for anything in my life. They do not deserve that.

For anyone who sees me now, they might not see someone who was abused: a man in his forties with a graying beard and thinning hairline, a bit overweight and fairly withdrawn from those around me. Crowds make me nervous normally, especially large crowds of people I don’t know. I always keep up my facade that I’m all right, that there’s nothing to worry about, carry on, carry on. What’s wrong is within me, the wounds that never really heal. It’s a chronic pain that I learn to ignore through most of my days but sometimes, something comes up that brings it bubbling up to the surface.

But what I know now is that I did nothing to deserve that abuse I received when I was a child. They were the predators, and I was their victim. I am not their victim anymore, though. I am a survivor. I continue to live with what they have done, but now it will be on my terms.

So when people on Twitter decide to protect someone who admitted abusing a child, just try to imagine what the victims are going through. I know you don’t want to think of yourselves being associated with a monster and it takes courage to see the truth. I encourage you to at least try. You deserve to give the victim that much at least.

#Cyberviolence and Actual Violence

After Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn spoke in the United Nations, the world that kept on being bandied about was cyberviolence. Apparently it is the belief that people can do actual violence online. According to the report released by the U.N., online harassment can be just as damaging as gang rape. What does this harassment entail? The answer, according to Sarkeesian, is telling women that they are a liar and that they suck.

Now try and equate those two things in your mind, being gang raped, and being told, “You suck” online, whether it be a tweet or e-mail. One is a brutal act of violence that leave scars for the rest of someone’s life if they survive the ordeal. With the other one you can . . . simply turn off the computer and walk away.

These two things just does not compute within my head. Maybe I’m not the smartest guy in the world, but there just seems to be some sort of disconnect between this concept of cyberviolence and real world, actual violence. There are tools in place for people to protect themselves from cruel words online. On Twitter, for example, you can block anyone from viewing your tweets, and you can mute others so that you do not have to even read the tweets from the offender. There are ways for people to protect themselves from the mean words spoken by others online if they only wish to use them. These are options that just do not exist for violence in the real world.

For me, I had no options when I was a victim of abuse. I could not block the hand of the man who abused me physically. I could not mute the hand of the woman who abused me sexually. Children are missing these tools to protect themselves, not knowing how to prevent the damage to their souls. People claiming that mean words online has the same effect as the literal abuse suffered by survivors is shameful, truly shameful.

Additionally, what is the United Nations doing wasting its time with an issue such as this? There are plenty of other crises around the world that deserves their attention more than this. ISIS invading Syria, leading rape gangs as they tear through the streets. The men fled, leaving women to fend for themselves and their children. There are nations that conscript child soldiers into their ranks. Kids that should be playing games in the yard with their friends are shooting and stabbing others under the orders of warlords.

However it shouldn’t be surprising that the United Nations failed us on so many different levels. This body consisting of diplomats from nations around the world, they have found new and terrifying ways to completely melt down. Just look at the case of Saudi Arabia, one of the worst violators of human rights today.

In Saudi Arabia, men could marry girls as young as 9, while women are not allowed to drive. Public beheadings are commonplace while they hang the headless bodies for all to see. Sentencing people to crucifixion is not a rare occurrence, recently sentencing a 17 year old to die in in this agonizing manner. The government recently decided to arrest anyone who identifies as an atheist as a terrorist. Of all the societies in the world, Saudi Arabia is one of the most backward thinking places you can imagine.

Instead of the United Nations condemning the actions of Saudi Arabia, they placed that nation’s ambassador on the Human Rights Council in a leading role. We have truly reached an age of the lunatics running the asylum, Sarkeesian and Quinn just being two more within the padded walls. Instead of focusing themselves on the real world terrors that are going on around them, they are putting their efforts into this ethereal cyberviolence. If people do not get their priorities straight, horrible incidences of real world violence will be allowed to continue.

Today, October 1, 2015, there has been a school shooting in Oregon leaving 13 dead and 20 more wounded as of the time I wrote this. This is actual, real violence, not the pretend stuff that you talked about at the United Nations. Do the right thing, and focus on what’s really wrong in the world.