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someone who was abused: a man in his forties with a graying beard and thinning hairline, a bit overweight and fairly withdrawn from those around me.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.