I think it is finally time to post my story...
Before I begin, I want to thank Andrei (ak) whose story inspires me and gave me the courage to post my story. Спасибо
мой друг. (I'm glad your English is better than my Russian!) Though I've been a member here for a while, I've gone to one of the retreats and have been working on recovery (if you haven't, your really must try to attend), I could never bring myself to post my story here. (Also, I apologies in advance to my English professors for my writing, but this is a quick overview and not meant to be a work of art.)
My sexual abuse began when I was 6 years old. Surprisingly, and sadly, enough, it was at the hands of a younger cousin (how he knew about this stuff I’ve never asked and am scared to bring any of my abuse up with the family for fear of this particular incident coming to light and bring up his abuse). Between the ages of 6 and 11 I can identify about a dozen perpetrators, almost all teens and adults and more I know only by face, but not by name. Because I was sexualized so early, I think it made me an easier target because I’d respond without as much fear to the abusers' advances, even if I didn’t like it. At 11, I actually had sex with my teenage female babysitter. Up to this point, I still saw most of what was going on as sex play and they were mostly one time incidents. But that was soon to change.
I played football in middle school and was a star on the team. I was twelve at the time and the coach took great interest, but of the wrong kind. I was one of a few boys who would help with equipment (primarily to try to not be in the showers with so many other boys) and he often take showered with the stragglers after practice. He made me and the other guys on the team nervous. (Note: my photo for my avitar was taking during this time. It is a photo taken by my science teacher, I had just won an award for the best 7th grade science project.)
Coach Kirk befriended my mother who thought he would be a great male role model and would further my football knowledge and career. To do that, Coach Kirk suggested that I go with him to scout the upcoming opponents for our high school team. Since we’d be traveling each Friday night and returning, I’d spend the night at his house. The first game, our quarterback and I (I was a receiver and defensive back) went with him to the game. When we got back, Coach kept his apartment really cold and gave Mike and I one blanket to share with the offer that if we were cold, we could come into his room. We used a bean bag chair as a pillow, Mike and I tried to sleep. He, however, was much bigger than me and I had no chance at getting any blanket. We both tried to sleep in our clothes and coats but I was freezing. So, really late, I went into the coach’s bedroom, took my coat off and crawled into his bed. He had a twin bed so he rolled onto his side and pulled me into him. I was out like a light. The next morning I woke up half dressed.
My teammate Mike wasn’t invited to any more games (and he seemed jealous of me and took that out on me in school and at practice) and Coach no longer made any pretenses about where I was to sleep or what he wanted from me. He never spoke about it before, during or after. It was just expected and that was that. I found the whole thing very confusing. I wasn’t attracted to him, but it was adult sex and I knew I was gay. I think this is where I learned to become embarrassed by sex and have difficulty talking about it, even with a sex partner – particularly asking for anything (sexually, emotionally, etc.). I still have difficulty even asking for help with even the simplest of tasks.
When the season ended, I didn’t see the coach again until the next summer, I was thirteen now, when he showed up out at our farm to ask my mother if my brother and I could spend the weekend with him. He would spend the day trying to tire my brother out so he would fall asleep and Coach could have his way with me while my brother slept only a foot or so away. Secrecy and quite, I learned, were the ways of sex.
The really sad part about this is I was in love with my friend Scott (who was/is straight). I began feeling unworthy of his friendship and having real problems with my sexual attraction to him and my experience and thinking that if I did one single thing with him he would feel as hurt and broken as I felt and I could NEVER do that. Again, having what I wanted was a bad thing and I learned to deny myself any desire, even my strongest desires.
Just a few weeks later, a friend of my mother’s asked us to go boating up at the lake. When we got back from the trip, my brother and I were sent to this huge walk in shower to rinse the lake water off. Low and behold, mom’s friend walked in to the shower, got under the shower head with me and started feeling me up in front of my brother. When I didn’t really react to his touch, he asked me if I had any special friends. Well, yes, my friend Scott is my best friend in the world I told him. Later, everyone went on a boat ride leaving me at the house (I’d gotten motion sick on the last boat tried – it was really sunny and the water was choppy) and I didn’t want to get sick again. I was left at the house with Bob, my mom’s friend and some other guy I didn’t know. Well, one thing led to another and Bob got me naked and into bed. But something finally snapped in me. I didn’t want to do this anymore and I pushed him away and said, “Stop.” I was finally standing up for myself. I rolled over and thought he was getting off the loft bed. I was wrong, he pinned me down on my stomach. I fought and he began to punch in my lower back. When I started screaming, he shoved my face into the pillow and raped me. I passed out from the lack of oxygen, waking up, bleeding, on the floor of the room with him and the other guy trying to figure out how to cover this up so my mom wouldn’t find me like that.
That Sunday there was a big football game in town and all the boys were there (usually about 16 of us). As things would happen, Scott saw the bruises left on my back from the beating. When he asked me what happened I started crying, got on my bike and rode home. Scott had followed me home and into the club house we’d built. I started to tell him about the coach and he freaked out and left. I was devastated. That next year our friendship was really strained, but I was still desperately in love with him. He was not only one of the nicest (and cutest) guys you would meet, he was the only support system I had. My family life was a disaster. I had no supervision what so ever and when I’d asked my mom for help in the past, she’d knocked me down and kicked the shit out of me. At 11 she had told me I was the smart one in the family so I could take care of myself, but if I ever got myself into trouble it was my own fault and she wasn’t bailing me out. Without Scott, I had no one, I was lost.
High school came and I had quit football so I wouldn’t have to deal with Coach who was now coaching the high school team – or so I thought. He had ended up getting let go when the school board heard rumors of him molesting kids at a previous school. Thinking that marching band would be safer, I was wrong… VERY wrong.
One of the tuba players, a senior, looked familiar to me. Being very large (ok…very fat), he looked much older than 18. Later I would realize that he was the other guy at Bob’s when I was raped. Apparently Bob got wind of my arrival at the high school and came after me. The second week of school a student a grade ahead of me (a really gross and creepy guy) came up to me and said, “Bob wants you to come back over.” I didn’t really know this kid and didn’t know what he was talking about. He whipped out photos of the rape. If I didn’t go back to Bob’s house these photos were to be distributed around school. I ran out of the band room to the bathroom and sat on the floor throwing up and crying. That night I went home and no one was there. I snuck into my mother’s bedroom closet and loaded a shotgun and put it in my mouth. Figuring I screwed up my life so much I probably would screw up killing myself and live I couldn't pull the trigger.
I resolved to create a new me: "Teflonman". I would build on my reputation to create a spotless persona that was indestructable. I would be the perfect student with perfect attendance, perfect behavior, be in all the school activities, etc. and get a girlfriend. If they knew I was gay and these photos came out, I thought I’d never be able to make them believe that I was raped and didn’t like what happened. I had to make them believe I was straight. This was the first time I ever thought about being out or not – I’d never really considered hiding I was gay. Now it seemed deadly serious.
That weekend I was upstairs showering and my mom called me down because I had a visitor. I jumped out of the shower and threw on just a pair of shorts and when running down stairs thinking it was Scott. About half way down the stairs I see Bob sitting on the couch with my mother holding what looks like the photos and his runner sitting on the floor close by. They had come to ask my mom if I could go back to the lake with them, I wasn’t going to go. I sat on the steps and tried to hide my body inside the towel I had been drying my hair. Bob then asked me if Scott wanted to come too. I didn’t understand that when he was asking if I had a special friend, he meant a friend that I was having sex with. Now it all clicked. Scott was in danger. Bob wanted me AND Scott for his child pornography ring. My mom thought I was quite rude but I didn’t care.
Now it was more important than ever to protect Scott from Bob. I had realized that if people saw me around Scott they would probably figure out that I was in love with him. That put my new persona in jeopardy. Additionally, if people knew Scott and I were friends, particularly the next year when Scott would be at the high school, he would be in danger because word would get back to Bob who my "special" friend was. I had to break all ties to Scott – the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. I had to go it alone.
For the next three years Bob stalked and terrorized me by showing up at my home, school plays, musicals, football games, basketball games, track meets, etc. Any event I was performing at (which was about everything) and he would sit close to where I was at, approach me to talk to me (particularly when I was around other and couldn’t get away), and continued with the offers and threats. A knowing look and a nod, a whisper to my back as he passed by, a flash of a stack of photographs and Teflonman had to go on and pretend nothing was happening - an academy award winning performance - while inside I was lonely, scared, crushed and dying.
Bob was finally arrested the summer after my junior year in high school but the damage had been done. I no longer felt safe in this world and no longer knew how to be anything other than Teflonman. Bob plead no contest to two counts of rape, one in his hometown, one in my area, and since he plead no contest, none of his victims would ever have to testify and their identities would not have to appear in public court records. He’s in Ross Correctional these days. I have no idea where Coach went.
I’ve always felt guilty because both Coach and Bob victimized boys after me and if I’d spoken up, they would have been saved. Though I understand that I did all I could have done and it isn't my responsibility to save the other boys, I've beat myself up over it for over twenty years - it's hard to make that go away.
Sitting here reflecting today, I know I'm in a much better place emotionally. I'm trying to help my inner child (today I played Legos with the four year old boy from across the street). I know I have great friends who I can now talk to about my past and how it is troubling me today. My therapist is invaluable to me and the friends I've made here on MaleSurvivor are too. I've come a very long way and am energized to continue my successful recovery.