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#378441 - 12/06/11 12:51 PM Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2003

Hi - I suppose it's about time I did a quick intro - this and my post about my name and avatar pretty well sums me up here in the forum until/if I post my so-called story.

I don't know really the difference between introductions and stories - a casual introduction explains little, yet a full story seems overkill. Since I often find myself repeating the essentials of myself to others, I might as well use this as an opportunity to post an abridgment for reference.

When you get to the end of this intro, I think you'll know pretty much who I am and why I am here.

In a nutshell, I was the victim of a long-term serial abuse case that my therapist characterized as "unusually intense". It was at the hands of an older next-door neighborhood kid - I was his little "side kick" and looked up to him like a big brother. When he got older he started molesting several of the 8-9 year old girls in our neighborhood, and I was one of the only boys (I was 12 when he started on me). Despite his ubiquitous interest in the little girls, his sessions with me were far more frequent. This continued through my teens, and I finally just "ran away" from it all and moved to California.

Among those who were caught in his web was my little sister. The dynamics of that went deep. I was the protector not only of her but of all the girls I was aware of. I did so by "taking the bullet", knowing he couldn't shoot them if his gun was empty. Better me than my sister, I thought. I was already tarnished - so if I was in for a penny, I guess I was in for a pound. I can't even start here to explain all the psycho-dynamics THAT caused me, but one of the results is that I still have a very tough time getting in touch with my anger. I had to be very cool and manipulative with him, even though I was the greater victim of his manipulations. I was smarter than he was, but he was older and stronger and had both a tremendous urge and relentless insistence I was ill-equipped to decline. Yet I knew that if I took what he dished out, my sister and her friends wouldn't have to. Until the next day. And the next and the next...

Anger? It never seemed appropriate. I didn't understand what sex was when this started, and even when I knew instinctively it was wrong, I was too busy keeping a level head to save my sister. I couldn't afford to indulge in the indignation the parents in the neighborhood showed once they found out. Had they been as calculating as I, this guy would have been TREATED AND MANAGED instead of threatened with punishment (as if that would resolve the issue). To this day, I rarely get angry about anything. Frustrated? Yes. Anger, however, has almost always proven itself a useless indulgence for me. How Spockian.

He was caught, and the situation was dealt with in true Penn State/Catholic Church/Syracuse University/Boy Scouts of America style. The essential resolution promulgated by the "special committee" of three fathers (including my own): We'll handle it ourselves. Years later, those fathers since gone, I discovered they apparently never knew I was a victim - nor my sister. There were so many of us but they never looked hard enough, or perhaps they could never have imagined the scope of the abuse. There's more - much more - and I'll share my story, but the fact remains I was essentially thrown back into the lion's den to save the girls. I was perplexed as to why they insisted I "help him through this and keep him from the girls," because at the time I thought they were aware I was a victim as well. I was 13-14 at that point, and while the girls were spared, my abuse was to get a whole lot more secretive, frequent and intense.

It felt to me as if the whole neighborhood was in collusion with my continuing molestations. My dreams gave that away. I remember vividly a recurring nightmare in which my parents - and other adults - were standing in line behind my molester, waiting for their turn. Of course I never experienced incest or even the hint of that. But my shame was pretty intense. I would wake up and avoid my parents. I didn't trust my friends with respecting my boundaries. Anyone who got too close to me was suspect. My body was responding to the abuse in ways I didn't want, despite mustering every ounce of my will. It vexed my conscience and impugned my sense of integrity. And so I didn't even trust myself. Eventually I just ran away from it all.

In California, I thought I might be gay but wasn't sure. I would fall in love equally with girls or guys. My first "coming out" experience was at the local bar. The bartender bought me my drinks, and the last one he put on the bar right at closing. I was nervous, but excited to be out from under the bit and bridle of my molester - self-possessed and holding the reins of my own life. But it didn't happen that way - not that night. No meant absolutely nothing to him. I left the bar far wiser than when I went in. I convinced myself it was just a "bad date," that I owed him for enticing him, that I deserved it somehow, that I didn't know how to play the game right. Despite the violence of it all, I "kidded" myself about it. It was supposed to be my first truly consensual experience - after all, I accepted his invitation to hang out so I figured I sort of asked for it. And my thinking was - hey - what else do I deserve for being a despicable little gay boy?

So who is Eirik today? I am an educated professional, in the middle of my life (admittedly an assumption) and generally happy and functional. I am also wounded and coming to terms with who I am. A lot was stolen from me - and I'll never know the man I might have become had my CSA not occurred. When I went through therapy ten years ago, I was so full of self-delusional constructs that I didn't even see that what happened to me was molestation (I went for grief therapy after my father died). Those sessions opened my eyes to that boy I was, agreeing to submit to sex with a guy 3 years older than me under threat that he'd molest my sister if I said no! And when I said yes, he'd molest her anyways. But - hey - that was MY fault, right? It's amazing how much I managed to kid myself for so long. Unlearning those lies I told myself was an adventure into my soul that was as dark as it was fascinating. It wasn't an easy journey. I began by it thinking it was all bullshit - the abuse was so carefully packed away in the attic of my memory, and I resented having to look at it. It was embarrassing, awful stuff to dredge through - in large part because I owned every sin. It was a true trail of tears, almost like looking in the mirror for the first time in my life - but it lead me to a kid I dismissed and packed away with all the other memories. A kid I called dirty. A kid I couldn't really look at.

The price I paid? Here's just one. My dad told me when I was still a young teenager that despite getting on my tail about being irresponsible and immature, "You're a real good boy and I'm awfully proud of you." A real good boy? Proud? He obviously had no idea of the subterranean filth flowing at his feet. And I certainly wasn't about to disabuse him of his flawed perspectives. I took that compliment like a hungry dog snatching a forbidden pork chop from the dinner table - and hid forever. I stole that compliment - it was thievery, plain and sure. But I greedily kept it anyways, hoping that some day when I was pure enough to earn it, I could step proudly into his regard. But that day never came. Several years ago, his last words to me were these (and yes - I can quote them precisely): I never knew you like I wanted to - you are such a private person. But I know you love me.

That's what was stolen from me.

One of the events that brought me here was an email from a girl who thanked me for being her "hero" all those years ago. I walked in on her and my perp, and told her to get out just as he was starting to undress her. And the funny thing is - I barely remember it. There were so many. But I can pretty much guarantee I took the bullet. She has a beautiful family today. She told me that if I didn't step in and rescue her, that family of hers may have never existed. I don't have a family. But I'm the dirty little hero.

Hello, I'm Eirik.
Click my pic to see why I'm here.

#378444 - 12/06/11 01:31 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Chet Offline

Registered: 11/09/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Kingsport, TN
Aww, Eric the Brave, (my new viking name for you!)

You are NOT dirty. What you did saved many people from the molester, if only for that day. You were used by him & the neighborhood parents. You did nothing wrong, my friend. I am honored to know you.

Think of our idea of soldier heros. They may be used by their country's leaders to go & fight in senseless wars & have to do things there that they are not proud of. But that doesn't detract from them individually as heros. You are the same in my eyes.


#378485 - 12/06/11 07:05 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chet]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3770
Loc: somewhere in Africa
C E - I consider you not only "not dirty" and a "hero" - but a BIG man, at that. You did the only thing you knew to do at the time, and you are doing what you need to do now. My hat's off to you and I salute you for your courage and honesty. (I also identify with your instinct toward truthfulness. My user name is de>
"That you are here - that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. . . What will your verse be?" Robin Williams as John Keating in "Dead Poets Society"

#378525 - 12/07/11 12:45 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: traveler]
whome Offline

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1736
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
HI Chase Eric

Thanks for having the courage to share your story with us. It is something we can all identify with, the threats the secrecy, the violence and the confusion.
I see that you have been on MS for a while now, and I am glad that we are seeing more posts from you, this is a good sign and shows that you are beginning to heal.
I trust that you will post your full life story for us sometime soon. Writing mine, although through the healing process more has come out, Was an incredibly liberating experience for me, and really changed the way that I related to me.
I hope that writing yours will do the same for you.
I look forward to reading more of your posts and your insightful replies to others question.
As a wise man on this site said, "the more I talk about this the easier it gets"

It works If you work it, so work it your worth it.

Heal well

Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

#378528 - 12/07/11 01:01 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: whome]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
OMG Eric...O.M.G!

I'm not one to sprinkle sunshine and glitter all around anyone here. Sorry if disturbing stuff bothers me dude...but your self-proclamation as the "Dirty Hero" is WAY wrong, and it hurts to see you do that to yourself.

I consider it an honor to know you here. You are a clear thinker and the most talented word-smith I know. U'm always anxious (in a good way) to read your take on things here.

#378530 - 12/07/11 01:20 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Still]
TheTwoOfUs Offline

Registered: 11/03/11
Posts: 149
Loc: USA

I don't normally post on Intros. But this one I needed to post.

Everyone does what they feel they must. Some go above and beyond what they are required to do, by whatever code of ethics and morals they might possess. Others still go far beyond even that level.

I don't know if it will mean much, but the acts you think of yourself as dirty for, are in a much more vivid manner than any Hollywood "hero" - truthfully selfless. They show your true heart, bro, and your strength. It takes a hell of a person to knowingly put himself in line for something like this to protect others.

I at least do not see you as "dirty" - I see you as a selfless, strong, and loving individual with a passion for goodness. Nothing less could have allowed you to do what you did, nothing less could have allowed you to survive. And "taking the bullet" as you say, probably saved a LOT of children from suffering from the same heartache you so obviously carry.

If I could, I would have tried to protect the "hero" myself. I wasn't there, I couldn't do it, but I understand somewhat the taking of a bullet.. regardless of what form that bullet is in.

Don't discredit yourself, don't degrade yourself in that manner. Heal, recover, one foot in front of the other, and maybe someday, I hope you can look in a mirror and be proud of the fact that you, in "taking the bullet", prevented OTHERS from taking the same bullet.

This is a long post from me, on a subject that on one hand I can identify with, and on the other hand I probably have no right to speak on, but I had to speak up on this one.

I don't see you as dirty. I see you as bleeding... wounded. All true heroes ARE wounded, if only because in order to be a "hero" they have to care so deeply. But there's a lot of folks around here ready and waiting with the bandages to stop the bleeding, and I think if you keep at it, you might find you carry a lot of those bandages yourself.

This is a long enough post, and I've probably made a fool of myself in it, so I'll end it here. But one day I hope you can look at yourself and see what everyone here sees.

Courage, strength, and caring, bro. You have all of them.

Edited by TheTwoOfUs (12/07/11 01:22 AM)

Adapt. Overcome. Survive.

#378549 - 12/07/11 09:02 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: TheTwoOfUs]
Mountainous Buck Offline

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1626
Loc: Minnesota

U r neither dirty nor little.

But u r a hero.

We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

“It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

#378556 - 12/07/11 10:12 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Mountainous Buck]
ozzie_guy Offline

Registered: 11/02/11
Posts: 17
Loc: Queensland, Australia
Eric.... I can't begin to tell you how honoured I am to have had the opportunity to get to know you my friend. Your courage, your insight, your understanding, your compassion and your strength are all so special to me. To me mate there is nothing dirty about you, although you are a true hero....

I am so glad that you have taken this step and shared some of your pain with us for in the sharing begins the healing. I love you as a brother and will be here for you any time you need me....

Stay strong....

I wonder what a life will be like being able to cope with the horrors of my memories.

Why am I so terrified of the possibility of being happy...

#378561 - 12/07/11 11:38 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: ozzie_guy]
Disappointed Offline

Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 540
Loc: U.S.A.
Chase Eric,

You're a good man. You were a good, generous boy. Thank you.

I wish you the recovery you deserve so richly,


#378613 - 12/07/11 09:32 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Disappointed]
R1977 Offline

Registered: 11/21/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Texas
Chase Eric,

All of the complimentary things that could be said about your character were addressed in the previous posts.

What you wrote is devastatingly tragic but in a strange way hopeful. Reading through some of these stories can char humanity: to know that there are people content to inflict such depravity on others is haunting but you are so decent and good.

Don’t view yourself in such a diminutive way, your selflessness is awe-inspiring.


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