It has been really hard for me to remember exactly how old I was, but from what I can remember the terrible journey for me started when I was around 6 or 7 and continued until I was about 10. My abuser was my grandfather, and I wanted nothing more than to have that man love me. I now realize that the love that I was looking for from my Grandfather and what he wanted from me were two very different things. We lived in the same town and I saw him all the time (practically spent my summers with him). My Grandmother was usually at work on the weekends which gave him the perfect opportunity to do with me what he wanted. I don't remember how it all started and I guess that it does not really matter. He use to fondle me and have me masturbate him. He would also perform oral sex on me, until I simply could not take it any more and would draw up my knees to try and make him stop. I was too young to climax, but the feeling was as close to it as you could get. We used to bathe together, sleep in the same bed, and go on trips together. There was ample opportunity for him to assert himself on me and he took every advantage he could get, and I always kept going back. In some ways I liked it, it was special to me and I did not understand that it was wrong. That is still one of the pieces I struggle with the most. I am not sure how it all ended, I just know that as I got older I knew something was not right, and I started to distance myself from him. My parents never knew, and never suspected a thing. They just assumed that I was getting older and was finding other interest. They could not see, nor could I, that I was running away from a terrible childhood that would affect me for the rest of my life. It has been 20+ years since the abuse ended, and for most of that time I still saw and spoke to my abuser as if it never happened (I kept up appearances to so my family would not know). I only recently removed myself completely from my abusers life. I no longer see him, I have told my family about the abuse (with the help of my wife). They are still in shock, but are done with my Grandfather. I know they are on my side, but still can't find a way to talk to them about it. I guess that will come in time. I have a great life, great family, great job; It is simply that none of these things are bringing any joy into my life. I am still a miserable shell of a person. I am working on it and hope that someday I will find peace within. I am a survivor of Child Hood Abuse. There I finally let the words come out.

Shields