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#423379 - 01/27/13 04:21 PM Difficult Words----TRIGGERS
Suwanee Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 1075
Loc: Southeast USA

Please forgive the long post, but several long-time MS members have commented that the board seems to feature less discussion about really difficult problems and more posts about bad days and the like. Maybe that is a function of familiarity because I see turmoil in just about every word on here but then again, my struggles with CSA are not new...though they are new in terms of tackling them without any hint of avoidance.

Tackling them without avoidance has taken time. Even in my introduction and subsequent story post, I wasn't completely open and honest about the CSA and its aftermath. No, I didn't was worse and I didn't have the ability to express what happened very well. After a period of protracted thought, I decided to run this by a couple of other MSers via PM.

I originally posted on this back in December and deleted the post almost immediately. Right before Christmas, another victim of the same perp contacted me on Facebook. I tread very carefully and did plenty of due diligence before responding. What I found out validated what I believed about the CSA, gave me a sense of unhappy solidarity with another victim---and even changed my perception as to the depths of depravity and sickness the perp had.

I've written a stream-of-conscience account of my thoughts about my CSA has I now understand it. Of course, I now have the knowledge someone else at camp knew I was abused and faced the same thing. I typed this on my iPhone, beware of typos and autocorrect oddities. Also be aware of some real "full disclosure" that I finally had to share with my wife (minus a couple of details). I share them here not to be gratuitous, but to finally disclose to others who hopefully "get it."

A trigger fest. Beware.

As for the guy (Eric) who contacted me, it gives me mixed feelings. He and I are the same age. He went back to the camp three more summers after I got the hell out. He was abused by the same perp. I do feel solidarity with him, but I'm troubled because of the reason. It means one more kid was a victim.

Eric's story checks out...he is married with three kids and has moved back to the area. He is a commercial real estate broker...and last year, he attended an economic development conference where I made a presentation. He wanted to talk to me then, but couldn't get up the nerve and decided it wasn't the time or place. Eric has lurked on MS, but never joined...and hasn't been here in a number of years. Calling me was coincidental to telling my story on MS.

For years he knew I had been a victim and wanted to talk...but wasn't ready to until he saw me at the conference. He was in therapy for several years and is doing well considering what happened to him. He wanted to talk to me, and he still wants to confront the perp. I'm not there yet, but Eric has good intel on the guy.

The perp was fired and allowed to finish his college degree. He moved to the Washington, D.C. area. In the early 90s, he was accused of molestation, but eventually pleaded guilty to child endangerment. WTF! He does not have a current listing on any SO registry I can find and still apparently lives in the D.C. area. He was married at one time, but is now divorced.

Yes, I feel solidarity with Eric, but I'm uncomfortable someone knows these things. I have a very visible job and worry about blackmail----not really from Eric, but in general. It isn't out of the question of me running for public office at some point....but then, what would it look like for an opponent digging up the past only to show up with a story of child molestation? Not good for him/her and thus not likely.

Eric says the perp was fired in the middle of the 1988 camp season for "conduct unbecoming." The real story was he was found with Polaroids of naked boys---including several recent/current campers. There were two pictures of me and four of Eric. I asked him if he was sure it was me..and without hesitation hebsaid, "yes, it was you."

I DO NOT REMEMBER any pictures. I can't say for sure what happened while my head was shoved into the dirty laundry and who the hell knows what went on while I sat in the shower crying. This revelation really is fucked up.

The perp molested Eric repeatedly before getting fired. Apparently, another camper was looking for a box of matches and came across the pictures in a duffel bag belonging to the perp. He showed them to Eric and then the two of them turned them in to the camp director and it all came to light. The pictures were then destroyed--and not turned over to the police.

Still, NO ONE CALLED MY FAMILY TO CHECK ON MY WELL-BEING!!! It was swept under the rug. Sounds like the BSA to me. They wanted to protect their "good" name and "impeccable" reputation.

Like the Scouts, the guy was fired, but was not charged with any crime! He just walked away!!! I'm sure everyone was shocked. He was well-liked by the campers and staff. If he hadn't been caught with the pictures, he would have continued to molest at the camp. For a camper to accuse him of something so wrong would be as unseemly as accusing a priest of doing something like that. Oh, wait....

The truth is he is a manipulative SOB and had that scary as hell change to his demeanor that made you know he meant business.

Like a recent post about the wrestling coach---this guy could make your blood run cold. He became like the neighbor's step dad I dealt with at age 11---everyone was under his control or else.

I stayed at camp while the others went into town to see "The Goonies." Because I wasn't feeling the best and I had already seen it. I asked to stay behind. I'm sure this would never be allowed today, but it was 1985-and the perp was glad to stay there with me. He already had a history of messing around with me, but he was 19 and I was 13. It was wrong to "mess with me." I never expected he would try anything other than touching my penis.

He did mess with me after the others left. He played with my foreskin as I became erect. He then stopped suddenly and asked me to perform oral sex on him. I told him I just couldn't do that. After I refused to perform oral on him, he acted hurt and then enraged. He then cast the most chilling, inhuman look at me, as if he was looking at a malfunctioning copy machine. I was less than alive to him.

He was prepared to escalate. That was his intention all along. The creep had a shaving kit that he pulled a bulb syringe out of- the kind you clean a baby's nose with. He filled it with lube, put a knee on my spine and squeezed my balls tight with his hand-daring me to move or else he would make sure I would never be able to have kids and that he could make me a paraplegic as he put more force on my spine.

I was terrified and did what he told me to do. That meant being being filled with cold lube and "explored" and violated with his finger until he pushed my head down into the dirty clothes that were on the bed. He penetrated me with his penis. Like others have mentioned, I must have dissociated because I felt separated from my body. I somehow watched it happen to a different kid. That wasn't me in the crumpled heap.

I thought I was choking and asked him to stop. He stopped, pulled off one of my socks and shoved it in my mouth and dared me to spit it out. He kept on. I just went limp and watched as the kid on the bed went limp too.

He finally finished and collapsed on me. He got up, wiped himself off my shirt and went to the shower. He told me not to move---and that I'd better be chewing on the sock when he got back.

I didn't move. I finally heard the water turn off and he came out and asked me how I liked that. He acted like it was no big deal. He told me to take "that stupid sock" out of my mouth. He warned me not to tell anyone because they would think I was gay. He started joking and I tried to laugh to keep him engaged and not detached again.

I put my underwear on just sat there without a shirt or anything else on. He then told me he was going for a walk. I sat on the bed and just thought of nothing. I was numb all over. I knew he liked to touch me...and I let him to a point because he helped me out during a rough time far away from home, but the change in demeanor caught me completely by surprise. I'd seen him turn icy toward campers who didn't follow directions---but he liked me, didn't he?

Well, I didn't follow directions and I witnessed the change---directed right at me. I just didn't understand. I went beyond my comfort zone to keep him happy enough...but he wanted more than I was willing to give. I was confused.

I realized I had a problem and needed to change out of my underwear for obvious reasons. I ran to the toilet and threw up. I needed to cleanse myself.

Clean I did---I threw away my bloody underwear and scrubbed and scrubbed under the running water. I sat on the tile floor of the shower and cried until the water turned cold. I got in my bed with clean clothes and cried some more until the other campers came back. I felt somewhat safe then.

I mostly avoided him the following week. He acted like I didn't exist even though my bed was next to his.

He spent more time with Eric. Every so often when he arranged the chance, he would play with my foreskin and get me to ejaculate for him. He got irritated if I came too quickly---or took too long for that matter. He always left me alone after that. He never sodomized me again. I now know he was doing that to Eric during this time. For me, it ended for good when I boarded a 737 three weeks later. I was just a toy to him.

Here's the thing, thinking back, he was awfully young to have been that sophisticated of a perp. I don't like to consider the vampire theory, but he was very well-versed in the shit he did. Eric recounted his story to me and it was similar to what I went through. His parents were divorced and his dad was absent. He was the classic boy starved for male attention. In other words, he was an easy mark.

I was an easy mark because my home life was in upheaval as we moved to the Los Angeles area for my dad's job. I was leaving everything I knew and moving to a strange land. I was attending an ENTIRE summer camp session two thousand miles from my family. Previously, I had only gone for a two week session. This was the whole fucking summer because my parents were in transit cross-country and living out of boxes.

Damn, I was pissed at my dad for taking that promotion. True, it paid very well and provided me with all sorts of opportunities, but there was an unseen price we all paid.

My parents met me at the gate at LAX and helped me gather all my stuff at baggage claim. I was so glad to see them, but I don't remember saying much. I wished then, and many times later that they could read my face so I didn't have to say anything. They never asked and I never told.

I started 8th grade at a new school and fit in the best I could. I played football that fall and was a starter until I took a hit just as a caught a pass and turned downfield. I felt a terrible pain and pop in my left knee. I couldn't get up and had to be carried off the field.

My dad drove me to the ER and there I found out I had a concussion and a torn meniscus. My football days were limited. I didn't want to jeopardize my other sports. I had knee surgery a week later and spent two nights in the hospital where once again, I had no dignity. I woke up from the anesthesia with a catheter in my bladder. Poked, prodded, violated, I was a victim again. For a time, I thought about telling my parents about camp---and then became paranoid I might actually say something I would regret---courtesy the morphine and Demerol.

Once again, I held my tongue. Weeks went by and I became so angry. I responded by acting out and fighting. I wasn't going to be intimidated by anyone. was diagnosed with ADHD and became a Ritalin kid. I also did stupid stuff that I have mentioned on MS.

Boarding school was a huge help for me. Though I was away from my parents, I excelled in sports and academics. I kept busy to forget. Slowly, I put one brick after another down to wall off that summer.

By the start of my junior year, my parents moved back east when my dad started his own company. They were back "home." It's sometimes hard for a teen to admit to missing his parents, but I did and was glad they were back. Things were looking up.

I spent so much achieving goals, I hardly had time for dating. I swam, I played baseball, I single-handed a sloop from South Carolina to Virginia, I hiked the Appalachian Trail---bad knee and all. I overcame.

To the outside world, I really looked like I had my shit together. In reality, I spent so much energy just trying to forget. I worked so hard just to be normal and get into a good college.

I wondered if others wondered why I rarely dated girls--though I was interested in them. The truth is, I felt like damaged goods. When I masturbated, I thought of girls AND of having another male get me off. What the hell is a teenage boy to think of that? I certainly didn't feel "gay" but... My thoughts of girls often put me in a more passive role than expected. I was/am unambiguously masculine, but intimacy left me wanting someone else to take charge so I could take a break. I still have that to some degree---I love it when my wife takes the lead.

A number of years went by without professional help of any sort before I realized I was straight with CSA issues....and that takes me almost up to the present. It has been a long strange trip, but I have arrived...somewhere. The anger still wells up from within...knowing he has abused others...and for the lack of closure on my part. Most of all, I am angry at the years of embarrassment, confusion and turmoil he caused during my formative teenage years.

I survived it all with a pretty good sense of self and of self-worth. I did it all on my own. I sailed a 26 foot sloop up the Atlantic coast and hiked the Appalachian Trail solo after graduating from school. I finished college at UNC with a degree in public policy and a minor in geography. I went to grad school and got a master's degree in economics and regional geography. I kept running to stay one step ahead of the hellhound on my trail. Each accomplishment kept me distracted from the Thing behind the wall. I met and married my wife. We now have two great kids that I am fiercely protective of. Our marriage is strong. My wife is my rock. Still, Incorporating all of this CSA past into a mature relationship and into a more mature life is a bit of a challenge at times. I don't mind in the least taking to my therapist. I have the wisdom now to know when to ask for help---wisdom I never had before.

I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ---FDR


Cruel Summer
My Journal

#423404 - 01/27/13 09:44 PM Re: Difficult Words----TRIGGERS [Re: Suwanee]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 926
Loc: New York
The contrast between that two-legged hagfish's vile bravado at crushing a helpless kid... and that kid's flickering refusal to stay crushed.... could not possibly be any clearer.
My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#423405 - 01/27/13 10:00 PM Re: Difficult Words----TRIGGERS [Re: SoccerStar]
Farmer Boy Offline

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: SoccerStar
The contrast between that two-legged hagfish's vile bravado at crushing a helpless kid... and that kid's flickering refusal to stay crushed.... could not possibly be any clearer.

Thanks Matt for putting my thoughts so eloquently as always.

Yes Will - your refusal to not stay crushed, to not let anyone crush you again shows so much inner strength. Even posting the 'Full' story here spits in his face. You have no reason to be ashamed of what happened and you prove that by talking about it openly here.

By bringing this secret out of the darkness you are not only casting light on the sort of individual he was but on the spirit of (not just a survivor but) a thriver that lived within you then and still lives within you now.


More than meets the eye!

#423406 - 01/27/13 10:08 PM Re: Difficult Words----TRIGGERS [Re: Suwanee]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3889
Loc: somewhere in Africa
well done, Will - for telling all!
you will be all the stronger for it, i am sure.
and you strengthen us, too.

Edited by traveler (01/27/13 10:08 PM)
"the scariest thing about abuse of any shape or form, is, in my opinion, not the abuse itself, but that if it continues it can begin to feel commonplace and eventually acceptable."
- Alan Cumming, "Not My Father's Son"

#423411 - 01/27/13 10:40 PM Re: Difficult Words----TRIGGERS [Re: Suwanee]
Chase Eric Offline

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2195
Will -

It is rare that I read something here that truly resonates as deeply with my own experience. I usually see long posts and breeze through them quickly, but with yours I had to slow down and pace it out. I was pretty much breathless through a lot of it.

Here's what really resonated with my own experience: while my molester was not forceful physically, he was - like yours - quite manipulative psychologically, to the point that he would threaten to do to my sister what he wanted to do to me (always anal sex - always). I, too, was 12-13, and he was an older teen. My molester got caught, but the adults could not see past their own disgust that I was also his victim - along with my little sister. So my abuse just continued. I suppose that is similar in at least some ways to your own experience of having the molester caught but never brought to justice or at least treatment. And I had been through a lot of therapy about ten years ago. I stopped to get my professional degree, thinking I had been "cured". It turns out I was only bivouacked on a cliff. The Penn State scandal proved me wrong about myself - I was strongly triggered by those events (the adults who just looked away, the victims who were so ashamed that they only came forward when investigators discovered them). And like you, I became a bit of an over-achiever. As I learned more about abuse, about accepting that what happened to me was pretty severe stuff, I thought that the fact I was an achiever and a competitor rather than a drug addict or a suicide statistic was statement in itself that I suffered little after-effects of the experience other than the traumas at the time. I skied, surfed, mountain biked, and still swim about 4-5 miles/week. I've got two degrees from prestigious universities and people call me doctor. And so I see that you, too, were an overachiever - like me, physically active in an outward-bound sense, highly educated, etc. And of course the dread of being with girls - who I would just have crushes on at the drop of a hat - because my sexual fantasies often involved me just reliving my homosexual abuse - then the self-disgust - just propelled me to achieve more and try to prove to myself I was someone different than I thought I was - if that makes any sense. And I still would feel like a perp touching a girl - because I saw my molester touching so many 7-8 year old girls inappropriately. It was better to just embrace being a sexual victim - a role I still cannot find a way to break out of mentally.

I just wanted you to know that what you said really strikes a deep chord with me. I guess that's all I have.

This is what brings me here

#423447 - 01/28/13 09:56 AM Re: Difficult Words----TRIGGERS [Re: Suwanee]
Suwanee Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 1075
Loc: Southeast USA
Thank you for the kind words of support. I was shaking as I pressed the 'Submit' button.
I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ---FDR


Cruel Summer
My Journal

#423452 - 01/28/13 10:52 AM Re: Difficult Words----TRIGGERS [Re: Suwanee]
Jude Offline

Registered: 08/09/12
Posts: 1633
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: Suwanee

I share them here not to be gratuitous, but to finally disclose to others who hopefully "get it."

You bet we "get it".......your story is inspiring in that you've learned to have a life alongside your CSA issues. For many of us our CSA issues still block us from having our lives in a meaningful way.

Here's to your continued progress.

I will remember you
Will you remember me?
Don't let your life pass you by
Weep not for the memories
Sarah McLachlan

#423453 - 01/28/13 11:07 AM Re: Difficult Words----TRIGGERS [Re: Suwanee]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Stunning! In all ways, this story is stunning.

I'm sorry I don't have much to offer. I'm wiped-out from reading it. I can't read any of our stories without strong emotional presence with the boy.

Thank you for trusting us with something so profoundly deep.

#423459 - 01/28/13 12:04 PM Re: Difficult Words----TRIGGERS [Re: Suwanee]
Candu Offline

Registered: 06/30/12
Posts: 312
Loc: Canada
It was difficult to read. But I'm glad you shared it with us.

#423466 - 01/28/13 01:15 PM Re: Difficult Words----TRIGGERS [Re: Suwanee]
cant_remember Offline

Registered: 02/26/05
Posts: 1054
Speaking as a writer, I found your story harrowing but also well-crafted. You have some very strong sentences in here.

So, while you obviously dissociated from the event of the rape, you are able to describe the effects of that dissociation quite clearly, in a way that any normal person could understand.

That's no small thing.

Recovery is possible. Hang in there, brothers.

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