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#467519 - 07/12/14 10:37 AM my little town
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3749
Loc: somewhere in Africa
For the past couple of weeks, I have been staying with my brother in the same area where my family lived during the period of my life when all the abuse took place. We lived here from the time when mom married the step-dad when I was nearly 6, until we moved away for step-dad's job transfer when I was 13. he was the first and longest-lasting abuser, but there were others that followed – peers who were the same age and a few years older in school and scouts – who made my life an agony for several years.

last summer, I came here for a short time and re-visited all of the sites that had so many nightmarish memories – the family home, the elementary school, and the middle school. I was able to stand strong and lay some ghosts to rest. I was bigger, stronger and more durable and resilient than the memories and I walked away feeling that I, like David, had slain a fearsome giant.

Now I know that – although it was a MAJOR step in my healing process – it was not the end.

When I hear someone say what a “nice little town” it is, or how “pretty” it is, my mind becomes overcast and I internally retort, “AH – but you don't know the darkness and ugliness and evil that lurks below the pleasant, respectable facade.”

I used to avoid going to public places in this area – afraid that someone would recognize me and that my childhood shame would be exposed. Now I no longer feel that. My unreasonable paranoia has subsided as I realize that I look so different from that cringing 6-13-year old that no one would ever associate us.

But there is still my name – that some might remember. And I wonder if they did remember me as “that kid” that everybody picked on – if they would tend to minimize what was done to me – like I did for so long – call it bullying but not abuse – and never admit that there was a strong, underlying, sexual element to it.

I can walk down the street or into a shop and feel invulnerable in my adult anonymity – confident that no one will know who I am and what I suffered here among these well-kept houses and tidy lawns. And there is even a tiny wish that someone might know me and marvel at the fact that I – apparently such a loser at the time – survived and grew up into a normal-looking, functioning and contributing member of society.

But – at the same time, my younger self is cowering inside me, whimpering that he is scared, that he doesn't want to meet any of those abuser-bullies again. This is progress – before, he would take over and my more rational adult self would totally cave in to his fears and let him take over and withdraw and dissociate. Now he is trusting me to be in charge – to keep him safe – and to handle whatever may come up. I have to admit, though, that it does have a dampening or subduing effect upon me.

I think the most basic and fundamental doubt is this – what would I do if I came face to face with one of the bully leaders – the older boys that I idolized, envied, feared, hated, and longed to have like and accept me? There is the suspicion that they would be as anonymously invulnerable and unrecognizable as I am. But I do remember their names – and what they used to look like. I know some are still in this area. What if I were to encounter them? I am very curious about how I would act – maintain my cool exterior and pretend like nothing happened – or reveal who I am and what has happened to me. I just don't know. . . .
_________________________
"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"


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#467522 - 07/12/14 11:28 AM Re: my little town [Re: traveler]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2124
Loc: durham, north england
Well lee, myself I actually have moved over 100 miles away from the city of Nottingham. I go back to visit my parents, and see my singing teacher, but I avoid going into the city as much as possible, heck I even dislike the accent. Then again sinse Nottingham has the highest crime rate in the Uk this isn't so surprising.

I can't imagine going back to the school itself, heck I remember being 14 and trying to stop my knees going physicaly weak as I passed one particular classroom door. Frankly I don't even know if the shithole is still open.

I did burn my school tie and pupil planner handbook the day I left for good which was enough closure at the time.

I've met some of the class teachers sinse, indeed quite ironically my voice teacher's husband was my music teacher at that school, and he quit teaching after he left (he has I believe his own set of scars, though we've never discussed it).

I have never run into any of the actual abusers or people who were around at the time, though I do remember hearing once on the local news that one boy who'd contributed to the situation but hadn't been a leader had been stabbed to death in a bar fight, ---- not that I particularly care.

I did once, when I was 19 run into a girl who'd at least been present at the time (actually I was buying an ice cream at a Baskin robbins where she was working), she asked me if I'd been to the school, I simply said "no" and turned around and walked away. That's pretty much how I feel and how I would feel if I saw any of them again. I just don't want to associate with them. If one of them won the national lottery or if they all died in a plane crash I wouldn't care either way. To hate or fear, or be angry you have to dignify someone with the status of being a person. My over whelming belief has always been that those weren't people, after all the abuse didn't mean anything to them indeed if I confronted them and said what it had done to me they'd probably respond (as they responded on the few occasions one of the teachers actually called them out on any of the milder forms), "it's only a joke"

Of courseI do have the luxury of anonymity. Even if I went back to Nottingham and lived their perminantly, the practical chances of me running into any of those 12 or so individuals in a city of a couple of million are very small, particularly sinse my parents live a good 15 miles or so from that school and the locals of that suburb who went there, so I admit I have an advantage.

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#467524 - 07/12/14 11:31 AM Re: my little town [Re: traveler]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Originally Posted By: traveler
what would I do if I came face to face with one of the bully leaders – the older boys that I idolized, envied, feared, hated, and longed to have like and accept me? There is the suspicion that they would be as anonymously invulnerable and unrecognizable as I am. But I do remember their names – and what they used to look like.


Sightings/Encounters:

Dean (leader of that pack): Saw him at the airport in Boston. I froze like an illuminated Deer...I could not breathe. Total panic.

John: I went to pick up my new Trans Am from the dealer. They had the Setup Mechanic "walk me through the car's stuff." Guess who the mechanic was! I totally dissed-out and froze.

Mark: Saw him walking on one city street and went into panic-mode big-time.

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#467541 - 07/12/14 11:01 PM Re: my little town [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3749
Loc: somewhere in Africa
thanks, dark and Still.

with Still's permission I am sharing a video of his that he forwarded to me that eloquently illustrates this topic.

[video:youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=caT1OMh_CFw#t=47[/video]

I did a search and discovered that one of the chief bullies still lives right here and was found guilty of a class 3 felony. but another, who was even more guilty in my experience, has no criminal record, except for traffic violations and has moved out of state. he got away with it.

lee


Edited by traveler (07/13/14 08:43 AM)
Edit Reason: add
_________________________
"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"


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#467546 - 07/13/14 01:37 AM Re: my little town [Re: traveler]
tbkkfile Offline


Registered: 09/16/13
Posts: 343
Loc: Surrey, United Kingdom
I was talking to my T last week about the next step as I'd reconnected with the little me the week before and we'd decided that when I was ready me in my adult guise along with the little me would both confront my perps, are they in for a shock as I now have the tools (and size) to take care of the little me.

In real life I'm not so sure though, would I be able to deal with it?, thankfully I live along way from where some of the CSA occured, the worst of it though was within 1/4 mile from where my Mother lives so it's pretty crap as I have to drive past it when I visit. One perp I'll never see as he died in a different country from alcoholism (sweet) the other 4 I wouldn't even recognise, I know their names and they will know mine so who knows, I try not to think about it.
_________________________
To look up and not down,
To look forward and not back,
To look out and not in

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#467548 - 07/13/14 04:20 AM Re: my little town [Re: traveler]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 617
Loc: where the shadows lie
Saw him once in high school, 6-8 years after the abuse. He said hi to me. Its really hard to explain my reaction. I said "hi," but I mean its hard to explain what was going on inside me. And feels too embarrassing to explore. Frozen? Yes. Fear? Yes. But fear so buried I didn't even see it as fear at the time. Still so much to work out.

Your post reminds me of a song:

With headphones on, the streets are silenced
Cars hum along to disrupt the quiet
You learn a lot about a place
When you see it without a sun
As you search for a shred of innocence, but realize there is none

The open gutters, collecting water
The unbreathable air, we're all aware
You learn a lot about a place
When you see it for what it is
It loses its feel of mystery and any hope that it can
Give me a reason not to just start screaming out loud
_________________________
I come here now, and I see lots of anger.
I don't blame anyone for that. It is perfectly understandable.
But it is not healthy for me.
So I'm going somewhere else.

Goodbye and good healing.

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#467595 - 07/14/14 05:34 PM Re: my little town [Re: traveler]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3749
Loc: somewhere in Africa
thanks, tbkkfile and Jacob.

here's the next installment:

I saw someone from my past yesterday. We went to church with my brother and i saw the man who had been the coach at the middle school when I was there.

He was the one who turned a blind eye to my abuse at the hands of the bullies who were his golden boys – the jocks. He had to have known. He was in the gym with us. He was on the sports field with us. It was daily and unrelenting – insults, name-calling, verbal put-downs, ridicule, sexually degrading comments and taunts. And in the showers and locker room, touching, feeling, manual stimulation, and group voyeurism. Anyone could tell it mas more than just good-natured teasing and boyish horseplay. And he stood by and did nothing.

So I walk out of the service – and there is this older gentleman with his wife behind the counter of the welcome center. He had on a name tag – that is the only way I knew it was him. He had been in his low 30s at the time. But after seeing that name, I could recognize the resemblance. He did not know who I was, of course. I stood off to the side and marveled at how this benevolent and harmless looking old man could have allowed such emotional violence and sexual molestation and harassment to have taken place on his watch.

I was not afraid of him. And I even considered walking up and introducing myself. But I WAS afraid of the possible outcome of that. I was NOT afraid that he WOULD remember me – but that he WOULDN'T. I was afraid that a period in my life that had been so earth-shattering and life-changing would have been discounted and dismissed and forgotten as of no importance whatsoever. I was afraid that I had not been esteemed as of enough worth to to warrant a second thought. I was afraid that something so HUGE to me had been forgotten as of not enough value as to merit a place in his memory.

So i said nothing and did nothing.

And now I am just sad.

lee
_________________________
"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"


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#467598 - 07/14/14 05:55 PM Re: my little town [Re: traveler]
dark empathy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2124
Loc: durham, north england
Ouch Lee, I can actually imagine that very strongly.

I remember I once went to the retirement party for one of my mum's theology lecturers from when she took a degree and she said that sinse it was apparently his local parrish church the head master of that school might be there. I actually semi wondered what I'd say to that man if I saw him, someone who not only stood by and did nothing but took every action possible to pretend everything was fine, many of which made the situation worse, for example demanding all studnets went outside during lunch breaks where some of the worst stuff happened, actively ignoring what was going on, showing the offstead inspectors selective parts of the school and finally, when my mum took me out of school when I was 15 and the physical violence and verbal abuse at least came out not only threatened to take me to court but took me to his office and tried to lecture me on how "they're a very nice year" (hearing his voice say that phrase still makes my skin crawl, particularly how I just sat there and quietly said "yes" irrispective of what had happened to me the previous day.

I had several things prepared to say, probably the most polite of which was "how can you stand in front of God and call yourself a christian when you knew what was happening" Lucky for him I never ran into the man.

I used to expend a lot of anger on him and on the exec staff of the school sinse they were so absolutely convinced that everything was fine they even contributed to the situation, sinse hay, chuck all the kids in a class room and lock the door and they must be learning right? (believe it or not the tampon incident actually happened in supposedly a s/x education class when the teacher simply walked out the door).

I don't actually know how I'd react now, it's not something I've really considdered and probably wouldn't unless I risked running into any of those people again.


Edited by dark empathy (07/14/14 05:57 PM)

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#467619 - 07/15/14 08:37 AM Re: my little town [Re: traveler]
Jacob S Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 617
Loc: where the shadows lie
Quote:
I was NOT afraid that he WOULD remember me – but that he WOULDN'T. I was afraid that a period in my life that had been so earth-shattering and life-changing would have been discounted and dismissed and forgotten as of no importance whatsoever.


I know exactly what you mean.
_________________________
I come here now, and I see lots of anger.
I don't blame anyone for that. It is perfectly understandable.
But it is not healthy for me.
So I'm going somewhere else.

Goodbye and good healing.

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#467628 - 07/15/14 11:27 AM Re: my little town [Re: Jacob S]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Originally Posted By: Jacob S
I was NOT afraid that he WOULD remember me – but that he WOULDN'T. I was afraid that a period in my life that had been so earth-shattering and life-changing would have been discounted and dismissed and forgotten as of no importance whatsoever.


I triple that along with Jacob.

I remember the life-licensed, arrogant personalities of those guys. The leader said things to me to make me genuinely feel low than snake belly.

When there was even a slight hint of ME blaming THEM for doing wrong, he sneered, "How do you keep letting us DO this to you!?"

I think today, he would ask, "WHY did you let THAT mess-up your life?? YOU wanted it! YOU could have stopped it! YOU never fought-back."

Makes me ill just addressing this.

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