I am not a male survivor, but am a CSA which I have recently begun to deal with when 5 yr was molested by my 14 yr old, who turns out was also molested when he was 5. Hope you will allow me to share this piece written as a letter to my p*rp.
Grand Canyon Experience
You violated me.
You said you were a “special friend”, but you a really a robber of innocence, a victimizer.
This great outdoor backpacking adventure became changing point for me when I was 15.
You blurred the boundaries of student/teacher. A photographer by avocation with a hope to a professional photographer. But to me you were really a photographer of naked adolescents swimming in the wilderness. All your intentions are suspect to me now.
A Teacher’s Aid by default or choice? A peddler of child pornography as well?
I wonder what you did with all those pictures you took. Did you see pictures of me for your own pleasure as well once I was no longer available>
I hope it was “good” for you because for me it was a self-eroding, confusing damaging event. Your touch was poisonous to my flesh and soul. Your touch revolts me now.
Now I would scream “What the heck are you doing? I would scream out for all to hear.
I would throw open your sleeping bag and expose you.
You openly told us you slept in the nude and encouraged us by word or example to do likewise. My body was easy to reach as our group slept side by side under the stars. No obstacles really beyond your own internal boundaries, which eventually gave way to selfish desire.
All the nightly backrubs in our little group further set the stage softening those boundaries. I never considered that perhaps I had been “groomed”.
I woke up to the confusion of your touch on my pelvis area. As your hand moved down, my silence betrayed me.
Perhaps you saw that as consent. My initial small movement towards you quickly froze. I laid still until you stopped. No words were spoken. The damage done in silence.
A part of me froze that night. You stole away part of my heart and discarded like yesterday’s newspaper, something that no longer had value to you.
All these years when I was nagged by thoughts of “something is wrong with me”, I never realized that it was that part that was missing. I let you take it, but I am now here to reclaim it as it is precious to me and my husband. He has sorely missed it as well.
I do not know your fate. My curiosity propels me to want to know. I had always considered this as a “one time” event for you. Maybe something I had triggered. But now I am not so sure. Maybe this was just one job in a string of many. Who knows what you found at your next job. I was so drawn to you and your attention then. Your charm is a abomination to me now.
You were a photographer. You took pictures of nude children for no particular reason. You certainly didn’t show them to the parents when we returned. Nor did you even give me any pictures of the trip.
The Grand Canyon is a majestic, hot and difficult place through which to travel. Your memory taints the experience.
But just as the river runs through it and has a long history of eroding and forming the canyon, so too this experience has eroded me. But I am on a different course now.
The River has been filled with healing rains and the current is a source of strength. The uplift of the land that caused the river to cut into the strata is gone. The canyon is there, but life lives in it.
The canyon is a timeless, sacred space as is my soul. The seasons come and go. My process of healing is well on it’s way. I can’t always see beyond the bend in the river and rapids come and go causing obstacles and periods of tumult.
But the water is not stagnant nor frozen any more, but runs freely as a river should.
I am on my way.
April 10, 2005