***********Triggers?*************

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 abridgement 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.

......eirik

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Eirik




Click my pic to see why I'm here