My otherwise pleasant weekend took a rather nasty turn today. I took my mom and her friend to the botanical gardens to attend a flower show and listen to a talk on how to grow and take care of fuchsias. While they were at this event, I wondered through the beautiful gardens, camera in hand. Photography is a hobby of mine and I am always in search of "the perfect photo". At a pond surround by lawns and with trees and mountains as backdrop, I stopped to take some pictures. Everywhere people were enjoying the sunshine and being so close to nature. Tourists were taking photos of the each other surrounded by the beautiful scenery. I looked at the scene in front of me and lifted my camera to take my photo. I knew it was a good photo and did not need to take a another one. I walked on, happy and relaxed. Then I heard someone call. I turned around because I thought I might have left something by the pond when I took the photo and looked for the caller. A man was waving his finger at me. "Do not take photos of my children" he said. I was stunned but immediately knew what he was on about. I turned around and walked on (did I act wrong here, what was I supposed to do?), feeling upset and suddenly guilty. A woman was calling behind me, demanding that I hand my camera over to her. I stopped and asked her not to harass me. She insisted on seeing my camera, saying that she saw me aiming at her children and I handed it over to her. Behind her were her 2 young sons and the father. I noticed that the one son was naked under his t-shirt, a fact that I only then became aware of. I hate writing this because it sounds like I am trying to defend myself. I tried to help the woman in finding the photos but she pulled away from me saying that she knows how to operate a camera. I heard her clicking through my photos, scrutinizing each picture. She did not find the naked pictures (or any pictures) of her children and handed my camera back to me. I asked her for an apology and she started telling me that I must understand that there are many sick people around. Well, that made me feel much better. I said "apology accepted” and walked away from them. My insides were shaking, my day was spoiled, I wanted to cry, to run away and hide. I was seen as a creep, taking photos of naked little boys, a pedophile. Were the parents within their rights to act this way? Did I really act like the creep they made me out to be? Many people were taking photos at the exact same spot, was I singled out because I was a man walking around on my own with a camera around my neck?
I know that I must see this as a learning experience and be more careful in future. But a scab was ripped off, leaving raw and exposed flesh. I wish I could sit down and talk to the parents, tell them that I am a survivor of csa. I also know that this would make things even worse, giving them even more reason to suspect me.
Tonight I am sad and alone. I can only tell my story here, hoping that other survivors will believe me and understand how I felt at that moment when I was seen as a sexual abuser.
Edited by Dolphinboy (12/02/12 12:54 PM)
When there are dolphins in the waves,
the sharks wont get to us.
I believed my dad that day
and became Dolphinboy,
my own protector.