Most of my articles are about love, relationships, dating, or marriage. This article is a little different but indirectly related. I am opening up and sharing with you something that used to riddle me with guilt, shame, and tremendous pain. This is something you need to know about if you are a parent; whether you are a man or woman, in this case, it does not matter. I want you to know the truth. I want you to know the signs.
I am talking about sexual abuse. Rape. Molestation.
At a very young age, I was sodomized by another male. It repeatedly happened because I was afraid to tell anyone, more so because he was a piece of garbage. I was so young and I wasn’t in school full time. I was just going along with what someone older told me to do. It wasn’t family and no one we know or deal with now, for those wondering.
As a very young boy I was exposed to hardcore porn and I became a victim.
I am not ashamed to share my story if will embolden you and give you hope or bring some peace to your life. I cannot tell you to forgive the person who hurt you, I can only tell you I chose to forgive.
Later in my life, I decided to get rid of the hatred I had been harboring. I was tired of holding on to the emotions of hurt. To tell you the truth, the chronic feelings of inadequacy I have experienced likely come from the time this occurred.
I won’t sugarcoat it for you. I wanted to find this monster and kill him when I became an adult. I had to deal with the pain, instead of continuing to internalize it. I could have gone on through my life and kept it to myself, but I was weary from carrying it around.
At some time in my mid-twenties, I broke down and told my entire family. Hey, it was awkward and when I say awkward, I mean it was awkward. Then, I faced my fear, the same fear that kept me from telling anyone about it when I was a young boy.
Nobody believed me.
To be honest, when I spilled my guts with all the humiliating details, well, men, it broke me down even further. Still, it was better than continuing to carry the burden. Did it piss me off when they rejected the truth? Sure it did.
I was full of rage. I learned once I became a father, to look for the signs of abuse in a child. How can you determine if your child is going through a secret world of torment and hell?
- For one, he/she withdraws from you. When this happens, begin to ask questions.
- He/she spends a lot of time with older kids, teens, adults, in private. If this is happening, stop it now.
- His/her personality has changed drastically without reason (not a teenager).
Tips from experience:
- Be extra cautious with whom your child is spending time. Most children who are raped, abused, molested, or sodomized are victimized by someone in the family or a family friend.
- Don’t let your guard down.
No one in your life can regain the innocence of a child once it is taken. If I would have told someone when I was younger, chances are not much would have been different. This isn’t because I had bad parents. It was outside the realm of possibilities, in a time when nobody talked about this sort of thing. Listen to your children. Listen to the unspoken things they are telling you. Sometimes they are crying for help in ways we cannot understand.
If you have been a victim of a violent sex crime, I encourage you to seek professional counseling. If this is something you cannot afford, find someone to talk to. Lay it down. It is time to move forward to healing and freedom in your life. There are many people, many I know of who have confided in me, harboring horrible stories like this in their lives. It’s time to wash it away, it’s time to let it go and seek healing.
Photo: Flickr/ sriram bala