Extremely Explicit Material,
Not for Individuals Under 18 years of age
Do you remember that New Year’s eve, at Park Falls, about eleven years ago? I do. We went to Uncle Bruce’s cabin. We were supposed to go skiing the next day.
I remember you getting wasted that night. I remember you sitting at the table, crying with Aunt Cathy, and blaming all of your issues on everyone else in your life. You were talking about “those fucking lawyers” in your drunken, slurred voice.
It’s always someone else’s fault, isn’t it, little Jerry? You’re just the pour kid that everyone picks on, aren’t you? I remember Jake saying to me, “whoa, your dad is really drunk.” I remember a lot.
I remember everything about that night. Do you know why?
That is the night you changed my life forever and hurt me more deeply than you can possibly imagine. That is the night that you molested me.
I went downstairs to go to bed. As I was lying there, trying to get to sleep, you came downstairs. You reeked of alcohol. You climbed onto the other side of the bed, and then you rolled over and put your arm around me. You grabbed my private parts and started feeling them in your hands. It was disgusting, and it was brutal. I was so scared that I couldn’t even make a sound. I didn’t know what to do.
I was ten years old.
I forced myself to forget. I pushed it deep down, because I couldn’t deal with it. I became addicted to video games, books, music and anything else that could take me out of the moments when I was forced to visit you. You criticized me for doing those things. You criticized me for so much. How dare you, after what you did to me? How else was I supposed to cope? I was a kid.
I have had to live with that experience, buried deep inside me, for eleven years. It wasn’t until I was deployed that I had father figure in my life and a friend who really had my back. They helped me find help when I was falling apart. They cared about me more than you ever did. The only person you have ever really cared about is yourself, and you prove that time and time again.
You’re an alcoholic. You’re abusive to everyone in your family. You’re a selfish coward, because you will never face yourself and take responsibility for the things you have done.
I can’t remember how many times I stayed up and listened to your self-pity stories when you were drunk. I can’t remember how many times I came to visit and you were wasted at a tavern. You are held responsible for that, not anyone else.
I remember one weekend when I came to visit you… I was in the basement playing my guitar. You came down, drunk off your ass, and screamed at me for 2 hours straight about how I was being disrespectful to you. At first I tried to stand up for myself. Then, you – being the controlling asshole that you are – got even angrier and louder to intimidate me and scare me.
I was scared and crying for the last hour and forty-five minutes of your rant. A few times during that screaming, you made gestures toward me, and I thought you might start beating me. You threatened to physically harm me. You told me that you were going to destroy my guitar, something that meant a lot to me, and that I bought with my own money. You used fear to get control over me. You must have felt pretty tough, huh? What a big man you were… doing that to your son. You are an abusive piece of filth.
One time when I was working at Al’s Lawn Ornaments, you threatened to put a hammer through my head. You encouraged me to kill chipmunks, just because they were nesting in the shop. You have no value for life – you sick fuck. I could write an entire book with the amount of emotional abuse you put me through.
I hate you.
My hate for you surpasses anything you can possibly imagine. You are selfish, dishonest, controlling, manipulative and fucked up. The ways you treated me, and the things you did to me when you were still a part of my life, were not what any true father would ever do.
You made me believe that I could never trust anyone – that everyone will hurt me. You made me believe that that I was never good enough. You tried to convince that you are a good man – you are not. You warped my mind and imposed your own narcissistic views upon me. I never learned how to be a partner in a healthy, intimate relationship. You made me feel like I could never stand up for myself. You are more than imperfect. You are evil and toxic. I may be the biological descendant of you, but I am not you.
I am not holding onto the experience of you sexually abusing me any longer. That is your burden to bear now. It is fucking disgusting to think that you might have been too drunk to even remember what you did to me – but now...
I AM MAKING SURE YOU KNOW.
YOU MOLESTED ME WHEN I WAS TEN YEARS OLD.
YOU ARE A CHILD ABUSER.
I am holding you responsible RIGHT NOW in this letter.
You should be in prison.
Maybe that’s why you want to kill yourself. You know, deep down, what you have done. Your life is empty. You mean nothing. You are just a bitter, broken failure who is taking up space on planet Earth. The only good piece of advice you ever gave me was, “You can learn something from every single person – even if the only thing you learn is not to be like them.” You are one of those people who I have learned not to be like.
I will never forgive you.
You will never be in my life again.
I am not your son.
This abuse is no longer my burden to carry; you deserve to live with this hell. You deserve to carry it around with you – as I have most of my life. You are not getting away free from this. You scared my voice away, but I got it back. You can never take back what you did.
You will NEVER TOUCH ME AGAIN!!!
I AM STRONG. You cannot hurt me... I AM FREE. You have no control over me…
No matter how you try to manipulate, hurt, or control others, you will always lose. You will always be alone. Everyone sees you for the twisted, weak soul that you are. Everyone knows your true nature. You are nothing but a speck of dust that I have left behind.
I would tell you to go to Hell, but you are already there. I hope you rot.
A Letter to My Molester, My Torturer, My Rapist, My Dad
When I was a child I looked up to you, and sought out your approval and acceptance. I wanted nothing more then to love you, and to be loved by you. I wanted to be held in your arms and feel the comfort of your protectiveness. For more then thirteen years you treated me the way I needed to be treated, and I felt loved. In return I gave you all the unconditional love I could give. Apparently my unconditional love wasn’t enough. You wanted more then a child was expected to give. You touched me in places you had no right to touch. Your heart and mind must have enjoyed what your hands touched because you touched me there so many times.
I want you to know that to this day I am unable to handle the physical touch of another human being. I cringe each time I experience any physical contact. Because of you I am unable to lower my guard and trust another enough to let them get close. Because of you I have spent seventeen years alone. Because of you I have often felt like giving up. Your intrusive hands, fingers, and lips haven’t only molested my once young body, but it molested my heart, mind, and life. How dare you touch me there? You had no right. No one had that right without my permission; especially not you.
To this day I have tried my best to forget the feeling of your hands, fingers, and lips on my body. I have tried to forget the scent you so often had on your breath and how the liquor which caused that scent was so often used as an excuse for your behavior. I have tried my best to stop loving you and turn that love into hate.
Why did you beat me with your fists, belts, and the many other items in your disposal? Why did you cause me agonizing pain? Did you not know that hot water burns the skin, and fists bruise? Did you not understand that an electric shock dog collar was meant to train dogs and not meant to torture a person much less a child? Were you so stupid that you were unable to realize I wasn’t an ashtray? Why did you not only torture me physically, but mentally as well? Didn’t you realize that my heart, mind, and existence could be scarred just as badly if not worse? Did you think about the long term damage you would cause to my body and my mentality?
You seemed to enjoy seeing the pain in my eyes and hearing the cries come out on my mouth. What was so enjoyable about seeing tears stream down my face and hearing my agonizing screams? Years later when you were thinking about those times you tortured me. Did you enjoy it? Did it excite you sexually? How often did you look through the Polaroid’s you took of me being tortured by you? How often did you watch the video tapes you made? Did you see and hear my cries all over again? Did it turn you on like it did when you made them? Did you pleasure yourself while watching me suffer in the videos like you did when you were torturing me?
Up until the time you raped me, I thought my life couldn’t get any worse. I guess I should thank you for opening my eyes, so thank you. Could you not find sexual gratification from someone who was willing to share themselves with you? How dare you tie me up in such a vulnerable position and then rip my clothes off? How dare you force yourself inside of me from the front and behind? What gave you the right to steal my virginity? What gave you the right to tear my flesh with your violent thrusts as I struggled to just survive? What gave you the right to take away my ability to bring life into this world? You damaged my body so badly that my only choice to have children would be to adopt. Unfortunately I feel too damaged mentally to even try to be a parent.
Today is your birthday. As much as I try to let this day pass without thinking of you, I fail. Every 12th of May I again feel like a failure for not being able to forget your birthday. I already have enough to remember you by. I have scars on my body from your belt, your torture devices, and your cigarettes. I have scars on my heart, mind, and sense of self worth. Why do I have to remember you this time each and every year?
Why did you hurt me the way you did? What gave you the right to violate me? All I wanted from you was for you to love me. All I wanted was to love you in return. What the hell was wrong with you? What kind of person could do the things you did to me and find enjoyment in it? What kind of father could do those things to their child? What kind of person were you that you could inflict such cruelty on me and then keep trophies of your abuse?
I have tried so hard to hate you, but I can’t. I have tried so hard to convince myself that I no longer love you, but again I fail. I have tried so hard to have an agnostic opinion of you. On a basic level I still love you. Maybe that’s because I was never able to let go of the unconditional love I had for you. It is easy to love unconditionally, so why was your hate toward me so easy to express? There should have been no greater form of unconditional love then a parent toward their child. What was your major malfunction?
As bad as you hurt me so many times, I still would never want to see you suffer. I hope for your sake that if there is a God and if hell exists, that you had time to ask God for his forgiveness before you died. One of my greatest fears is that you have spent the last fourteen years in the midst of God’s punishment. I probably should find comfort in your potentially and likely eternal punishment, but I don’t. I feel bad for you, and in many ways I am sad for you. Dad, do you understand how it is possible for me to still care? Well, it is because when I became your little girl I truly understood what unconditional love is. I understood then just as I still do that unconditional love is an unlimited love. It’s a love without conditions.
Dad, I want you to know that I forgive you for all you did to me during those three years, but I will never be able to forget it. I pray that you had time to ask God to forgive you, and that your pleas were out of genuine guilt instead of fear. That being said, I want you to know that I hate who you were and all the cruel things you did to me, but I am incapable of hating you. Still if you made it to heaven through forgiveness and Gods grace. I hope that if I am graced to make it to heaven when I die that I won’t recognize you, because I have no desire to see my Molester, Torturer, Rapist, or my Dad ever again.
Happy Birthday dad, I miss the person I needed you to be.
To a very special mom this Mother’s Day,
You brought me into this world and taught me so many things to make me this way
From how to stick my fingers down my throat when people called me fat,
To how to cover the bruises you gave me with makeup;
And blame scratches on the cat.
How to keep my mouth shut unless you directed me to speak,
And how to effectively clean up broken glass with my bare hands and feet.
You helped me see the truths of the world,
That people are just out there to hurt me,
By holding me down, and violating me for everyone to see.
You taught me how to live a double life,
Because if I whispered a word, it would just bring me more strife
You taught me to fear ovens till I was about twenty,
Always frightened that like as a child, you’d be right there to burn me.
You inadvertently taught me how to teach myself to survive,
But without me to torture, your life was empty and deprived.
You lied to me to get me back near your end,
Saying it was me, with whom your final days you wanted to spend.
You said you were sorry,
You said you had changed,
For me to believe you I must have been deranged.
As I entered your room a flashback: You barging into the bathroom, pushing me off the toilet, pulling my first tampon out of me, throwing it in my face, and calling me a whore.
I swallowed my pain, and the filthy ways you make me feel down to my core,
But after only five minutes with you, you re-opened all those doors.
I was so furious I wanted to scream, but you looked so sick,
So I swallowed my hatred and practiced being ascetic.
I told you I loved you as you wanted to hear,
But I was choking on my words because it was such a lie,
I was such a coward it makes me sick, and makes me cry.
You fucked me up in so many ways,
That my husband might be leaving me because he can’t bear to stay.
You still ruin my life even though you’re now dead,
And sometimes I wish you weren’t, so I could smother you with a pillow in your filthy hospice bed.
As a child I though I must have done something wrong, that it was my fault,
As a teenager I was used to it, and tried taking it with a grain of salt.
I’ve tried reasoning with myself over the years,
That you had your own problems, and used abuse to mask your own tears.
But truthfully that’s bullshit, and that excuse doesn’t hold water,
Because it doesn’t change the fact that you did these things to your own daughter.
But enough is enough, and though I’ll never forgive you,
I can now take solace in knowing it wasn’t my fault and that even though you’re my mother, that maybe it’s okay to despise every wretched and vile part of you.
I can be better, and I can be strong,
And I can take comfort in knowing what you did was just wrong
So to the woman who scarred me and made me neurotic,
Who made me want to kill myself, who made me feel psychotic,
Happy Mother’s Day mom,
I hope you’re burning in hell.
- No longer yours, “Doll Face”
Crappy Father’s Day to a Hell of a Guy
“dad” (I use that word loosely), you’ve shown me so many things through the years
I’ve learned how to create an insurmountable wall around me
So that others will know for certain how tainted and guarded I am
You’ve extended to me through the years you’re “special brand of love”
A “love” that literally knows no boundaries
Except those that surrounded your king size bed while mom was working
How can I ever express to you my appreciation for the lessons you’ve taught me in life
Like how to focus on a corner of a room while giving myself to another
Or the fine art of mastering the suppression of sobs when the “act” is done
I’ve also learned how to withdraw, hide and run in times of crisis without explanation to others
I leave a trail of baffled loved ones in my wake
Scratching their heads wondering when I will ever be “normal”
My tongue is razor sharp and leaves no survivors when used
It’s a great defense you taught me during our “time” together
And the rages, they are enormous and frequent and scary
Until recently I thought all that to be normal
But, it isn’t, and I’m now battling every day not to suppress but EXPRESS
All those bottled up emotions that you gave to me so generously
The list is extensive and no card can ever tell you just how much you have altered my life and who I am.
I’ve had the great pleasure of losing my immediate family when I told them of our unique bond
I live in isolation as the outcast, wondering what I did that was so wrong
And in those few instances when I am around them, I am silently pitied by them – lucky me
I second-guess myself every minute of every day
Thinking they are all right and I am wrong, I am the black sheep, dirty and ugly and undesirable
These are the gifts and experiences I’ve gained from you
And no matter how much I falter in life
I still manage to get up, even though I don’t want to
Even if it means getting knocked down again by those I expected to love me unconditionally
But you know what “dad,” through you I’ve learned how to survive
How to live with my shattered soul without letting it DEFINE who I am today
For that, I am thankful and wish to extend to you
Above all others on this very special “Father’s” day
My gratitude in finding my strength to face the demons you created.
The Voice of Millions
by Kristen Cosgrove
I am a 1 out of 3 adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Since 2007 when the economy went south, I lost 5 jobs due to downsizing, layoffs or end of temp contracts. But the constant in my 40 years of life is the abuse of being raped by my stepfather as a child. I had no understanding of love, not from my mother, and when at 30 years old when I could not take holding the secret anymore, I told her, hoping she would embrace me, tell me how sorry she was, anything – she sat stoically, the daughter of an alcoholic father who she left when I was 6 weeks old and over the course of 10 years I lost my large, funny and enjoyable Italian family. It was too hard a subject for them, they told me to get over it, to stop speaking of it, as I went from therapist to therapist knowing I HAD to speak of the horror.
I am on my 3rd marriage and no, I take no shame from that. You see as a teenager and an adult you become attracted to what you know, abuse – my 1st shoved me into walls or his anger was so outrageous his fist punched holes in the walls along with the verbal abuse I endured on a daily basis. To my family, he was the perfect person who could never, ever be such labeled an abusive person, I was simply making it all up as far as they were concerned. I finally left after 1 year of marriage and went home, continued to go to college, got my BS in Business and tried to suppress my demons but knowing they were still there.
A few years later just before graduating from St. Joseph’s University, I met a man who gave me rides home as I had no car or transportation there and I began to open up to him about the abuse, how ugly it makes you feel inside and out and my struggle with it. It gave me the courage to leave. And I began a relationship with this man after divorcing husband #1. He seemed kind but there were things I chose to ignore. He too became verbally and emotionally abusive during our time together and again, I left, in a rainstorm, and went home.
At the time I had my 1st job out of college and honestly, when the abuse began in any relationship, I sought out others, hoping to find the one person who was not like the ones I was with, not like my stepfather, hoping to find the love the abuse robbed me of. This man was married but kind, we had so much in common from love of animals to fishing, to football. But soon, he turned too. Looking back the signs were there and one Friday night he never came home, not just that night but all weekend. We filed a police report as a missing person in addition to driving to places all along the Northeast looking for him or his car and when he did arrive home late Sunday night, he gave some outrageous story and became enormously mad at me for having the police look for him – after people left, behind closed doors, he threw me to the wall and began to choke me. It turns out he had found another woman and spent that weekend with her and his anger over my concern for his safety enraged him.
I stayed in agony for a while, feeling my failure at marriage #2 and knowing the abuse was the key to this pattern but ignored it. As I finally had the courage to leave and go home yet again, I re-connected with the man who gave me rides home from St. Joe’s, perhaps looking for comfort, perhaps wanting to think he had changed in all our years apart, just looking for a friend to find comfort in.
I ended up of course divorcing husband #2 and dated this man. I took no money or equity from any of my divorces despite it was my right to do so – I left only with just my clothes from each marriage, I am not about money, just how I am treated.
I, for the first time, had the wonderful opportunity to live on my own, down the block from this old friend from St. Joe’s and eventually we married. Within the first 1 to 1 ½ years of our marriage I became pregnant and at 5 months along, over an argument, he pushed me against a bed to which I fell to the floor and began cramping. He left the house, me on the floor, afraid of losing my baby, in tears, scared, wondering what to do.
Yes, like the 1 out of 3, I stayed, we found a bigger house but things grew far worse, The verbal abuse contained every cruel word you could think of but by far when he came after me as my son sat in his car seat choking me, I knew I had to find a way out. And then, as my son aged, in a house that is split-level, I could hear an argument ensue and could see him hit my son so hard that he landed on the hard wooden floor bleeding and sobbing. I reached for the kitchen phone which he promptly ripped out of the wall and ran for my cell phone and made the call to 911, scared for myself and my children as my newborn daughter was asleep in her rocker.
Needless to say many 911 reports were called over the years. After that he took his fists and destroyed my bedroom, smashing pictures of places I always wanted to go, throwing anything and everything to the point the room was ransacked, tore up photos and any items he knew had some value to me. He then came after me and my son and now daughter at the time – I ran to the top floor of the house, cell phone in hand, them in front of me figuring if he caught any of us, it would be me, my son in tears begging me to call the police as he stood trembling behind my back. The police made him leave that night but he returned the next morning also with the nerve to call and ask for a ride from the hotel the police put him in – I declined.
I found a therapist who did help me heal as much as it can be healed because abuse is always with you, traces always remain, and it takes work to undo the tapes abuse causes in your mind. This therapist stayed no matter the rage, the anger, the challenging, the tears and when my therapy ended I realized he had given me a gift – one of love, knowing what it felt like, to be loved, to receive love, and the night I realized it because I always thought a lot after each session on my ride home, I had to pull over the car and cry because the beauty and the wonderful feeling I had searched for in my 40 years of life had finally happened. I know in my time I perplexed him, changed the way he approached therapy because of my challenging ways and he was always baffled at how through the bad things, I could stay strong – it was because of him my abuse is as healed as it will be and he and I will always have a special relationship.
Recently I realized that my pattern in going from man to man was not because I was loose or bad but because I constantly sought love from someone, anyone who was not my stepfather, but instead I was drawn to what I new – abusive men, until him, until my ex-therapist.
My family fails to understand that the abuse did this to me, it damages you in ways you cannot even try to explain unless you speak with another survivor. For the 1st time in 40 years I finally felt love and knew how to receive it. My ex-therapist was a gift, he gave me that last shred of the little girl inside hiding in the dark, legs curled to her body, head down, door barricaded protecting the last shred of her innocence – he took her hand and led her to the beach, her most connected and safe place, and brought light into her world.
I know my molester was molested as a boy scout and vowed the legacy ends here and it has. My children are my life and if god forbid, something like this happened to them, they could talk to me about it until the day I died – holding it in, forgetting about, that all just makes you a victim over and over again.
This is to the millions, 1 out of 3 that have reported it, you are not alone, your behavior was altered by what happened to you and it is a shame in 2011 an entire family can leave the victim because it is too ugly a topic to listen to.
If I could I’d leave with my kids but am again unemployed in this economy with no financial means to do so (when you’ve worked since you were 13 and endure this many job losses, I am surprised I am still standing and sane) and I’d give anything to sue my molester, I know where he lives, wrote him once, received a denial (big surprise) and other sarcastic remarks. He is now with a woman with 2 young children and I don’t want their lives to become what mine has become.
Remember this – you survived – you have strength – there are people who can help and know I am one of them.
"Your Father Likes Young Girls"
by Loraine Hutchins
Your father likes young girls
Acknowledging his gaze
in public parks
at swimming pools
at church meetings.
Your father likes young girls.
And in that phrase
I heard your own regret
your fear of aging
your quiet acceptance of his taste.
Your father likes young girls
I must have been no more than 12 myself
Rushing to assure you
his gaze was only that
a harmless gaze
not measurable against his love for us.
But us meant me & Becky
as well as you
His "young girls," his daughters.
Were we safe?
I don't remember wondering then.
Children are notorious for hindsight
for revisiting the wound, picking at the scab
to watch the red flesh heal up close.
I grew up knowing my father liked young girls and that I was growing in his gaze.
Maybe fat I would escape his notice
Maybe food would be my friend
Make him back off if he
thought of taking what he saw as his
my little body
growing under his gaze.
By "young girls" I understood you to mean
teenagehood not toddlers
so entering junior high school did not shield me
from his gaze.
"You didn't really gain weight til you left home"
you tell me now
implying it's my fault, or the world's
unconnected to you and him.
But the patterns were set mama
the patterns were set daddy
in how I first experienced food and my body
food and my boundaries
food and my appetite
food and you two and me.
Food is what you prepared for him
when he left for work and when he came home
food is what you cooked when he was
sick to nurse him back to health
food is what I used to self-medicate
the only drug around
the drug of love, freely available
Gravy, rolls, roast, birthday cake abound.
It's true there is no overt abuse
no one act of violation
at being my own hungry
normal weighted self
except his beneficent
I became a nudist, a free spirit
someone driven to experiment with sex.
"Don't tell us about it, honey, please,
Don't tell us all your experiences
we'd just rather not know."
(Except you were voyeurs,
and are, and
you do want to know.)
"Your father likes young girls"
And in that statement
I felt outlawed
around the bend.
(There are certain things mama
I did not want to know)
and yet I did, again and
again and then
"Your father ..."
Not "my husband"
Today I finally find
the strangeness in these words.
We were sealed you and I
mother and oldest daughter
in this bubble
of complicity and desire
You told me something about him
that bothered you
But you couched it
both as neutral observation
and as something
I was responsible for
by just being
being born in relation to him.
"Your father likes young girls" you said
the possessive adjective
the liked young girl
the apple of everyone's eye.
Daddy's dear young girl.
I grew up so ambivalent
succored by cock
distrustful of intimacy.
This was neither your fault nor his.
It's a mean world
as Karen Finley and Sweet Honey both say
"A mean world we have to live in
we have to live in, until we die."
You didn't make sexism
You didn't make gay bashing
These things have harmed you too.
We are all victims
trying to find harbor
trying to make a safe home.
But here I am, age 45
wondering if I'm finally free
of my father's gaze.
I don't feel free
I do feel fat
My fat surrounds & shields me for some
good reason I know.
"Your father loves you, Loraine
he'd never hurt you" you say
and I know
I know his tenderness
his fierce protectiveness
his despair at not succeeding,
better than most.
"My father moved through dooms of love"
is the phrase from the e.e. cummings poem
I gave him when I left home.
He loved that poem.
Something in him really understood.
Yet there must be more
than just doomed love
something more mature
As we age together
going into our later years
will we ever
break free of these early messages?
There will always be young girls.
we are no longer young.
Ancient wounds sometimes heal
but is it through denial? No.
Through airing anger & pain
and upon that cleaned out space
He is your husband
He is his own self.
My body is mine.
I do not know that yet.
I lose it over & over again
in a pain & shame so searing
I must conceal the horror from you
but somewhere somewhere
before we die, can we find any peace,
will we build respect?
Years ago, I went to a party with my brother and you were there. I remember that I was particularly shy at that time in my life, because my face was so broken out . I was in Florida for some reason. I had been living in New York City by myself studying dance and percussion. I was so alone in New York and at that time of my life. In fact, I think that the lonliness that has plagued me in my life has been one of the most stubborn ramifications of what you did to me. Anyway, I approached you and said “Hey C, do you remember what we used to do when I was young?” And you looked at me or at least in my direction with an aire of disdain and said “what did we used to do?” As if you did not know what I was talking about or as if you were challenging me to actually say it. I have experienced this kind of thing since then from other people. It’s a way of putting weaker people on the defensive. It’s a way of making them articulate something knowing that in doing so, the person will probably falter and look foolish. I just said “never mind” and sort of slunk away.
I have wanted to write to you for so many years. I have imagined what I would say or if I were to see you what I would do. I think it is probably a good thing that I have not seen you because I fear that the same thing would have happened as I imagine you are still the same.
I am not really sure when you actually started to have intercourse with me. I know that it was happening when I was in fifth grade because I remember that your dad used to drive me to school each day, and I remember which school it was. I’m also not sure how it started but I remember that one day you came into the room where I was staying at your mother’s and you shut the door behind you. You pulled out your penis and the two pockets of your pants and said “do you want to see an elephant”….I’ll never forget that image of you. You thought it was funny. I just covered my eyes and sort of fell back on the bed.. I think I just wanted to block the image. I was literally bowled over by what you did. I just wanted to not be there. I was so embarrassed. The only thing that makes me think that I may have been younger when the whole thing started is that I remember your little brother’s being in diapers around that time and he is not that much younger than I. I also remember you bringing Bobby into your room with me. I sat down on the bed and you pulled my pants away from my body so that he could peek down my pants to see that I had pubic hair. You were so amazed. I was so young. You just had to show your buddy.
Most of the time, we did it on the floor of your mother’s closet with the shoes all around, except for the first time. I guess you figured you should be a gentleman and rape me in the bed the first time. What I remember most vividly about that was how much it hurt. I remember actually feeling as if you liked me less after that because you hid me in the closet. I wondered why we did not do it in the bed anymore. I really don’t remember your talking to me much or paying attention to me at all aside from the times you raped me. The only time I remember your ever talking to me was that time you asked me if I had had my period. I said “what’s that?” and you said “you’ll find out”. I wonder how does it feels to have been living all of these years with the knowledge that you did that to me? How could you let all of this time go by in silence. Haven’t you been curious about what happened to me? I wonder how many other people you raped?.
I just want you to know how what you did to me has affected my life. I have spent my life feeling like an outsider. I have felt like there is something inherently wrong with me. I don’t fit into most social situations. I am an outsider. I am an oddball. I have been unable to sustain any kind of romantic relationship with anyone. I can have sex with people but I am scared to really love someone. As a teenager and for a lot of my young adulthood, I was promiscuous because I thought that I was unlovable. I have had ghonorrhea so bad that I had to be hospitalized. I was 14 when that happened. At 17, I was a prostitute. I thought that that was all I was good at. I want you to know that your having sex with me as a child, put me in the situation where I really did not know how to act in the world. You violated me in such a way that I failed to develop healthy boundaries. Luckily, I started playing music seriously in my late teens and that literally saved my life. At that time in my life, I was completely alone out in the world having left home at 16. I could not even graduate from high school because I was so damaged. I was always smart but I could not concentrate and I had no friends because I had been through stuff that most of my peers had not experienced. I was a complete mess. A complete wreck. And you are responsible for that. Fortunately, I landed in Atlanta and the musicians in Atlanta at the time started me on my instrument.
Another thing that has been a ramification of your raping me is that I have spent most of my life high. I haven’t taken a lot of hard drugs, though I did snort coke for a year in the 80’s when I lived in Miami. But I have smoked weed for 30 years of my life every day if I could because I literally could not stand myself. You created a self loathing in me that I have had a hard time diffusing.
I really hope you get this letter and that you read it. I want you to know that I really hate you. It’s too bad that you did not seize the opportunity at that party to talk to me. That would have helped me so much. But I have realized over the years, that that is a lot to ask from someone like you.
I remember that I would have to endure intercourse with you and then pretend that nothing was going on when I was around your family. When your father would drive me to school in the morning, I would have to sit there in the car with him, harboring that BIG secret. And when I was home, I would often stand before the mirror in my bathroom before I went downstairs to eat breakfast, and I would cry. Wow, how does it feel now after all of these years to know that you did some shit like that to a young girl. I heard that you have two daughters. I have worried about them throughout the years.
Did you rape them?
How would you feel if someone did to them what you did to me? You owe me an apology.
I want you to know though, that your sick, irresponsible behavior with me has not ruined my life, even with the hardship I have suffered. I have gone to graduate school. I hold two master’s degrees. I have produced two music cd’s one was nominated for a Grammy award. I have been to Africa and Cuba to study music. I have been teaching at a college in my town for 15 years. And now, I do end of life care. I help people die. I have found a lot of happiness in my work life and in my personal life. I have good friends and even though I have not been able to sustain a relationship, I have loved and been loved. I also have worked on my spirituality and have been able to open to all of the stuff you did to me and this has made me brave. and strong. I have been forced to deal with my emotional issues because otherwise I would probably have died
Most important, is that I had a child when I was 40. I have an incredible 11 year old son, whom I am raising to be a loving, honest, strong young man with a good character. The complete opposite of you. Because I have him in my life, I can see even more clearly how fucked up what you did to me actually was. At 11, he is still a kid and would not be able to handle the complexities of having a sexual relationship with someone much less a secret one with someone older.
I really would like you to know that although you did that to me, I am still here, and I won‘t ever forget what you did. I also want you to know that my whole family knows about this. My mother knows. My brother knows. And you know who else knows? Your cousin. When I was there in the early 90’s after going to Cuba, we got together and drank margaritas one night and I told her. So just realize, that I am not keeping the secret and I am going to tell the story until the day I die.
You really should have talked to me that night. You should have at least acted like you cared a little bit about me, because by fluffing me off like you did, you made an enemy out of me and you showed me that what you did was not something that was a mistake or some kind of diversion from your true character. Had you seized the opportunity to acknowledge what happened, what you did to me, had you acted at all kind or conciliatory, you could have undone some of the damage and havoc that you wrought.
The Hell Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a soul dared to stir, not even the mouse.
The belts were hung in the closet with care,
For soon dear Ernie would be on a tear.
The children so frightened shuddered and prayed in their beds,
With visions of relentless horror filling them with dread
And mom zonked on her pills, and Ernie with a noose,
Both children and Ernie knew all hell would soon break loose.
When through the bedroom door their arose such a clatter,
The sweet little girl knew just exactly what was the matter.
Away through the window the girl wished she could fly,
But he tore off her covers, her clothes, and forced himself inside.
The moon on the breast of a new-fallen snow,
Only mocked her vain hopes that someone would know.
And what to her terrified eyes should appear,
Her dear stepfather madly lusting to drive her to tears.
The hulking monster, so powerful and quick,
Would begin by first forcing her to suck on his dick.
More rapid than eagles his curses and blows fell,
Red-faced with blind fury he condemned her to hell.
“Now take this and like it you worthless little bitch,
Cause daddy’s got his needs; daddy’s got the itch.”
On top of her lifeless, helpless body old Ernie did crawl,
And he raped her and beat her and soiled her – he did it all!
On down the hallway he nimbly made his way,
The little boy was next, and Ernie was still ready to play.
Ere the young lad caught his breath daddy’s hand was round his neck,
Bent over the bed for mercy he cried and plead, but daddy had other plans instead.
Exhausted, but satisfied Ernie’s lust finally began to recede,
And back to his bed snug and sound, his conquest complete.
His fantasies fulfilled at last he could sleep,
Never mind that the children could do no more than weep
Outside on the lawn the fresh snow shown so innocent and clean,
But in their own dungeons the children felt dirty, worthless, and mean.
Their innocence long shattered, their bodies and spirits gravely hurt,
By the hands of that brutal monster their souls had been ground to dirt.
But never mind, for tomorrow came a new day,
And dear Ernie, feeling mighty generous, said “I have a new game to play”.
Off in his car to the movies they sped away,
The children so naive allowed themselves to think, “Perhaps not today”.
“This is not a movie theater at all” the children thought to themselves,
“No it is not” Ernie pronounced as he commanded them to undress.
The lights came up and the camera began to roll,
The stars of this movie were small, naked and cold.
But dear Ernie had much more fun in store you know,
There was the game with a revolver – now how did it go?
One bullet in the cylinder he gave it a spin,
Pointed it at them and said with an evil grin “This is for your sin”.
The hammer quickly fell, but who knew what sound it would make,
Would it be a click or a boom, would they come out of this dead or awake?
“This one is for you, you little bag of shit” he did say,
And when the gun went click said, “This is your lucky day”.
Christmas was finally over, “Thank God” thought the kids,
But Ernie knew better because day after day, he did what he did.
And their lives became lonely, bitter hells that no one should bear,
Oh, but dear Ernie had his way with them without one single care.
To my abusers,
In my life there have been too many of you. From the age of five, my father sexually, physically, and verbally abused me. He systematically raped and tortured me. My mother was his silent accomplice, turning a blind eye to the abuse until I spoke up, and then told me I’d been brainwashed. She rejected me, stopped the charges I’d pressed against him, and went back to loving and supporting my rapist.
At fifteen, my boyfriend held me down by the throat and raped me on my living room floor. He made me clean up the pool of blood it left behind, and didn’t understand “why it upset me so much”. The man I dated after him verbally, physically, and sexually abused me. He told me he loved me. His idea of love was to force himself on me, to only stop if I pretended to enjoy what he was doing. He’d wrap his arm around my throat, triggering me to my past abuse, so that I would dissociate and it would be easier to rape me. He used my back as an ashtray when he wanted to “indulge his vices” while he raped me.
After that, I thought it was all over, that I’d gotten away, only to have my girlfriend use her gender to hide her abuse. She told me I was horrible, that I was a slut, and she threatened to make me homeless, as my mother had done. She dislocated my shoulder, and the cops who arrived to my call did nothing. After all, a woman can’t be an abuser, right?
My first abuse was disguised to be love. I needed to do those things to show love for my father. I didn’t know it was wrong, didn’t know that other fathers didn’t do that. I knew it was wrong the night he broke my jaw when I wasn’t giving him an “exciting” enough blowjob. But I was six years old, and I couldn’t stop it. I made my body my sacrifice, and learned to visit a place inside myself that no one else could reach. I learned to dissociate, and I learned to go away when stronger people, my dissociated identities, took over my body to protect me.
You were supposed to love me. You were supposed to protect me and respect me. Instead, you hurt me, you taught me I was worthless, and you tried to teach me that no one could ever love me. I was more than willing to give you love, and all you wanted was to hurt me and keep me under your thumb. I spent years feeling like I was tainted, that I was un-loveable. I had been taught that the only way to show someone I was loved was to have sex with them. More than one person took advantage of that, to have sex with me when all I wanted was support and love.
I tried more than a dozen times to kill myself, each time growing more desperate. My last attempt was years ago, now, but the memories of those nights still haunt me. Of the nights I lay alone, bleeding, or lying in my own vomit from failed attempts. I burned myself, cut myself, and drank until I couldn’t see or stand. I felt so out of place, like I would never find out who I was underneath it all.
Who am I now? I’m an advocate for the abused. I maintain a community where survivors can talk with each other to be supported, a safe place for survivors to be. I’m happily married, and live in a safe home, surrounded by people who love me unconditionally. My body is no longer my sacrifice to be loved. It is respected and treated with kindness. I spend more days feeling stable and happy than I ever have before in my life. I feel strong, like I can make it through anything that life throws me. I realized some time ago that I was hurting myself as constant punishment for being alive, that I was acting as your agent in causing myself pain. I haven’t hurt myself in 17 months.
And the most important part of this letter?
I want you to know that who I am now, this beautiful and strong woman I am? You had NOTHING to do with making her. Your abuse did not make me stronger, more capable of living. Your abuse only provided me an opportunity to prove what strength I’ve always had.
I have so many ways of coping because I am resourceful. I live my life independently because I am strong and good at working on a tight budget. I have patience and compassion, not because of how many times I survived your abuse, but because I genuinely care about others. I have a beautiful and supportive chosen family because I am a good person, and I insisted the good people surround me. While you may lay claim to so many horrible things in my life, you cannot lay claim to the most important things – all that I have accomplished.
I used to fear talking about myself in a positive light, because I felt it was the abuse that made me who I am. I am no longer afraid. I know without a doubt that I have been this strong my whole life, because I have survived, because I face each new challenge with that same strength and determination.
None of you are in my life anymore, and I’m glad for it. I know several of you still catch up on my life, and I hope you seethe every single time I smile. You have no power over me, and I have reclaimed my life and my power from you. You will never know your grandchildren, you will never know again what it is to have me in your world.
With each day I find happiness beyond the nightmares and flashbacks, I prove that I’ve been strong all along. With each day, with each smile, I defy you. You tried to kill me inside, only to find that I was un-killable. My strength is in my ability to love, in my ability to thrive amongst starvation, and has nothing to do with you. I only hope that one day you find even one tenth of that strength inside yourself, and realize what you tried to do to me, so that you, too, can overcome your abuse.
I, without regret, would like to inform you that what you misappropriated, I reacquired.
You see… I was 8, only 8 innocent years old.
You stole my vulnerability. You stole my enchantment. You stole my sparkle. You replaced them with fears and self loathing and pain. You took what was suppose to be my joyous childhood and twisted it into some perverted moments of pleasure for yourself. What does that make you?
I wish I could say that I was above hate. I wish I could say I was above hoping for some cruel revenging act upon you. But I can’t. Each day that I look into a mirror, for near 25 years now, I see that frightened abused little girl looking back at me. Replaying those days like a movie reel that’s stuck in a horrific loop. I wish you nothing but misery.
For two weeks, my Christmas break, you sexually scarred me. You made me think that perhaps I liked it. That I was pretty and adored. You told me to keep the secret or I would be thrown away. And when that secret did come out….I was. No one in my family looked at me the same. Or looked at me much again actually.
You tainted every holiday season that ever followed.
You stole from me so much. But I took it back.
I took the tangled mess you left inside me and I created the woman I am today. Poised, strong, beautiful, and even on some levels virtuous once more.
My life is mine again.
I recreated my innocence. And you may never touch it again.
Letter to the Abuser
It was 50 years ago, and you are dead. I am angry about that, because I wanted to confront you with your crime. My mother said, “it doesn’t matter anymore, because he is dead.” She is abysmally ignorant. You were drunk when you broke into our apartment, and it wasn’t until years later that I realized with horror, that you must have seen my mother leave, otherwise you wouldn’t have done that. She never should have left my sister and I alone in that roach/rat-infested tenement house at night. If anyone would have ever dropped a match, it would have gone up in flames immediately, being that it was 120-years old—no foundation, snow which came in through a crack in the wall. We had no father….an abusive mother….poverty: no phone, car, refrigerator or bathroom.
I have no memory of what you did, I just know that you were in bed with me, and I didn’t know who it was. You went into the living room where my sister slept and molested her. She knew who you were, because you said, “I’m sorry, are you still coming over to watch TV?” I will never understand why my mother would allow us in your apartment. The one place of safety for a child should be their bed. There was no safety or stability in that apartment, and you exacerbated that. I am not even sure of what age I was; somewhere around 9 or 10.
A few years ago, I finally got the courage to confront my mother and ask her why nothing was done about your molestation. My heart was pounding and I was shaking. I told myself I had a right to know what happened, but since my mother is so volatile, I was afraid she would be angry. At first she said: “I didn’t know you were molested.” She needed to be in denial. I can remember her checking me with a flashlight, so she knew you might have raped/molested me. She said she had reported it, but the “cops were all in cahoots with each other” and did nothing. This made no sense. I contacted the police department, but their records didn’t go that far back, and they said I would have to contact another agency. I haven’t done that yet; I doubt the records exist. You were however, in the database in the 1970’s. What a shock to find out you were still committing crimes when you were in your 60’s. We were not allowed to know what it was you were arrested for.
I spoke to a woman who lived next door, and found out you had grabbed her, and she said she scratched your face up. She was disgusted when she found out what you had done to my sister and I. She told us that you had been in and out of jail and prison all of your life. Somehow that made it much worse for me. My thinking was that perhaps molesting my sister and I, was a first and isolated incident. Knowing you were career criminal made me feel even more violated.
I heard that my Sunday school class was going to have someone speak about abuse. I thought it would be about emotional/physical abuse, and thought “how innovative.” I went to the class and the woman was speaking of being molested as a child. I listened for about a half an hour in a “clinical” sense, not feeling any discomfort (as I had discussed the issue before), and then all of a sudden I began to cry and couldn’t stop. I thought I had processed the situation, and it hadn’t affected me. I was shocked to find myself in this state, and had to leave. I called my therapist who was out of town and driving in his car. He took the time (bless his heart) to talk to me for quite some time. The angels were on my side that he was available.
I always thought that it didn’t really affect me all that much, and because it only happened once, was no big deal. I read an article which stated that, “Even one incidence of molestation can havea scattergun effect on your life: promiscuity, drinking, drugs, self-abuse (cutting), bulimia, anorexia…and the list goes on.| Fortunately, this didn’t happen to my sister and I.
Where I am now. I have taken the pain of a lifetime….turning pain into power (except for 3 years in the army)….a childhood of abuse, 31 years of abusive marriage, and spiritual abuse (a church who voted me out of membership because I gota divorce).
I counsel abused women. I’ve been published in a psychiatric journal (www.psychiatricjournal.com, entitled: The Transcendent Child on Overcoming Verbal and Spiritual Abuse). I have a website: www.churchabusepoetrytherapy.com. Elie Wiesel has written to me regarding my poems; how humbling and what an honor. I’ve written my memoir: Ghost Child to Triumph (from a child with no voice, to someone who speaks up against injustice), and have some incredible endorsements from some amazing people. I don’t think of myself as a survivor, but an overcomer, because that word denotes action, and I have been working my whole life to make a difference. I believe that is why we are all here.
It took me 25 years to find the book which saved my life: The Verbally Abusive Relationship by Patricia Evans. I believe it should be required reading for everyone on the planet. Usually ALL abuse begins with the verbal. This book has been called the “cornerstone of civilization.” I believe that.
I cannot change the past, but I can…and am…changing the future.
by Melissa Cox
I was 4 when my mother
packed our toys and moved
my brother and me across the frozen
Missouri River to St. Joseph.
My mom told us
she was tired of carrying us,
and dinner, from the car
in knee-deep snow--alone,
while my father was playing with our
All I knew was that I wouldn't see my father
and all of the Christmases to come.
I was eight when my mother
married again and my step-dad
morphed into an abuser. I
watched him put his fist through the
in our basement
because he missed my
brother's 13-year-old face.
I sat outside with the neighbor kids and
strained to hear
the sweet sound of summer
over my brother's bruised screams and
of oiled leather
on bare skin.
I was nine when my mother
worked long hours at the hospital--and
with our step-dad.
One evening I turned off
my shower water and noticed the door
was open. I asked him to shut it--instead,
he shut me.
I cried, begged him
to stop, but over the sound of
my legs hammering the sides
of the plastic tub--and jets
whirling, you couldn't hear my childhood
I was ten when my mother
relocated our family
to southern Missouri, and
my baby sister was born.
For two years I hid her
in the laundry closet--so she
wouldn't hear the yelling
at high pitched decibels, between her
That same year, my step dad drove us t-
and took that muddy, backroad to tell us
he didn't love us--
only our mother.
I was 14 when my mother
finally told him to move out
of our lives forever--
two months later, he waltzed back in,
took my mother by her throat.
I woke up on a Saturday
to the sound of my sister
watching cartoons in her room
and my mom shouting
and him threatening to kill her.
Mom got it all on tape;
the Guardian ad Litem
called me a liar.
I was seventeen when my mother
turned into a stranger.
She fell asleep, smoking, on the kitchen
table, and I
can still run my fingers
over burn sores in the wood.
Each day I watched her count her pills,
like a meticulous spider, counting her
That year, I took
a paring knife to my wrist
on our back porch while my mom was
inside on the phone with my dying
The players we will look at today are: my brother, my father and a friend of the family. There are more, truth be told. But I find it too much as it is to address these people, and I don’t think I could bear addressing everyone today. It’s too much of a fight to address these three, let alone everybody who helped paint the picture of my life as a victim of abuse.
Dear the first men in my life,
I have spent a lot of time in the darkness of my mind. Throwing blankets over my consciousness, like I threw blankets over my body in a childish attempt to keep you at a safe distance. You never respected the blankets over my body, and the ghosts of you never respect the blankets I try to throw over my thoughts.
I couldn’t keep you away from my body then, and I can’t keep you from my mind now.
Dear brother, how are you? A lot has happened since you were six and I was two. My lover never smothers a pillow over my face when he kisses me, and his body is warmly accepted when it moves over mine. How can a boy of six know to do those things? TV? Or did someone burn such situations on your psyche like you did mine?
How did you know to touch me there? Is that why you’re so mentally abusive now? Is that why you treat me like you do every other woman in your life? As a piece of meat to fuck and throw away? As someone who keeps their mouth shut, lest they summon your anger?
Dear father, I don’t know why but I still love you. I still love you even though you hurt me so bad in places I had no name for. I still love you even though you say I’m a drama-queen for being affected by your years of inflicting pain.
I was a toddler when I crawled into your bed at night. Mother was gone somewhere, working to support us while you slept the days away. I was a toddler when you touched me. I still hate the feel of Vaseline. I can’t think of it without flashes of pain. I still can’t think of it without feeling it inside me.
I was heartbroken when you took another child under your wing. You admired her, you loved her and I was just your garbage. You had no use for me, so you ignored me. I hated you then. I hated you even though I loved you.
It remains today. I don’t know how I can love you when my hate is this great.
And finally, a friend of the family. We haven’t spoken in two years, since my family banned you from their house. It wasn’t because of how you raped and touched my sister and I. It wasn’t over how you told us pedophiliac stories of the conquests of “other men”. I don’t know why they disowned you, but they did. But it wasn’t over something you did to me. It was something you did to father.
Mother and father let you get away with so much. They let you get away with ruining my childhood. They let you get away with the murder of my inner child. They stood by as she screamed and cried. I couldn’t be a child anymore because you killed everything that grew inside of me.
You called me “vixen”, ever since I was six.
That day I stood up to you, was the day I realized my parents never protected me. You told me to go fuck myself, right in front of my mother. And when you threatened to leave she chased after you, apologizing over my rude behavior. You taught me that I didn’t matter. You taught me being a child wasn’t safe.
I am becoming strong. I am becoming whole thanks to my friends and lover.
My lover, he is a man. I have no idea what the lot of you, are.
These are the two actual letters that I sent out to (the first) one of my abusers, and then the second I sent out to all of my family, as the first letter got taken around (by the wife of the "accused" uncle and talked about by everyone.
How I wish that this letter would purge you from my memories, the effects of having known you from my soul. I wish that I could point my finger at you in a room full of all your family and tell them all what you are. But of course that isn't reality. None of them would believe me... and if they DID, they would never admit it, because then they'd have to admit to their own abuse. Or even better, if they admit that you are a sick pervert, then many of them would have to admit to the same fault. You are part of a sick and twisted family.
I wonder if you still get pleasure from little girls. I wonder how it is that you ever had children, when it seems as though you only got pleasure from pre pubescent girls. I wonder how far you went with your own daughter. I even still am wondering how far you went with me.
I remember plenty though. I absolutely refuse to let you keep affecting my life. I will not hear or accept your words any longer. I am NOT bad, I am not at fault, and I think you are just beyond sick to be able to, day after day after day, purposely manipulate a little girl's mind so that she will think she is at fault. How can you even live with yourself?
Do you remember what you used to do to me? What you would make me do? Do you think on it with regret, or are you still so twisted that you think of it with pleasure? I cannot imagine how you can be attracted to someone so young that they can't possibly know what they are doing. I can't imagine the gross pleasure you must have gotten in seeing me manipulated, bending to your will, trained so well that I did whatever you wanted. I'll bet by the time I was old enough to really be under your spell, after years of your abuse, that you really were able to reassure yourself that I wanted it. That my 12 year old self knew enough that I wanted you, that it WAS my fault, in your mind.
It wasn't my fault. IT WAS NOT MY FAULT. No matter what delusions you have in your own mind, it was ALL you. It was YOUR mind games that you played with me before I even turned 6 that made me that way. You taught me with the tools of guilt and fear and plied me with negative thought after negative thought until I couldn't believe that anything else was true. You as good as brainwashed me, you BROKE me. Your actions, your choices, your WORDS even literally made me split myself up... made me INCAPABLE of being a normal child, a normal teen and even a normal adult.
Well NO MORE. I will recognize any ANY words of negativity that come from you and they will leave me. I will see you for what you are, and see myself as a grieving child that is healing. I will see you as a sick twisted man who deserves to wallow and die wrapped in self loathing and guilt... and then I will forget about you because I refuse to give you the energy it would take to hate you. I refuse to give you anymore of myself or my mind or my life. I will heal, I will be complete and I will learn to have a normal life again. Nothing you do or say, nothing you DID or SAID will be able to continue to affect who I AM.
I will remember it ALL, I may even have to relive some of it, but then it will be gone from me, the guilt will be gone. However YOU can never be rid of it. The guilt, no matter how deep it goes, is there and is eating you alive. You can't look at me, I'm fairly certain that you can't look at your daughter or even your sisters without seeing who you really are. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is enough of a conscience in you somewhere, maybe not much, but just enough to realize how completely you have destroyed so many people. Your sickness, your perversion has DESTROYED many of the people I'm sure you profess to love. They are all broken now, they may have healed, they may have come through the other side, but they are forever changed, scarred because of what you did.
You are sick, I'm sure you are still sick, and I will do what I can to see that you do not have easy access to another little girl like you did to me. I hope that in just reading this letter that you will be crushed with an agonizing guilt, a darkness so thorough and complete that you can't find your way out of it for a very long time. That you won't be able to even LIVE or find joy again without repenting of your perverse sins, and asking forgiveness of those you hurt.
I PRAY that you will be so CONSUMED with a need, a desperation a drive so strong that it can't be ignored, a need to CONFESS your sins to your WIFE and your FAMILY and heal yourself of this sickness before you hurt anyone else. I pray that you will find a way to ask forgiveness and admit your wrongs and admit that you need help. I pray that this is in the forefront of your mind for the rest of your life, that you will never be able to touch or even think of another child in that way again without literally being physically ILL at the thought of what you have done, actually vomiting up your shame and guilt over your sins. I pray that if you still get close enough to another child to hurt them too, that you will be so overwhelmed with disgust at yourself that you will be literally paralyzed and unable to move except for the gut wrenching feeling of your heart breaking for all the little girls whose heart YOU have broken.
I pray that by some MIRACLE you will be able to do SOMETHING to repair some damage that you've done. That you will put any resources or energy you have into helping those very kind of people that you spent most of your life destroying.
I pray that I will be able to forgive you myself, not for your sake, but for mine. That I will be able to let go of all the anguish and hurt and damage you did. That I will be able to love and have a life that you no longer have a hold on.
I want you to know, that although I am fully capable of being healed, it is because God has given me the strength to do it. I am STRONG ENOUGH to get past this... but many of the other girls you hurt, that you damaged and took advantage of, most of those little girls whose innocence you stole were completely destroyed. They never had a chance to heal and have a normal life. You might as well have killed them with you bare hands. You sick, SICK man. I hope not another day goes by that you don't realize exactly what you are.
First and foremost, I would like to respond to at least one of the responses to my accusations. Responding to someone's idea that Kenny was the one that abused me ~ and yet I chose to name Jim, is absolutely asinine. I can't stand Kenny, never have, if HE was the one who abused me, I would have absolutely no qualms about naming him. Why would I choose someone in the family and cause so much more stress for myself and my mother? That is just stupid. Besides which, the sexual abuse started looong before Kenny was in our lives.
And sorry to say, my mother didn't JUST come up with her "story" of being molested by Jim as a child. I know that she told a few people long before I ever told her about my issues. No, Jim was not the only person who abused me as a child, but he did. And lest you misunderstand the word molested, I'll use the word rape instead. Clearer picture for you?
I also want to point out that it was not by any stretch of the imagination a one time event. I'm not talking about being hugged too tightly, or taking a normal uncle's affection too seriously. I will clarify and be specific if anyone feels the need to hear the details.
I have lived most of my life with no memories of my first 9 years of life. None. Any effort on my part (or my husband's) to bring those years up resulted in nightmares, dissociation and just stark terror. There continued to be large black spots in my memories for the years after that as well. This has not by any means been a pleasant task on my part. It has been a trial I wouldn't wish on anyone, including my husband who has had to watch me struggling to breathe because of the pure agony of remembering these things that happened to me. My children, who have had to deal with a mom who has had to have alone time several times over the last few months as flashbacks and body memories assault me out of nowhere.
This is not some minor inconvenience that I've decided to traumatize everyone with. This is a huge thing, a life altering thing. I'm not complaining because I was denied some treat as a child, or we didn't have enough money. I'm saying that someone took my childhood away from me, and if people refuse to see it, I'm sure it will continue to happen, and at some point in the future, you will be hearing similar sentiments from others. I have to speak up, for my own healing. I have to get it out of my head, out of my life, and by no means has THIS been easy either. Its not easy to purge your soul, give up embarrassing shameful awful, horrific secrets ~ put them out there for everyone to criticize, disbelieve, and blow off. There is no way in hell I would have ever EVER said any of this "out loud" to anyone in this family if I were not thoroughly convinced of the accuracy of my claims. Never would I choose to bring more stress upon my head for any reason other than bringing the truth to light.
To let you know, I realize this must be nearly impossible to accept. I can't imagine what you all must be going through. I am not lying, making this up or anything. Why would I choose to? As a matter of fact, I wanted to avoid the stress and not say anything, but my husband and others helped me to understand that doesn't solve anything. It just lets the abuser keep on abusing, it lets more people get away with it, because they know no one will tell... it lets the victims keep on suffering in silence, because they'll see what happens when you tell. No one will believe it anyway. Know that this is not something I CHOSE to do/go through. If you think its hard accepting the fact that someone you know/love/are related to could do this, try imagining how hard it is to know that it happened to you/your daughter, that all those people you love and trusted could have missed this stuff going on all around them. That your mother/father/aunt uncle MISSED seeing what you were going through. Try picturing what it feels like to have grown up with this weight always hanging on you ~ and then to finally get some measure of courage to say something and everyone thinks you're lying.
If someone had stood up years and years ago, I wouldn't have been abused, although if the majority of the family had acted as though they though the accuser was lying about everything and making it up ~ hmmm... I can't imagine that would have changed anything in my life, except that I would have been too afraid to tell, ever. Look seriously at your family, look at all the signs and hear me ~~ If you need or want details, I have journaled extensively and am willing to share it with you. It won't be easy, as I have purged my soul on these pages, with months of anguish and sobbing, being nearly overcome with all these memories.
Because of what I said in the first letter, I now have to say that I hold no grudge against most of the family. Jim was not the only person in my childhood that abused me, nor was he the only family member that abused me. I can say freely and clearly though, that out of the people in this family, the following people never did anything inappropriate towards me, were never involved in any abuse towards me of any kind, and I generally have fond memories of these relatives of mine: (I'm not including females, or anyone my age (35) or younger than me, because no females, or anyone my age or younger than me had anything to do with it.) John M****, Joyce's husband(s)or son, Sharon's husband/boyfriend or son, John P*****, Jerry P*****, Sheila's husband(s) or boyfriend(s), Charlotte's husband(s) or boyfriend(s), My own father had nothing to do with my abuse either, and as far as I'm concerned, these people are completely innocent of any inappropriate behavior towards me. I will make sure this time that everyone I have addresses for will receive a copy of this letter.
I didn't think I'd care at all if everyone thought I was lying. I didn't think it would matter to me, as I actually expected it. But it does bother me. I couldn't begin to tell you why, other than my emotional state already being so strung out from dealing with this, I don't know why I feel a need to have someone actually believe me... other than wanting to STOP all of it. I don't want to tear apart the family, I want the family to have their eyes opened. I don't want to hear about some other girls speaking up 5-10 years from now, and know then that I COULD have said something much earlier and stopped it, but I didn't.
I realize it is much easier to believe those that are in front of you, those you see at family functions all the time, and I understand if you don't have the strength to get into all of this. You won't have to be dealing with me, as I live far away (ever wonder why???) and won't be around. Just please, please, regardless of what you believe about this, please be careful with your children. If any child there comes to you with a need to talk about something "bad" that happened to them, please don't turn them away/disbelieve them just because "things like this don't happen in our family" ~ just keep your eyes open. That is all I ask.
If you really think all of this is impossible, I'd like for you to hear/read this list of the effects of sexual abuse on survivors as they grow up. Tell me you haven't seen any of this in your family, in your daughter(s), granddaughter(s), niece(s): There are two articles attached. Know that none of these lists "preceded" my memories neither did any therapist have anything to do with it, just things I found later in my search for answers... as I didn't want to accept it either.
(From here on out, it’s just copies of articles on childhood sexual abuse):
You Know Who You Are:
Never thought I would be talking.
Two of you are already dead. I thought I would be happy, relieved even. But I’m not. I wish I would have spoken up sooner.
As for the rest of you? The other three of you who took part in the abuse…you ruined me.
I was three years old. THREE YEARS OLD!
Three year olds should be laughing, learning to talk. But not me.
Do you know how much pain you have caused me?
I was silent for 12 years. I never uttered a word, never mentioned the fact that I had been abused.
I grew up, thinking that the abuse was my fault.
I grabbed a blade.
Drugs were never my forte. Neither was alcohol. No. What I began to dabble in, some might consider worse than any drug.
Self Mutilation. Cutting.
I had to drown out that voice, that voice that YOU put into my head. I had to make myself feel something. Anything.
And then…I began to want – no – NEED more of that feeling. That rush. I had control for once. I could control how much I bled. It seemed like that was the only thing I could control.
The sad thing?
I was ten years old, when I began to cut.
One day, very recently in fact, I saw my friend’s arm. My boyfriend’s arm. I saw 9 scars running up his forearm.
I was so scared.
And then I realized something.
I realized: that voice, was just a scare tactic.
It was never real.
I realized that I did matter.
No longer did I feel like that ugly, self mutilating, anorexic, depressed girl. I mattered. Not only to my boyfriend, but to my family. And my friends.
I am reclaiming what you have taken.
Can I get back those years, I was petrified with fear?
But I can move on. Live my life.
Simon was a teenage boy (15 -19). He was the nephew of a lady whose home we were staying at for a brief time. Simon’s parents both worked long hours. My father owed them money. I remember his mother saying sharp, hard words to my father and being curt and abrasive towards me and my younger sister.
Dear Simon, I hate you.
I was 5 and 3 quarters. I don’t remember how it started or how long it went on for or how far you went. What memories I do have are bell clear and just scenes.
I’m naked and so are you. You’re hunched over because you’re too tall. I try not to look at you. The inside of the wardrobe is claustrophobic, the wood has it’s own old stale smell and the light edges around the corners of the closed door the dust particles drift in the light and I’m so quiet, because it’s day light and people will hear. You crouch down and turn me towards you, I don’t turn all the way but you don’t notice. You nudge my legs apart and you put your mouth on me. It feels wet and slimy and invasive. I feel hot and unclean and try not to move. If I don’t move I’m still a good girl. You speed up and the air becomes hard to breathe and your head is too big and it’s pushing me off balance and I panic and push at your forehead, your forehead is hot and slick with sweat and I’m not strong enough. You jab me with your tongue one more time and pull back, you are mad at me and tell me it’s normal and women love it. You say other things and your voice is too loud, I shush you and you speak louder. I feel scared and guilty and ashamed you calm down and tell me that I should go down on you because it’s only fair you went down on me. I tense up and say no because if I don’t do anything I’m okay, I’m still a good girl and you get mad again and grab my hand.
I have more memories in much the same theme. I remember the fear and shame and the hot flush of panic I couldn’t name then. I remember my three and a half year old sister being too young for pre-school and going with my father to work, being safe. I remember the walk back from the bus-stop and how some days you wouldn’t let me into the house. I remember your physical and verbal abuse.
I remember the warm strong arms of my father and how much courage it took me to tell him that I didn’t like you, but he was tired and he told me “just a little longer”. I didn’t tell him again.
Simon what you did to me was wrong. You should have been someone I could look up to. You should have played with me and made me feel safe. I should have been able to confide in you. You should have listened to me and made me feel worthwhile.
Simon you’ve hurt me; for 16 fucking years I suppressed my feelings and emotions both of what you did to me and everything else. I was happy and boppy and nothing else escaped besides tears behind locked doors.
This year the damn broke, the emotions are hard: panic and hurt and despair and anger, but they are mine. They are mine and you’ll never take anything from me again!
I have scent associations now and my dream of a husband and two twin boys is in ashes. I really don’t believe I’ll have a partner in the next 2 years and I’m questioning every goal and desire I’ve ever had, but I don’t care.
I feel stronger and more whole now than I can ever remember. I’m aware of myself now; I can put myself first. I can set my own boundaries. I can see when someone is using me and put a stop to it. I can take an active role to make sure that when I do choose to take a partner I’ll feel loved and safe and cherished.
Simon I hate you and your ugly taint, but I’m moving on.
This took me four and a half hours to write with the memory already mostly written, but it hasn’t been hard, the words were there. The process has left me angry (the tears have dried up) and I feel like confronting him. He took from me and he is not forgiven. I’m not in therapy at the moment, however I’m going to re-enter it to help me with my scent associations which have started to ambush me. Talking to a friend about what happened helped me the most. I didn’t go into any great detail, but she was supportive and hugged me and it helped more than I can say.
I’m 22 years old and in my third year of a bachelor of science and somehow managing to pass with all this happening.
Sometimes When I Can’t Sleep
Sometimes when I can't sleep at night, I wonder where you are. I wonder who you're with. I wonder what you are doing. I wonder if you're even still alive. I can dream can't I? I can comfort myself with a fantasy and imagine that somehow you've gotten what you deserve.
But what is it that someone like you deserves? What could ever teach you a lesson? What could ever be a sufficient punishment for what you did to me? Even your death wouldn't ease the pain I feel; the pain that has forever changed my life.
Do you ever think about the consequences of your actions? Do you ever lie in bed at night and wonder about me? Was I even special to you? Was I just one of many innocents you conquered? Does your wife know about me? Do you have a wife? Kids? Are you the perfect family man with a dirty secret or a dead beat alcoholic living off of whatever you can find?
Why did you do it? Was it the power that got you off? Did my screams and tears excite you? How long were you waiting in those woods for some cunt to walk by? Was I simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, or did you know I was going to be there that night?
Why didn't you just kill me when it was over? Why run the risk of being found out? Did you know that you would get away with it? Are you happy now knowing that you will always be free, that I will never even know your name? For so long I've tried to put a face on you. I've tried to break down the monster from my memory and make you human. But you're not a man. You're a little boy lost who fashioned his own pathetic destiny. You're the coward hiding behind the safety anonymity provides.
What you do must make you feel like you have authority in this world. You must think that you're really something to be so full of yourself. What you do proves that you never were and never will be truly important or powerful. You intimidate others and make them inherently weak for a few hours just so you can feel superior. Well you aren't. You aren't better than your victims because they aren't your victims any longer.
I am not your victim. I don't belong to you or owe you anything. My life is so much more than what happened that night. You didn't ruin my life, you just made me stronger. I survived. I am the survivor of your selfish actions. You cannot hurt me anymore. You cannot control me anymore. I refuse to think about you anymore.
So just get out my dreams, and maybe I'll be able to sleep once more.
Writing for Healing~A letter to my abusers
A most common aid in the healing process for many comes in the form of writing. It is no wonder then that writing comes naturally to the soul which has been suppressed in one form or another. Our souls cannot be kept from their birthright to freedom of expression. I have written enough pages of poetry and letters to fill books throughout my short years already. And into books they will be crafted with love for the many. This type of writing weaves words of truth which lay bare our souls.
Victims of sexual abuse are often encouraged to write letters to their abuser/s to free themselves from their abusers grip on their life. So many times I have heard spoken and seen written, words of anger, hate, vileness and all sorts of evil words. Even from my own mouth and my own hand. We think, we are justified. I know there is no healing there. There is no understanding, no compassion, no mercy, no forgiveness, no peace, no joy, no happiness, no love and certainly no life but only death. That is why it's my turn to speak the truth.
Here is the beginning of a new story. The chains being broken of the sexual abuse and neglect, endured during my childhood and the childhood of many others, with a similar story as mine. You are not alone. You have nothing to be ashamed for.
It is through faith and mercy that we will release humanity from all of the guilt, shame, regret, remorse and burdens that we have bestowed onto one another. For truly moving on, truly healing, truly loving can only be done on the whole or it will not be done at all. That is the truth. And so in faith and mercy is found acceptance, compassion and forgiveness. Anything else is continuing to live in illusion, that is the lie...guilt....sin.
This is my letter,
My story comes from those who were lost in the world, lost searching for love and for those who have wearied with them on the way. This story is for the love of all God's children and I would rather die a mortal death than disobey speaking and living, my truth...which is also my word, that which comes from God and the love I am made in. Even through the words which leap from the pages of poetry past and even more glorious things to come through His Goodwill be done. There will be healing for the nations. That which is the truth will surely not be kept hidden! Have no fear, love is the truth! The truth is love. Hear.
A letter to my abusers~
This is so hard, where do I start! It is time for me to apologize for my hurtful words. Words full of venomous poison harming even my own life and those around me. Words of confusion, vileness and loss. I was feeling alone on the inside, even though I had it all on the outside, that wouldn't ever be enough from the place of pain I lived. I was feeling alone in my hurt. Hurt cast on my heart by guilt, shame...not just by your deeds but also those of my closest loved ones and they who turned a blind eye, did not offer me comfort in my time of need but shunned me away or took a vow of silence because they could not handle their own truth...their own guilt and shame. Shush, do not speak! No! I have found my voice and I will not be silenced.
I was then, in denial of the truth. Casting the shame onto myself...fear and loathing, always ever expanding, until the point of implosion, they lived on upon my heart. Oh how I despised me! You stupid slut, you dirty whore, how could you! Words and actions to tear me down and rape me all over again...and the hurt and the pain is equally intolerable to my soul.
I create my own guilt! As do you, as we all do. No more will I accept the verdict because I AM NOT GUILTY! I won't bare your guilt any longer either, which is exactly what I have been doing and I am throwing the load off because I am at the cross. Oh it's beautiful, I pray you come to it too. Yes, I do that is why I am writing to you.
So long I let accusations live...but they were not even mine! They were not the truth. If they knew how to speak more than lies, the truth would have said;
"I love you.
You are not alone,
I am here with you,
you are loved,
come here so I may show you my love,
this is how I love you."
That they could not for lack of their own need for love and there I understand and there is forgiveness. Also for that they could not, yet, accept their own guilt and shame.
You saw that I was lost in the world without love, needing to be reached out to with a guiding hand. Vulnerable, easy to prey upon to satisfy your own unfulfilled need of love. You betrayed my trust time and time again in the most detestable and vile ways. You exposed not only my body but that of my soul, that which is a temple to our Creator, and raped every sacred part of me. Stole from me, life which God blessed as His. You acted as though I was yours for the taking. You made me believe I even wanted it, while many believed our lie, inside me was crying out, ready and waiting to die.
That part of me has been dying for some time now, as I have been made new in spirit by the Lord our God, through the power of Jesus Christ. I have yet to lay all of my burdens to rest though but I am sure that is what spirit has led me to do here.
None are meant to carry these burdens of guilt.
No, not even you.
I know the worst and most dark of the deeds that you have done unto me; those things better kept in the darkness from which they were born of and belong to. Yet, I forgive you.
It is through the grace, mercy and love of our Heavenly Creator that my heart can set you free now.
Men do not know your heart and even your own mind will try to deceive you of the goodness from which you come from and truly are....I know my own mind has been my own worst enemy. But Gods knows! Buried deep within is where God dwells and in that place, is the love which you are. No exceptions.
As my Father in Heaven forgives me, I also forgive you! As I forgive all those who have trespassed against me!
Cast off your sin, which is your guilt!
God has great things in store!
This woman here...is no longer your victim.
No longer your accuser.
Still, you never need my words to accept your own truth and offer up forgiveness, to lay your guilt up at the foot of the cross. For that, each one is responsible.
There is One waiting to take it away and heal you, though you must be willing to give it up...realize that you are not meant to suffer but that you are forgiven and that you should have Life! That I pray for the love which is inside of me, for each and every one of these lost souls that have wearied in this journey of life with me, which is more like death in the dream...so that you all may know true love and true Life. From that place, where God dwells with me, I love all of you.
I am set Free,
It surprised me, after so many years of wanting all traces of you to disappear from my life, but when I first heard that you had cancer, I started fantasizing about ways that I could save you, maybe by offering health advice that you might not seek out-- acupuncture, meditation, guided imagery. Then I started thinking about all of these mundane things -- like talking about publishers with you, the differences between this one high-end lefty publisher with the gorgeous square books and the other one moving into their territory, plus oh the drama of working inside the whole disastrous publishing machine. Most people aren't that interested in publishers, but it seemed like something you might like to hear about. That's when I realized that, even after 11 years of not talking to you, I still held some hope that maybe you would come to terms with sexually abusing me, that you would finally admit it and then perhaps we could have a mundane conversation about publishers.
There is no question that, as a psychiatrist, you have had access to absolutely any possible way to come to terms with sexually abusing me, more resources for dealing with your abuse than almost anyone in a similar situation. Instead, like most parents (and psychiatrists) who sexually abuse their children, you have chosen to deny it. You even contacted a “false memory syndrome” specialist, someone whose job is to assure abusive parents that their children are confused at best, that their memories can be dismissed and discarded, that it's never too late to cover up the violence in order to bolster the status quo.
I know that an abusive family is like a boulder landing on a glass of water -- even if you succeed at lifting the boulder, what is left to drink? When I confronted you, I was certainly aware that you might very well never accept the reality of your abuse, and that I might never again speak to you. Still, I continue to feel angry and disgusted (and yes -- sad and abandoned) by the ways in which you have chosen to maintain a veneer of “respectability” at all costs, including the loss of any relationship with me. I am grateful that you have respected my request not to contact me unless you could say that you raped and molested me, but sometimes it shocks me that you haven't been able to step out from the comfort of denial in order to face the reality of your abusiveness.
Especially now, when you may not live for that much longer.
Sometimes I resent that I have to be the strong one -- even here, against all hopelessness, I’m attempting to facilitate your epiphany that may never come. I am not strong, I am falling apart -- my body is failing me -- you know that. The smallest activities are painful -- chopping vegetables, sitting in the wrong chair, holding the rail on the bus, walking one block too many, carrying a bag. Writing more than a page by hand is enough to make my wrists, arms, shoulders and neck burn, my whole body aching afterwards. Bed is a place where I can sometimes stay, but it fails to nourish me -- many days I'm so exhausted that just leaving the house can be completely overwhelming. I have a strong will, otherwise I would have been dead long ago from the wounds you enacted. I'm strong, but I'm falling apart.
I learned will from surviving you, shutting everything inside even when it pushes back. There are other ways of showing strength. I am still learning them.
Some people, when dealing with a terminal illness, decide to make dramatic changes in their lives. That is what I'm asking from you. I'm not asking whether you love or miss me, whether you feel miserable or guilty. I'm asking you to hold yourself accountable for the pain you have caused me, the pain you continue to cause me, the pain that sometimes I'm worried I won't survive. I'm asking, once again, for you to acknowledge that you raped, sexually abused and molested me. I'm asking you for this because it would make it easier for me to go on living.
On a more mundane level, I would also like for you to ensure that I have enough money to meet my basic needs for the rest of my life. That is something I know you can do, but the most important thing is that you acknowledge that you sexually abused me -- I want to make that clear. I don't think this is a lot to ask.
In any case, I would be dishonest if I didn't say that I would like to see you before you die. Obviously, our conversation would be much richer if you decided to admit that you sexually abused me, but that is your choice.
I haven't yet figured out the parameters of a potential visit, and I will be in touch. Please do not write to me at this point unless it is to acknowledge sexually abusing me.
Thanks to the two of you, I had to endure thinking that having sex with boys and guys was the way to act.
I was 5 and it probably like only two months after my dad died unexpectedly and you two grabbed me and one of you put your hand over my mouth
so I could not call out.
Yeah, you did things to me that were unspeakable. Wow, aren't you powerful? Taking advantage of an already traumatized child who had lost his daddy. It took my over 20 years to remember what happened to me. I buried it in the recesses of my mind.
I thought I was gay and finding other males who wanted a good time was a big part of my life and I even thought it was normal.
It hit me one day after therapy what had happened to me that one day. My you must have felt good about yourselves taking advantage of a 5 yr old and threatening to kill him if he told anyone.
I did not tell a soul, in fact I did not remember until that day.
Well, weren't the two of you surprised when I was moving out of town and made it a point to stop and knock on both of your doors. I bet you wondered what I wanted, well after I invited myself in to both of your homes I made sure that you would not do what you did to me on that day.
I did not kill, hit, or threaten your. I did promise you however, that if I ever found out that you did what you did to me to any other child that I would be back to find you. I told you that I have contacts back there and they are still around.
I could have gone on and gotten STD's ,or AIDS. Thank God for my psychiatrist that helped push those memories to the top. After I dealt with what happened to me I was born again.
The joke is on the both of you. You still live with what you did. I have seen you two when I have come home to visit. You still hang your heads and turn them away. For me I walk proudly knowing that I have turned out fine in spite of what you did.
Guess what, I don't know why or can't explain it, but kids seek me out to ask me to help them. It can be simple things like "can you tie my shoe", to
"can I stand beside you, I am afraid". I am glad kids come to me, I only hope it is for simple things in life not , two guys just grabbed me and did things to me.
Good luck to both of you. I am a strong man with a strong will and my life continues to be fulfilling. What about yours?
I am writing you this letter uncertain of when if ever I will send it to you. If I do and that seems a strange thing then I guess (hope) you will understand as you read on. My name is Micheal and I was born and brought up in the same town as you from 1954 onward.
In 1965 when I was 10/11 years old I tried to get some ‘pocket money’ work around the local market and that was when I first met you. I recall it was at the start of the school summer holidays when I inquired at your families fruit and veg stall, run I believe by your brother Tony. He turned down my request but in doing so he suggested that I have a word with you as you ran another stall at the back of the market which was open Fri/Sat.
It was a Thursday and you were at the stall preparing it for the next day when I first spoke to you and I initially recall that you were a very friendly and welcoming person. You said that I could help out with the stall and could start immediately, you gave me various tasks which I cant now remember. At the end of that session you took me to the back of the stall to get some money to pay me and that is where you first sexually abused me. When you had ‘done your thing’ you gave me some money, it was the sizeable amount of 1 shilling in old money which was quite a large amount for a 10 year old and rather surprisingly now you sort of apologized and gave me a longish talk about how some things happen and how it could cause great trouble if they were talked about. You also told me that if I tried to tell anyone they would not believe me as I had ‘offered myself’. Before I left you asked if I would come back the next day and help again which I agreed to, although for the life of me now I cant imagine why, .
The next day was a Friday and the stall was open to trade and I remember enjoying the whole day but feeling a dread as it came to closing time and the time when I would have to ask you for my money, but you gave it to me with a smile and a wink and nothing else happened so I went home, it didn’t dawn on me until much later that I think this was because other people were around.
I nearly didn’t come the following Thursday to help you set your stall because of what had happened the week before but I did as I convinced myself that what had happened had indeed been an ‘accident, a ‘one off’’ and that you would not behave in that way again. Well I was wrong wasn’t I? It was the same scenario as the week before and me coming away from the stall so ashamed and guilty holding my shilling. I still to this day am not sure why I ever returned again but I remember being frightened that you would mention what had happened and I believed then in my own mind that the whole thing was really my fault for allowing it to happen.
This event carried on until after the school holidays until one week when you were not there at the stall for some reason and when I turned up your father was there and asked who I was and what I wanted, when I told him you had paid me to work there helping out he said something like ‘Yeah I bet he has’ and told me to bugger off. I never saw you after that and a short while later my parents moved out of town so I was well away from the market. Throughout all this period which I calculate to have gone on for a few months I worried about what was happening and thought that I should tell someone what had gone on but I couldn’t. I felt I had no one to tell! I had a lovely father who was a good caring man but I couldn’t tell him mainly because I was frightened that as you said people would see it was my fault and I knew that if that was so he would be very disappointed, upset and angry.
My mother was a different person altogether and it would have been impossible to approach her with any problem no matter how small and certainly not something as bad as this. I was glad when we moved as it took away the problem and I thought at the time that although it was something I should never reveal to anyone, that would not hurt me and I should just pretend that it had never happened and forget about it.
I never did forget about it! And I continued to recall it for many years.
I also kept it hidden until just recently.
46 years is a long time.
Before we met I was a healthy kid but within a short period after our encounter I became ill with what was described as depression. At the age of 13 I was placed in an adult psychiatric crisis unit in the city reportedly because I had expressed ideas about suicide, that was the start of a horrific 2 year stay in various hospitals including the so called West Yorkshire Paupers Asylum which I was discharged from the day before my 15th birthday. I have continued to suffer with mental ill health for the rest of my adult life and am currently under treatment for severe depression and possibly Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it is through that treatment that I have arrived at a stage where it feels it would help me to confront your abuse of me as something which certainly had a big effect on my life.
In the grand scale of things what you did to me could be considered as minor, and I know from what I read that people have experienced far worse events than those that you subjected me to. Even though that is so what you did affected me greatly to the degree that it is only in the last two months I have actually spoken to someone about it. I have so far only managed to tell my wife and my psychologist about this and even then I have been unable mainly because of the shame and anger inside me to tell them exactly what happened merely to say that I was sexually abused.
That stops now!
I remember in great detail what you did to me starting with the rather comforting hug around the shoulders which slowly led to your large usually dirty hand (your fingernails black from handling potatoes) sliding down the front of my trousers. I remember you stroking and fondling my genitals and asking if I was enjoying it, (I never replied) I remember you unzipping your trousers and pulling out your fat swollen smelly penis and grabbing my hand in yours to first stroke it against my face and then masturbate you. I remember the warm and unpleasant taste of your semen when you ejaculated into my face and some of it hit my mouth as you attempted to get me to put your penis in there. All this to the backdrop of the smell of fresh fruit!. I remember as soon as I could darting to the outside tap on the wall and scrubbing my face and mouth in the cold water sure that if I didn’t remove any trace of you someone would know what had happened.
46 years I have had that memory and that is the first time I have recounted it in any format so how does that make me feel? You would be surprised and shocked at the amount of hatred I feel for you at this moment in fact I am shocked at it myself. I have dreamt of ways to get back at you for what you did and have gone to great lengths to trace your whereabouts through the internet and the electoral register. I have dreamt of things I could do to you to repay you for your abuse. I have researched things on the internet with the aim of finding something which could cause you as much pain as your actions caused me.
How could I find anything that would give you that pain to stay with you every second of your remaining, hopefully short, life. I so wish you could feel the pain and shame and anger that I feel at this moment.
I would bet you don’t even remember me as whilst I was researching you I came across many stories of young boys you have abused, real or imagined by people many of them believe that of you so I am inclined to believe also. How many is it? or is it too many to count? The feeling amongst people who live near you is that you still ‘hanker’ after young boys. You are a vile disgusting creature, I would not call you an animal because I have too much respect for animals to compare them to you.
Certainly what I will do is to look into the process of informing the Police and if I can get together the confidence I will make a complaint to them of historic child sexual abuse. I will do this not so much for my own satisfaction but as a way to hopefully contribute to it being made harder or impossible for you to continue abusing children.
Dear Man who stole my Childhood,
I can’t begin to explain how much hatred, anger, and yet pity I’ve held against you since you first touched me when I was 12.
All I ever wanted was a parent who would truly love me like I was their only ray of light on a dark day. Of course, we don’t always get what we want but that’s okay. What I never received, I hope to give to someone someday. But that’s not the point here.
See, you were my father-figure. And that’s what hurts the most. I trusted you with my life, my everything, and you took it and crushed it. I’ve never been the same ever since. My heart has grown stone cold to many things it shouldn’t had because of what you did to me. I feel like I’ve stumbled into a dark, deep hole and I can’t figure out how to climb out.
The confusion is very real. I never have and never will truly be able to wrap my head around why you touched me. Why? Why did you have to break me? Why did you have to make every day that I live so painful? I pray until I feel prayed out. It’s like I’m running but moving nowhere.
But, I’m slowly seeing a light. A light of forgiveness, and a light of future. It’s extremely dim, but I see it. And each day that I get up and decide that you no longer can hold me back, that light grows brighter and stronger. I’m beginning to feel the light kiss my cheek as it dries up the tears that I thought would never go away.
I’m still trying to figure out what forgiveness is but as far as I know, I’m one step closer to forgiving you by accepting what you did to me was incredibly wrong and not my fault. It has been a long and exhausting journey but it’s been a journey that has made me into the beautiful and independent woman I am today.
Looking forward to the Future,
The Girl who is taking back Her Life.
An Open Letter to the Goodwin Park Golf Men’s Club,
Eleven years ago, I was an aspiring high school freshman golfer. I was a member of the Men’s Club from 2005-2007. I played a Goody for many years growing. There were days when my friends and I would play 27 or 36 holes. In the Summer of 2004, I was regular around the Park and did all sorts of odd jobs and tasks in exchange for free golf. I became friendly with management and eventually was employed by American Golf after I turned 16.
In October of 2004, I lost my grandfather, the man who inspired and taught me the game of golf. It was that very same summer, I met an individual who tried to fill that void. A sick, horrific pedophile. This person is a bona-fide child molester and deserves to be thrown in prison. There’s no telling how many victims there were before and after me. This person tried to act as a golf coach, instructor, and friend. It was the classic type of attachment and sadistical mind-set that a child abuser has.
I have found the courage to speak now, because I refuse to remain silent. I have suffered so much over the last twelve years, but the time is NOW to let the world know what disgusting and gross people are lurking out there in the public. This individual sexually abused me so many times, that it is frightening to even put a number on it. It happened in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Virginia, South Carolina. We would go away on golf trips. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. All of the sign were there, but nobody ever questioned what was going on. Approximately, 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before their sixteenth birthday. Unfortunately, I am one of them, but what this letter will do is open up the dialogue to talk about the topic Child Sexual Abuse.
Only by the grace of God, I found a job at a new golf course and my abuser was hospitalized with an illness in the Fall of 2007. My three year relationship of hideous and repulsive sexual abuse was finally over. Since that time, I discovered the numbing effect and impact Alcohol can have. I started drinking in the beginning of 2008. From 2008-2013, I battled dependence on Alcohol, depression, anxiety, and a social disorder that I have a hard time explaining. During that period, my behavior and not dealing with my feeling blacked out and helped me forget what I went through during those dark days. It wasn’t until I met my current girlfriend in early 2014 that I found the courage and ability to talk about what awful things I went through. It still impacts me on many different levels, but I refuse to let it define who I am and what I plan to accomplish in life.
I am currently in the process of finishing my Master’s degree and the topic of my capstone project is working with the Connecticut Alliance to end Sexual Violence. We are creating a survey to determine what extent programming increases the knowledge of this topic with twelve graders across the state of Connecticut. April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Reach out, start a conversation, and don’t be afraid to talk about this issue. The future depends on it, because this is preventable.
“There is comfort in knowing that you don’t have to pretend anymore, that you are going to do everything within your power to heal.”
-A Survivor Who Found His Voice and Courage to Speak Out
I suppose you are surprised that I wrote you after all these years. It wasn't easy because I wanted you to know exactly how I feel and how your actions affected me. I also want answers. Before the abuse happened I trusted, loved, and respected you. I looked up to you and thought that I could count on you to be there if I ever needed you. I thought you were a great uncle. I was wrong. I was a child and you took advantage of your position as an adult to hurt me! I was violated by you and frightened to the point that I didn't know what to do! How dare you? You should be ashamed of yourself! I feel betrayed and angry and I want you to know that you've done nothing to deserve forgiveness! My life was changed after what you did and because of you I have to live with PTSD, anxiety, night terrors, triggers, flashbacks, trust issues, psychosis (which caused me to have sleep issues), and depression to the point that in 2011 I nearly committed suicide. Harming myself with knives wasn't enough. How does this make you feel knowing you were responsible? I will never forget what you did or the pain that you caused me! If I even see a man that looks like you I get a flashback to that awful night! I want to know why you did it and what you were thinking! Don't you have any remorse, shame, or guilt for what you done? If you had loved me you wouldn't have hurt me! God will decide what to do with you. I won't have peace until you are dead and when you are I will be glad because then I will know that you can't hurt any other children. I give you permission to reply but understand that more than likely I won't respond. I leave that up to you.
To: Albert "Candy" Walker
I’m pretty sure this letter as well as the steps that I’ve decided to take towards my recovery will generate some negative responses, I know I’ll lose so called friends & phony family. But I want you to understand that I don’t care how anybody feels about the hidden truth or if they choose not to speak to me.
It’s not about you, it’s not about them & it’s not about being accepted by those who care nothing about me. It’s ONLY about Krissie being able to move on & live a normal, healthy life. I’m the only victim. I’m the only one hurting. I’m the ONLY one with any right to be angry. But I’ve been angry for way too long. I’ve been angry because I’ve been harboring something that isn’t my fault. I’m angry because you continue to smile in my face like it never happened. I’m angry because I have a beautiful daughter that’s the same age I was when you decided to try to steal my innocence & I fear for hers. I’m angry because I’m with a man that loves my children dearly yet I don’t fully trust them to be loved by him the way I once thought you loved me. I used to admire & look up to you, I had so much love & trust for you, but now all I feel is hate & the only thing I see is a conniving monster that only looks good on the outside.
All these years later those memories of betrayal still bring tears to my eyes because I remember so clearly like it was only yesterday. I remember the very first time, I woke up thinking something was crawling in my panties & there you were lying on the side of the bed like I couldn’t see you so I rolled over & balled up under the cover until you left. I remember all the times I dodged being alone with you. I remember the time the whole family was over for a gathering & I went inside to make a plate & you came up while I was sitting at the bar rubbing on my undeveloped breast & told me to shush. I remember you trying to bribe me with your money to let you do things to me. And even worse, I remember telling my mom & as much as she told me she knew it was true because of the things you’d done to her & her sisters, her first response was, “please don’t tell your dad”. Those words & the look on her face left me so confused, disturbed & alone. Yes, I know too many disgusting stories about things that you’ve done long before me. Having sex with your biological daughters, fondling your step daughters, having sex with your wife’s nieces & cousins. Oh let’s not forget knocking up your 12 year old daughter.
My mom was supposed to protect me & not only did she not even try, but she kept me around you knowing how you were. For years I’ve held so much hatred towards my mother for allowing history to repeat itself. I’ve questioned God, asking how she could possibly love me, asking why she let it go so easily, asking why He placed me in her care & why He allowed me to go through it by myself. But I was too young to realize you were to blame for her lack of common sense & inability to truly love. My mom was a victim just as myself & had been through double the same affliction, forced to live with & accept a child molester who was supposed to be a father to her. I cry out for her because she was broken way before I was in existence. I can’t even imagine how that affected her mentally. But I now understand that her fucked up past is what prevented her from protecting her own child because she was & still is too weak to confront the people she considers parents. You’re a sick bastard, but your wife, her mother, my grandmother is even sicker for allowing her to experience such grief, keeping her unprotected, raising her up in your home, staying with you & covering up all the horrible things you’ve done to so many innocent girls including her own. She showed them that no matter what you did or who you did it to it was ok as long as nobody else knew. That doesn’t make it ok, that’s bullshit & it’s sick. People’s lives have been ruined while you continue to live your pretend picture perfect fairytale & bash everyone around you. Unlike everyone else, I don’t need you. I don’t want you. I don’t need your acceptance. I don’t need your money. I had to deal with you as a child, but I no longer have to fake & put up with you. I’m sure you thought I forgot & you may have thought you broke me, but unlike the rest of your victims instead of acting like it never happened I faced it, I fought it & I sought help.
I’m a McClodden & that means I’m stronger, I’m wiser, I’m braver, I’m a fighter. I was raised by a man who like all of us has his faults, but he’s always owned them & you’ve always criticized him. You can continue to say whatever you want, but my dad has always been there for us & you can’t ever say he took advantage of little girls. And since you think he’s not let me be the one to tell you Terry McClodden is more of a man, father & husband than you can NEVER be.
Everybody always asking what's wrong with Krissie, why she so shut off, why she so angry, why she so disrespectful. If you've had a chance to read this letter I don't wanna ever hear those questions EVER again.