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I was raped when I was eight years old... [View All]

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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 03:12 PM
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I was raped when I was eight years old...
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Edited on Thu Jun-26-08 03:34 PM by varkam
by a sixteen year old kid whose father probably did the same thing to him. It's not something that I normally toss about, but I was inspired by this recent thread as well as the 5-4 SCOTUS decision ruling that execution for child rape is unconstitutional. Primarily, though, I figured that if others could be brave enough to put it on the table, then I should too.

Of course, I am a male, and so it makes the emotional consequences a little bit different for me than if I were a woman (at least, near as I can tell). In some ways I think that it is easier to deal with if you are a man who has been raped as opposed to a woman who has been raped, and in some ways I think that it is harder.

As you can probably infer from the first sentence of this post, I have let go of a lot of my hate and anger. I wouldn't always think of him as the "sixteen year old kid whose father probably did the same thing to him". Words that have been bandied about here are familiar to me; monster, animal, sub-human, et cetera. Eventually, though, I realized that my hate, my anger, and my resentment did not do him any injury. In a moment of profound insight (or at least that's what I would call it - gives you an idea of how low my bar is set) I wrote a couple of months ago that hatred does not injure it's subject, only the owner. If you ask me, that is actually one of the worst consequences of having been raped - the hatred that it inspired in me.

Again, it took me a while to get there. I'm not saying that I'm somehow better than victims who are angry, either. I don't begrudge them their feelings, as I had them for a long time. People deal with this sort of thing in different ways. For all I know, that anger can be healthy for some people.

Switching gears, I find myself caught in the middle. While you can say that I have an affinity for rape victims because I was one, you can also say that I have an affinity for perverts and sex addicts, because I'm one of those as well. I will say at the outset that I have never harmed anyone like that. I have never taken what was done to me and passed that on to others, though I will also say that had their not been any sort of intervention in my life, who knows what another ten or twenty years would of brought? It terrifies me to think about that possibility. For the record, I do not blame that sixteen year old kid for my problems. I can see how that act contributed to a lot of where I am right now, but the onus was always mine to be honest with myself and recognize when I needed some help. I failed in that, but thankfully due to the courage and the honesty of a woman that I love, I was able to get that help.

I say all that to say this: in my time in recovery for my various addictions and problems, I've met a couple people who many here would consider to be "monsters". People I would of, at one time, considered to be monsters. In some respect, I wish I could say that they are monsters, as that would make things a lot simpler. As another poster put it, sometimes we use these people to keep hard lines between good and evil. We like to think that these are "monsters" that do these sorts of things because we don't like to think that anyone is capable of committing these kinds of atrocious acts, not the least of whom ourselves. To that end, I have noticed that attempts in the press to try to humanize these "monsters" is usually met with rampant hostility. Hopefully I'm not going to get flamed too badly.

I met a man that I'm going to call Chuck. One night, several years ago, Chuck fondled his daughter while she was sleeping. Doing this woke her up, and Chuck became scared and horrified with himself. He then went to get his shotgun, gave it to his wife and told her what he did, and on his knees and through the tears, begged her to shoot him. She didn't of course. Instead, Chuck was arrested and sent to prison for a couple of years. Currently, Chuck and his daughter have reconciled and actually have a good relationship (I was surprised, too). He has found work as a mechanic, struggles mightily with depression, and is beginning a dating relationship with another woman.

I met a man that I'll call Daniel. Daniel was in a messy relationship with a woman who had a daughter. Apparently, at the behest of the mother, the daughter went to the police to say that Daniel had abused her. Daniel was consequently arrested and took a plea agreement that resulted in probation. Kind of surprising, until you learn that there was no physical evidence and that he had passed a polygraph. He adamantly denies doing anything at all to this girl. To hear him say it, the DA strong-armed him into taking a plea. They charged him with more than they could possibly proved, and then basically asked if he wanted to take his chances in front a jury with ninety some-odd years riding on the line. Daniel was scared, and accepted the agreement. As a result of the agreement, he was prevented from having contact with his own children. I don't think it is much of a understatement to say that not being able to see, talk to, or write his children for years killed his soul.

I met a man that I'll call Robert. Robert used to be a big-time drug addict. He would have raucous parties at his house, with his wife and children present. One night, after shooting heroin and cocaine into his arm, he molested his children. The exact details aren't too clear, as he says that his memory is pretty blurred of exactly what happened, but he nonetheless admits that he did it. Right now, he is working on dealing with his drug addiction, and hoping to one day be reunited with his kids.

Those are just a couple of the "monsters" that I have met. In my time in recovery, I have met many more. I have met people who have raped women, people who have solicited prostitutes, people who have swapped child pornography online, people who have exposed themselves to unwitting people on the street...all sorts of types. All sorts of "monsters". I'm sure a few of you are wondering why it is that I found myself in this place. Well, I had a big problem with affairs and pornography. I'm a sex addict, of course I'm just one type of sex addict. There's more than one road to Rome, as they say.

Monstrous deeds, not monstrous people. I think that is a pretty succinct way of putting how I feel about it. I think that most of us probably have some sort of thing that we have done in the past that, if a spotlight were shone on it, people probably wouldn't think too highly of us. I know I have a least a few.

Suffice it to say, that I have not met any monsters. I've met people. I've met people with problems, people with a head full of junk, people who are hobbled by addictions and insecurities, people who have done terrible things. They don't look much different than you or I, though. They look like your mailman, or your pastor, or your kid's teacher, or your hairdresser. As scary as the deeds that they have committed are, I think that the far scarier thing is the understanding that monsters do not do these sorts of things - people do.

As I mentioned before, all of this is not to condone what they have done. The Christian adage of "Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner" comes to mind. I guess maybe I'm in a unique position because I can see it from both sides of the coin because of my experiences. Some of you will want to disagree with me, and that's fine. Some of you will want to hold on to your hate and your anger, and that's fine too - I'm not judging.

I'm just adding my .02.

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