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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-26-08 02:12 PM
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I was raped when I was eight years old...
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Edited on Thu Jun-26-08 02:34 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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  -I was raped when I was eight years old... varkam  Jun-26-08 02:12 PM   #0 
  - Wow.  PeaceNikki   Jun-26-08 02:16 PM   #1 
  - amazing post I am proud to recommend it.  dsc   Jun-26-08 02:17 PM   #2 
  - awesome post, awesome journey. I hug you tight. Thank you for  roguevalley   Jun-26-08 02:28 PM   #16 
     - Good Post  liberalmike27   Jun-27-08 09:08 AM   #94 
  - You are a fantastic person.  ronnykmarshall   Jun-26-08 02:17 PM   #3 
  - brave post -- thanks for opening up to the board this way...  villager   Jun-26-08 02:18 PM   #4 
  - I am proud to send this to the greatest page, and I thank  dogday   Jun-26-08 02:18 PM   #5 
  - fantastic post  enigmatic   Jun-26-08 02:19 PM   #6 
  - And K&R  enigmatic   Jun-26-08 02:19 PM   #7 
  - Varkam, I'm sorry for all that you've gone through  JerseygirlCT   Jun-26-08 02:20 PM   #8 
  - High Recidivism?  evilkumquat   Jun-26-08 03:32 PM   #31 
  - Well, certainly there is a big difference between "sex offender"  JerseygirlCT   Jun-26-08 04:10 PM   #33 
  - I have read the same data.. recidivism is not as high as it is presented  justaregularperson   Jun-27-08 01:37 AM   #81 
     - Looks like country affects recidivism stats significantly  justaregularperson   Jun-27-08 02:00 AM   #82 
        - A good place for such stats is CSOM.  varkam   Jun-27-08 02:22 AM   #84 
  - The recidivism rate for child molestation is NOT "really, really high."  Jackpine Radical   Jun-26-08 04:14 PM   #34 
  - That same website also cites studies showing 42%, 61%, and 77%  aikoaiko   Jun-26-08 08:09 PM   #66 
     - Not necessarily adjudicated...  varkam   Jun-26-08 08:18 PM   #67 
     - That is 15 to 30-year data, and in some cases for all arrests,  Jackpine Radical   Jun-26-08 10:25 PM   #71 
  - No need to be sorry.  varkam   Jun-26-08 04:16 PM   #35 
     - Yes, I agree - your last paragraph especially.  JerseygirlCT   Jun-26-08 04:29 PM   #38 
     - Again, no need to apologize.  varkam   Jun-26-08 04:40 PM   #42 
        - Yup. Completely agree.  JerseygirlCT   Jun-26-08 04:51 PM   #48 
     - You're basically right about your statistics  Jackpine Radical   Jun-26-08 10:43 PM   #75 
        - I've actually read Campbell's book.  varkam   Jun-27-08 12:04 AM   #78 
           - Yes, you're exactly on track with my thinking.  Jackpine Radical   Jun-27-08 06:51 AM   #88 
  - You're a brave man  Dogtown   Jun-26-08 02:21 PM   #9 
  - Thank you for bravely opening your life up to us. I have learned much and your post leaves me with  Happyhippychick   Jun-26-08 02:23 PM   #10 
  - I'm speechless  renate   Jun-26-08 02:24 PM   #11 
  - I always admire people who are able to let go of anger. Gandhi, Martin Luther King,  robinlynne   Jun-26-08 02:25 PM   #12 
  - That was so couragous...sharing your story  easttexaslefty   Jun-26-08 02:25 PM   #13 
  - thanks  proud patriot   Jun-26-08 02:26 PM   #14 
  - A very powerful post.  emad   Jun-26-08 02:27 PM   #15 
  - The only monsters are the pro death penalty people  lynyrd_skynyrd   Jun-26-08 02:32 PM   #17 
  - that is no fairer than to say the people mentioned in the OP are monsters  dsc   Jun-26-08 02:57 PM   #26 
  - I have not been through what you have,  Contrary1   Jun-26-08 02:33 PM   #18 
  - thank you.  tishaLA   Jun-26-08 02:35 PM   #19 
  - You have a generous heart.  Gormy Cuss   Jun-26-08 02:40 PM   #20 
  - damn -- what a courageous, honest, necessary post.  nashville_brook   Jun-26-08 02:41 PM   #21 
  - I'm speechless  FloridaJudy   Jun-26-08 02:42 PM   #22 
  - Wonderful post, varkam.  smokey nj   Jun-26-08 02:42 PM   #23 
  - Great post but I disagree on one point....  Breeze54   Jun-26-08 02:44 PM   #24 
  - Superb and moving post. Thank you for it. Gladly recommended.  bean fidhleir   Jun-26-08 02:56 PM   #25 
  - Thank you for your honesty.  PelosiFan   Jun-26-08 03:03 PM   #27 
  - I was three. I'm glad there was no such law. He would've been smart enough to set someone else up.  readmoreoften   Jun-26-08 03:10 PM   #28 
  - Sounds like Daniel might be on death row  hfojvt   Jun-26-08 03:18 PM   #29 
  - There are probably more innocent people convicted  Jackpine Radical   Jun-26-08 06:36 PM   #54 
  - Thanks for your post. It took a lot of courage. Be well. NT  Left coast liberal   Jun-26-08 03:30 PM   #30 
  - Well done sir  tkmorris   Jun-26-08 03:45 PM   #32 
  - Wow! I'm really blown away by people's response...  varkam   Jun-26-08 04:20 PM   #36 
  - So you've made many mistakes. Who hasn't?  TechBear_Seattle   Jun-26-08 04:31 PM   #40 
  - Thank you  TechBear_Seattle   Jun-26-08 04:27 PM   #37 
  - Thank you for this post. It is an extremely valuable contribution  Jackpine Radical   Jun-26-08 04:31 PM   #39 
  - Thank you for yours.  varkam   Jun-26-08 04:47 PM   #46 
  - People who rape children deserve death.  janesez   Jun-26-08 04:34 PM   #41 
  - That's certainly your perogative to feel that way. eom  varkam   Jun-26-08 04:40 PM   #44 
  - I'm with you. My own reasons.  emilyg   Jun-26-08 06:38 PM   #55 
  - What if they are framed?  info being   Jun-27-08 01:58 PM   #100 
  - Yes.  janesez   Jun-27-08 02:01 PM   #102 
     - delete - dupe  varkam   Jun-27-08 02:13 PM   #106 
     - Correct me if I'm wrong, then, but...  varkam   Jun-27-08 02:14 PM   #107 
        - That of course isn't true.  janesez   Jun-27-08 02:17 PM   #108 
           - Then why bother responding at all? eom  varkam   Jun-27-08 02:20 PM   #112 
              - Because they replied to my post, and it's a public message board.  janesez   Jun-27-08 02:21 PM   #113 
                 - I'm not saying that you don't have the right to respond...  varkam   Jun-27-08 02:23 PM   #114 
                    - What are you, the post police?  janesez   Jun-27-08 02:57 PM   #117 
                       - Well, actually...  varkam   Jun-27-08 03:17 PM   #118 
  - people who use state resources  sui generis   Jun-27-08 02:03 PM   #104 
  - We disagree. I am still hopeful the decision will be overturned.  janesez   Jun-27-08 02:18 PM   #109 
     - Even victims advocates are glad about this ruling.  Iris   Jun-27-08 09:41 PM   #122 
        - How is that a good thing?  janesez   Jun-28-08 04:07 PM   #127 
           - Victim's advocates were concerned on a couple points...  varkam   Jun-28-08 10:21 PM   #128 
              - Too late to edit. Here's more information, if you are interested:  varkam   Jun-28-08 11:47 PM   #129 
  - That just would have made it harder for me to recover.  avedon   Jun-27-08 04:53 PM   #120 
     - You know, I'm not sure if many people actually care about the surviving victim.  varkam   Jun-27-08 09:25 PM   #121 
     - I agree. I think people are just so outraged and horrified by the crime that they  Iris   Jun-27-08 09:43 PM   #123 
     - You're right, I don't care about the survivor.  janesez   Jun-28-08 12:57 PM   #125 
        - I specifically said that my comment wasn't about you, janesez.  varkam   Jun-28-08 01:22 PM   #126 
     - I am a survivor.  janesez   Jun-28-08 12:55 PM   #124 
  - Wow varkam, thank you for sharing your story.  IronLionZion   Jun-26-08 04:40 PM   #43 
  - I know this came up in the context of the DP for child rapists and none of the individuals you  aikoaiko   Jun-26-08 04:46 PM   #45 
  - Well, the point of my post wasn't really to say...  varkam   Jun-26-08 04:49 PM   #47 
     - Monster is just a metaphor --- no one thinks that a chid rapists isnt a genetic human  aikoaiko   Jun-26-08 04:58 PM   #50 
        - Of course. My intent was not to say that they are homo sapiens.  varkam   Jun-26-08 07:09 PM   #59 
           - It really doesn't matter to me if you call them monsters, good people who made bad decision, or...  aikoaiko   Jun-26-08 07:43 PM   #64 
              - I'm not saying that they are good people who made a bad decision.  varkam   Jun-26-08 08:21 PM   #68 
                 - If I may jump in. I agree with both of you I think. Sounds like you both agree with the need  rhett o rick   Jun-27-08 08:50 AM   #93 
  - I don't see this potential application death penalty as an issue to be excited about.  JVS   Jun-26-08 04:54 PM   #49 
  - Perspective is everything...  Juniperx   Jun-26-08 05:02 PM   #51 
  - Thank you.  redqueen   Jun-26-08 05:21 PM   #52 
  - There are so many grey areas. Thankyou for sharing!  Joanne98   Jun-26-08 05:37 PM   #53 
  - I have a really hard time feeling even the slightest bit of pity for child molesters.  Elrond Hubbard   Jun-26-08 06:43 PM   #56 
  - I understand how you feel  dddem   Jun-27-08 05:31 AM   #86 
  - Very brave  Bluenorthwest   Jun-26-08 06:55 PM   #57 
  - Thanks, varkam...  SidDithers   Jun-26-08 06:57 PM   #58 
  - I worked in a psychiatric hospital for a few years out of college, and you  TBF   Jun-26-08 07:09 PM   #60 
  - Thank you for this  ismnotwasm   Jun-26-08 07:13 PM   #61 
  - I've heard some pretty terrible things, as well.  varkam   Jun-26-08 07:23 PM   #63 
  - Yes, if we really wish to reduce these crimes this is not a way to do it  justaregularperson   Jun-27-08 02:14 AM   #83 
  - thank you for sharing this, it must be difficult to open up about that but these stories help heal  FarceOfNature   Jun-26-08 07:16 PM   #62 
  - Thank you for your honesty  sleebarker   Jun-26-08 07:57 PM   #65 
  - I was once deeply involved with a woman who.....  BobTheSubgenius   Jun-26-08 09:09 PM   #69 
  - Wow!  Vickers   Jun-26-08 09:44 PM   #70 
  - that took more courage than I can imagine...  lala_rawraw   Jun-26-08 10:33 PM   #72 
  - Wow. That took courage. Thank you. nt  whereismyparty   Jun-26-08 10:39 PM   #73 
  - Ouch!  struggle4progress   Jun-26-08 10:39 PM   #74 
  - I've met monsters.  kwassa   Jun-26-08 11:04 PM   #76 
  - "Anger is like an acid that destroys the vessel in which it is stored..."  Rowdyboy   Jun-26-08 11:23 PM   #77 
  - Me too. I was molested over the course of a couple years  twominuteshate   Jun-27-08 12:43 AM   #79 
  - Thank you.  varkam   Jun-27-08 01:19 AM   #80 
  - Thank you !-and another aspect about this that is not talked ....  Swagman   Jun-27-08 02:22 AM   #85 
  - Quite a post and probably the most painfully honest thing I have read here.  turtlensue   Jun-27-08 05:55 AM   #87 
  - It's amazing where you've been  Politicub   Jun-27-08 07:16 AM   #89 
  - Thank you for this.  whrab   Jun-27-08 07:42 AM   #90 
  - A superb post  malaise   Jun-27-08 07:55 AM   #91 
  - Letting go of the hatred is the hardest thing  pipi_k   Jun-27-08 07:59 AM   #92 
  - Thank you for sharing your insights  uberllama42   Jun-27-08 10:53 AM   #95 
  - Most of what you're describing  qwlauren35   Jun-27-08 11:53 AM   #96 
  - And you trust the american justice system with all those caveats?  info being   Jun-27-08 02:02 PM   #103 
  - Varkam, this is one of the most courageous  Kajsa   Jun-27-08 11:53 AM   #97 
  - Well I have met monsters so while your pov can be healthy-it can also be deadly.  MichiganVote   Jun-27-08 01:49 PM   #98 
  - You're speaking to us as one human being to another  info being   Jun-27-08 01:56 PM   #99 
  - Justice Kennedy said that as a society we must demonstrate decency  sui generis   Jun-27-08 01:58 PM   #101 
  - For my two cents, that's a lot more than two cents worth there.  NCevilDUer   Jun-27-08 02:09 PM   #105 
  - That is exactly what I think.  varkam   Jun-27-08 02:19 PM   #110 
  - I am not capable of raping a child.  janesez   Jun-27-08 02:20 PM   #111 
     - I'm trying to understand you  sui generis   Jun-27-08 02:30 PM   #116 
  - Wonderful post. Thank you.  LeftishBrit   Jun-27-08 02:30 PM   #115 
  - Sad, sick feeling in my gut.  Pavulon   Jun-27-08 03:23 PM   #119 
  - Thank you for your courage in posting this.  TexasObserver   Jun-29-08 05:36 AM   #130 

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