***Let me preface this blog with a warning.***
I am not going to soften the graphic images I relate too you in words. I cannot. If you are struggling with your ability to withstand the descriptions of sexual abuse I caution you to consider what you do next. These are my memories and recollections. They must be related to you in their unabashed truth. Otherwise, what I write in the future will have no proper foundation.
We sang together as a family in front of the church. I played the violin and my brother the piano. We were model examples of a good, God-fearing, church-going family in the 60’s. I even remember back in the time before time, when I was sitting in a pew at Kentwood Baptist Church. After the song service concluded everyone sat down, may dad would put his arm around me and I would play with his wedding ring and trace the veins in his hand. I was just a young kid. His hands were so big, work worn, and his veins so pronounced.
I had no idea of what was to come.
In my broken and sporadic memories I can see myself on my dads shoulders, in the living room. Only, I am not facing forward, I am facing backward as he “playfully” sinks his teeth into my pants as if biting my penis. Smiling, laughing, making it seem that it’s just normal. He used to clean offices at night and I was the oldest so I often went along with him. In those summer months I can still see being told to sit next to him in the front seat while he fondled my penis and balls through my pants.
It was all made to seem normal. I am sure there are other things in those times of grooming that I no longer can recall. Are they are locked away for the sake of self-preservation? Too horrible to remember?
Then there came the nights at home. This is where the true meaning of fear gained its reputation.
There were wood floors upstairs, no carpet, so each step creaked and moaned. The sounds screamed out “here I come, its time for you to pleasure me.” I being the oldest had my own room, and I still remember those first few times the shadow of my father cast across me as he entered. He didn’t speak but to reassure me it was ok. His words made mushy by the removal of his dentures. He would open my pajamas, that had images of trains, and motor cars and innocence. He would put his hands on my private most sacred areas, pull them from their place of security, and then into the warmth of his waiting, salivating mouth. As he did this I was confused, I didn’t understand what was happening. He places his hands on my buttocks and pulls my hips toward him, my penis sloshed around in the wetness of this cavern of shame. My body reacted to the stimulation, my penis became hard. I knew there was something wrong with this, but I remained in petrifying fear.
In the many nights that followed, these events were repeated, sometimes ending in my ejaculation. I was in a further state of not knowing why I felt this way, pleasure mixed with sickness. Then He made me take his hard penis in my hand and masturbate him, or orally pleasure him. He also attempted many times to penetrate me, I fought him but it would always end the same, a child unable to rebuff the advances of a stronger and more determine attacker.
These episodes continued for years, why I didn’t speak out I am not sure. Was it fear of reprisals? Was it shame, or something even more sinister such as a warped allegiance to him? I don’t know, maybe it was merely the mind of a child conditioned to believe this was completely normal.
I remember finding Polaroids in the basement, he had taken “selfies” of his penis. There was also pornography, long before the internet, purchased from the neighborhood adult bookstore. Graphic in its depiction of acts between each other that mirrored those I knew all too well.
There came a time to reveal to my mother what had been happening. Make no mistake, this took great courage on the part of a child; but she didn’t believe it. Can you understand how this could affect me? My own mother, who possessed all the instincts of motherhood denied my claims as to what my father was doing to me. If it had happened once, maybe… twice even…possibly. But this was systematic and consistent over a period of years. How did she not know her own husband? That he was up and leaving the bed, sneaking around, coming back, if at all. Didn’t she see the slow deterioration of her child’s temperament? The propensities of personality that indicated a hopelessness that would pervade throughout this boys entire life?
Eventually, I don’t how, she believed and took it to the pastor of the church. Now, I know what you’re thinking. The religious leadership would be incensed at this activity and reprimand the perpetrator, alert the authorities, and the child would be removed from the home and placed in a safe environment. There would be counseling, therapy, special attention given for the trauma endured and its ill effects. The offender would be tried, found guilty of his heinous acts and incarcerated for a lengthy period of time.
But you would be wrong. None of this transpired. In fact there was nothing done at all. The child was returned right back into the home from which he should have been delivered permanently.
Then came the most ridiculous of all things. There were little eyelet and hook restraints placed on the inside of the door of the Childs bedroom. This pathetic attempt to give me security was nothing to a lustful, mindless, slobbering fiend. There were bribes offered through my door in the night, I still can hear his slurring speech as he offered me a few dollars to let him in the room so he could satisfy his insatiable need.
After that, I am even more fuzzy on the details of life than those before. Years passed that are either blocked out or completely absent from my mind. There is only much suffering and wandering that preceded so many broken relationships, job failures, dreams destroyed and dark times of isolation, fear and confusion.
I could go on, but the point here is for you to see the underlying trauma that brings me to where I am today. I surprisingly don’t dwell on these sad recollections of what has been, but spend more of my days in trying to deal with the onset of mental disease. What has been is long passed and what is coming I do not know. However, where I stand today, every day, is a crossroad. I don’t know what’s next. I am just trying to get through each one without ending my life and giving in completely to the despair that has warped living almost beyond its worth.
As I wrote earlier today, You can see the post here, my focus is now moving beyond my personal journey, as I begin to formulate and envision a world without these predators. We must eliminate this threat or this sickness will destroy us from the inside out.
Join me on this vital and hopefully survivable quest.