What I would say to my molester
I’ve had years to think about what happened to me as a child. There were times when I wept about it, became angry about it, had questions about it and then became angry all over again. I replay certain incidents as if I were watching a movie – minus the popcorn.
I wondered what I would say to each of my abusers if I had the chance.
I ran into one of my molesters when I was in my late twenties. He had come to my place of employment by accident. I smiled and we chatted for a few minutes before he left saying that we should get together some time. He spoke with the ease of someone that was meeting a longtime friend that he was asking out for coffee to get caught up instead of someone that had been having sex with underage boys.
I felt nothing about him. I wasn’t angry or sad. I knew that I would never see him again not because I hated him. It was more centered around the fact that I viewed him as a part of my past never to be relived. Maybe in his mind, we could pick up where we left off, but in mine it was a done deal. What I noticed most of all in our brief interaction was that he couldn’t look me in the eye. Not even once. To me, he looked the same, but I couldn’t get a good look at him because he never looked me in the eye…not even once. I knew even before he left my office why he couldn’t look me in the eye. He saw himself in my reflection. My eyes mirrored all the other boys that he molested over the years. For all I knew, he may still be doing the same thing that altered the trajectory of whom I was to ultimately become. Even then, in my latter part of my twenties, I knew that we were not friends. We did not have a loving relationship like I had one time thought. There was no trace of his protective fatherly behavior. I wouldn’t realize until I was in my early fifties what was going on during that time in the seventies.
But I think about it now. Would I have gotten good grades instead of barely passing? Would I have excellent people skills instead of enduring what anyone had to throw at me? Most of all, would I be confident instead of the guy that curled up inside of himself when he was challenged by anyone?
I saw him but didn’t say anything. I couldn’t because I still felt like I was a willing participant in my own abuse. I knew that no one would be willing to listen to what I had to say even if I were willing to say it at that time.
But if I had the chance to say one thing to all three of my abusers it would be this: Why me? What was it that you saw in me that made you think that asserting yourself on me sexually would somehow be okay? Do you have any idea what you did to me? Of course you couldn’t because for you, it was a one-time thing. It was sex with a young boy. That was it, pure and simple. You were present in the moment. How could you know that you were changing who I was to become? How could you know that I would be ill equipped to deal with certain social situations?
So what would I say to these men if I had the chance?
To the first man, I would ask why me? I thought that I was special. You manipulated me until I thought that I was the one seducing you. And when I left the school abruptly, you simply moved on to the next boy…a boy that I happened to know.
To the second man, I felt and continue to feel nothing about what happened. As a child dealing with someone in administrative authority over me, I honestly felt like I didn’t have a choice. If I could get through what you wanted to do to me, I would come out okay on the other side. You were a short-termed teacher…a teacher that was supposed to protect me. Instead, you homed in on me from the moment I came into your classroom. You moved in on me like a true predator, making sure I sat next to you during any announcement in the auditorium. You would call me in from recess to tutor me in reading. And then finally, you seduced me in the faculty room.
To my last abuser, I would tell him that you hurt me the most…both physically, mentally and emotionally. You took advantage of at least one boy that I know of and I realize now that you enjoyed sex with children. It didn’t matter if your victims were male or female. What happened with me was all about you. There is no polite way to put it because what happened culminated in you raping me. You had no idea that I would get in trouble with my family. You didn’t know that my estranged father was at my house to greet me when I arrived, and he whipped me with his belt after a night of being sodomized. And yet, I compacted all my emotions around this and chalked it up to something that happened and that I would never tell a soul.
And with all of this, I still treated these incidents as isolated and dismissed them because to hold on to them would hurt me too much.
No man wants to identify himself as a victim.
What you need to know is that you will have to deal with whatever trials and tribulations that you have endured if someone took advantage of your innocence. You can block it out or you can deal with it. And dealing with it will take more than one attempt. You may have to re-visit the incidents as many times is necessary to get it right in your mind. It may include the assistance of a licensed professional.
Whatever you decide, it’s going to be okay.
Until we meet again, I wish you love and peace.
~ J.L. Whitehead