Today’s post is talking about times I was sexually abused. So, yeah, fun times!
I’m doing this because I haven’t said anything about my sexual abuse, not publicly, anyway. I’m doing it because abuse thrives in silence. I’m doing it as a deconstruction of masculinity, which teaches stoic silence in the face of pain is better than admitting when you were hurt as a means to end violence – which is a technique invented by abusers to help cover up their crimes. Those are my reasons, now to what happened.
This happened when I was a young boy starting from the time I was about seven and lasting until I was big enough to tell people to fuck off, so about thirteen (I was precocious in that regard.) I had a cousin (twelve years my senior, so he would have been nineteen when this started) who would fondle my arm and thigh while describing the times he’d shit his pants and asking me about how I shit and if and how often I had shit my pants.
His “pet name” for me was Tigger. To this day, Winnie the Pooh makes me sad and angry. The sonofadog stole WINNIE THE POOH from me and probably contributed a fair bit to my problems of anxiety and depression.
Unsurprisingly, though, fucked up families are fucked up. When I was sixteen, that same cousin started a two-year sentence for sex offenses against children. He’d hang out in parks where young children assembled and did the same thing to them that he did to me. It never occurred to anyone in my family to check on my cousin’s brother, myself, or my other cousins of similar age to see if he’d done that to us. Indeed, I was not told about his arrest, trial, or conviction, learning about it only after the fact from another cousin… years after he’d been released. Abuse is a cycle, after all, and abusive families excel at ignoring the harm their family members do to each other.
Eventually, all of this would come to a head between my family and me. Eventually, I realized that my cousin was fucked up in part because he was abused. Then I realized that most of what happened to him had also happened to me – that I had been abused. I needed to talk about it with my family, but did I mention abusive families excel at ignoring the harm they do? My mother didn’t want to talk about it, and I decided that I would not forgive unless someone asked forgiveness… which no one seemed inclined to do. I walked out and, a few unanswered letters for important events like me getting married or whatever, I haven’t attempted any communication with my family since then. (If you’re wondering where my father was during all of this, he was MIA since I was about nine-years-old. Totally absentee. So, fuck that guy, too.)
That’s probably the end of the story, excepting a touch of anxiety and depression about sexual assault and abuse and my persistent dislike of Winnie the Pooh – except I need to toss off a little bit more of toxic masculinity and speak out about my experiences.
I don’t even want to punish my cousin. Honestly, I want us to figure out how to organize society, so people aren’t sexually assaulted, harassed, and abused at all. To have any chance to do that, though, I think, or society needs to come to grips with the extent of the scope of the problem, which can only happen if people speak out and are taken seriously.
Here’s my call to action: take people who talk about abuse seriously and be kind to people as a habit. Together, we can beat abuse.