One in three females are molested by the age of 18, so say the statistics. I read so many of you who deal with the pain and terror and PTSD related to terrible events in your past. You are survivors, and I admire your fortitude.
I am very fortunate. I have not had to endure the full terror of an event like this. But I have had six men close to me attempt it. Six people who were very close to me. Two relatives, a brothers’ best friend, a boyfriends’ dad, a babysitter, a best friend.
In each situation I escaped. When I was little, my favorite place was to run into the bathroom and lock the door shouting what a bad man they are through it…LOL. Unfortunately, for a couple of encounters I had to wipe their slobber and my blood off of me, mentally flip them off and go on my merry way. Unfortunately I had two persons who repeatedly attempted to abduct or molest me in college, and over time, mistrust leaves its’ mark. Motives become suspect. And I retreated into myself. I used to wonder what I did to make myself a target. And I do think there is a basic personality profile.
Quiet. Keeps secrets. Introverted. Stays in the background. Gullible.
Some time later, I realized that some of these people were date rapists. And groomed me to become a victim. Just as pedophiles groom their families and victims. Get them to trust you and then make the move. “Save me” from someone else who meant to do me harm. The evils of a mind bent on preying on another…..
I was all of these things when I was younger. But when I realized that my hatred of exposure and my personality traits made me a target, I decided to change. One of the reasons for my blog name of “Repressedexpressions” was to promote the discussion of uncomfortable topics. Bring them into the light, expose them for what it is, deal with the consequences.
The hardest was dealing with a stalker in college in my senior year while I had “mono”, of all things, and was “on my own” as my long-term boyfriend was in England at Cambridge. I was too ill to even really recognize it. It was my roommates that sat me down and told me I had a problem. I refused to believe that someone I who was my good friend was following me all over and making threats. Of course I immediately shunned him, but I was too exhausted to make an issue of it. He did try to grab me twice over the semester and again I was fortunate enough to escape.
In the end I have forgiven them all, and if I were to meet them again I would shake their hand and talk as it nothing ever happened. But to trust them again? Never. And that is the mark that I carry, and will carry until I die. One must be ever vigilant, for we only have the opportunity to look at other people’s deeds, not their heart or mind.
I encourage each of you to protect your children by learning how stalkers and date rapists and pedophiles choose their victims. And excellent blog, one of my favorites, is from Clara Hinton, a wife married to a man for 40 years who was convicted of molesting hundreds of children over his lifetime. Her blog, “Finding a Healing Place” is a riveting look at a dynamic man able to pull the wool over the eyes of his family and congregation for decades.
While women are most often the focus of a topic like this, our boys and men are vulnerable, and they have to deal with the added stigma of “male weakness”. I sincerely doubt that the actual statistics are known for abuse to men, for the shame and weakness of victimization are contrary to all that is supposed to be “male”. This should not be tolerated, and my hope is that someday abuse of any kind to any person is viewed with equal abhorrence and subject to the same penalties by law.