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#220652 - 04/26/08 04:26 PM They watched
WalkingSouth Offline

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16270
Loc: Waldport, Oregon
I was reading and posting to Christopher's (theatrekid's) topic about children and public transportation in the news forum a bit ago when something struck me between the eyes.

When I was 10 or 11 my folks took me for a ride on the public transportation boat that crossed the bay in our Northern California town. We were the only ones on the boat with the exception of an Asian merchant sailor on his way back to his ship. He came and sat by me, put his arms around me, ran his hands on my leg, held me close and talked to me in his broken English, most of which I could not understand. I did pick up that he was telling me he wanted to take me onto his ship so I could sail with him back to his country.

I remember feeling so dirty. I remember wondering why my parents did nothing. I remember wishing I could get away, but didn't want to look like someone who couldn't handle it and besides if I was supposed to get away from him wouldn't my folks step in and rescue me? It was humiliating.

I remember my mom telling me when I disclosed to them about being sexually abused, "John, I had no idea such things even existed." At this point in my life (and hers, my dad is now deceased) I can give her a pass. Harboring anger and resentment against them will not serve a useful purpose, but WTF? You know?

And why is this coming up now so far into my recovery? It's been a couple years since I really got slammed by anything. I suppose there is hope in that this time around it might take a few hours to come to grips with it, whereas 5 years ago I'd have been in a major tailspin for days or weeks.

Anyhow, thanks for listening, guys.

Love and hugs to you all for the awesome support each of you gives.


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting 'Holy Shit! What a ride!'" ~Hunter S. Thompson

#220656 - 04/26/08 04:35 PM Re: They watched [Re: WalkingSouth]
Freedom49 Offline

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 2724
Loc: Washington State
John, I remember wondering why my dad would allow me to go home with this stranger to his trailer when I was only 9 or 10 by myself. The whole afternoon he tried to get me to give him a BJ and did things to me. The other thing I just remembered now is that he never once told me not to tell. Didn't think much of it at the time. I would not have told anyway but now looking back I find it strange that he would not have been concerned about my telling. WTF.

#220657 - 04/26/08 04:37 PM Re: They watched [Re: WalkingSouth]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Hi John,

WTF?, is right. But the thing I have to keep telling myself is that SA wasn't much talked about back then, certainly not publicly anyway. So, I think a lot of people were ignorant that it even happened, let alone were on the lookout for it.

As to why it is up on the radar for you now, I don't know. We all each look at the issues in our past and present in different ways and on different schedules. I think a lot of the reason for that is that while we are going through recovery, our perspective on things changes, and what might have seemed of lesser importance before is now of greater importance, and vice versa.

I cringed for Little John when I read about the creep on the boat, John. I wanted to throw that perv overboard. But you do need to know and understand that there was nothing that Little John needed to feel humiliated for, because Little John did nothing wrong.

Love you, John,


#220664 - 04/26/08 04:49 PM Re: They watched [Re: EGL]
king tut Offline

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2488
Loc: UK
there are people like that though, i remember lots of times people would tell me they wanted to take me home with them when i was younger, mostly if they were drunk, people i didnt know, they were just trying to say that i was cute, you know, one guy joked and picked me up before, its uncomfortable, but i knew they were just trying to be nice in a way, so i didnt want to hurt their feelings, even though some people like the guy on the boat you describe do seem creepy, they probably just dont realise they are seeming creepy


#220665 - 04/26/08 04:57 PM Re: They watched [Re: EGL]
frost Offline

Registered: 03/15/07
Posts: 1377
Loc: Eh?

I first wanted you to know that I just slaughtered that boat guy in my mind for Little John. \:\) Hope you'll do the same hehe.

I think Eddie is on to something here in that your parents weren't on the lookout for it back then because they just didn't know any better.

Originally Posted By: walkingsouth
And why is this coming up now so far into my recovery? It's been a couple years since I really got slammed by anything.

I think this is a very very very important thing to look at here. Why is it hitting you now?

I'm no expert here but I have a suggestion that perhaps its because your mind has begun to move on and let go of the bigger stuff. You've taken care of the bulk of it, and now you're just ironing through a few other things. This is undoubtedly a very old and very buried hurt from the past.

Perhaps that hurt didn't even register until now because your mind was preoccupied with ALL of the other shit that accrued... You and I both know there was a lot of it in our lives.

I hope you're right that this one only leaves ya wallowing for a couple hours. But don't be surprised or down on yourself if it keeps ya on the sidelines for a little while.

Thanks for sharing this John, You give me hope & inspiration.


#220680 - 04/26/08 06:12 PM Re: They watched [Re: frost]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Little John should carry NO humiliation what so ever. That creep should have felt all the negative stuff. You GOTTA wonder how and why someone (anyone) would feel comfortable touching a kid inappropriately in public like that. WTF was the public dynamic there?

I've read the Pelzer books and wanted to puke at how everyone watched and did nothing. I have the same reaction with this story of your's as well.

But WOW! This one hits home and hits hard! It reminds me of a guy I called Doctor Touchy. He was a drunk, retired old degenerate Doc at our yact club. He would put his hands all over boys in the club whenever he was drunk. It was usually ignored or met with a chuckle from the other adults. He had his sites set on me from my age of 11. He was always trying to get me to come to his boat (at 11 I started working as launch-boat-boy on some summer days). One day he came on board our boat while I was alone there...kind of barged his way in and was clearly drunk. I sensed real-live danger there and worked my way to the hatchway and got the farg out of there...leaving him behind on the boat.

Some neighoring boats on that same dock had several adults (partying as usual) on board. They saw him go aboard...they fkg KNEW he was drunk!!! They fkg LAUGHED when I scurried off the boat looking scared. They tossed some comments my way like "was he a little grab-assy....ha ha ha?" I hate them all to this day.

Sorry that happened John....sorry...I did not mean to hi-jack your post either...but it triggered a rather strong reaction.

#220764 - 04/27/08 12:59 AM Re: They watched [Re: Still]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA

Your post and all the replies get me thinking about all the questions I had as a boy. I have said this before, but I remember so vividly sitting at the dinner table listening to the chatter of my parents and sisters and just going nuts inside ... I was thinking "Why can't you see?"

But they didn't. They just didn't. Like you, John, I came to the conclusion that it was never going to help me to call anyone on this one. The problem was society at large, really. This sort of thing wasn't recognized as a threat - at all. Remember going to a friend's house and being told, "Now be a good boy and do whatever xxxx's parents say." Yikes!

But I'm glad you're processing this, John. The shame was never yours to begin with. As you work on this you will let that shame go and be all the better for the effort.

Much love,

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

#220830 - 04/27/08 04:37 AM Re: They watched [Re: roadrunner]
endlessjourney Offline

Registered: 11/01/05
Posts: 518
Loc: Cincinnati Ohio
It's kinda funny how things just "pop up" no matter how far you get. I do thank God that we do learn to bounce back faster and faster as we go. It does get confusing for us. It's difficult to accept our parents didn't protect us given all of the obvious signs. However, you're right about one thing. We can't keep hating them for it.

Larry put it well,

"The problem was society at large, really. This sort of thing wasn't recognized as a threat - at all. Remember going to a friend's house and being told, "Now be a good boy and do whatever xxxx's parents say." Yikes!"

Yikes is right!

Hell yea! One more little virus found. The "hard drive" will run a bit faster now than it did before. One more problem eased. Much love to ya. You are an inspiration to me as well.

Much love,

Truth is the very reason we strive to live. It surrounds and resides within us. Accepting the truths we already know and seeking out those we do not is a direct path to inner balance and joy. For life is not a means to an end, but a journey. Life comes and goes but the truth will always live on.

#220857 - 04/27/08 09:08 AM Re: They watched [Re: roadrunner]
dark empathy Offline

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 2687
Loc: durham, north england

Your post and all the replies get me thinking about all the questions I had as a boy. I have said this before, but I remember so vividly sitting at the dinner table listening to the chatter of my parents and sisters and just going nuts inside ... I was thinking "Why can't you see?"

But they didn't. They just didn't.

Yee god's larry, that hits the nail right on the head.

I have to thank you John, sinse this post brings up something I've wanted to say for a while but have had difficulty articulating, yet it's something I've really noticed going on in me. I'm incredibly sorry for thread hyjacking, it's just so close to the things which yourself and others have said, ---- in fact it might be a very common shared experience.

My parents are really liberal. Sinse they both had sheltered, even suppressed childhoods (my mum went to a very perminant boarding school from the age of 5 to 18), they've really tried to be absolutely honest, and fairly unauthoritarian with me and my brother.

So, at age nine or ten, I was very carefully taken aside and told all the facts. In fact it was probably only a few months later that I started experiencing said feelings, and exploring my self physically, and I remember thinking so, that's! what they were going on about"

Even earlier, at age 8 I remember asking my mum quite inicently if girls had balls, ---- in the literal rather than metaphorical sense of course, ;D.

so by the time I got to the secondary school of evil, I probably knew more about the subject than most others there. I remember thinking when people started behaving really stupidly in science when we got in formed about the adult "For god's sake, people are being stupid, my parents said all this is quite okay and normal, what's the big deal?"

I remember one night when i was 12 or 13. It was one of my very early experiences of abuse. i came in feleing really spoiled, really upset, but all i felt I could say to my mum was that a girl said she fancied me. My mum's response was:

"Oh, well you know it's quite alright to fancy people, --- why not try kissing or holding her hand if you like her? It's all fine you know"

I remember wondering what was so wrong with me if all this was fine.

this became increasingly common. In fact the more uncomfortable I became around the hole area, the more my parents tried to convince me that it was okay.

when a couple of years later the fact that I'd experienced fairly major physical and immotional bullying came out to my parents and I left school, I think they started to wonder. In fact it was two years after things had finished that my mum, in a conversation about recovering from the bullying mentioned that I'd been raped. In fact that's the last that's been said on the subject. While my parents know I'm in recovery from what happened, ---- they certainly don't know anymore of the details than that.

this is one reason I really don't want to disclose anymore than I have to my parents, it would just seem wrong.

In fact, even when discussing things now, I find my mum urging me to try things I really don't want to, such as try kissing a girl or holding her hand, and making assumptions that are wrong, for example that I'd naturally complement a girl on her appearence which I certainly! wouldn't!

In fairness to them though, the nicest thing they've both said is that it doesn't matter what I do or do not tell them, as long as I sort myself out, and their quite okay with giving me space. In fact I'm staying with my parents for the weekend, and we've developed a rule that if I'm posting here, I shut the door and they wait until I'm finished to come in.

sorry about that, it's just john's experiences with his parents just sitting and watching felt so close to home there I really wanted to get that off my chest.

thanks again for the thread John.

#220881 - 04/27/08 04:45 PM Re: They watched [Re: dark empathy]
Hauser Offline

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2963
Loc: United States
John? This was after your initial abuse wasn't it?

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