I remember well the first day I was molested so I'll just begin my story there. I was four-years old and attending a daycare center while my parents were students at Texas A&M.

All week we had heard about the upcoming play-day where we would get to play all sorts of games like Simon Says, Red Rover and all those fun games you play at that age. Each teacher had a different game and we were to go in groups from station to station to play.

I remember clearly how excited I was for that day to come. When it finally did come we were hustled outside and told to group up. It was then the owner's son convinced me to go behind one of the out-buildings. I told him how much I wanted to play these games, I am still a very competitive person. He told me he had some better games for us to play.

Even then I doubted they could be better because there would be only the two of us, but I went with him.

Two buildings were joined together and where they joined there was a recess where two people could fit neatly. Anyone poking their head around the corner would have had to come all the way to the middle to see us.

I became aware that day. To this day I am hyper-vigilant at almost every moment. I learned to lie and I learned how easily I could be seen and accounted for and how quickly I could disappear.

I can't say I learned it all that day, but the abuse I endured from this person lasted for five years and spanned two daycare centers. There were several instances I remember clearly where we were able to get away in this manner.

(I guess I have to give him a name. He had red hair and a thick red beard so I'll just call him Red.)

I remember one time when the rain had just started. All of the kids were called inside. There was a side yard where some farm animals like rabbits and chickens were kept.

These were egg-laying hens and Red decided this was a good time to go collect the eggs. We raced over to a big plastic space capsule with a small door and portholes. The hens lay eggs on the bench that circled the inside of the spaceship.

I remember getting inside and opting not to rush back with the eggs right away. I realize now this was Red's plan all along. Anyway I remember looking out of the portholes once in a while to see if anyone was coming. Nobody came and I just can't remember what we did in there.

On another occasion at the second school, which his mother also owned, we met on the playground and agreed to go back into the building to an unused classroom. He went in one door and I another.

The classroom lights were turned off and my pants were unzipped. I remember so much more of this event because of what happened next.

A teacher came into the room and we saw her coming through the window. I remember Red telling me not to let her turn the lights on because he would be seen. As she opened the door and reached in to flip the switch I put my hand over it. When her hand touched mine she jumped back from the doorway and screamed a bit.

I stepped out to block her from entering the room again and told her I really had to go to the bathroom and I had been lost and had accidentally come into the room. It explained everything

But I knew that school like the back of my hand. I had toured it while it was still under construction. Anyway she believed me and ushered me over to the bathrooms. They were right in the middle of two huge rooms and served to separate them. There was no way you couldnít know where the damn bathrooms were. I guess I may be a little bitter that she didnít realize anything was odd.

The molestation that day continued in the bathroom. Red sat on the back of the toilet and I pretended to be peeing when anyone came close. The only thing separating us from being caught were some swinging doors that looked like saloon doors. It actually turned out to be a better place than the dark classroom. We were right in the open, sort of.

Red was tucked away on the toilet and I really donít remember all of the abuse that went on there. It frustrates me that I can remember so much around the event but canít remember the abuse.

I remember another day when it was raining. The bus dropped us off at the daycare center after school and we ran inside where we knew we were going to get to see a movie.

I found Red there at the top of the jungle gym surrounded by the younger boys who were not yet school age. I was absolutely livid, even though I didn't know that word then. I knew what he was doing to those boys and I made him move them to a lower level so we could be alone together at the top.

This one bothers me on so many levels. I knew it was abuse to those other boys, but I didn't realize it was abuse to me.

I wet the bed during this time. My parents took me to see a doctor. He said it was because the hole in my penis was too small. It was decided an operation would be done and all would be well.

Wetting the bed was a frequent occurrence for me and very embarrassing. It happened no matter where I was. I didnít sleep over at a friendís house that I can recall. I remember waking in the middle of the night. My mother had her hand on me. I asked what she was doing and she told me she was checking to see if I had wet the bed. A few minutes later I asked her if I had and what was taking so long. I was tired and wanted to go back to sleep.

If that was my only memory I would be able to brush it off, but it isnít. I remember other nights where she had awakened me to go to the bathroom. Afterward she would pull me into her lap in the rocking chair in the living room. She would rock me to sleep and put me to bed. If she hadnít spoken to me I might not even remember this, but she did. She told me she was the only person allowed to touch me like this. I cannot remember what ďthisĒ is.

A month before my 9th birthday on the night before my surgery I was alone in a hospital room. It was Election Day and Jimmy Carter would be giving his acceptance speech. I remember the anchorman saying Gerald Ford was sleeping while they showed his bedroom window at the White House on TV. I had my first enema that night.

A male nurse watched over me and late in the evening when Carter was sure he would win I went to the bathroom to get cleaned out. After I had received the enema I immediately needed to go to the bathroom. I turned to pee in the toilet and after a few moments I realized that was not where this was going to come out.

I quickly jumped on the toilet and asked the nurse why he didnít tell me this and what he would have done if I had stood there and made a mess. He just didnít seem to mind and said he would just clean it up. I have always thought that was odd even though I have never considered myself to have been abused by that nurse.

After the surgery it was necessary to keep the newly enlarged hole of my penis from growing over again. The hole had to be manipulated a few times a day. I felt that I was old enough to do this myself but my father disagreed. Actually that last sentence doesnít begin to describe the emotion of this moment.

I begged my father to let me do this myself. I cried and begged him not to touch me. He would get angry and send me into the bathroom to wait for him with my pants down. After some time he would come in, all the while I had been opening and closing the end of my penis as instructed. This still wasnít good enough and my father had to do it himself. I felt hatred and shame that day. Iím sure I still felt love too. All of my deepest emotions were forced to the surface in one significant event.

For me it was a far worse experience than any of the other abuse. The hole did grow over and my father told me it was a waste of a thousand dollars. The bed-wetting continued.

The trauma at the hands of my father lasted for only a few weeks. I know this because my birthday is December 7th. I was given an LCD calculator and I knew it was meant to be an apology even though those words never passed my fatherís lips. I was told later by a therapist these types of calculators in 1976 were very expensive, especially for two graduating college students who had just paid for a surgical procedure.

My parents graduated on December 11th 1976 and family on both sides came to witness the event. We were all set to move from College Station to Abilene after graduation and my motherís uncle stayed on to help. He was older than my parents and unmarried.

I remember the night we pulled into Abilene in our U-Haul and Volkswagen station wagon. It was dark and we crested a hill just outside of town and saw lights stretched across the horizon. It was quite the experience for someone who was raised in the Big Thicket Pine forests of East Texas.

That night Uncle Buddy molested me. I had told him of the operation, or maybe my parents had. Anyway he asked me about it again that night when we were alone in my new bedroom. He asked to see my penis and I didnít think anything about it. My pants had been down for so many people over these past few months it just didnít matter to me anymore. I pulled them down and he touched me. He also cleaned my penis and put his mouth on me.

When I called him on the phone to ask him about this years later he apologized and said he didnít think I would remember, then he had to get off of the phone and I havenít heard from him since.

For a long time I had thought the abuse ended here with the exception of one event when I was 15 years old. But I donít want to jump ahead. I was nine years old and finished the second half of third grade and the first half of fourth grade in Abilene.

My third grade teacher read Old Yeller to us and Where the Red Fern Grows. I didnít want to get close to anyone if I was going to lose them like that. I remember crawling under my desk to cry. I remember destroying the one friendship I did have. A boy who lived in a boyís home became my friend and after a while he invited me out to see the home where they lived. I rode the bus with them and took the tour. We got along great until one of the older kids invited me to come along with him. That decision still haunts me. I went with the older and cooler kid and even threw insults at the one I had been friends with just a few moments before. I know I still do this today.

We moved to another house across town and I began the fourth grade. Our neighbors had a son who was retarded and much older than me. I understood he was on my level or below mentally. This is probably the reason I never thought of his touches as abuse. Actually I was touching him too. Iím sure I began to see myself as an active participant and probably thought I had been one all along.

We used to crawl into the dumpster in the alley behind our houses. I know he touched me with his hands and with his mouth. I told him I wasnít ready to put my mouth on him and he didnít mind that I would use just my hands to get him off. I think this was the first time I saw someone have an orgasm. I was disgusted by all the sticky stuff. I wonder today just how old he was.

He told our neighbor across the alley behind us about what I had done with him. I was then invited over there for more fun. He was also an older boy and I remember him lying splayed across his bed while I took care of his needs. This is the boy who invited me to church camp that summer. It didnít bother me at all to be away from my family for the first time.

We moved from Abilene and the abuse ended. Sometime while we were in Abilene or shortly after we moved from there, I stopped wetting the bed. It was miraculous. I wonder now if the abuse may have been the cause of the bed-wetting and ultimately the cause of the trauma at the hands of my father.

I want to run
I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls
That hold me inside
Bono (U2) - 1987

Do what you love and love will find you. - Me (21 June 09)