Newest Members
CelloL, Elevenoneoneblog, DavidHauss, Mike 77, DarshansDaughter
13451 Registered Users
Today's Birthdays
4113 (63), Andre M, (39), catchup22 (65), jim OCA 7 (60), sidhearthur (58), SkyClad (68)
Who's Online
0 registered (), 79 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Forum Stats
13,451 Registered Members
75 Forums
69,769 Topics
487,090 Posts

Most users ever online: 418 @ 07/02/12 07:29 AM
Twitter
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >
Topic Options
#378441 - 12/06/11 12:51 PM Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2646
******TRIGGERS SUSPECTED******

SPECIAL NOTE: I recently re-read this intro after some posts kicked it back to the top of the forum stack. I wrote it over three and a half years ago, and so much has changed that I felt it was important to reflect that here. I have grown quite a bit, and my perspectives have evolved as well - but I admit I never realized how much until I read what my three-and-a-half year younger self had to say. So I went through this carefully and added a bit more while trying my best to preserve that earlier voice. I think in so doing, these words may prove more useful to others with similar experiences. Interestingly, the view count on this post topped 10,000 while I was reworking this. That is humbling, but I also know that this is not just my story - it is the story of many here, some who have let me know how much this resonates with their own experience. The greatest honor is to be woven tightly into the fabric of shared experience here. I've stood alone with this for far too long. If my words have connected with one survivor, or one person who has a survivor in their life, or most especially given pause to one abuser - hence sparing a child from having to live out his own journey of healing - then that helps kill any second thoughts I may have for sharing at this level.

Eirik
September 2015



...........PREAMBLE: WHY I SHARE
Hi - I suppose it's about time I did an intro - this and my post about my name and avatar pretty well sums me up here in the forum until/if I post my so-called story.

I don't know really the difference between introductions and stories - a casual introduction explains little, yet a full story seems overkill. Since I often find myself repeating the essentials of myself to others, I might as well use the opportunity to post this as a reference. When you get to the end of this intro, I think you'll know pretty much who I am and why I am here.

As a preamble, please keep in mind that I am spilling something out here that once occupied all my energy to conceal. So while I know this is a public share, it remains to me a sacred one. This breaking of silence and secrets is a strange and uncomfortable intimacy. But breaking secrets is precisely what has compelled me to put this out here. Consider for a moment if, while any of us were being abused, we ran across someone else our age going through the same thing. Imagine if we could sit together under a shady willow tree alone and just talk about it - really talk like we couldn't do with anyone else. It would kill the notion we were alone, help us find an entirely different context in the utter confusion of what we were going through, give us the support we were aching for, and perhaps embolden us to speak out and stop it. And so I write.

There is, of course, another side to sharing so publicly. I hope the eyes that move past this point do so for good reasons and in the proper spirit. Perhaps like most here, you are a survivor. There is nothing more powerful than suddenly realizing you are not alone with this. And to you, I want to share at a level deep enough to remove all doubt (albeit at the risk of triggers). Perhaps you have never experienced child sexual abuse (CSA) but would like to understand it. In that case, maybe by sharing my experience, it will define the problem deeper than the more sensational and superficial slant you might otherwise get from news media. And while you may have never have experienced CSA, someday you may see something, suspect something, or have to reconcile something that just seems wrong. I don't advocate hysteria, but if my story encourages you to take that second glance, that deeper look, then these words have some value to you as well. Maybe you are the parent of a child who was a victim, or the partner of a survivor. My hope is that this will give some insight from another survivor's perspective in understanding even a little piece of what they are going through. As a supporter, you don't need to supply the answers, only an ear to listen, and perhaps a hug to show that you are listening. And finally, maybe you are an abuser - or have struggled with such thoughts. If so, I do not judge you, but challenge you. I do not presume to know that hell, but I saw my own abuser deal with his - and when those who could have helped him failed, I paid the price. So perhaps this survivor's perspective lends some credibility to my words: Dare to extract the deeper message being expressed here. Dare to open your eyes and see the incredible life damage such actions can do to a victim. Dare to seek the help my abuser never got but should have. Challenge yourself to understand that you can be the biggest hero in a child's life - simply by being the best person you can be in your life. I believe history shows us that great men are often not without great flaws - but those who are stronger than their flaws are great men.

My journey has convinced me that every survivor's experience is a fingerprint, a result of an almost infinite combination of variables that define what, when, where, how and why it happened, the ages of victim and abuser, the number of victims and abusers, who they were to each other before the abuse, how it affected them, the frequency and duration of the abuse, the physicality and physiology of it, where it fell on the spectrum from gentle grooming to violence - and the infinite shades of character that define who the victim was when it started and who they had to become to survive it. This is my fingerprint. I am not a therapist or educated in any form of counselling. I cannot tell you what works and what doesn't, and I will not try. All I can do is share my story. But if some of the ridges of my fingerprint line up with yours, such resonance can be a powerfully healing thing.

...........HIDDEN CIRCUS
In a nutshell, I was the victim of a long-term serial abuse case that my therapist characterized as "unusually intense." It was at the hands of an older next-door neighborhood kid - I was his little "side kick" and looked up to him like a big brother. We were best buddies despite our age and physical differences. When he got older he started molesting several of the 7-8 year old girls in our neighborhood, and I was one of the only boys (I was 12 when he started on me). Despite his ubiquitous interest in the little girls, his molestations of me were far more frequent. Since, as boys, we often slept together in sleeping bags in the basement or in a tent pitched in our wooded back yard, his access to me allowed much longer and more intense "sessions" with less threat of interruption. I remember a few times accommodating full consummation two or three times over the course of a single overnight. As I write this, I remember one morning in particular. I walked back to the house from the tent and my eyes were so puffy from lack of sleep I barely recognized the boy looking back at me from the powder room mirror. My mom laughed and said that it looked like I was awake all night. She had no idea. That was just one night in a pattern of repeated sexual episodes that became my "normal" and continued through my teens until I finally "ran away" to California (from New York state) in a focused effort to distance myself from him and ultimately from myself.

Among those who were caught in his web was my little sister. The dynamics of that went deep. I was the protector not only of her but of all the girls of whom I was aware. I did so by "taking the bullet," knowing he couldn't shoot them if his gun was empty. Better me than my sister, I thought. I was already tarnished - so I figured if I was in for a penny, I was in for the whole pound. I can neither explain nor hope to understand all the psychodynamics that caused me, but I suspect the effects were significant. One of the results is that I still have a very tough time getting in touch with my anger. Seeing him molest the girls was deeply disturbing for me, but breaking up his sessions with them was a whispered effort. I felt like the Master of Ceremonies at a macabre circus - trying to keep the tiger at bay and everyone safe. Secrecy trumped everything - I had to be very cool and manipulative with him, even though I was the greater victim of his manipulations. I was smarter than he was, but he was older and stronger. He had a tremendous urge and a relentless whining insistence that - despite my efforts - won for him my capitulation. Yet I knew that if I acquiesced, my sister and her friends wouldn't have to. At least, that is, until the next day. And the next. And the next. My perspectives were those of a child, and thus rather myopic.

Anger? It never seemed appropriate. I didn't understand what sex was when this started - although I knew instinctively that it was wrong - and I was too busy keeping a level head to spare my sister. I couldn't afford to indulge in the indignation the parents in the neighborhood showed once they found out. Their anger scared me much more than anything my abuser was doing to me, and many of us victims stayed hidden as the drama played out over our heads. Had the adults been as calculating as I, I suspect this guy would have been TREATED AND MANAGED instead of threatened with punishment (as if that would resolve the issue). To this day, I rarely get angry about anything and tend to be very even-tempered. Frustrated? Yes. Anger, however, has almost always proven itself to me as a useless emotion. How Spockian. I still shrink from angry people, tending not to trust them or their judgement.

...........THE WOODSHED
Our abuser was caught when one of the girls awoke with nightmares and told her mother. The mother's husband was out of town on a business conference, so she approached my father, who was a medical doctor and well respected in the neighborhood. My dad in turn assembled a committee of two other fathers and they met in a closed session with our abuser. As a kid, I was not a party to that discussion, but was keenly aware of it. And so began the woodshed moment for my abuser - a moment where he was caught and where I should have been saved. But instead it paradoxically steepened my descent into his darkness.

While my father was helping to decide the fate of the abuser, my mother sat me down for a talk. It was in our finished basement. I sat on a bar stool and my mom sat across from me in a small armchair. Beneath us was the hideous orange and yellow shag carpet upon which was staged so much of the abuse, the furniture around us silent witnesses to my secrets.

She paused to gather herself, then carefully stepped each word toward an answer she was not prepared to hear. She told me in a very measured pace that my friend did something that was very wrong and that he was in a lot of trouble. She proceeded to tell me what it was, and then asked Do you know what that means?. I cast my eyes downward and muttered yes, afraid to look at her, choosing instead to fixate upon my penny loafers that couldn't reach the floor, swinging through the air as if wanting to run off to anywhere else but where they were. And then she asked that awful question I knew was coming. Did you do anything like that with him? It was a question that would haunt me for years - both in its ambiguity and in how it was the only question anyone ever asked me with regard to the situation.

I was a trapped animal. There was nowhere to go. My words started spilling out before I could even think of what to say. I spoke to the rug. Well....maybe just once or twice... just to see why he was doing it. I clearly remember my answer - just as clearly as I remember hating the words as they left my lips. How could I say something so daft and transparent? My mom wasn't stupid. I had no excuse, and the answer I gave was nothing but an excuse. I looked up at my mom and immediately started to cry.

And so I just broke down and pleaded. Please don't tell dad! My secret was out of the bag. My mom knew it now, and suddenly all of my efforts were redirected in a desperate bid to have her hold my secret from my dad and keep my humiliation contained.

My words had an unexpected calming effect on my mom. Her response was something like I'll have to think about it. I can't promise. We'll see. She responded quietly and blandly - and I felt a shift in her countenance I did not understand. She then told me that everything was going to be okay in a way that made me doubt it would be. And that was that. It was never again brought up. We never talked about it after that. Nobody did. Ever.

My life was suddenly and painfully contorted around questions. Did she tell dad? Why wasn't she pursuing more questions? Was it really going to be okay? Was it as simple as having that little talk - and that was it? Perhaps I wished so hard for all this to go away that it actually did go away. Maybe I had magical powers that way. What happened in the aftermath of my abuser's woodshed moment was a complete mystery to me and would remain so for thirty years.

If my dad knew, he certainly was playing that hand close to the vest. He had to know. Between talking with my abuser and talking with my mom, I figured there was no way he didn't. And my mom wouldn't keep such a secret from him. So then if he knew, why wasn't he angry? Was he trying to spare my feelings? Did he think the whole thing so disgusting he wouldn't even think about it, much less talk about it? Was I his most despicable, regrettable creation? One thing about my dad was that when he got angry, he rarely blew his cool. He just got quiet. I learned to fear those moments went he "went into his inner basement" as I used to think of it. He would invariably have a chat with me later about what a disappoint I was to him - discussions that would cut right to my soul - but only when he was good and ready. My dad played a mean poker hand with his feelings, and part of this nonchalance with me felt like a big bluff.

I remember it was during that week, shortly after the talk I had with my mom, that he and I were alone in the car together. I carefully formulated a question in a calculated attempt to draw a discussion and force his hand on what he knew and where I stood with him. And I asked him simply ... Dad - why did he do it?

My father's simple reply left me perplexed. Because he wasn't getting enough love at home. That was his answer. To a 13 year old boy, it was nonsensical. Love? What did love have to do with it? It was an adult's answer that spoke to something abstract but didn't speak to its essence. My truths were in the physicalities. And with that non-answer, his bluff remained intact. His poker-face countenance remained unchanged. His response left me without any clue about whether he knew of my involvement or not. That was my shot, and I wasn't about to bring it up again.

And so I defaulted - perhaps as any child would - to my worst fears. I figured that my dad knew I was touched. He knew I didn't stop it and that I didn't say no loud enough and that I let it happen again and again. My abuser perhaps even shared with my dad how I responded to his touch and seemed to like it - maybe in an effort to put the blame on me. So perhaps my dad knew all my dirty secrets. And so maybe it was a small gift that he wasn't ready to talk about it. For I was all to happy to oblige his silence on the topic. Perhaps - like my wish about my mom's interrogation ending - this, too, would simply vanish like a bad dream due to my magical powers of wishing it was. And if I wished hard enough and long enough, maybe he would completely forget, and with time we would once again enjoy the healthy father-and-son relationship we both wanted but suddenly couldn't have. I was too toxic a child, however, for that to happen anytime soon.

The parents came very close to a decision that would hand our abuser over to the police. But their final decision was to keep it quiet and avoid what would have likely been a difficult trial for everyone. The solution to the problem was to throw me back into the lion's den to save the girls. I was perplexed about why my own father insisted that I help my friend through this rough patch and keep him from the girls (as I was literally asked to do), because I was almost certain he was aware of how mixed up in it I was as well.

But like a good soldier, I took it on. I was hopeful that my molester - who was once like my big brother - would be "normal" again. I thought we could forget the nasty stuff we did and just get back to being like we once were. And for a while, he seemed humbled, contrite - perhaps even malleable. I was intoxicated with the belief that I could not only do the job I was tasked with, but recreate him, rebuild him into something better. I was thirteen and possessed all the magic and optimism of my age. He seemed sadder in those days immediately after he was caught, and so I committed myself to raising his spirits. I pushed bike rides, swimming, one-on-one hoops. I was in charge, meeting my responsibilities to my dad and to my friend, and feeling an empowerment the situation fed - an empowerment that was really just an illusion. His demons quickly crept back, and his contrition did not last long.

...........LOSING TRUST
My molester knew that I was tasked by my own father to ensure that he stayed away from the little girls. It took only a few days of abstinence from his crimes to fuel an even more ferocious urgency as he started in again with me. He told me that he wanted to do it again with the girls but didn't know how to stop himself. He begged for me to submit to him. He whined for it. I tried to reason him out of his desperation, but nothing I said seemed to work. The biking wasn't enough. Neither was the basketball. I knew I was supposed to help him. And he sure reminded me of that - with an ultimatum of conscience: if I did not submit, he would have to violate his promise to my father and touch the girls again - and that would be on me. You don't want that, do you? The memory of that supplicating slide back down into his darkness has never left me - how the magic of better possibilities evaporated. It felt as if the whole neighborhood was in collusion with perpetuating the mess I was in. I had reason to fear that my father knew what we were hiding as well as others - that they were all keeping my dirty secret, that everyone - my molester, the girls, the adults - would all be fine if I would just shut up and quietly submit. My dreams fed that delusion. I remember vividly a recurring nightmare in which my parents - and other adults - were standing behind my molester, waiting their turn with me. Of course I never experienced incest or even the hint of that. But my shame was scorching. I would wake up and avoid my parents and siblings. I began losing trust especially with my more pubescent friends, convinced that they would do the same with me given half the chance. I had neither trust nor concept of healthy boundaries - they were meaningless. Anyone who got too close to me was suspect, even simple smiles had ulterior motives, and as I got older, anyone who found me attractive was by definition sick and dirty. I started wearing baggy clothes before baggy was in style just to hide the curves of my body. I hid my eyes behind sheepdog bangs of long hair.

Many speak of child sexual abuse and the loss of trust. Of course my "big brother" friend certainly lost my trust. But then I started not trusting friends, even family. My dubiety grew like a cancer - extending to relatives, teachers, authority figures - and robbing me of the healthier relationships I should have been building. Every smile had a price, every touch had a more malignant intent. My trust in simple, innocent graces started to erode. But the biggest loss of trust was with myself. The embarrassment (is there a better word for it?) of my body's response to the abuse was something I neither wanted nor understood, but it happened despite mustering every ounce of my will. It vexed my conscience and impugned my sense of integrity, and I judged myself harshly. My abuser just couldn't help himself - like an out-of-control freight train with no brakes. He was insatiable. But even though I knew he was the more guilty party, I expected far more from myself. He was simply defective. But what was my excuse? Eventually I just ran away from it all with all the naivety of believing I could. I found I could run to the other end of the continent, but in the process I never succeeded in distancing myself even an inch from me.

...........REPEATING THE PATTERN
But I tried. In California, three thousand miles from home, I attempted to reboot my life and bury the boy I was. I went there to forget who I was. I dyed my hair and changed my name. I gave myself a ticket to be whoever I wanted to explore being - as long as it wasn't the boy I was - the boy I left back home. I thought I might be gay but wasn't sure. I was dating girls and guys both. I will spare the detail here, but I still managed to put myself into abusive situations. You would think that one who was abused would have learned to avoid anything approaching re-victimization. But I have since come to understand that bad circumstances can become like comfortable old shoes. They are frayed, the shoelaces are broken and have holes in the soles so your socks get wet. But they have molded to your feet. They become a known fit. There is a comfort in known discomforts. We put these old shoes back on perhaps because we feel we deserve nothing better. Or maybe we've so thoroughly rehearsed the script that playing into these known roles is nothing - until we discover that we have stepped into a situation we did not anticipate. So that happened to me in California. As I did when I was a kid, I just didn't look back at it. And my talent at not looking back was certainly well-practiced by then.

It took a long time for me to see the truth of what happened to me as a child. I knew who the "bad guy" was. But so what? The point was moot - it was beyond my power to make him "good." But I sure as hell expected more of ME. I judged myself as if I could have salvaged my integrity, my honor. And the same-sex taboo condemned me before I could even launch out of the starting blocks. There was no finish-line of justice or help to run towards even if I tried. Societal hang ups were powerful silencers. I saw what happened to me as a gay issue when in fact it was a boundary issue. Those episodes became my secrets, pieces of memory I packed away and tried to forget. It took me years to see through the lies I told myself and to understand how the deep grooves of my past patterned the years of dysfunction that followed. It also took a single defining event in my adult life - the death of my father - to finally open my eyes and see it. And it took a good therapist named Marc to guide me to the truth. If you are reading this, Marc - you might recognize me from these words. I've come far, thanks in large part to you. You taught me how to walk back to me.

...........OPENING MY EYES
When I went through therapy ten years ago, I was so full of self-deluding constructs that I simply couldn't see that what happened to me as a child was molestation. My past was deeply entrenched in the lies I told myself. It was supposed to be "grief therapy." I was inconsolable for months after the sudden death of my father, and it soon became clear that my grief was not abating. A friend gave me a card with a number, and I made the appointment. When the therapist took me for a walk down the dirty trail into my past, I figured - okay, if this is the stupid game I have to play - then fine. I'll talk about what he wants and then we can finally discuss what I was really there for. But those sessions opened my eyes to everything I had closed them to. Marc was brilliant - letting me do all the talking, but his questions were smartly-planted guideposts, marking the trail he knew I needed to walk. His talent - I believe - was that he had an uncanny sense about precisely where I did not want to go - and a sense of where he knew I needed to go - and he didn't let me get away with skirting around those places. He never judged. He never summarized. He simply let me hear myself. And I discovered that the truths I had created just did not stand up to the truths that were spilling out of my mouth. I was a small prepubescent boy submitting to full sexual intercourse - countless times - with a bigger, fully pubescent male 3 years older than me all under the threat that he'd molest my sister if I said no! And when I said yes, he'd molest her anyways. But - hey - that was MY fault, right? It's amazing how much I managed to kid myself for so long. Unlearning those lies I told myself was an adventure into my soul that was as dark as it was fascinating. It wasn't an easy journey, and I was a skeptical and reluctant patient. It was like slogging through a muddy swamp in heavy boots - embarrassing, awful stuff to dredge myself through - in large part because I owned every sin. It was a trail of tears, a hard look in the mirror for the first time in my life. And at the end of that path was waiting a kid I dismissed and packed away with all the other memories. A kid I wouldn't look at, and nobody else really did either. A kid who was abused by his molester, only to then be blamed and neglected by me. In so doing, I essentially amputated myself from my childhood. I built my adult life on a broken foundation, and wondered why nothing seemed to work out - in school, in relationships, in work.

If I could sum up in a simple three-word sentence the biggest lesson those therapy sessions taught me it is this: Look at it. It sounds simple, but my whole life was about not looking at it, about keeping secrets and redefining truths. I stopped looking at it when it started. The adults stopped looking at it, too. Nobody was looking at any of this. Therapy revealed some hard truths. I wasn't going anywhere in my life because I had no idea where I was coming from - or even who I was. Just looking at it was all I needed to do - but that was a major effort and I could not have done it alone. I just needed to open my eyes - and amazingly, once I did, everything in my life started re-aligning itself. And while my life remains far from perfect (if there is ever such a thing) - it is certainly far from the imperfect that it was. It helps me to understand that - for me at least - there is no endpoint, no gleaming moment called "recovery" where I stand on a mountain peak in the sun, triumphant. In fact, for me there is no "recovery." There is nothing to "fix." There is only the journey of opening my eyes with an honesty that stopped when I was twelve - and in the end, I finally own myself, damages and all. I have discovered that it is enough in this life just to do that.

...........WHO I AM TODAY
So who is Eirik today? I am an educated professional, in the middle of my life (admittedly an assumption), enjoying a stable and healthy relationship of several years, and am generally happy. I am also wounded, remain dysfunctional in many areas, and am still coming to terms with who I am. A lot was stolen from me. I'll never know the man I might have been had my abuse not occurred - but I suspect my life would have been quite different. I am still learning to rebuild myself, but I can usually say that I am a better man today than I was yesterday. And that little boy I neglected? He's the best part of me. He is my core. He's the light that shines out of me, reflected in the smiles of everyone around me who matters. You'll see him here now and then - occasionally in my avatar or my signature - smiling despite what was happening. He had an amazing resilience and an effervescent spirit. His dad called him a super ball - the harder he hit, the higher he'd bounce. And maybe that dad could have been proud of him had he known what that kid was trying to do. It took me years to finally understand that the boy I was did the best he could, holding everyone's secrets, trying his hardest to spare others from falling prey to the darkness he knew, navigating X-rated problems that confounded even the adults - problems he didn't understand and for which he felt there was nowhere to turn for help. And he dealt with all of that carrying nothing more than the tools of a child - the perspectives of a 75 pound kid who just wanted to ride his bike, swim, play pickup basketball and sandlot baseball until the sun was too low to see the ball, and who believed in magical things. He returned every smile and was an easy mark for bullies. He was a powerhouse in a slight little package, and he was the strongest man I ever was.

...........THE COST
The price I paid? Here's just one. My dad told me when I was still a young teenager that despite getting on my tail about being irresponsible and immature, "You're a real good boy and I'm awfully proud of you." A real good boy? Proud? He obviously had no idea how nasty and dirty I was. He - like all the adults in our neighborhood - had not a clue of the subterranean filth flowing at his feet. And I certainly wasn't about to disabuse him of his flawed notions. I took that compliment like a hungry dog snatching a forbidden pork chop from the dinner table - and hid forever. He gave me a compliment, yet I felt I stole it, greedily keeping it until that day when I was pure enough to earn it - that day I could step proudly into his regard. But that day never came. I kept him at arm's length to preserve his delusions - and then I suddenly lost him forever (he died during a risky surgery). His last words to me were these (and yes - I remember them precisely): I never knew you like I wanted to - you are such a private person. But I know you love me.

That's what was stolen from me. I think about that when the news media focuses on the sex of child sexual abuse rather than the deeper human loss it creates. And I think about that when I hear the louder voices drown out the quieter victims, defining the crime within the narrow self-serving perspectives of their own moral indignation. Because as loud as they are, they don't own it. We as victims do. And when those voices quiet down and the monster is locked up forever, the victim is left alone with quiet shame and shattered secrets. And those other voices go back to their less sullied lives. It is what we are left holding that destroys us, that sometimes even kills us. This is what I believe - this is what my journey has taught me. Because while non-consensual sex is a theft of the body, it eventually stops. But the secrets and shame it plants stay hidden under the skin of every survivor, and gradually eat holes through the soul.

...........EPILOGUE: A SMALL VICTORY
One of the events that brought me here to MaleSurvivor was an email from a girl just a few years ago - completely out of the blue - who thanked me for being her "hero" all those years ago. I had walked in on her and my perp, and told her to get out just as he was starting to undress her. And the funny thing is - I barely remembered it. There were so many. But I can pretty much guarantee I took the bullet. She was spared. And she now has a beautiful family. She told me that if I didn't step in and rescue her, that family of hers may have never existed. I don't have a family. But I'm the dirty little hero.
_________________________
..



Top
#378444 - 12/06/11 01:31 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Chet Offline


Registered: 11/09/11
Posts: 16
Loc: Kingsport, TN
Aww, Eric the Brave, (my new viking name for you!)

You are NOT dirty. What you did saved many people from the molester, if only for that day. You were used by him & the neighborhood parents. You did nothing wrong, my friend. I am honored to know you.

Think of our idea of soldier heros. They may be used by their country's leaders to go & fight in senseless wars & have to do things there that they are not proud of. But that doesn't detract from them individually as heros. You are the same in my eyes.

Chet


Top
#378485 - 12/06/11 07:05 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chet]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4157
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
C E - I consider you not only "not dirty" and a "hero" - but a BIG man, at that. You did the only thing you knew to do at the time, and you are doing what you need to do now. My hat's off to you and I salute you for your courage and honesty. (I also identify with your instinct toward truthfulness. My user name is de>
_________________________
"My experience has shown me that I all too often tend to deny that which lies behind, but as I still believe, that which is denied cannot be healed." Brennan Manning, "All is Grace - A Ragamuffin Memoir"

Top
#378525 - 12/07/11 12:45 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: traveler]
whome Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/07/11
Posts: 1739
Loc: Johannesburg South Africa
HI Chase Eric

Thanks for having the courage to share your story with us. It is something we can all identify with, the threats the secrecy, the violence and the confusion.
I see that you have been on MS for a while now, and I am glad that we are seeing more posts from you, this is a good sign and shows that you are beginning to heal.
I trust that you will post your full life story for us sometime soon. Writing mine, although through the healing process more has come out, Was an incredibly liberating experience for me, and really changed the way that I related to me.
I hope that writing yours will do the same for you.
I look forward to reading more of your posts and your insightful replies to others question.
As a wise man on this site said, "the more I talk about this the easier it gets"

It works If you work it, so work it your worth it.

Heal well
Martin

_________________________
Matrix Men South Africa
Survivors Supporting Each other
Matrix Men Blog

Top
#378528 - 12/07/11 01:01 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: whome]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
OMG Eric...O.M.G!

I'm not one to sprinkle sunshine and glitter all around anyone here. Sorry if disturbing stuff bothers me dude...but your self-proclamation as the "Dirty Hero" is WAY wrong, and it hurts to see you do that to yourself.

I consider it an honor to know you here. You are a clear thinker and the most talented word-smith I know. U'm always anxious (in a good way) to read your take on things here.


Top
#378530 - 12/07/11 01:20 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Still]
TheTwoOfUs Offline


Registered: 11/03/11
Posts: 149
Loc: USA
Chase,

I don't normally post on Intros. But this one I needed to post.

Everyone does what they feel they must. Some go above and beyond what they are required to do, by whatever code of ethics and morals they might possess. Others still go far beyond even that level.

I don't know if it will mean much, but the acts you think of yourself as dirty for, are in a much more vivid manner than any Hollywood "hero" - truthfully selfless. They show your true heart, bro, and your strength. It takes a hell of a person to knowingly put himself in line for something like this to protect others.

I at least do not see you as "dirty" - I see you as a selfless, strong, and loving individual with a passion for goodness. Nothing less could have allowed you to do what you did, nothing less could have allowed you to survive. And "taking the bullet" as you say, probably saved a LOT of children from suffering from the same heartache you so obviously carry.

If I could, I would have tried to protect the "hero" myself. I wasn't there, I couldn't do it, but I understand somewhat the taking of a bullet.. regardless of what form that bullet is in.

Don't discredit yourself, don't degrade yourself in that manner. Heal, recover, one foot in front of the other, and maybe someday, I hope you can look in a mirror and be proud of the fact that you, in "taking the bullet", prevented OTHERS from taking the same bullet.

This is a long post from me, on a subject that on one hand I can identify with, and on the other hand I probably have no right to speak on, but I had to speak up on this one.

I don't see you as dirty. I see you as bleeding... wounded. All true heroes ARE wounded, if only because in order to be a "hero" they have to care so deeply. But there's a lot of folks around here ready and waiting with the bandages to stop the bleeding, and I think if you keep at it, you might find you carry a lot of those bandages yourself.

This is a long enough post, and I've probably made a fool of myself in it, so I'll end it here. But one day I hope you can look at yourself and see what everyone here sees.

Courage, strength, and caring, bro. You have all of them.



Edited by TheTwoOfUs (12/07/11 01:22 AM)
_________________________
Matthew

Adapt. Overcome. Survive.

Top
#378549 - 12/07/11 09:02 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: TheTwoOfUs]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
Eric

U r neither dirty nor little.

But u r a hero.

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

οΏ½It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

Top
#378556 - 12/07/11 10:12 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Mountainous Buck]
ozzie_guy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/02/11
Posts: 22
Loc: Queensland, Australia
Eric.... I can't begin to tell you how honoured I am to have had the opportunity to get to know you my friend. Your courage, your insight, your understanding, your compassion and your strength are all so special to me. To me mate there is nothing dirty about you, although you are a true hero....

I am so glad that you have taken this step and shared some of your pain with us for in the sharing begins the healing. I love you as a brother and will be here for you any time you need me....

Stay strong....
Ian

_________________________
I wonder what a life will be like being able to cope with the horrors of my memories.

Why am I so terrified of the possibility of being happy...

Top
#378561 - 12/07/11 11:38 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: ozzie_guy]
Disappointed Offline


Registered: 08/11/09
Posts: 541
Loc: U.S.A.
Chase Eric,

You're a good man. You were a good, generous boy. Thank you.

I wish you the recovery you deserve so richly,
D.

_________________________
Female.

Top
#378613 - 12/07/11 09:32 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Disappointed]
R1977 Offline


Registered: 11/21/11
Posts: 3
Loc: Texas
Chase Eric,

All of the complimentary things that could be said about your character were addressed in the previous posts.

What you wrote is devastatingly tragic but in a strange way hopeful. Reading through some of these stories can char humanity: to know that there are people content to inflict such depravity on others is haunting but you are so decent and good.

Don’t view yourself in such a diminutive way, your selflessness is awe-inspiring.

-R


Top
#379268 - 12/13/11 12:00 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Undefeated Offline


Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 175
Loc: Colorado, USA
Eric,

What a remarkable story and I am very impressed that you have managed to move beyond this in so many areas of your life and career. I admire you.

In your response to my intro. you said you had not experienced the extent of abuse that I did. I disagree. Yours sounded just as bad as mine, but you have overcome in ways I haven't yet. As for ever having a career or decent job, it's too late for me, but hopefully I can become a little bit functional. You've done a remarkable job in that area.

Thanks for sharing your story. I know it's not easy to put this stuff out for everyone to see, but by doing so you are helping others. I respect and admire you for that.

_________________________
"The sexual abuse and exploitation of children is one of the most vicious crimes conceivable, a violation of mankind's most basic duty to protect the innocent." ~James T. Walsh

Top
#379733 - 12/16/11 03:23 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Undefeated]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2646
Each of you - Ozzie (Ian), Buck (Jaimie), Lee, Chet, Martin, Robbie, Matthew, American Girl, Disappointed, Undefeated, R - your support is so very much appreciated.

I'm still a bit shy about fully sharing - I do it in bits and pieces and am working on trusting here at MS - but I am learning quickly who my friends are and that support structure is so vitally important to me.

I just wanted to say thanks from the bottom of my heart.

I recently told a friend that I didn't really think myself a "hero" and although I appreciate you saying that (it makes me smile smile ), the fact is - and I know this - you would have done the same if it was YOUR situation. And you know it. And I do. But thank you just the same.

I did, however, state the truth with my adjectives. I was rather "little" - not the smallest but not quite as big as my school mates. And the "dirty" was just how I felt. But I was also an avid boy scout (no CSA issues there for me) - I actually read the entire scout manual, and remember clearly it talking about dirt - that were were two kinds. One was the dirt of the mind - not so good - bad thoughts, perversions, criminal intents, the whole nine yards. The good dirt you could always tell - it came off in the shower. I had plenty of the latter - and suspected much more of the former. Boy was I in the wrong organization...

Being here makes me reconsider that. Maybe I should have stuck around for Eagle after all...

_________________________
..



Top
#379735 - 12/16/11 03:59 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
unhappycamper Offline


Registered: 10/21/11
Posts: 753
Loc: VA
Eric:

I incorporate by reference all the supportive comments of the others, above. And remember Shawn Hornbeck? He was the boy in Missouri who was kidnaped in 2002 by a molester and held as a sex slave until he was rescued by police 4 years later, not long after the perv kidnaped another younger boy. I recall hearing at the time that Shawn "enticed" the perv away from the younger boy, rather than allowing the perv to molest him. Does that sound shameful or dirty? Not!

John


Top
#379834 - 12/17/11 10:46 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: R1977]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 410
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I just got here. Don't know if I have ever posted, but have been a member for a little while.

Dude, I cannot describe to you how awesome I think you are. You are not dirty, but you are an amazing hero.

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

Top
#381279 - 01/02/12 03:20 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Jim1104]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2646
I thought I would update quickly - although this probably will deserve another post - that I brought in the new year deep in conversation with a co-survivor, finally discussing the secrets we haven't shared for so many years. We started talking about 10 minutes before the actual new year began, sitting in the living room with the TV blaring revelry and celebration in the other room. Our conversation closed out 2011 and lasted through the first two hours of the new year.

We were both sexually violated at the hands of the same next door neighbor, and we both grew up alone - each within ourselves and our shame. The sharing has been enormously cathartic for both of us. And while I have MS and my good friends here, I don't think she has such a support structure. So the ability to share has been particularly helpful to her.

To all my friends here, I offer my deepest thanks and best wishes. I don't know if I would have been able to have the conversation I did with without everyone here at MS. Everyone. If you are reading this now, that means YOU.



Edited by Chase Eric (01/03/12 12:33 AM)
Edit Reason: Due discretion and respect with covictim's identity
_________________________
..



Top
#381281 - 01/02/12 05:00 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Mountainous Buck Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/15/09
Posts: 1631
Loc: Minnesota
Beautiful!

Thanks for the update!

_________________________
We have to take responsibility for what we're not responsible for.

οΏ½It doesn't matter where you've come from,
It matters where you go" Frank Turner

Top
#381294 - 01/02/12 07:32 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
TheTwoOfUs Offline


Registered: 11/03/11
Posts: 149
Loc: USA
Thanks for the update. And hang onto each other. You both could very well prove to be a support system for each other.

Glad you were able to talk. And glad she was receptive to the conversation as well. You did good, Eric.

_________________________
Matthew

Adapt. Overcome. Survive.

Top
#381301 - 01/02/12 08:15 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: TheTwoOfUs]
just me Offline


Registered: 05/27/09
Posts: 200
((((Ricky)))))

_________________________
My Story

Top
#381303 - 01/02/12 08:30 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: just me]
Jim1104 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/16/11
Posts: 410
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Glad your new year started off so well.

Jim

_________________________
Jim
Male/USA

Top
#381941 - 01/10/12 02:10 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: R1977]
zraver Offline


Registered: 09/23/11
Posts: 31
Loc: Conway, Arkansas
great job Eric.

_________________________
How can some stuff last so long and be so fresh and yet I can't have that memory for good stuff.

Top
#382054 - 01/10/12 11:52 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: zraver]
Mono16 Offline


Registered: 09/04/11
Posts: 12
Loc: Ma.
Great honor to hear what you did. I commend you


Top
#383708 - 01/28/12 08:08 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Happy Birthday SkyClad Offline


Registered: 01/27/12
Posts: 10
Loc: Saskatchewan
Yes, you are a real hero. I know it, the girls you helped know it, and hopefully you really believe it.

_________________________
I am a retired educator and not quite so retired psychotherapist. My blog sites are "Through a Jungian Lens" and "SkyClad Therapy."

Top
#458108 - 01/06/14 03:50 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6376
Loc: π’ͺ 𝒦anada
Eirik the Great!

thank you for sharing this story of survival and strength.
your intro really does give good insight into your character.

you are a hero.
and the boy wonder avatar is awesome.

it is an amazing and inspiring history.

something you said struck home with me.
when i gave the abuser what he wanted, i did feel like i was manipulating him.
this gave me a false sense of power and guilt.
because i didn't really want to do it, i felt conflicted and complicit.
as an adult, i now see that i was being coerced into compliance.
the fact is, i only committed those acts
in order to "manipulate" and appease the abuser
in order to avoid assault,
and not because i wanted to.

it was self defense and desperation.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

Top
#458146 - 01/07/14 07:03 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
WriterKeith Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980
Wow, Erik.....I never knew. You are an amazing, impressive, and inspiring man. You're a real life hero.

Top
#458826 - 01/17/14 05:38 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: WriterKeith]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2646
Keith, Victor -

I so appreciate your kind words of support. I thought this thread withered on the vine long ago; two years have passed since I started it.
_________________________
..



Top
#471881 - 10/29/14 04:34 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Sonata1 Offline


Registered: 10/25/14
Posts: 29
Loc: PA
Eric,

Thanks for sharing this. I'm remembering "the greater love has no one than this, than to lay down his life for his friends" passage from Scripture. I believe that, and think it is the essence of the deepest heroism. I know that doesn't make what happened seem less dirty. But I admire you for doing the dirty work. If you think about it, all heroes do what would seem dirty or crazy if it weren't an emergency. It's part of the definition.

Thanks for sharing it. Although my story is very different, this helps me with my own work.

Sonata

Top
#472517 - 11/14/14 03:02 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6376
Loc: π’ͺ 𝒦anada
dear eric.

your story is upsetting and sadly familiar.
i totally relate to feeling betrayed by the system and the community.

it seems everyone just sort of hopes and expects
that someone else is taking care of it,
and nothing gets done and the crimes continue,
while people get on with their busy schedules...
schedules that do not include the health and welfare and safety of children.

we survivors struggle with shame,
but society should be embarassed.

i am nothing to them but filthy dirt under an ugly rug.


oops. sorry. perhaps i digress.
your story triggered me, i guess.

my belated codolences on the loss of your childhood.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

Top
#483279 - 06/02/15 09:10 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
intochange Offline


Registered: 02/13/15
Posts: 74
Loc: Ithaca, NY
The dirty little hero rings so true, not that I was in any way for any one a hero, but I was a dirty little boy for sure. At 81/2 I went from happy, naive and trusting of all but my abusive father, to sullen, cunning, manipulative and overachieving to hide the disgusting person inside.
58 now. My heart pounds when I write this to you. Thanks.
_________________________
intochange

Top
#486129 - 07/28/15 08:41 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Strive 38/11 Offline


Registered: 07/24/15
Posts: 141
Loc: Australia
May I say, the language you choose to label yourself with is a tool to the negative reinforcement of self and counterproductive to healing self. More you're telling me to think and refer to you as dirty with negative sexual connotations.


Be well Strive

38/11
_________________________
Just because someone stumbles and loses their way,
does not mean they're lost forever.

Strive 38/11

Get out of my way I'm coming through on my own.
I'm coming through all alone - Tunnel - Screaming Jets

Top
#486131 - 07/28/15 08:47 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Strive 38/11 Offline


Registered: 07/24/15
Posts: 141
Loc: Australia
more i think of it as thinking backwards, not forwards. Its unfair on the boy within to label him wrongly when he's only acting out something he's been wrongly taught, imprinted and wrong trust intimacy understandings. Who you choose to be now counts, only as safe adult can the boy feel safe to heal. Don't punish the boy he's already live through several hells.


Be well smile
_________________________
Just because someone stumbles and loses their way,
does not mean they're lost forever.

Strive 38/11

Get out of my way I'm coming through on my own.
I'm coming through all alone - Tunnel - Screaming Jets

Top
#486176 - 07/29/15 07:26 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2646
Strive -

I understand your concern, and appreciate the support you express - a support that I can clearly read between the lines you have written. I don't know if I can explain this to your satisfaction, but I'll try.

I agree with you that the language I use to describe who I was seems rather unfair to me - to the boy I was. But it speaks to my truth. I don't think it is uncommon for many of us - especially those who survived grooming and the "gentle rapes" to which those seductions led - to blame ourselves. I used to think self-reproach was about poor self-esteem - a natural condition of survivors. I used to think that blaming oneself was due to misguided interpretations about why we did not fight for our bodies, our boundaries, and our nascent sense of honor, to the fact that at the very moment our voices were saying "no," our bodies were inexplicably surrendering and saying "yes." We don't talk much about that, do we? Is there such a thing here as too much honesty?

I look at my intro and realize it was three and a half years since I wrote that. That was how I saw myself then, and frankly my perspectives remain largely unchanged. I was tainted, and I felt that the "good" in my actions were entirely defined within the narrowly focused context of the girls themselves - that by submitting, I spared a few of them them from having to do the same. I was still despicable, but they got a reprieve. They were out swimming or jumping rope for just that one special day. I curl my fingertips to touch my thumb and bring the circle of my hand up to my eye - blocking out everything but the girls. And if I block out all the other crap lapping at the margins of that scene, the moment is perfect. I didn't buy that moment with integrity, wisdom, persuasion, strength or righteous indulgence - it was a solid purchase bought for the price of another disgusting and manipulative submission. That is my truth - and it comes up the same no matter how many coats of pretty paint I cover it with. Maybe the problem isn't in the truth, however. Maybe the problem is in the way we see it.

In these three and a half years, my thoughts have evolved. I've done a lot of work here - and even more with my sister and - yes - also with my abuser whom I have been talking with. I think that when we as victims blame ourselves, such blame may reflect a greater sagacity than the simple self-denigration we might otherwise assume. Only by accepting the blame can I ascribe to myself the power to grow beyond the insults I endured. My choice is really this simple - I either embrace fully my powerlessness, my victimhood - and hence I shall remain forever the hapless victim. Or I accept that I did something. I effected an influence on the route of the transgression somehow, someway. I didn't do it elegantly. I did not conduct myself with the stellar courage of a Captain Marvel comic book hero. I was flawed and dirty. But I did something, and changed the course of what was happening in some small way. Ultimately, it was enough to have someone call me her hero. I don't take that in the spirit of conceit. It is certainly not a bragging right, and you'll not see agent 007 employing my tactics. But sometimes it seems like that email she sent me is the only life preserver I have in the sea of darker memories and regrets.

There was simply nothing in how I subjugated myself that had any semblance of integrity or maturity. I was about to be Bar Mitzvahed and rise to the mantle of manhood - yet I was 85 pounds of barely pubertal child and looked even younger. I knew nothing of being a man. The incongruities of the boy I was, the submissive and essentially feminine role I was so frequently tasked to play, and the man I was expected to be - my whole life was about disconnecting and jettisoning entire parts of me. Nothing made sense. I stood on the bima of my own Bar Mitzvah a fraud, holding a universe of awful secrets in my head unknown to all but God Himself. He never swept in to save me or the girls - He only sat there watching. Judging. I've had my conversations with Him, too. They didn't always go well.

When faced with my abuse - the girls' abuse - I failed to assert a more noble will, but instead played on the abuser's field, engaged under his rules, dispossessed of the greater integrity this reflecting adult would rather imagine. And as soon as I was old enough, independent enough - I stopped looking back. It is perhaps easier to forget oneself than forgive oneself. How many others still don't look at themselves? Even more importantly, how many others never looked at us - for the same reasons? How many of us don't look at others? Think Jerry Sandusky and Happy Valley. Think the Boy Scouts, the rectories. Think how much was seen by heads that then quickly turned and stopped looking. I suspect many of us follow that same lead with ourselves.

Looking at one's past is not for sissies. Looking at the deeper truths is even harder. These are not pretty stories.

I was just a scruffy little kid with grass-stained knees holding the dirty secrets of our neighborhood no one else would see. I did all I imagine I could do. In the eyes of the boy I was, I was dirty. To at least one survivor, that boy was a hero. The former was necessary for the latter, and rephrasing it to appease sensibilities divests the truths I have learned to accept.
_________________________
..



Top
#486184 - 07/30/15 12:35 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
woodenshoes Offline


Registered: 06/04/14
Posts: 531
Erik

You have moved forward. Keep going.

Ws

Top
#486194 - 07/30/15 07:23 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
highflight Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/01/14
Posts: 48
Loc: Ohio
Wow, Eirik. Your wisdom and master of words has me searching for my breath this morning. Thank you for this post. It gives me hope that the dark corners (and changes in "how" I perceive things) has some merit and it worthwhile.
-D

Top
#488010 - 09/03/15 10:47 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Michael1965 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/09/15
Posts: 107
Loc: USA, Indiana
Eirik

I cannot express the gratitude I have for you sharing this with us all. It took incredible strength to share such painful experiences of your life. As I read this I was so deeply moved and encountered so many different emotions and memories.

For me the words that your dad spoke to you hit struck me two fold.

My dad died very unexpectedly when I was 41 (my mom died when I was 16) and we never had an opportunity to share final words with each other. I too kept my dad at arms length to protect him from knowing about my abuse. He would always ask me what was wrong. I could never find the strength or words to tell him about the abuse I had endured.

The second part is that those are words that i could speak to myself today. "I never knew you like I wanted to - you are such a private person. But i know you love me." There are no words to express how deeply that resonates within me.

Thank you so very much for sharing this with us.

Mike

Top
#488149 - 09/07/15 01:16 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Dave PNW Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/03/13
Posts: 129
Loc: Pacific Northwest
Dear Eirik

I read your post late last night and decided to wait until the light of a new day to respond with my thread. Your original was one of those stories I read back a couple of years ago, months before I ever dared to register as a member of this site. I honestly didn't think I belonged here.... not really. Like you in so many ways I didn't see that what had happened to me all those times back when I was 12-14 was really "abuse" or "molestation".... it wasn't really consenting sex either in my mind. I knew it hurt me. That was clear. But I didn't ... just couldn't look at it. That is .... not until my own father died. There was something about that harsh confrontation with my own mortality and grief that brought me to start to face and look honestly at my own past.

Your original post was one of those places where I learned first that sexual abuse is really about power and betrayal and a lack of consent.... and it doesn't really matter who the abuser is. My abuser was a neighbor kid too.... I had cloaked him for years in my own delusional fabrics of friend, initiator/mentor, and sometimes maybe even my first lover. He wasn't of course any of those.... and yet in some mixed up way he was probably at times all of these and more. I ended up preferring to blame myself for all of it. It was all just so completely overwhelming for a kid to process..... and that is at the very core of what makes something traumatic. So I guess I am saying I have travelled a similar path. The mechanisms of injury vary greatly among us ... but it is remarkable to me how similar the exit wounds look.

What I came to hear more in your updated post as I read it again last night was more about you as the boy. A little kid placed by chance and misdirection and a sense of duty into a toxic swamp hidden below the manicured lawns of his suburban neighborhood.... doing what he thought he had to with only the simple and confused and innocent tools of a child. I cried for him Eirik. And I cried too for you the man who still carries those scars inside him.

But unlike most of the sad stories I read about sexual abuse.... yours carries with it a thread of real human hope. Not a saccharine version that you can embroider and frame ..... but a real human message of what healing might actually look like. You lay out for us how you came to finally dare to "look at it" and how essential it was while you navigated that swamp to have a guide along the way who could help you in the redefinition of this part of your life. We can't do this work alone. You tell us too how you were able to reintegrate the split off pieces of yourself and to acclimate your present life with the truth of your past. And how you still struggle. The inner child you found back there and that you cherish and nurture now is your original face. Your true and innate goodness. We all have that inside us.

By showing us a part of your healing path we can dare to hope to find our own. We can never repair or recover the past..... no one can...but we can learn to accept it and learn to live more fully in the present. That is the best we can ever hope for..... any of us.

Thank you my friend for reminding me of that. ((((((Eirik)))))

Top
#502397 - 10/06/16 04:50 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
jaw Offline


Registered: 10/02/16
Posts: 18
Loc: MD
Eirik,
I just finished reading the your post...and yes it left me a BALL OF TEARS!!! You are MY HERO and what a writing GIFT you have been given. Love you BROTHER!!! I was molested by my brother over a 7 year time-frame and he was 7 yrs older...you have given ME SUCH STRENGTH MY FRIEND!!! jaw

Top
#502398 - 10/06/16 04:53 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
jaw Offline


Registered: 10/02/16
Posts: 18
Loc: MD
Eirik,
I just finished reading the FULL post above...and yes it left me a BALL OF TEARS!!! You are MY HERO and what a writing GIFT you have been given. Love you BROTHER!!! I was molested by my brother over a 7 year time-frame and he was 7 yrs older...you have given ME SUCH STRENGTH MY FRIEND!!! jaw

Top
#503868 - 11/13/16 02:38 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
RiverMan Offline


Registered: 11/11/16
Posts: 1
Loc: United States
Thank you for posting your story. I wept after reading it but I related so deeply to it on so many levels. It really hits home and your bravery in writing it and overcoming it is inspiring. Though the situation for me was different, my abusers were adult mentor figures much of the same happened when it came to the psychological mess, manipulation they put me through and who I was trying to protect. I'm so sorry you went through this.

Top
#507183 - 02/28/17 09:15 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Tom E. Offline


Registered: 01/08/17
Posts: 299
Loc: FL
Hi Eric-- there are similarities in our stories, and in our feelings about ourselves, and further adult abuse due to being plied with alcohol: ditto. I thought more drinking & drugging & permiscuous sex & pornography was the way to deal with it for years, or isolating myself from others, hiding in my apartment with the shades down. Hating life, hating myself. The Loser. The Failure. Now... 12-step recovery and therapy. I'm trying to forgive myself, for keeping myself down most of my life, and them; the bullies & abusers & rapists. Love and admiration to you.----- Tom E

Top
#507211 - 03/01/17 08:35 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
WG Offline


Registered: 09/09/15
Posts: 368
Loc: WA
Hey, Eirick - it's Winston in Seattle - thank you for posting. What a story. While mine wasn't like yours, it was still years of abuse and weird sex, et. all. A few years of therapy have given me the 'push' so to speak, to begin to write my story. It was at the suggestion of my T, and it truly has been therapeutic. We walk this broken road thinking no one else understands, then we begin to unravel our story and discover we were/are not alone.
You are one brave man.

Top
#511044 - 05/24/17 09:45 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
lapchinj Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/07/11
Posts: 1481
Loc: New York
Hey πŸ’˜ EricπŸ’˜

You are number one in my book πŸ† . I've heard enough of your story over the last few years, since I've been here, and you always called yourself "dirty". I don't think that is at all accurate. I know from earlier discussions that we had that what you did was tantamount to jumping on a grenade to save your fellow sufferers. This means that you took it upon yourself to protect not only your own flesh and blood but also the other girls in the neighborhood. That deserves a medal of honor presented by the president of the United States or by god him or her self (if he or her exists).

I'm really sorry that you have to describe your childhood as "dirty". I wish I was as honorable as you. My childhood didn't include saving other's lives. Even if you would have done what you did only once you should still get a medal but you did it over and over again and as often as necessary so that others wouldn't have to go through what you did. There are not enough medals made to cover your actions.

I owe you a great deal of respect as any other medal of honor winner. Saving someone from pain and even death is above the call of duty. You gave yourself to the perp so he could not get to the girls you saved. Even if you didn't save the girls every time you tried your best to save those girls as many times as you could. I don't even come close to what you did for a fellow human being not even once.

Please, Please, Please, get the "dirty" feelings out of your head. You deserve praise for what you did not the opposite. You are kind, sweet and gentle. You are a true hero and I'm proud to be among your many friends.

There should be a "Stop Dirty" Blog for people like you.

Be well and heal fast from the "dirty" stigma. I wish you all the love and magic that you will be able to shed the "dirty" stigma.

β€οΈπŸ’œπŸ’šπŸ’›πŸ’™ 🌈 πŸ‘¨β€β€οΈβ€πŸ‘¨ 🌈 πŸ’™πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’œβ€οΈ

Peace, Rainbows, Love, Healing & Hope
<3 XOXO
Jeff
_________________________
Stick around, It will get better....

Top
#511068 - 05/25/17 09:59 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
JohnnyC Offline


Registered: 02/21/16
Posts: 15
Loc: Ohio
I read this and cried for the first time in months.

I long to be able to walk next to my 12-year-old self, both of us smiling.

Top
#512933 - 07/04/17 12:16 AM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2646
The comments that have been left since my last post to this thread are truly supportive and I very much appreciate them - Thank you, Woodenshoes, Highflight, Michael, Dave, Jaw, RiverMan, Tom, WG, Jeff and Johnny.

I recently went over my Intro again and added section titles to make it a bit easier to read. This evening I also added in a situation that I previously alluded to with just the words "There's more... much more..." It is in The Woodshed section of the intro. In that section, I quote (in italics) some of the conversation as I remember it. The words shared so long ago in that episode have been seared into my brain that deeply - as if by a branding iron.

It is also perhaps worth mentioning that my abuser died in May. I had engaged him in conversations over the past several months. What I added to The Woodshed explains why I started those conversations. With my dad gone, my abuser was the only person who knew what they discussed behind closed doors - a seminal conversation that ultimately sealed my fate. What I don't share is what he told me about he and my dad discussed. That is something I will try to find the time to write and post about when time allows.

I have noticed that this piece is getting a significant number of views in the Introductions forum. That tells me that perhaps this is not just my story but that of many here. It challenges me to be as truthful to memory as I can be, thorough with the details of that memory, and as sensitive as possible with such an intrinsically triggering topic. Those reasons inform a simple sense of responsibility to share this very significant dynamic I added to The Woodshed - something that ultimately proved the toughest obstacle for me to deal with in my healing.

Peace.
_________________________
..



Top
#513433 - 07/17/17 08:45 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Esterio Offline


Registered: 07/11/17
Posts: 2
Thank you for sharing this story. What happen to you was a disgrace and a complete failure of your parents to protect you. Then to throw you to the wolves, I will never understand that. I am sorry for your pain. Reading your story has made me think of you as a hero you are a remarkable strong person to have survived those years, To have gotten to where you are today is a success in your life that you made for your self. I am proud of you and I appreciate you courage and strength to tell that story of abuse. It sounds to me like your life has gotten better I am happy for that.
Peace be safe

Top
#513472 - 07/18/17 06:39 PM Re: Hi guys - I'm the dirty little hero [Re: Chase Eric]
Chase Eric Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 2646
Thank you, Esterio -

Your words are wonderfully supportive. I just wanted to clarify something.

Working through the issues with my parents was a huge part of my journey. I haven't discussed that much here - but hope to soon. I missed the opportunity to address the abuse with my father. I was too busy hiding myself from him to have the closer relationship we should have enjoyed. I understand he made mistakes and believe that the repercussions were far more significant than he could have imagined. Hind sight is quite an easy perspective from which to argue, but his mistake was erring on the side of believing that this guy's better angels would prevail. Ultimately, I have come to understand that my father's missteps were because he was far more steeped in hope and a belief in redemption than in cynicism. It's hard to take him to task for results he may have never anticipated. Sure he is responsible for much of what flowed from his decisions. But frankly, if he could have seen where those decisions would lead, I am quite convinced things would have turned out quite different. I, too, am not without accountability. I was a kid with a LOT of secrets and quite effective at keeping them hidden. I know my parents taught me better than to be so deceptive. I was too good at keeping those secrets, and my utter lack of candor did not help my dad see what was really going on.

Things turned out differently with my mom. The regrets in the wake of my father's death instilled within me the resolve not to repeat the same mistakes with my mother. I confronted her with what happened to both me and my sister. The conversations were truly eye-opening for both of us (details to come soon) - and we managed to rebuild a wonderful bridge to each other. I was with her to the end - and fully present for her when she died last year.

This illustrates the casualties that occur from CSA. It is a crime with tentacles that affects so much. The simple-minded may think that the 'S' in CSA stands for sex. For me it stands for words of far greater consequence - secrets, shame, separation from the ones we love and from ourselves. Thank you, Esterio, for bringing up this important issue.
_________________________
..



Top
Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 >

Moderator:  ModTeam, TJ jeff 

I agree that my access and use of the MaleSurvivor discussion forums and chat room is subject to the terms of this Agreement. AND the sole discretion of MaleSurvivor.
I agree that my use of MaleSurvivor resources are AT-WILL, and that my posting privileges may be terminated at any time, and for any reason by MaleSurvivor.