My Mother was a nurse. When I was seven, she started working the 3pm -11pm shift on Fridays and Saturdays. Not sure how she found them, but the R. family - Linda, John Sr., and their two kids – John Jr. (JJ) and Kimberly - became my regular weekend babysitters.

JJ was five years older me, and at first, became my babysitter around 10pm after his sister then his parents went to sleep. Like many kids back then, I was really into wresting – this was back in Hulk Hogan’s first heyday. That’s how it started. Wrestling.

After a month or so, the wrestling became dry humping. I had no idea what we were doing. I remember two things about this time – I knew it was wrong and physically it felt good. At some point, his parents left the two of us alone to go shopping, and he showed me his penis. I remember thinking it was huge and was envious that he had pubic hair. This all happened before they moved to a larger house, and JJ got his own bedroom. By the time that happened, he knew that I would lie for him (or us) and that I looked up to him and craved the attention he gave me – something few people in my life gave me.

Thinking of it now, his fucking bedroom door and its lock imprisoned me for over 25 years. A 13 year old kid’s locked door became the stuff of nightmares. I was eight.

Once JJ had his own room, the days of dry humping were over. It started with open mouth kissing and touching. JJ was very good about making sure I was comfortable with what he was doing to me, before he asked me to reciprocate. Touching turned in to oral sex. Then moved to intercrural sex – he would lubricate himself and then fuck me between my thighs. I remember my legs hurting because I had to flex my muscles to make things tighter. Sometime he would finger me. This went on for over three years – almost every weekend and most weekdays when school was out. It seems odd to cover four years of abuse in a single paragraph.

I remember a lot of the details. My first orgasm. The first time I tasted cum. The way the drapes in his room would move and the click sound the window fan made while he fucked me. The way the plastic cover on his parents couch would stick to my legs during the summer. Smoking my first cigarette in his garage. A million fragments of sex and ordinary things like the color and feel of the carpet in that house.

Shortly before we moved out of state, ending the abuse, JJ convinced me to let him fuck me in the ass. I remember crying from the pain and begging him to stop. He didn’t. While he did not last long, I still found blood in my underwear than night and hid them in the trash so my Mom wouldn’t find them.

This is the first time I have ever told or documented my story. When I was 16 or so, I told my Mom that JJ abused me. She shrugged it off. Later she told me she just thought we were boys experimenting. He was five fucking years older than me!

I broke the silence last year. It all came flooding back in a perfect storm. I had an allergic reaction to Klonopin my doctor had prescribed, and within less than a week I was at the depths of depression I had never experienced before. I’m thinking there may be a family connection here, as I later found out that my maternal grandmother had killed herself a week after starting Valium (a benzo like Klonopin). Additionally, at some point, I made the connection with my childhood self that I was never able to before. My son was six at the time, and at some point I realized that he was only a year younger than I was when the abuse started. And I saw, through him, how vulnerable, helpless, and reliant on others I must have been when I was seven.

I ended up in my garage with a loaded .357 in my mouth. Fortunately, I just couldn’t do it. I called my wife – one of the hardest things I have ever done, and told her that I needed to go to the hospital. I ended up in the hospital on a 72 hour psych hold. I told a nurse about the abuse during intake. The next day I told my wife. We had been together for 15 years and married for 13.

I have learned so much in the last year:
[*]It was really was abuse : JJ may have just been an adolescent; but he had an adult sized penis, used coercion and secrecy, and I was a fucking helpless child
[*]CSA impacted almost all of my relationships with other males
[*]Having a physiological response is normal and does not mean I instigated or wanted what happened to me
[*]Questioning ones sexuality is normal after CSA
[*]I have survived things as a child that most adults are not equipped to handle.
[*]I isolate myself, push people away, and it’s almost impossible to connect with my feelings.
[*]I have the most compassionate and understanding wife on the planet who would take away my pain if she could.
[*]I am a survivor, and while it took me 25 break my silence, I will never be silent again!

I would not be as far along as I am without the amazing strength and brotherhood from all of you on, the book Beyond Betrayal Taking Charge of Your Life after Boyhood Sexual Abuse by Richard R. Gartner, and the unwavering support of my wife – the only person in my life who has always been in my corner.
It's okay to find the faith to saunter forward
With no fear of shadows spreading where you stand
And you'll breathe easier just knowing
that the worst is all behind you
And the waves that tossed the raft all night
have set you on dry land
- The Mountain Goats - "Never Quite Free"