Well, I have been coming around MS for awhile now, but I was never ready to write my own story. My heart is beating a mile a minute right now, but I think it's just time. If you read my poem, "Just A Boy", it will fit right in here.

I was the youngest child of alcoholic father. The house was always crazy. Either he was drinking or we were worried he would be. He was very hot and cold, and we never knew what to expect. Dad got mad at the drop of a hat, and that meant somebody was in trouble....usually me. He spent a lot of time telling me I was bad, stupid, disrespectful, ungrateful, etc. By the time I started school I was already beat down, and sometimes beat up. I was afraid of my own shadow. My T said, rightfully, I was needy but all kids need love and desire affection. Now, I was a target. Many survivors get it from grown ups, but I was secondary casualty. I got it from another kid who I loved and trusted as a brother.

In first grade, we moved to a new neighborhood that was isolated from others. Just four families or so. Only one with kids. That is where I met my best friend, who for all given purposes was a brother to me. He was just over a year or so older. His dad was a drinker too. We often found comfort in each others company, and were together constantly. We stayed at each other's house, living right next door to each other. Being so young, and of the same sex, we shared a bed. Nothing unnatural.

In second grade, at age 7, he introduced me to some new games that we could play with no clothes on while in bed. This happened practically every weekend and some weekdays in summer. I had no idea what this was all about, or that is was wrong in anyway. I was so lonely and thirsting for physical affection versus getting hit, I thought I was in heaven because somebody loved me for once. This continued for over 4 years.

Later on, I figured out this wasn't cool. My friend knew I needed him, as he was my only real friend and my brother. He was the only one at home that was nice to me. I would do anything he wanted, and he knew it. He also knew I was small and frightened and he could hit me if I got out of line. So, it stopped being two kids not knowing what was going on, and became one bigger, stronger, more manipulative kid holding power over another to get him to do what he wanted. The game type interaction virtually disappeared, and I became his little toy. I really needed him at the time, and was basically unable to fight back after the abuse at home. I felt very small and I was a doormat. I would never fight back, because I thought it only made things worse --- like at home where my older siblings were hitting me if dad wasn't. Never make them mad, they might kill you finally I thought. I thought they might someday. I felt like such a whore then.

In sixth grade, my friend left me behind for new older friends at the middle school. He was doing lots of drugs and skipping school. He became a thug. It was like I didn't even exist. Then, when he finally seemed to see me one day, he told his new friends that I was a fag. They laughed at me, and he told to get the fuck away from him before he beat my ass. I really didn't know fag meant other than it was bad and nobody wanted to be one. But, I figured it out. I'm not gay, but I didn't figure that out for a long time. Just after this, my mom ended up in the mental hospital. She had been leaving home on and off for a couple years and leaving us with my dad. Thank god he never tried anything with me. Not that a couple of his drinking buddies didn't, but I got away from them. Before I always felt alone, now I was alone.

Soon, I was drinking and using drugs. I was so good at hiding the drunk dad in the house and all the bad shit at home, I was a natural at hiding the sexual abuse. Everyone thought I was fine. Best grades in schoool, always cheerful, always smiling, and eager to help out anytime. Inside, it was a nightmare. I hated myself, I hated my family, I hated the world, I hated God, and I wanted to die. I was so angry, but I swallowed it all because I thought I might kill someone. I thought of running away, but it didn't work out. I would have to hustle for money being so young, and that was out. No matter that I felt like a piece of crap and a human toy, I just couldn't do it. The thought of old men freaking up on me made me sick.

I didn't know if I was gay or straight, so I just slept with everybody. I acted out alot. Then, more guilt, more shame, and more hating myself. I was getting out of control, but I made some new friends that didn't know about any of it, and I got stable for awhile.

In college, the walls came tumbling down due to drinking and drugs. But, like always, I rebounded and went on to a relatively stable life with the 800-lb invisible gorilla in my back pocket waiting to pound the shit out of me at any minute. He still comes around from time to time, but I am getting better.

The T says it's a miracle that I raised myself, in a neglectful abusive home, survived the sexual abuse, and have a relatively successful life now. T says he can't figure out how I did it alone. I am stronger than I ever imagined. T helps me see that. I am mighty, not small. I think it was me, and also, friends that passed through my life at different periods. I never got fully close to people, and still really don't, but I did find people who found good things in me and pointed them out when I needed to hear it. So, I try to be that friend to others now.

I know it wasn't my fault. I know I was duped. I know that now, but the years I suffered are still with me. Sometimes, I feel them like a boulder on my chest and I think my heart might stop, but it never does. I am learning to grieve for the great kid I was, when nobody else seemed to be paying much attention. I am learning that shame was the prison in which I held my own self captive for all these years. I am not fully free, but the furloughs are long now. So, I fight on for that little boy that deserved to be loved and cherished, and I give him those things now.

This story is dedicated to that little warrior.

I am the Seeker, and I am John.

The answers are in me.