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Friday, May 27, 2005

Amber Alerts And Lou Dobbs expose Dirty Rotten Egg # 7

It happens all day, every day and all night long to hundreds of thousands of children all over this country. One out of every three adult women were sexually abused during childhood and adolescence. One out of every six adult men have endured the same life-altering abuse. The sexual abuse of American children is as common as it is devastatingly destructive. Victims are harmed not only physically, but mentally, and emotionally as well. Children are trapped, things are done to their bodies, and their spirits are systematically broken by the abuser who is in control.

There have been Amber Alerts for weeks on end. Children who have been abducted stare at me from the television screen. I know what they face or have already suffered, and I know that the expression in their school picture eyes, will change forever - if they are able to survive their abduction.

I can tell them that the abuse will always be with them in some form or other and that they will have to deal with it a thousand times over. I know because, I was sexually abused from the age of seven, until I left home at the age of eighteen. My childhood was smothered by the desires of several deviant monsters who stalked, lurked in hallways, and in basements, and grabbed and crushed. Once satisfied, they terrorized with threats. No where was safe. Like many others, I have PTSD as a result of trauma suffered at the hands of predatory pediphiles.

My heart breaks with every Amber Alert. It angers me that nothing has been done in this country to stop the production of pedophiles. Some of the money being wasted on this unnecessary war could be used constructively for research that would protect our children. Needless to say, I am driven to know what made these people become pedophiles. Many emerge from authoritarian religious backgrounds, some were abused themselves, some commit these crimes because they have been living against nature by being celibate, and one theory leans toward a genetic predisposition. We must answer why before solutions are possible.

Then, there was the news the other day. Viagra had been given (at taxpayer expense) to sex criminals to help them get it up! Even worse, was Lou Dobbs' report that "tens of thousands of registered sexual predators have disappeared!" Yep, they split - they're out there - a direct threat to children everywhere! Lou Dobbs also reported that there are one half of a million registered sex offenders in this country - how many haven't been caught yet?

This rotten egg has been cloaked by shame and secrecy for years. Ladies and Gentlemen, this rotten, stinking, festering egg needs to come out of hiding and examined in the light. It is colored red, white, and blue for the sexual problems that Americans haven't faced.

More on this subject to follow....
Kitchen Window Woman


Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

Thank you for addressing this issue. I was one of the boys who were victimized sexually in my childhood, supposing that it can be called that. No, I was not abducted...I did not end up in some shallow grave somewhere...there were no amber alerts. Instead I was delivered over by my parents to an older boy, the son of a couple who were friends of my parents who would be my sitter while our parents went out for the evening. My dad, a bricklayer, who looked to be built of the same materials that he used in constructing buildings, was very explicit: "Joe (not his real name) is in charge; you are to do as he says. I don't want to hear, when we get home, that you didn't obey him." The threat was implicit rather than voiced but was palpable nonetheless.

My parents, of course, did not mean that I was to do the things that Joe told me to do--they simply could not imagine that their good friends' son would harm their little boy--but then how was I, a child, to know that? They never did know, until some 3 1/2 decades later, why their little boy was so sullen, spacy, and did so poorly through grade school and why he had potty problems, but that's too gross to think about or discuss.

In any case, many years later, lots of therapy, reading, and introspection in my past and I am one of the lucky ones. The fog eventually cleared, I found, in High School and College, that the confusion that I experienced in school earlier was not a sign that I was stupid. In point of fact, most of the learning that I thought I'd not learned in grade school was tucked safely away and accessible for later in life. Just one example: in grade school, I was a terrible speller. For some reason very few words looked 'right' without an 'e' at the end, don't ask me why. Much later in life I one day realized that I was a very good speller and was somewhat at a loss for an explanation. The only one that presents itself as making any sense is that I was always pretty smart; I just was too preocupied with things that no child should have to be to be able to access all of the information that my brain faithfully stored away.

Thanks for the opportunity to share.

12:24 AM  
Blogger Kitchen Window Woman said...

Craig, I was not abducted either - everything that happened to me occurred in my own home. I am also one of the lucky ones. I read many books on the subject and found therapy to be extremely helpful. I have a good marriage (25 years) and three great kids!

I commend you for speaking out. Many men have difficulty discussing their experiences as sexual abuse victims. I think there is more of a social stigma for men and also a fear of being considered gay if the molester was a male.

There is another issue and that is that the victims often feel abandoned in that they have not been protected by a parent or some other adult.

I have come to think of my experience with sexual abuse as an onion. Everytime I think I have dealt with it all, another layer peels away, and there it is again! At this point in my life I simply accept it will always be there and continue on.

I agree with your conclusion about being "too preoccupied with things that no child should have to be". I was also preoccupied. I grew up way too soon so missed out on much of my childhood. I am making up for it now whenever I get the chance!

I will write more about this in the future as I feel that it is important for this matter to be in the open. Maybe, if people like you and I speak up, we can encourage some others to get help and prevent some children from being hurt in the way we were.

Thank you for writing, KWW

12:52 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

I'm glad that your marriage has gone well. My first marriage crumbled at about seven years. Contrary to type, it was my first wife who had the affair and insisted upon the divorce. My second marriage reached 10 years last April. It takes work on the part of both of us, work that neither my first wife nor I were able or willing to do, but my second marriage is very good and will, I have no doubt, last out our lives.

It is always an act of courage to talk about these things. I sat in numerous 12 step groups that were devoted to adults and teens who had been sexually abused as children and felt distinctly odd since I was usually the lone male in a group of 20 or more women. It was a testament to the women that they never rejected me or made me feel unwelcome because I happened to be of the same gender, in most cases, as their abusers. Between those groups and private therapy I have come to the point where, although I still face issues arising out of the abuse on a daily basis, I know I can cope with each of them in a way that will be harmful to neither myself or to others and I am a stronger person for having faced and worked through it.

Reading through other posts, I realize that we are at different places on the political spectrum but I am glad that we can meet on common ground on some issues arising from similar experiences even though I would not have a single other child go through what we did. Given the commonality of child sexual abuse, I am profoundly glad that our society has recognized the problem and found ways to reclaim our humanity and, in safe surroundings, learn that we are not alone and that we can learn from one another how to carry on.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Craig R. Harmon said...

It is the possibility of a genetic connection that troubles me the most since, barring a eugenic solution, i. e., identifying a sequence of genes and a tendency toward pedophelia and then weeding such individuals out via abortion--a solution that I find repugnant--or not allowing individuals with certain sequences of genes to reproduce--equally problematic, to me--we will never eliminate deviant age-related sexual preferences.

There are treatments related to impulse control but they require the voluntary participation of the individual.

As you mentioned, abusers were usually abused themselves. Those who have been abused often respond in one of three unhealthy ways: 1. the repression of all sexuality (they swear off of sex under all circumstances); 2. the exploitation of their own sexuality (they act in seductive ways toward others); the exploitation of others in sexual ways (they become abusers of others). Each of these may be seen as survival-seeking adaptations. All of these, with therapy in which the abused person participates voluntarily and resolutely, can be corrected but how does one overcome genetic predisposition?

Often, along with these adaptations, there is a gender-preference confusion. In my case, I tended toward the first adaptation complicated with a very troubling gender-preference confusion. Because my abuser was a male, like myself, my attraction-preferences were anything but clear-cut which only contributed toward my tendency to repress my sexuality. Eventually, by high-school, I chose heterosexuality.

4:25 PM  

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