It started as a crush.
I was just 16. Full of life, expectations and on a roller coaster that only goes up. I had just graduated from secondary school with everything I hoped for accomplished.
It started as a crush.
I became friendly with him. He was a religious symbol. The type the silly me would fantasize about. Laugh about with my friends and call it girl’s thing.
It started as a crush.
I didn’t realize how innocent and gullible I was. I thought I was the strongest.
It started as a crush.
We used to talk. I was comfortable with sharing my deepest fears and vulnerabilities. I thought he was the wisest. It was a sapiosexual kind of feeling I felt. It was okay to connect with alike mind.
It started as a crush.
We would talk about silly things and laugh about. When things got personal, I still thought, ‘well you can trust him, he is older’.
It started as a crush
I went to his house a couple of times. We talked and laughed about our mutuality. I was innocent and gullible
It started as a crush
Until he started kissing my face and tried to touch my breast. I said “don’t do to me what you wouldn’t want some guy to do to your wife”. He moved away from me.
Oh it started as a crush. Oh I wish I knew better. How could I have? I was just a child that was on a roller coaster that only went up.
Well, it was a crush? For every pedophile we know and has abused us in a way, either emotionally, sexually or physically (this is for both males and females), it is not our fault that we were young and full of innocence.
This is an epoch of a dear one.
I would also like to share an epoch written by Renee Tarantowski on the 25th July, 2018. She titled it “What it’s like to live with a pedophile”. (https://theascent.pub/what-its-like-to-like-with-a-pedophile-31b1f99c7a96)
I am not a mental health professional. This article may be an emotional trigger for those who have been abused. This is not advice, it is my journey.
I hope this won’t disappoint you but I’m not writing about the details of living with a pedophile. Why? The details of the abuse vary from story to story and we get caught up in the details when what really matters is understanding the feelings.
Our culture loves the gory details but in the details is not where the story lies.
What happens in a moment of time is gone in the next moment but what stays are the feelings.
Our culture dehumanizes the abused — I get it. Our culture extends an “air hug” in sympathy #fake caring. Our culture doesn’t really want to compassionately ask the hard questions then listen, it is just too painful for most people.
The truth is clean and the lie is dirty. It is so much easier to have a dirty house than a clean one. Cleaning is hard and people don’t want to do it. They like to hire it out.
Some truths can’t be achieved by Molly Maids.
- My first point about what it’s like to live with a pedophile. He takes a home and makes it a dirty place.
But wait, it doesn’t happen all at once!
Pedophiles work in stages that eventually overlap so much you no longer have any boundaries.
Sort of like living with Dr. Jyykell and Mr. Hyde. In the beginning, everything is nice, until it’s not. A line that you didn’t know existed gets crossed — like fog rolling in as you are driving. One minute you see the road and the next minute you have no idea where you are, where you are going and most frightening — what direction to go to get the hell out.
The nice stage is easy to figure out — they are nice. The fake nice. The transactional nice. Some people have called this the Minnesota Nice — a smile, a nod, pretending to take an interest and underneath they couldn’t care less or have an ulterior motive. It is all about appearance. We are visual creatures and it doesn’t always serve us — what we see is not always what we get.
Why don’t we notice this fake nice? Because we are vulnerable in some way. A pedophile can spot someone in trouble and capitalize on that moment. They feed upon “not quite sure”. We need to teach our children to be sure-footed. Teach our children to be curious and cautious — my blue heeler is both curious and cautious and I see that him coming into my life is a message that the two can coexist often necessary for survival.
- A pedophile can see your vulnerabilities you may not even know existed.
Let’s talk boundaries
A pedophile and the child have boundaries issues in common. The child will become confused on boundaries — life doesn’t have a barbed wire fence to keep out bad guys. The pedophile or anyone abusing people in a sexual way is also confused about boundaries. The entire #me-too movement is about mostly men overstepping their boundaries.
It is a power thing, it is a control thing and it is a sex thing but in varying degrees for each predator. They don’t know when to stop with power, control, and sex — sounds like way too many people I know. They may not act out on children but they will act out if they can’t find a way to manage it.
The need for power, control, and sex make people do all kinds of things they might not otherwise do. Say, abuse a dog have a porn addiction or withhold information. All are ways to control situations. Will you become a pedophile? No, you may be a jerk, asshole, or dick — insert your own word here if I didn’t give you enough options.
My point is that pedophiles have lots of people in their circles who also have issues. It is a club of sorts. People like to think they detest pedophiles but on a very basic level, the commonality with them is too great. This is why crossing the line beyond someone else’s boundary is ignored — it is part of the process. Violation becomes accepted.
What can we do to stop these violations? In my heart, I want to be confrontational but in the culture we live in, I don’t feel safe doing that. Even among people I know. What I do nearly every day is recite this prayer so I will be ready when the time comes:
May I be a guard for those who need protection. A guide for those on the path, a boat, a raft, a bridge for those who wish to cross the flood.
May I be a lamp in the darkness, a resting place for the weary, a healing medicine for all who are sick, a vase of plenty, a tree of miracles.
For the boundless multitudes of living beings, may I bring sustenance and awakening.
I will endure like the earth and sky until all beings are freed from sorrow and all are awakened.
This is the intention of my heart, a sacred purpose, a statement of wisdom, an offering, a blessing.
I will be a safe place, sadly that is the best I can offer at times BUT what I can offer before a situation arises, is education. I can tell the young women in my life what is appropriate and healthy. I can answer the hard questions. I can tell them they have the power to say NO and have it honored. I can tell them when a classmate asks them to send a nude photo to tell him to go F himself — because it happens. All.the.time. and the parents who object the loudest that “my son would never do such a thing!” are the parents of young men on a road to treating women like shit. If you don’t speak up— no one will. It’s your job as a parent. Educating parents is the hardest thing that I do.
Bottom line, I no longer tolerate disrespect of any kind.
- A pedophile never takes responsibility
This is why it is important to make sure your kids are safe. I can only guess how hard it must be when your husband is trying to have sex with your kids or your nieces and nephews but get over it. Do something. Figure out a way to keep everyone safe and protected.
The pedophile will blame you. Do not give him that option.
- A pedophile may respond when confronted
In my case, and please know that every situation is different, I had a breaking point. I was vulnerable, I was not protected, and I had no personal boundaries. . . a poster child for a pedophile. When I was first introduced to the pedophile I was merely vulnerable and the other variables were provided through a few months of grooming.
I’m not sure what happened that day. I just quietly snapped and understood my silent strength.
“If you touch me again, I’ll kill you.”
I’d like to say that it was like out of a movie and the words hung in the air and echoed through the kitchen. . . but that’s not how it played out.
There was not a beat skipped as he looked at me and smiled the smile I’d see too often.
I stared back, filled with white hot anger. I didn’t breathe. I couldn’t breathe. I actually felt in that moment that I could kill him.
His smile faded and I saw the fear of a man that escaped death. He never touched me again.
For two more years, I had to live with his constant inappropriate comments and jokes loaded with sexual innuendo, stupid pranks to make daily life miserable and other unmentionables. Remember, it isn’t about the details — it’s about feelings. I didn’t let him break me down. I shut down, put on my armor, and waited for life to change. I waited for my chance to escape.
And this is why I moved out at 17.
When a pedophile dies
I came back home the summer he was put in hospice. When you grow up in a home that only offers conditional and transactional love. . . it kind of messes you up. I came home out of duty.
My mom couldn’t handle the situation and found happiness in getting drunk poolside. I worked during the days and then came home to relieve the hospice nurse and tended to this monster. Few words were spoken. I gave the insulin shots, mixed the nutrients for the feeding tube and fed him slowly with a syringe. I walked him to the bathroom and washed him. When the pain was too much I shot him up with the prescribed dosage of morphine. The night he finally died, a few days after my birthday, I stood over him waiting for him to take his last breath. I thought that when he died, I would be free.
For the record, it doesn’t work that way. The ghost of a pedophile is on a special assignment from the devil.
I wish that I could write something that would fix everything a pedophile breaks. I wish I had the repair kit for hurt, shame, disrespect, and feeling invisible. I don’t. No one does for another.
This is the kind of fix that comes from within. A personal internal search reminds me of the people who climb Mt. Everest — they reach the top in success or die trying. But remember no one climbs alone.
This is article 3/30 from the perspective of Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey monomyth, specifically from stage 7 Meeting with the Goddess. “This is where the hero gains items given to him that will help him in the future.” This month of writing will show you the people that have given me insight or gifts on my own Hero’s Journey. I believe we are on several journeys at a time with events happening all the time preparing us for the future but not necessarily in this journey. I also believe we are all walking each other home.
With that in mind, living with a pedophile has given me a tremendous amount of insight.
Lessons Learned from living with a pedophile:
Broken people break other people. Broken men will break others.
We have the ability to mend and heal.
We need to protect those around us. As much as I want to save the world — I need to save myself first and those closest to me second. Put on your own oxygen mask.
We need to have boundaries. For me, I have a big frigging fence with a gate that locks and only I have the key. I make sure my kids have a big frigging fence and only they have the key. I can be cautious, curious, vulnerable, and compassionate without fearing being hurt.
We don’t need to call out abusers but we do need to support their targets. Kids, the elderly, animals . . .
If you are in a place of power and safety, call out the abusers for those of us who can’t. Step up to the plate.
Take responsibility for your actions. Quit blaming others for your indiscretions and weaknesses. Keep your own clean house.
Being abused is not a club I asked to join. I had no choice and for years and years. . . probably 25 years I didn’t speak of it. I tried not to even think about it. It was my own burden to bear. Then a woman name Melinda spoke of her burden to bear, her story was my story. The only exception is that she was nearly healed. She spoke thoughtfully and eloquently about everything. I wanted to be her. Now, some 10 years later, I’m my own version of thoughtfulness and eloquence. Melinda was one of those moments of “meeting the Goddess”. Her words and her friendship was a gift of healing and understanding.
My mission in life is to be the Goddess you meet offering insight and gifts in another’s journey. A resting place, a lamp, a raft, a guide, a guard. . . healing medicine through mindfulness.