When I was a child, I was molested by a faculty member of the church/school that I attended. These were painful experiences for a variety of reasons. First of all, I tried telling my mom and she told me that it couldn’t have happened — that I dreamed of it or made it up because no one in the holy church of God could do such a thing. Secondly, I was taught by the church and my parents that homosexual acts and sex before marriage were the two biggest sins one could commit. Well shit, I’d done both AND I was a liar. A total sinner on so many levels. This was a real shit storm in my mind for me as a child.
This led me to feel a lot of guilt and shame and led me to bury these experiences deep into myself so much so that I legitimately pretended they didn’t happen. Even now I feel a strong resistance when I try to get a full memory of everything.
I was so young and naive at the time I didn’t really even know what was going on so there was a lot of confusion. And this was the coping mechanism I used at the time to protect myself.
But I couldn’t protect myself from these pains forever. As I got older I began to challenge myself. “This really happened. I have sinned. I must have wanted to commit these acts. I must be a twisted pervert. I must be destined for hell.” This was extremely painful and created an extreme rift inside myself.
I was a strong kid, though, with a big heart and soul so as I got older I was able to successfully bury these painful experiences deep inside so that I could move on with life. I did normal stuff: played sports in high school and college, drank beer, hung out with friends, had girlfriends, studied hard in school, among others. I moved on. Or so I thought.
Then as my early-20s hit, I began to realize that I had a deep confusing pain with regards to my sexual nature. I was habitually forced to watch pornography, drink beer, and chase women. I had a deep dark pain within that I was hiding from. After running away from my last 3 girlfriends and hurting them in the process, I realized that I could not give my heart to a girl. I had to treat her like an object and keep myself separate. Because I was broken.
It started to get even worse as I quit my job and started to try to uncover what was happening within myself. I started consistently having flashbacks almost every sober minute regarding being molested and the pain it felt. I was having flashbacks of my head violently being shoved into a man’s crotch and it’d be accustomed with some sort of stern voice saying “you faggot” or something along those lines. Needless to say, it was f**king painful. This forced me to take more extreme measures to reassert my masculinity within myself and I ran away to pornography, drinking and drugs to cope with the pain.
It got to the point where the energy was so twisted inside myself from hiding from these painful experiences that I was fucking petrified of myself and legitimately hated myself at times. So what did I do? I tried to cover it up and numb everything with alcohol and drugs. I had to re-enhance my masculinity inside myself. So I would drink more and try to have sex with as many girls as possible. Sometimes it would work and I’d feel at peace for a while. Sometimes it wouldn’t, and it would be an even more painful reminder of the baggage I carried. I did this all to hide from a painful sin culture that I projected onto myself. Deep in my soul memory I truly felt I had done shameful acts and that I was a sinner and deserved this punishment. That I was some perverted child who needed and wanted to be abused. This was a painful period, but it was a time when I had to look myself in the mirror and face the really tough questions. Exactly who am I? What are my real feelings? And what are just recycled feelings of pain that were trapped inside of me from a young age? Are these my thoughts or just a painful replay of judgments put on me from society, religion, and my parents? Will this ever end?
Eventually I got stronger and didn’t want to be a victim of this shit forever. So then I started to take on the other side. The abused child if not fully healed becomes the perpetrator; the victim, the rapist; the abused, the abuser. I could see my thoughts and energies taking on a dark twisted side. I now felt powerful, but not in a “I’m healed let me share healing” sort of way, but in a “I can now play the other side and pass this pain onto others” power trip.
Luckily, I was aware of myself enough to see where this was going and basically cut myself off from drinking/drugs/bar women and went to travel the world and figure out what the hell was really going on. If I hadn’t done that I could have become a rapist myself, twisted sociopath, or go on to hide from it and become a religious figure myself passing on the fear/guilt/shame culture through my doctrines only to have the deep dark twisted energy come out in the future.
Looking back I can see. Those who abuse people are almost always abused themselves. I truly believe this. It is just them acting out the evil that was put on them. After a long enough time they can’t take the pain of being trapped within for so long and eventually they have to put the pain on someone else.
Seeing this all from a mostly healed space, I can now see what drives men to such acts. These men who commit these sexually violent acts are really doing them out of fear. In some way or another they have had their masculinity stripped from them, probably at a young age. As they get older they have three choices 1) face it 2) keep feeling abused and find more relationships to keep getting abused or 3) become the perpetrator.
The safest route to a man’s ego is to go pass on the pain to someone else, to become the perpetrator of the acts committed against you. When this happens, they become consumed with this twisted dark pain from the past and it forces them to abuse someone else to deal with the energy. To take their power back and molest a child, rape a woman, beat a wife, among others. This is what the energy wants. To keep going and to pass it along to others.
I know for men this is a very difficult subject for a variety of reasons and I can come at it from a space of not only empathy for victims of rape and childhood molestation but also those who feel compelled to commit acts of sexual violence. Because I see that these are two sides of the same coin. We are all children of God and therefore holy and pure in our real nature. We become evil due to the evil that is put onto us and this is how the cycle continues generation after generation society through society.
I want to be a model of stepping out of the cycle. A victim who does not go on to be the perpetrator. A broken child who can face himself, heal himself and help others do the same. We can change the cycle. And it starts with us right now.
(If you wish to share your experiences, understand what is going on with yourself or connect with people and heal, please visit iamnotsilent.org