As I share my story and continue to heal, it is interesting to see what emotions arise as more chapters unfold.
When my phone pinged and pinged with messages revealing shocking allegations against the other male victim of my abuser, I read with such disappointment as more disturbing details emerged of the alleged abuse these children endured at the hands of this man. This man who apparently lived a story so similar to mine as a teen has allegedly become a monster himself. I know that everyone should be afforded the right to be innocent until proven guilty, but the presence of Homeland Security and the F.B.I makes it really hard to believe there isn’t ample evidence of this man’s abuse of his alleged victims. The whole story and the reality that comes with it is depressingly sad. My monster helped create another monster in this man.
Anger is what came forward for me. I was angry on so many levels. The first was that this man became another statistic feeding the perceived cycle of abuse. For survivors like me, who are not abusers or pedophiles, we are already battling horrendous stereotypes that we are destined to be abusers ourselves. I know many who read my blog, many with conservative beliefs, equate my homosexuality with the abuse I endured. I know in my soul this is categorically untrue, but many who still need to justify my “lifestyle choice” might believe this to be true. So when I saw the pictures of this man being arrested and read the allegations against him, my feeling were so complicated. I searched hard for empathy. I tried so hard to be understanding, but I just remained angry. He abused children. He perpetuated the cycle. Here is what I found on my trusted source 1in6.org:
Most people who abuse others were abused as children, but the reverse is not true: Most people abused as children DO NOT go on to abuse others. The best available research suggests that 75% or more of those who commit acts of sexual or physical abuse against others were themselves abused as children. However, the research also indicates that the vast majority of children who are sexually abused do not go on to abuse others.
This man and I share an abuser, but we will no longer share a survival story. When he reached out this summer after his PED statement, he pledged support and wanted to work together to bring light to our abuse. According to the allegations against him, this summer he was also pressuring young boys into unwanted sexual interactions. Throughout the fall when he sporadically sent messages like “any word on our pedophile” or “any updates on our abuser”, he was allegedly manipulating boys in the same way we were both manipulated. When I began to write my blog, he wrote an encouraging message in late November. Meanwhile a family was living their own horrific reality and apparently starting the process of bringing light to this man’s abuse of their young sons. It's tragic and infuriating. My monster helped create another monster. His abuse continues to lay wreckage in the lives of his victims, and now this man has his own trail of wreckage he helped create.
I also felt extreme anger when I saw the picture of this man in handcuffs. I wasn’t angry for him. I was angry for me. I will most likely never see my abuser taken away in handcuffs. That is not a moment I am destined to witness. That is the cold-hearted reality of coming to terms with my abuse 15 years too late for the legal system. Yes, I am in the process of hoping to revoke his teaching license, but that is just one license in one state. Yes I have been told they have “flagged” his license but this is also within conversations were they talk of how “overloaded” their system is and how they have “staffing issues” leaving them with just one department prosecutor. I know he is working. If not in a public school district, than a private one. Someone who learned to silently slink away from job to job isn’t going to just stop and admit defeat. And with no newspapers willing to share my story or school districts willing to come forward with allegations there is really no space for any possible victims to come forward at this point. This might just be that reality I will have to live with, so what am I going to do with this anger.
I will keep moving forward and I will be patient. I have had to constantly question how I will continue to move forward, and I am starting to accept that I can’t solely be focused on justice. I have to be guided by more than that because I have to accept that in my case justice may never come. So I have to guide my path towards making a difference. Instead of solely focusing on justice (that I still pray will come), I will focus on prevention and helping male survivors heal. I plan to spend 2021 researching how I can start a non-profit aimed at supporting male victims. I want create the type of organization that I searched so hard to find during my recovery. I also want to spend 2021 connecting with other male survivors. I want to learn and heal with others who share a similar story. I have big goals and big things ahead.
My monster helped create another monster. But make no mistake the other victim in my story is now an alleged pedophile who also bears a huge amount of responsibility for his actions. He will now have to live with the repercussions of these accusations and deal with the absolutely necessary consequences that could be coming his way.
But I won’t focus on him or feel sorry for him. I will put all my positive energy into his victims. I will also spend my time connecting with the majority of other male victims who did not become monsters themselves.
Original blog post about "The Other Man" referenced in this post.
As the sun rose on 2021, I was pondering where to go from here on my storytelling journey. I continued to ask myself “what are my goals as I continue”. When I finished my 30 days, I was emotionally exhausted. It truly took a lot out of me. Between the blog, teaching, and parenting, I limped into the holidays and Winter Break. With all the anticipation and possibility that comes with a new year, I am ready to continue my journey because there are still so many chapters of this story to tell.
I wondered what format I wanted to use going forward. Should I start a podcast? Should I have a robust social media presence? Should I have a YouTube channel? Then I realized that this blog has been my scared space to tell my story. Why change it? This is where the story should continue.
This blog has already enriched my life and pushed my story forward. Laying out my hopes, questions, and vulnerability on these pages has given my a confidence I haven’t felt in my life. This blog has also been productive in bringing to light male sexual abuse and the many players in my own abuse story. It is creating an accountability factor that many thought they would never see.
My blog has been passed to a law enforcement agency (details withheld of where, what, and why) but I was finally able to tell my story in an official interview that might actually hold my abuser accountable.
My blog has been passed to journalists who have their eye on the developments so when the time is right, and there is action from certain agencies, my story can be told so any other victims can come forward to tell their stories.
My blog will be used to put pressure on the New Mexico Department of Education, who are dragging their feet in revoking my abuser’s teaching license.
My blog has reconnected me to so many. I have kept every message that people took time to write and revisit them as my resolve waivers.
My blog has set me on a new path of recovery as it helped me accept my abuse while also finally opening my mind to seeing myself a survivor. I have still have so far to go; I regressed a bit after the 30 day project, but I know that recovery isn’t a process that happens over night. There will be many ups and downs. But I still want to be here, writing and sharing.
This process is about growth. I want this journey to make me a better husband, father, son, and brother. I want to be present in the moments created by my beautiful family. I want to continue to laugh with them as we fail, twice, to make homemade gingerbread homes. I want to learn how to make the perfect pot of homemade pasta and bake the perfect cupcake with them. I want to shed the baggage and weight I feel each day so I can explore life. There is still so much of this world to learn from and explore.
My journey continues as a new year and chapter begins. To every reader and friend who reads this, thank you so much for making this blog a place to share. I needed this space and I will always appreciate the people who helped me create it.
Happy 2021. May we all heal and learn to see each other again through lenses of compassion, understanding, and empathy. There is such beauty in humanity and I hope that we can take all the lessons from 2020 to make our world kind again.