Sunday, July 10, 2011

Guest Post: Ashamed No More

I am a 40-year-old man who has a held a secret for way too long. It is a secret that I have been able to push deep away, only to surface when adversity hits me hard.

Adversity like when my first girlfriend ended our relationship after 8 months when I was 18. Or, adversity like when my second wife left me with three young kids to raise in 2004. Both heartbreaking and devastating, however, nothing the normal person hasn’t had to go through at some point in their life.

The latest adversity to hit me was to find out via email three weeks ago that I was not rehired back as a teacher after working at the same school for 17 years. Working at the school was my sanctuary, the one constant in my life that I could always depend on and lean on. Unlike the different women in my life, the school had never failed me or rejected me in any fashion. That all changed with one email.

All three of those times of my life led to him surfacing once again in my life. Each time he has come back to me, I wanted to run away and escape. And, each time led me to attempt to take my own life.

However, now is the time for me to face him head on and finally move past what he did to me so long ago. After being released from the hospital Tuesday night at 3 a.m., I walked the two miles to my home resolved to never let him have the control over me he has had for way too long. I am finally ready to talk about it, ready to stop blaming myself, and ready to finally move on.

T… thank you for letting me share my story with your readers. Thank you for being a true friend even though we have never met in person. And, thank you for letting me begin my healing process on your blog.

Here is the story of 5-year-old who wasn’t big or strong enough to protect himself. And, unfortunately, here is the story of a kindergartner whose mother failed him when he needed her the most.

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Without fail, he's there. Waiting, hands clasped together in his lap, and wearing a Cleveland Indians hat with dirty blonde hair hanging in front of his eyes.

The bus driver waiting patiently, finally gets up and walks me off the bus.

The cold Ohio winter air hits my face as I step in snow blackened by car exhaust. As soon as I hit the sidewalk, he acts as if he's like an older brother, summoned to walk me home.

There is no conversation between us, just two people heading to do something that only he wants to be done. The walk is short, yet, I go at a snail pace to put off the inevitable.

As we get closer, I hope and pray that my mom is outside on the porch, waiting for her middle child to get home from school. Like most days, she is not and he continues to guide me toward a small pathway between our houses.

There, hidden from the street, is an igloo that has a small entry into a deep hole that holds both of us comfortably. The igloo was built simply to give him the privacy he needed. Equally important, the igloo also provided him with the carrot to get me to go with him in the first place.

"Hey.... You want to see this cool igloo? Come on and take a look at it. You can play in it any time you want. It's as much yours as it as mine. Ok?"

After the first time going in there, I never wanted to go back. However, it was a place I was in three to five times a week the winter I lived in Ohio.

All visits there started and ended the same way. Him, 14 years my senior, throwing me head first into the igloo, and quickly moving in behind me. Next came him violently pulling my pants down to my knees, while pushing my head into the snow to quiet my cries.

Full of rage over his continued lack of success of being able to penetrate the kindergartner who was under him, he punches me in my side repeatedly. After his anger subsides, he is resigned to pleasure himself in my presence.

A short time later, I feel him landing all over my backside, then flipping me over to slide himself in my mouth. The end is nearing as he aggressively turns me over and pushes me back and forth deep in the snow to wash him off me. Satisfied that he has cleaned me up, he quickly dresses and begins to head out. Reaching the opening, he turns back and says the same words I hear every time he takes me, "You better not tell anyone!"

With him gone, I wipe the combination of snow and tears from my face, pull my pants up, and get up to go home.

At home, mom is in a drunken sleep on the couch and I go straight to my room to find solace of the isolation from the outside world. Then, I go to sleep, hoping never to wake up.

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I am finally ready to stop being ashamed about what happened to me, ready to stop blaming myself, and ready to get help.

I woke Wednesday morning four hours after I was released from the hospital. I quickly dressed, drove straight to a local Psychiatrist’s office and filled out paperwork to allow me to start to get help. My first session is still two weeks away, yet, I feel confident that I can make it on my own until then.

I am ready to stop running from him. Ready to finally take away the biggest thing he took away from me: the ability to control my own life for the first time.

He will no doubt come back to me in my mind. I am not naïve enough to think that this process is going to be an easy one. There will be hard days and more tears to come.

But, sooner rather than later, I really believe I will finally be free of him.

- Coachdad

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