The difficult conversation…
I have been thinking a lot about this Ariel Castro son of a bitch.
I get the sensationalism of the story, and I- like the vast majority I’m sure- am glued to the story and what happens next. I think that, in my compassionate heart, I would want to hug those girls and hope that I could absorb at least a fraction of the hurt they feel- though that would/could never happen and the reality is that if I had the opportunity to sit down with even one of them- I would have nothing real to say. I would likely cry, fall all over myself saying asinine things like “you were so brave,” etc… Now maybe talking to him, if he’d talk (and it sounds like he is) is something I think I could do…
In 1988, when I came forward about my stepdad sexually abusing me, it was a different time. On the tail end of an era where families preferred to deal with such things amongst themselves, rather than heap shame upon their heads- it was kind of all up to me. At barely 12 incredibly sheltered years of age I somehow internally knew that I was the key factor in my safety and well-being. When my family felt embarrassed and ignorant of what to do next (or simply denied the possibilities of it happening) I knew that it would only grow worse and more violent from there- or I could stop it.
I didn’t kill him, though the thought had fleetingly crossed my little girl mind. Instead, I talked. At church, at school, at the market, at the library. My basic interactions went something like:
Good afternoon, Misty! how are you?
Not so great. I was in the hospital. I am sure you’ve heard by now that Charlie has been molesting me for a long time now.
Not surprisingly, most people didn’t know how to respond. Was it an uncomfortable conversation starter? Sure- but it was a conversation that needed to be started. It’s also something I have never kept quiet about. It’s not a dark secret. It is was it is. It was a beyond ass sucking experience that greatly changed my life. The course of my life as well as who I would develop as a person.
Now, sexual abuse has a lot more awareness and the mentality has shifted about, which is healthy and necessary…
There is more to the conversation that people still aren’t really wanting to discuss, I and I don’t get it. When some sadistic asshole turns out to have girls chained in his house, then people love to talk about him and how he should fry- or shouldn’t. They love to talk about what a sick person he is, but our society enables sick people to grow sicker. That’s a fact.
I don’t know if my stepdad was ever sexually abused as a child. I knew his parents and have a hard time believing it could be possible. Then again, I know the statistics and statistically speaking, the majority of boys who are sexually assaulted go on to be abusers, AND the majority of found pedifiles, rapists and other sexual assailants have a childhood past of being an abuse victim. I also know that after I went into the psychology field, working with sexually abused teen girls, that over 50% of those cases were abused by older brothers (or brother figures) who had been molested as boys. It’s a pattern. Not a certainty, but a pattern none the less. I am sure with validation and therapy this cycle can be broken. That isn’t the point.
By this point in time, I am pretty sure Ariel Castro had no idea he would ever be caught. He was beyond cruel and sadistic and, as far as he was concerned, free to do whatever horribly disgusting things he wanted to do, with whom ever. Like every other sexual abuser- he loved the power. He was the power. There is now evidence (not surprising) that he was abused as a child.
It isn’t a justification, it’s just a seed. A seed that grows. I can guarantee this boy wasn’t molested and then one day, decades later as a man, he decided to kidnap and torture young girls.
This is where it will get controversial, and uncomfortable, and piss people off… This is also where I don’t care.
Every single man who abuses and/or rapes a girl (young or old) starts with soft core porn. I’m sorry. It’s the truth. Maybe you are reading this and thinking “I LOVE watching porn and I’m not a rapist.” Great, good for you. The fact is, the pornography industry is one that completely demeans and degrades women. The deeper you get sucked in, the darker it is. The other thing about porn is that it’s designed to feed fantasies. The story lines in movies are ridiculously stupid, and guys LOVE it likely because a lot of their dumb fantasies are also shallow and ridiculously stupid.
For awhile, the porn likely satisfies their twisted desires. The images and the fantasies cut it. and then, maybe they don’t anymore. Then what? Granted, not EVERY SEXUAL ABUSER WILL KIDNAP GIRLS AND KEEP THEM BROKEN AND HIDDEN AS THEIR OWN PERSONAL PUNCHING BAG AND SEX SLAVE- BUT EVERY SEXUAL ABUSER WILL DREAM ABOUT IT AND WISH THEY HAD.
The pattern that I know about, where my stepdad was concerned:
– magazine porn.
– movie porn.
– sexual addiction.
– adultery to feed the addiction because there was never enough.
– sexual obsession/perversion.
– complete sexual openness with my mom, no boundaries, demanding what he demanded whether I was present or not.
– touching me in the bath.
– oral sex.
– violent rape.
Early on, would he have shared what seems to be the general consensus that this is a heinous crime? probably. BUT…
This horrors that Ariel Castro subjected these girls to- He’s like a God to these guys. He had the balls to do what the average cowardly perpetrator doesn’t. And that’s the reality- Sexual perpetrators are COWARDS. They prey on the weak. Their kids, their child neighbors, the teen girl walking home from work late at night. They pick the weak and then they get off on making them weaker.
We live in an oversexed society. Sex is everywhere… In our music, on our tv screens, in our movies. It’s not super conservative Christian Misty here on a soapbox- it’s a fact. Ask anyone in entertainment. Ask anyone in advertising. We are a society fueled by images of sex, and yet- interestingly enough STDs are at an all time high, Divorce is at an all time high… Don’t think it’s not related. If we got down to the nitty gritty of it, I would imagine that the majority of the reasons couples “drift” apart has to do with someone’s unrealistic expectations about the fantasy verses their reality.
As mother’s we talk about how we want our kids to have self-respect, but in a world where the idea of self-respect is so completely deluded with some other fragmented idea of self respect meaning entitlement and false bravery- it’s never going to happen. And this over sexed world where true self-respect becomes more and more of a fairy tale is the same place we send the little boys who have been sexually abused- to become men. What chance do they have? I mean, seriously? Barely a chance in hell to find a way that isn’t paved right to Ariel Castro’s life. And at the end of the day, was he happy? No. He was in his own personal hell because thats where darkness lives…
I can’t shout out “porn is bad” on my blog, and change the world. Honestly, I don’t even want to live in a country where the government outlaws pornography. What’s the use of that? I want to live in a country where people look around and decide that we are a people worth advocating for and so we start having the difficult conversations… Where we start being honest with ourselves about the whole truth of monsters like my stepdad, and my daughter’s birth father and this asshole Ariel Castro. Not the “they hurt someone” truth, but the pattern of the whole truth.
Since Obama became president, hoards of people on all sides of the spectrum have expressed their fears over the world we’re leaving our kids. Economically, it’s grim. Environmentally, it’s grim. But what good are fresh air and money when our kids are in danger, cycles grow stronger and we hear more often about sadistic monsters?
We need to break the cycles…