The Last Things to Come Out of Pandora’s Box Were My Friends
Chapter 2: My Dearest Wormtongue
What do you remember about third grade? My generation might be quick to remember that it was the year we learned cursive handwriting. I remember that year was the year I decided I didn’t like math. That year was also the year I began to distrust teachers, as my teacher was abusive both verbally and physically. It’s a wonder that she still teaches in the public school system. I could write a whole book detailing my memories from third grade, but then that would not be as happy as this book here. Thinking back to third grade, which is easier for me as barely legal adult, I can remember my classroom. I can remember Crazy Bones, little plastic figures that were quite adorable and had “crazy” faces in various colors and shades. I wish I still had those things. I can remember learning about the Pilgrims and putting on a performance as Squanto. I remember thinking that my third grade teacher had the breath that reeked of death and thought that if ever I met Death; it would be her in a black cloak.
Unfortunately, my third grade year was marred by quite a few bad experiences, and one in particular needs to be shared in this story of friends. His name was [Name withheld]. [Name withheld] was a fifth grader when I was in third grade. We were more like acquaintances, seeing as how I didn’t really know him very well and he didn’t know me either. Well, I invited [Name withheld] over to my house to hang out, as I did often with friends of mine at that time. The thing that was different was that my other friends were all the children of people either from church or people my mom knew. [Name withheld] didn’t have any such connections; he was just someone at school that I met. He came over and wanted to watch Pokémon with me, but my mom wouldn’t allow, my family believed that it was an unnecessary and ungodly television show. We decided to play with my Lego sets. I used to love Lego’s toys.
Unfortunately, we didn’t play with Lego’s bricks for long, maybe an hour or so at best, until I was pressured to touch and be touched inappropriately. I remember the color of my bed sheets, the smell of his body odor, and many other details that would not make for a book written as school project. The point is that I was molested by a boy two years older than I was. Although I couldn’t see it then, that single event would have a dramatic effect on me for the several years up until now. Because of this, most of my life I have not been able to make friends with guys. I haven’t been able to befriend them like I do ladies, and that had bothered me in my earlier teenage years. It wasn’t until later that I was able to finally get over the subconscious thought that the next guy I made friends with would be the next guy to molest me.
People handle this many different ways. Although some are afraid to say it, I see a connection between homosexual men and molestation by men. I however, by the grace of God, did not go that direction. I chose a much more subtle route; I chose to forget it. I put it out of my mind, literally suppressing the memory so that I didn’t have to think about it. For many years I didn’t consciously think about it, but subconsciously it had been there the whole time. I never realized that it could have such effects on me as it did.
I didn’t let this issue go unresolved though. I didn’t exactly seek out counseling for it, but when I told my senior pastor at church that it had happened there was a lot of prayer and counseling that went on. I praise the Lord because now, I have memories, but not flashbacks. I have been molested, but I am not a victim. When I say I am not a victim, I simply mean that I don’t identify with the victim-mentality that is a natural part of the healing process when someone is hurt and it’s more than just a simple bruise from falling off of one’s bike. Now I use this experience when I travel to different places around the state performing in plays about sexual and emotional abuse to teach the youth how they are not alone, and that there is healing for such abuse.
I thank God that Christ is the Healer, that by His stripes I am healed. It’s no secret about my convictions, and while I don’t want to preach in this book, I do have to give credit where it’s due. Through Christ I received healing and have been able to bond with men both my age and older men. By His Grace and Providence, I don’t have to suppress anything; I just walk in the peace that comes from the Lord. Surely I have found the source of all my needs, my refuge in the storms of life, and the healer of all my iniquities.
For me, it is not enough to just to be healed. As a professional actor apart of the Homeward Bound Theatre Company, I went and performed in a show that addressed the issue of abuse. My role as the guy friend of the abused young lady was painful because the way it is presented is very forward and in-your-face-no-nonsense-deal-with-it. After the show I shared with an audience of about 300 youth and their parents about being molested. I had now told more people in the span of two weeks than I had told in the nine years since it had happened. I plan to continue to use my experience as a focal point for others to receive healing and freedom from any emotional, mental, or spiritual barriers that have been built up because of being molested.
So, I hope that was edifying for most of you. I hope to make additions to my memoir here and there, but in the mean time I may post another chapter of my memoir depending on how I feel about it. I'm not quite sure about it, at times I feel the writing is too informal, but then again I have to remember that it is a memoir.
Sic semper tyrannis,