When I was about ten years old, I was sexually abused by an older boy. I thought I had brought it upon myself because I didn’t fight back. My family, my source of safety and values, told me so. From that moment on, life was no longer simple, no longer clean and innocent.

I saw my life through a prism of paralyzing shame. My entire purpose for being was filtered through what I had suffered, and there was no escape from it. The incident was my constant, unwanted companion, my scarlet letter branded on my soul. I felt my life could never again be whole.

As I grew into adolescence, I began to question my very essence, who I was on the inside and my God-given heterosexual orientation.That disjointed thinking of a victim formed the nexus of my teenage behavior because I had to find a way of erasing the stain off me. I needed the feelings of powerlessness that overcame me during that incident and never left, to end. I had to get my being back from that animal. I thought I could do that by becoming a “real man.”

I turned into a hypersexed person. Since it was my greatest fear that people would out about my secret, I made myself the least likely candidate, the person no one would ever suspect of having undergone such a trauma. But no matter how much porn I viewed or how many sex partners I collected, the confusion and shame remained in my psyche.

My consciousness was so contaminated that the shadow of my trauma spilled into all my relationships, both familial and romantic. I would shrivel on the inside when I met new people for fear that they would find out about my dirty secret and reject me. Anytime I came into contact with these new friends, it was like I was constantly reliving the worst moment of my life, as if I were stuck in a horrible time loop of that night, desperately trying to get free but to no avail.

I have since learned that in molestation cases, it’s not the actual act that is the worst for the victim, it’s the constant state of shame and filthiness that the act leaves on the victim. It’s the fear that if people knew, they would run away in terror. It’s the inner alarm that screams “you’re not good enough!”, “no one will ever love you!” But these are the insidious lies the trauma wants you to believe because by believing them, the trauma remains in power.



After many years, I finally came to the conclusion that life is not what happens to you, but how you react to what happens. I was giving that predator too much strength. I was allowing him to live rent-free in my life. He was only my master because I let him. If I chose not to let him rule, then he is a deposed ruler. I alone had the power to change “my” trauma into “the” trauma. I can know that what happened is just what happened. It is just one thing in my life, and is not the seed from which the rest of my life grows.

I know now that what that he did was his issue, not mine. I didn’t turn gay because my ten-year-old self went into shock at the hands of a predator. I can’t blame my family because they did not know how to handle the unspeakable, a tragedy that was easier to sweep under the rug than confront by getting me the counseling that I desperately needed.

I can only say this: I no longer accept “my” trauma. It is now just “my life,” one of the many elements that added all together, make me, me. So as detestable as that incident was, I wouldn’t be the man that I am without it. I accept it as part of my life, knowing that I am the only one who can control it, not a bewildered ten-year-old boy and surely not fourteen-year-old predator.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>