I want to thank scribe for the courageous way she has faced her ordeal, perpetuated upon her by so called Men of God. As I walk forward in my recovery, soon to complete my 18th year of being drug and alcohol free, I remember the long hard struggle to deal with my own sexual abuse at the hands of so called Christian Men. I recognize that the vast majority of abuse is perpetuated upon young women, yet many young men are also victimized by the psychotic religious fanatics who’s views are that children are mere property, chattel to be used as seen fit. This is one child’s nightmare that fortunately for me ends with a blessing and love of self and others. I know many who have had this heinous crime heaped upon them, that found nothing but despair and death.
I am 51 years old, a native American/Welshman who found out on my 8th Birthday that I was nothing to my father but an instrument of sexual pleasure. He shared his toy with several of his friends, one whom lead the Baptist church that my family attended. I was informed that because I was less human than they that I would always be used as a means of enjoyment. They instructed me, that was God’s plan for me and I just accepted it as truth. I started using alcohol regularly after these encounters, because something inside me broke, I did not understand why I was less than these Men who told me that God only had this plan for my life.
I was abused and sexually tortured by these individuals until I was almost 13 years old, that was when my mother packed us up and moved us to Michigan. My mother, I believe subliminally knew that my father was a sick man, she just could not come to accept that he was this sick. I had continued to use alcohol and discovered drugs after moving to Michigan. That these men who professed to love god, who were shining emblems of the community, had taken away not only my own self worth, but that of several other young men in that community, has always haunted me.
::::::::::::::::::::::: Crossposted at My Left Wing and Village Blue ::::::::::::::::::::::::::
I started using drugs to hide from the pain that permeated from within, that consumed me with hatred for god and anything or anybody that professed that they understood God’s message. I stopped using long enough to join the Navy, after receiving my draft notice, only to be busted for possession within my first year of service. I was discharged and preceded to go upon a drug-induced frenzy for the next 6 months. I was fortunate to have encountered someone who needed a cook on a sailboat and I lied and said I was a cook in the Navy. I bought two cookbooks and learned how to prepare meals. Somewhere in my drug and alcohol addled brain, I knew not to use drugs while in a foreign country. Yet upon return to the US, I marched to the drum of the great and powerful wizard of Heroin.
I never understood nor could I comprehend why I hated Jesus freaks, why I was walking the path of suicide on the installment plan. I remember someone came up to me when I had been drinking heavily at an airport and asked me if I had found Jesus, I punched him in the face and walked away. That encounter cost me two days in jail and 130-dollar fine for battery. I hated everyone and everything, I moved from Heroin to clean, back to Heroin, back to clean. I would go to college during the clean times, focusing all my attention upon gaining something that would help me change the way I lived my life. When the intensity of learning lost its luster, I would walk away and start using again.
Anytime someone would approach me about God, I would be consumed with a fury that even frightened me. I would become violent and strike out at whomever brought up the words. I spent all my time between heroin-induced fogs and alcohol induced violent encounters. Bouncing back and forth between feeling nothing and trying to sustain the high of creating carnage upon another human being. I hated and I wanted to be hated because I hated you and everything that you stood for in this life.
I lived like this until I was in my early thirties, I don’t remember when I actually became homeless, maybe a year of so before I found sobriety. I found myself living in a cardboard box in a doorway in downtown San Diego. I would panhandle, pick up scrap metal, wash windows, anything to make a buck for that next fix and bottle. I found a sure fire way to get money from the suits that worked downtown. I was a smelly longhaired ragged looking drunk, who staggered up to the suits and said, “give me five bucks or I am going to hug you”. Amazingly it worked like a charm, until I picked an Assistant District Attorney (ADA) to hug. He had me arrested for extortion. I relate this story because 5 days later I was on my way to becoming clean. I was brought before a judge, whom I had seen countless times and he reprimanded the ADA for harassing a drunk. He dropped the charges down to aggressive panhandling and time served and had me escorted out of the courtroom. I heard that judge yelling at the ADA that if he ever wasted the time of the court again by harassing drunks he would make sure that the ADA would always be prosecuting menial driving misdemeanors.
The Bailiff who escorted me out of the court, asked me if I had a place to go, I responded, probably not, my box and all my possessions are gone now, as I was in jail for 4 days. I was shaking and he said where will you go and I said back to my doorway, I don’t have any other place to go. He handed me five dollars and said, well at least get something to eat. He knew I was going to buy a bottle and then start panhandling for money to buy heroin. As I was walking away, he said this to me “Great Spirit knows what is in your heart, open your heart and know the truth of who you are”. At first I started to get livid, then something just snapped and I walked away not knowing what to feel.
I spent the next five days imploding my mind, soul and heart with heroin and alcohol. I weighed 145 lbs, smelled like a sewer and on the night of August 30, 1987, I had a stroke. I did not know what was going on, a cop was kicking me in the head, yelling at me to get up, you fucking smelly assed bum, get your ass out of here. If I have to pick you up, I am going to kick your fucking ass. God damn it; get up you fucking worthless piece of shit. I could not get up; I was paralyzed on the left side of my body. Finally the other cop, said wait, there is something really wrong here and they called an ambulance. I started my journey to recovery on August 31, 1987 and have not looked back since that day.
I was fortunate that the stroke was drug induced and I am not physically challenged by it, yet it woke something up inside me and I will be forever grateful for what it has opened up in my life. I was introduced to a 12-step program that has allowed me the freedom to change my life from the inside out. I was introduced to Great Spirit at one of these meetings, on a reservation in San Diego County. By gaining an understanding of Great Spirit, I have been able to mitigate the destruction of my childhood, as it will never go away. I do not hate those who robbed me of my humanity when I was a child, I do not despise them any longer. I don’t know if I will ever be able to forgive them, but they do not hold the power in my life that they once did, not so long ago.
I have spent many thousands of hours and countless amounts of money in therapy and counseling to keep this harmful disease from being anything more than a painful memory. That I still have bouts of depression sometimes makes it difficult to progress with my life. It is these times that I pray, I ask Great Spirit to open my heart and soul to the wonders that are this earth, keep me safe as I walk the path of recovery from the harm that was placed upon me by those whom have no spiritual well being. I have worked long and hard to become a Human being, someone who lives life with a set of values that honors life, honors those who share this life with me and shows the glory of my own spiritual awakening. I will fight with all that I am to insure that people like my father and his friends, are never allowed to do anything like this to another child.
I have little regard for people like Dobson, Falwell, Perkins, Robertson and their ilk. That what they profess to know as God’s will, is little more than what they themselves want to perpetuate upon our culture, to control women and children to create a climate that has in the past wrought horrible consequences upon these same women and children. That these so called Godly men would create chattel of the rest of us, to me is a most despicable and heinous crime and I as a recovering victim of this type of mentality will fight it with all that I am as a Human Being.
This started out as a comment on scribe’s diary; I felt that I had to share from a man’s perspective what this kind of abuse creates with him. The courage that scribe has shown, helps me to also be courageous in my pursuit of recovery, and because I see there are others who are willing to move forward. Challenge the mindset that was placed upon us when we were children and crash through the guilt, shame and disgust we have felt. I am one of the few who have made it this far in my recovery. The unfortunate reality is that I was in treatment with over 100 individuals, over a 9-month period. I am the only one who has successfully maintained my recovery without a relapse. There are a few who relapsed early and found their way back, a few who have 5 or 6 years now. The majority are either in jail or dead. I hated God; I hated everyone who even thought about God, during my using. I found Great Spirit and that hate has dissipated and been replaced by hope, honor, trust, joy and love. I am truly blessed and walk in grace each day that I am given here upon our earth. The joy of living has surpassed the despair I lived within for so many years. That I can trust another Human Being is without parallel in my life. That I honor Great Spirit by the way I live my life, brings me happiness that is unsurpassed. I am grateful for this life I have, for the opportunity to stand up and help those who like myself 40+ years ago, could not help themselves. I hope that like scribe, this diary will touch you in some small way, open your heart and mind to the great suffering that has been perpetuated upon so many by those who would trick us into believing they are doing God’s will. If you can find the time, volunteer at a local children’s shelter, detox, treatment program or any other type of program that helps people find solutions to their problems. I continue to find ways to volunteer at various treatment programs that are helping those with addiction problems. I give back what I can, yet understand that I will never be able to give back as much as I have received in my recovery.