I hurt for a long time because of childhood sexual abuse. Now I want to provide a safe place for hurting men to connect with other survivors of sexual abuse. Talk to us. You don't have to use your real name to share your experiences or ask questions.

Why Me? (Part 6 of 8)

In 2012, at a writers conference in Leesburg, Florida, a man heard me being interviewed for an article on male sexual abuse. After I hung up, he sat down next to me and told me that he was a registered sex offender.

For the next 20 minutes David* confessed what he had done before he was caught, convicted, and imprisoned for three years. He didn’t excuse himself, and many times tears filled his eyes as he felt the guilt and shame of his behavior.

“When I targeted a victim, I showed a lot of interest in everything he did or said. It wasn’t real, but that’s how those needy boys perceived it.”

David also said, “I touched the boys when I knew they were ready. They felt they were receiving affection from me.”

He shocked me when he said, “I had no trouble spotting vulnerable children. I could sense they felt isolated, didn’t like themselves, were insecure, and had been pushed aside or ignored by their families.” And the most telling statement was this, “I took advantage gradually and in such a way that my targets felt they had willingly chosen it.”

Tears filled my eyes, making me unable to talk for several minutes. He had answered a powerful question for me.

I was targeted for sexual assault.
I did not choose to be molested.


Roger Mann said...

This is one of the hardest things for me and many survivors to deal with. The skill of many abusers in making us believe we wanted it or were ok with what happened is one of the hardest things to overcome as adults. "See you're responding. You are enjoying it." We were just kids. What did we know. But as adults that shame and guilt now are incredibly hard to shake.

Cec Murphey said...

Roger, you said it well. "We were just kids." We need to remind ourselves of that fact.

Thank you.