Sunday, September 28, 2008

Echo: a lingering trace or effect

Isn't it funny in an ironic sort of way how you can read or see something that will trigger a memory totally unrelated to the subject at hand? For instance, this morning I was reading a very interesting post at Guy's. In essence, he was wondering what humans in the far-off future who stumble across the blogs we're writing now will think about us. What kind of mark our writings will make on future generations. He called it "electronic" and "internet" echoing.


And that set my mind to spinning into the past instead of in to the future. My past.

I don't write much about my past on this blog. I left most of that behind on my old blog. But I got to thinking about being victimized and how the resonation of that echo plays itself over and over in a person's life. Most of the time you can put a lid on it and keep it at a low simmer on the back of the stove but every now and then the lid slips off a little to one side or the other and those echoes have a way of bubbling to the surface. Sometimes they even boil over and scald us once again.

I'm one of millions of people who were molested as children. I was 9 or 10 years old when it happened. It happened only one time. It wasn't a stranger. It was a trusted man in our small town community. I ran away as soon as I could get away, heading for home as fast as my feet could carry me. And I hid in my bedroom, sickened and shamed and terrified and repulsed. I suffered from a victim's guilt..."There must be something wrong with me for him to do that!", like most children, I couldn't confess it to my parents. I kept it a deep secret until I was 16 and finally blurted it out one day to my parents, long after my abuser was dead and we'd moved 150 miles away from my hometown. My parents were stunned. Horrified! "Why didn't you tell us?" my mother asked. "How many other kids did he mess with? If we'd known we could've done something about it!" true. But how does an innocent little girl have the words to describe such an horrendous experience? Luckily, I wasn't raped but enough was done where, whenever I saw him after it happened before we moved away, I ran as fast and as far from him as I could.

I could rant. I could rave. I could shout out my opinion, my loathing, when it comes to pedophiles. My disgust. My utter disdain. But what would that gain me now, 45 years later. So it remains an echo. But, Guy, I can tell you how this echo resonates in to the future of a victim's life. It kills a certain amount of trust in humanity that is never regained. It makes you cautious and suspicious whenever you see someone being too familiar with a child. It gives you the instincts of a hawk. It makes you want to protect every child who walks this Earth from the same fate. Sadly, no matter how diligent you the former victim are, you can't save everyone. Sometimes even those you know and love dearly.

So you in the future who might stumble across this blog entry, I'm sure this is nothing new to you, either. This kind of echo has been around since Biblical times. It will continue on until humanity is no more. But I wanted you to hear my voice, read my words. Know my story. Who knows...I may be the echo of your forebears.


darev2005 said...

I'm almost sorry I read this, Kris. If you have seen my comments on guys blog, and if you have visited mine, you know that I work in a prison. One that holds mostly sexual offenders. Reading your story brought a tear to my eye. And I thought to myself "How can I go back to that place and look at them? Why do I do it?" Then I read your blog again and realized that you and everyone else who has ever been abused like that is the reason I stay. It's what I can do. I can't stop them, I can't arrest them or change them or undo what they have done. But I can damn well make sure that they don't hurt anybody else while they are there. It doesn't make it better. Nothing can do that. Thank you for reminding me why I do it.

Anonymous said...

Whatever the type of abuse, we are left with memories that crop up from time to time. It has helped me that we only watch videos on TV now...never live TV, unless a storm or something. I used to be reminded of those very sad places in my life....tis better this way. Not quite so many reminders.

We can only do what we can to try to help others not suffer the same fate. But a day approaches that will end all such forever!! AND all tears wiped away, so probably no memory left either of such events.

I do remember listening to Dr. Laura, who began her early days of counseling (I think was still in school maybe) having to work with pedifiles...she said she could hardly believe that they were guilty of such. They were about as nice of people as you would ever meet she said...polite, mannerly, usually quiet. I remember her saying that if they were not, of course, they could not get a child to trust them. So, it was not your fault at all...Elizabeth

The Guy Who Writes This said...

Kris, it would have been nice if we evolved with a forgetory as opposed to a memory. A forgetory would be a place where we could place things we wish to forget.

Oddly, my post today is about trust.

verabear said...

I hear you Kris. and you know what, even if it did not happen to me, I have met one too many children who have gone through this and I know the scars that it leaves.

Hopefully, when this echoes into the future, it may actually stop someone from doing wrong.

The Guy Who Writes This said...

Kris, check you email. Sometimes Yahoo blocks me out.