Monthly Archives: March 2012

The Seeds of Power

The Good Men Project and Guest Editor David Kaiser, PhD, ACC were kind enough to post this essay on the Good Men Project site: The Seeds of Power

My thanks for helping me reach other survivors with my story, in the hope of inspiring them to speak out and get help.

WARNING, this essay contains abuse triggers for some survivors.

It wasn’t the lash of the belt or his hand on my throat that hurt the most, it was the look on his face: pure power, mixed with a dismissive arrogant boredom. I didn’t matter unless I managed to entertain him, either with my body, my humiliation, or my pain. That day, all three hadn’t been enough to earn me anything; not food, reprieve, or mercy.

Today I call myself a survivor, that way station between victim and victor; the struggle for healing between the acts of abuse and the goal of conquering my fears, as well as my mental, emotional, and physical damage. Yet the hard truth of abuse is this: some of these things can never be made right.

The seeds of power start small. The abused sometimes learns to abuse, in some vain and barren attempt to taste what power feels like. We see this in bullies today, so often victims of abuse and ignorance themselves. I never wanted that taste, not that way. Power to me was cruel and cold, terrifying – not a thing to desire, but a thing to flee from, or to obey. Disobedience was a seed too – a seed of powerlessness.

My father blinded my left eye when I was sixteen, to punish me for not coming home from school by the time he’d ordered me to be there. I tried to sneak in, but he was waiting. He hit me, beat me. I hoped that would satisfy his anger, but it didn’t. When I was weakened, he handcuffed my wrists over my head to the newel post of our staircase, sat on my legs, and used his knife to cut the upper eyelid off. He told me that was the intent, and if I didn’t stay still, he’d cut my eye by mistake. He said it would teach me to watch the clock better. That was a lie. He did it to force me to watch as he brought his lit cigar down and slowly pushed it into my eye.

Have you ever felt powerless? Feel the cold of a hard floor, the burn of metal cutting your wrists, of a weight crushing your breath from your body; feel the searing fire as it grinds out your sight. His mercy was to leave the right eye intact, though he often threatened it in the years after.

My father was never diagnosed, but he was a narcissistic sadist and a pedophile, who believed he was a god. His power in the home was absolute, as was the powerlessness of my mother and myself. She, a child of abuse herself, was more of a child than I was in many ways.

Being powerless was my life until I escaped at age nineteen, living on the streets to get away from the abuse, only to find more abuse of many different kinds waiting there.

Today I have a home, a family… and children of my own; my angels, my reason for fighting to survive every day from the damage, the memories. I could rail, cry, and scream about the injustice, but it wouldn’t change a thing. It wouldn’t give me the experience of seeing my children with the sight of two healthy eyes.

With all I still have to struggle with to heal, the only form of power I’ve ever found that helped me was the power to help others by telling my story. So few people who have been abused and raped can tell anybody what happened to them. Most who can talk about it are women; yet there are so few men speaking out. Men and boys have such an awful stigma to fight against, the myth that males cannot be raped, cannot be abused. If they hear other men speak out, it can encourage them to tell somebody they trust, encourage them to seek help.

Now, when men and women tell me that reading my essays and poetry has helped them in some way, hearing that helps me. It starts with a strange swelling in the heart, a timid, fledgling gratitude. These moments are the seeds of power for me; the power to help, to heal.

~ ~ ~

 W.R.R. 3/15/2012
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse. You are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.

Castration Is Not The Answer

The disgusting miscarriage of justice this morning in the Canadian sentencing of the pedophile monster Graham James has sparked a lot of outrage and hurt. He got two years in prison for over a hundred rapes of teen boys, four of whom I know about; not sure how many victims James hurt. I wasn’t strong enough to let this essay see the light of day when it was written. With the comments of cutting James’s balls off being uttered by people who feel as angry and betrayed by Judge Carlson’s hand-slap sentence as I do, I had to post this in response. Personally, I hope James is harmed in prison; but castration doesn’t stop pedophiles from harming children.

WARNING, this essay contains abuse triggers for some survivors.

In the realm of advocacy fighting for an end to child rape and abuse, and most prevalent in the realm of Twitter, I come across statements of intense emotion from people who are horrified by pedophiles. A report of Jerry Sandusky, under house arrest for 50 counts of pedophilia accusations, spoke of Sandusky wanting to be able to visit his grandchildren. Why anyone would allow this man to see ANY children, ever again, boggles the mind. Yet in this same report, legal folks are arguing about allowing Sandusky to sit on his back porch – when his property happens to face the property of an elementary school. I think that monster needs to have his porch ruled off-limits, but I’m not at all surprised he chose a home next to that school. One response to that report that I saw is a common one, that Sandusky should have had his balls removed years ago. While I can understand and agree with the outrage expressed and the vengeance desired, there is an issue of terrible importance that this whole exchange brings to mind:

Pedophiles, rapists, abusers; these people don’t need testicles or a penis to rape and abuse other people. They can manage just fine with everyday household tools and appliances, or medical equipment.

First off, not all offenders are male. Female offenders can use tools or objects, or their bodies, to rape and abuse. If anybody reading this thinks a woman can’t rape a man or a boy (or another female) you’d be wrong. If you believe a boy can be “initiated into sex” by his “hot” female teacher, and that he should feel proud or lucky, or that he won’t feel any bad affects from the act, you’d be wrong, too. Check out websites and books/articles on rape and child sex abuse for what adult female rape of a teen boy can do to that boy. It’s not pretty, or “lucky”.

Secondly, not all offenders have their genitals anymore. Chemical castration used to be an option for the courts (I’m not sure if this is still the case) and some offenders who claimed they wanted to stop harming others actually asked for this procedure. Studies showed that it wasn’t a perfect solution, either; some offenders had their criminal and horrid urges return over time. Other offenders had vasectomies, volunteered for or not, but not all of those men stopped their crimes. Some offenders have had their genitals removed (by accident or via vigilante revenge) yet those men still commit rape and abuse. How is this possible? Because the urge to harm others is not inside the sex organs – it is inside the mind.

Those who read my journal know that I am a survivor of incest, rape, abuse, and torture. My father trained, conditioned, and taught me from my first memories that I had been born in order to provide him with sex. The first time he raped me I was four years old, but that was not the first time he touched or penetrated my body. What is typically known as “grooming a child” to be a pedophile’s victim was not really necessary in my case. I was in a house with this man, raised to obey him, raised to believe I was his property and had no rights at all. Most of his fascination with torture came along when I was a teen, but as a child, if I didn’t obey or follow instructions/rules to the letter, I was “punished”. Some of these punishments resulted in my worst injuries, a few of which continue to handicap me to this day.

When times got tough, he used his genius wit and social skills to find and gather “clients”, and rented me to other pedophiles. He had a downstairs bedroom off of our living room set aside for this, and scheduled these men for convenient time slots. If they allowed him to watch, they got a discount.

Some of these “clients” I only saw once or a few times, but others became regulars, and my father started referring to them as his “club”. They were prominent and powerful men at the time and he was proud of the fact that he was their leader, because he owned what they all wanted, what he offered to them, without the risk of legal interference. I was trained and owned, so there was no need to abduct boys, no risk of being caught “grooming” their target victims, or acting out on their sick urges. In the privacy of our home, they could pay for exactly which deviant acts they wanted and commit them without fear.

None of these men were anything but horrible rapists and abusers to me, but the worst one was a man who never touched me with anything but his hands and teeth, and the tools and objects he brought with him. It was many “visits” later before I found out why he never raped me the way the others did. He said he needed to piss (they never used child-appropriate language, why would they?) and I almost felt relief because as humiliating as being sat in a tub and used as a lavatory was, it didn’t physically hurt. I was confused when he didn’t order me into the bathroom as a few of the others had done. Then he took down his pants and I was horrified. His genitals were missing. There was a small tube there in folds of skin, like a narrow straw. Now I know the word for “catheter” but I didn’t know anything about that then. He made me use the tube like a straw before bringing out his tools to hurt me. He told me a boy had done that to him, a teen boy. He said if I ever disobeyed, my father would let him do that to me.

This is why I cringe when I see comments like “cut off his balls”. I know the person saying it is simply expressing an outraged reaction to a horrible crime, and I empathize with their horror; but mine goes a lot deeper. I know that cutting off a pedophile’s genitals doesn’t stop them from raping and abusing children. It just makes them use a curling iron or beer bottle instead. Sometimes, it makes them a worse monster than they ever were when they could use their genitals to rape. This urge to harm, to rape, to destroy children – it is inside the pedophile’s diseased mind, not in their pants. Whatever method the judicial system decides to use now, or discovers in the future, to control or stop these monsters – removing or altering their genitals is not the way. It can make them want to destroy a child even more.

~ ~ ~

 W.R.R. 2/8/2012
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse. You are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.


Hear the echo
tiny little feet
they run while others chase
hide and seek
with nowhere to hide
Shaking in the cupboard
bruised face
struck by sink pipe
don’t cry out
fade, fade, fade
Another game
caught under bleachers
so many fists and feet
hold your head
and fade
Face pressed to wall
the seekers have found
a man turns to dust
and begins to fade
Dust falls on a memory
but never softens the blow
as pain wells
in body, in mind the same
fade, fade, fade

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 1/31/2011
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse. You are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.


Set a child on a fancy horse
that goes round and round
laughter pealing out on the wind
Is it just a rare memory?
or is it a lie?
There’s a man behind
holding the strap
to keep him safe from falling
but he is not what he seems
Whirl of colors, lights, sounds
fantastic creatures jump and twirl
but the hand on the back
pressed into a spreading bruise
can turn the music to a din
and cotton candy dreams
slowly turn to ashes
breathe, choke, forget again
A child is not a pretty toy
a gift to barter or sell
bound head to toe in expectations
like bright ribbons
that tighten like a noose
A simple phrase spoken
brings it all back:
You got to get back on the horse, son
The image in mind’s eye is clear
rearing hooves, wild face, staring eye
it was black, flat paint
its expression frozen in a cry
the mane was stiff, not soft
the saddle wet with urine
as the giant hand slid inside
the tiny little clothes

~ ~ ~

© W.R.R. 3/2/2012
For all survivors of any form of rape or abuse. You are not alone. Speak out. Find your path to healing.