(Cleveland, Ohio, USA)
Unknowingly, I lived with a pedophile for about 5 months. He was my boyfriend, and when we broke up, I started writing down all my memories and realized they added up to someone with an extreme addiction to young boys.
The whole framework of his existence was that of a pedophile, but I didn't realize it at the time. He loved Peter Pan, The Who, and Lord of the Rings (but didn't really know what the movie was about, just often said he loved it). I knew about Peter Townsend, but who knew about the author of Peter Pan? He has groomed a family so well that they refuse to even let their children be interviewed by a trained specialist, and manipulated me so well that when a sexual abuse incident took place right in my own home, I didn't even suspect it until much later. He manipulated me to make sure he and a boy were behind closed doors, "napping". Weeks of planning went into this situation, and looking back at it, I can't believe the risks he took, and the manipulation that he used to make this happen.
We couldn't attend a play or movie because there would be children around. We had to dine at the bar if we were at a restaurant so his anxiety level didn't go through the roof. If we were in a situation with children, his anxiety level would grow so much that he would snap at anyone...me, the usher, an acquaintance from church, anyone.
I finally began suspecting it when he had a complete mental breakdown after a fight and I told him our relationship was over. He told me he knew he was an abuser, and a monster, and he's so ashamed of what he does, but he can't help himself. Between sobs, he told me he had been abused by a babysitter as a young child for years, and physically abused by his parents. At first, I had thought he was talking about abusing me, but the words he used fit a child abuser much better. I then began to notice that when he was around children, he would physically sweat, smoke a lot more than typical, have stomach problems, and his anger would get out of control.
From watching this, I believe it is truly an addiction, and although I have found it in my heart to have compassion for him, I also know that I must do what I can to make sure he stops what he's doing. We need to break the chain. He's an abuser because he was abused. The children he has groomed - 2 little boys, ages 5 and 6, are destined to be the same. They love him so much, and it won't be years until they start to realize that he only loved them for something much different than what they and their family thought.
I've told the mother, and even reported this to Children Services, but she's refusing to cooperate. He's made himself so indispensable to her – providing free baby-sitting whenever, and financial support for the past 6 years.
I am sad I can't save these boys, but I'm doing what I can to tell my story.
Darlene's comments to this Child Abuse Article "Child Abuse: Pedophiles Groom and Manipulate" can be found at Comments below this submission. Depending on system activity, there are sometimes delays in comments going live on my site; but rest assured, they do eventually appear. So if you don't yet see them, I hope you will return later to read what I, and possibly others, have written. I thank you for your patience and understanding.
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