Comments for Child Abuse Story From John

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Jun 29, 2009
You were sexually abused...
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

John, you were in the care of two perverts. Al sexually abused you, even if he didn't touch you himself. His mother did as well. The fact that Al forced you and the other two boys to touch each other is a form of sexual abuse. And the fact that you were all young males, and likely experienced an erection during those "washings", may well have left you with all sorts of questions about your sexuality. You would have felt (and been) helpless in your situation. But let me be clear, John, it is perfectly natural for a young male to have an erection (and to have an orgasm-this can happen to females as well) when they are being sexually assaulted. That doesn't mean that abuse did not take place. And your father failed you. You had the courage to tell him, yet he called you a liar. The fact that he refused to believe you, refused to believe his son over what he believed his friend to be, basically threw you to the wolves that second summer. I can understand why you would be having nightmares about those two summers.

Counselling may be able to help you to come to terms with that time in your life. You certainly didn't deserve to be sexually abused, either by Al or by his mother. You DO deserve help for the fact that you were. Always remember that you and those two other boys were not complicit in what happened. You were controlled and powerless. But you aren't controlled and powerless anymore. Seek the help you need, John.

Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me.

A Video Reading by Darlene Barriere
Darlene Barriere
Violence & Abuse Prevention Educator
Author: On My Own Terms, A Memoir

Jun 29, 2009
Thank you for sharing
by: Rhianna

Dear John,

I think you are brave to share your story after all these years. It seems you pushed it to the back of your mind and got on with life, but that it is still rumbling away in the background.

I agree with Darlene that you could try counselling. I would also recommend EMDR, as this treatment has been found to be helpful in terms of processing trauma.

What a couple of perverted losers Al and his mother were!! Did they have nothing better to do with their time and energy than to torment and abuse young boys. What sad and pathetic figures they were.

They should have been grateful for your help John, should have rewarded you and the other boys accordingly and treated you all with kindness and due respect. Instead, what you got was a kind of weird and warped slavery experience coupled with abuse.

I think Al and his mother belonged on the farm with the animals actually, although the animals were probably too good for them in reality! They were rolling in the muck of their own making, wallowing in the mire.

Yes Darlene is right that this was abuse, sick and perverted exploitation. You were in their care and they took advantage of your age and vulnerability. What's more you were actually working for them, doing them a favour, and this is how they repaid you. Shame on them!

You, or someone else, might say "Why did we put up with this sort of treatment? Why did we not stand up for ourselves and fight back like men?" These sorts of feelings of having been a participant in abuse can be more pronounced if we are older when it takes place (and if we are male). Interestingly, I read today about the rapper and actress Queen Latifah seeking therapy for the guilt which she felt about having been a participant in the abuse she experienced in childhood. Apparently the shame, guilt and trauma meant that she had kept her experiences locked inside for many years.

Queen Latifah is now 39, you are in your 50s. The situation you describe took place at a time when child abuse was much more of a taboo subject than it is now. The different age, i.e. 1960s is also significant here I feel. Children had less power then, society was more hierarchical, children and young people were "seen and not heard". This coupled with the lack of awareness about child abuse in society meant that you were bound to be vulnerable in such a situation. Of course the sickos Al and his mother knew all about this and knew that they could therefore more than likely get away with their perverted plans. (Just as priests in their positions of trust and authority have also known that they could get away with abuse.)

Jun 29, 2009
Thank you for sharing (continued)
by: Rhianna

I assume this (the '60s) might also partly account for why your father did not believe you. Maybe he thought you were making up excuses not to go back to the farm.... and like the "upstanding" priests, Sicko Al was a supposedly "upstanding mr nice guy" in the community, like a lot of abusers appear to be from the outside - I know because my father, abuser, was a hospital consultant and people thought he was wonderful.

So-called "pillars of the community" the "nice guys" come in many shapes and sizes! Maybe your father was grateful to sicko Al and his mother for looking after you during the holidays, keeping you gainfully occupied, teaching you new skills and giving you useful work to do.

All this just goes to show how sad it is that adults have consistently failed to listen to and believe children when we have spoken out about abuse. However, when they hear us say the same thing as adults, then awareness will generally increase, so thank you for speaking out.

I feel that your story is important for a number of reasons. It shows that we may try to bury our experiences, but that they stay with us over the years and continue to affect us. It demonstrates that there are different forms of abuse and exploitation, which do not always involve penetrative sex, but which are damaging. It highlights the power imbalances between adults and children and encourages adults and parents to listen to children when we speak out about experiences of abuse.

Thank you for sharing your story. I hope that you will get the sort of help you need, if you decide to seek help.

Good luck and all the best to you Dear John!

Jun 30, 2009
Naivety, innocence, being controlled sadly gave many people false power over us.
by: Maurice

Naming how or what we were growing up Naive, Innocent, Ignorant, etc is no justification for us being abused. John you re-awakened in me such feelings of me in my innocent years working on a farm too. The things some of the men did to me and the other boys all of us in our teens. Those two people were perverts John, abusing you the way they did. Letting go won't be all that easy. But at your age of 55 it will go away with professional listening and advice for you. Once you begin the process those horrible happenings to you and those boys will never leave you but you will bury them deep enough so they will not effect your life now. Great darlene has written loving caring words please take heed of her. Rhianna powerful too in her loving of you and her congratulations for writing your story. You have given great hope to others of your age group and generation. I am 62. 1964 brings back how naive, innocent, I was in all that I allowed happen me on that farm.

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