I’m a Man Who Forgave My Rapist; Now I’m Free
As a boy, you're taught different things that help you become a man. Taught from those you idolize and can't do wrong in your eyes. As a child, I would happily be willing to share time over my grandmother's house. Lois is pretty much what I became to be: drink, smoke a square and talk shit with friends as the normal calming period of our lives. Her best friend was always around, and she had a nephew she would bring over at times. He seemed cool, even though he was much older. That wasn't uncommon for me.
I would bowl against adults for money when I was quite young, and still bowl, play cards or pool now as an adult. I was quite different because I was a good bowler when I was really young. Money wasn't the only reason for gambling so young; I did it for the competition. And even though I won a lot, those men respected me, and we grew a relationship like they had with my father. We became friends.
After a few weeks of playing with the nephew of my grandmother’s friend, that is where it started and stopped. Amongst the men I talked about, there never became a situation where I felt uncomfortable. And those men were doing things like slipping me a drink late at night while my father was playing poker over one of their houses, or passing me a square. I was still young, but I was far beyond my age. That became because of one man: the nephew of my grandma's friend.
When there was rape or molestation, I never understood the words...until it happened to me. As a child, eight years old to be exact, you only see what is in front of you. I saw dick. That wasn't the sexually explicit poems I got in trouble for when the teacher asked our parents to come into class and explain why this was wrong in the second grade. It was an older man trying to place his penis in me for a nut that would never happen as my grandmother was in the next room.
Would I suck it? Would I touch it? Would I be held down? Thankfully for my love of women and common sense, I was able to give a third eye of “get the fuck out of there.” That was only after being held down as he was sucking my dick, as he was bigger and older and afterwards wanted me to reciprocate. Oh, hell no.
It may have felt good, but the wrong of wrongdoing had me feeling personally attacked. It was a sensation of what I had seen before from men as they were reaching their moment of satisfaction, watching porn from my parents’ VHS tapes that were hid in the closet. I was troubled with questions to be asked that went unaswnered. Does this make me gay now? Do I have an attraction to men? Why did I cum? Why did it feel good? Was I going to hell?
Who was I at this young age to say what I really felt or find comfort to say to someone that I could trust? How do you tell your parents or those you know who love you? You're a boy, but you're raised to become a man in every aspect of life. This wasn't manly. Even as a boy, I gambled and talked shit amongst what appeared to be the strongest men in the world. But...THAT day, I couldn't holler or scream or fight back? I was a fucking weakling in my eyes. It didn't matter how old I was, I LET IT HAPPEN. Those were my thoughts. They still are at times. I was hurt, uncomfortable and sad. I just let a man abuse me.
The days after, I bowled with a fire inside of me. Those people who were my friends never saw this side of me before. I was angry at the world, angry at myself, angry with not being able to tell anyone. How would I be received? A coward.
Days, months, years, would go past, and all I could do was punch holes through bowling alley walls, people or drink myself overboard to forget what had happened. I was older now, but I became an alcholic after one troublesome incident. It still doesn't sit right with me, but through my teenage years, I fought the fear and I told people. When I told my mother, she sat with me for hours as I cried in her arms, and she told me a similar story of what happened to her. The next day, I got angrier. I told my brother, and he wanted to kill him. That was my thought as well at this time, but we never sent a searching party. We had a way of speaking without speaking. And so it was.
After finding what was hidden for so many years in my heart, I found love. I still don't respect him, I still have no words to speak for or anger myself at what had happened. The many years of catholic school where I barely paid attention were finally paying off. It's not to forgive, per se. It's the option that you have, but that my story can be told without fear of embarrassment or shame when you had no wrongdoing. Many men have that complex symptom of rightfully being held to a standard of man they became to know. That day, and years past, I wasn't the man I would become to be. I was afraid of what would people would think of me. Not anymore.
Years later, around twenty-two, I was a respected person, common to the belief that what goes around comes around. Wouldn't you know? I saw the person who gave me ages of reprehensible grief getting off the bus. I told my brother, "that was him!" He asked if I wanted to do anything about it, while approaching without my response. I told him to stop and my response was how I react to a situation now: let him be. I don't know if it was the kind-hearted self that I am, or the misery I saw in his eyes. He looked at me. He hadn't seen me since I was a child, but he knew it was me. He was frantically walking, damn near running. Scared. That in its own, was a look of shame and forgiveness.
In that light, I forgave him in his way of saying sorry. Although, I may never forget that moment, I can understand when one understands their wrongdoing. So, I let it slide. The biggest mistake of his will haunt him for life, as I continue to blossom into the man I'm supposed to be. His justice is waiting, but just because you're a man, doesn't mean you shouldn't speak. After those words and telling my loved ones, I am now free.