Monday, September 12, 2011

Because Children Don't Bounce Back...

On August 17th, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland there was an academic seminar held on the subject of pedophilia. Specifically, it was held to argue in favor of removing it as a psychiatric abnormality in the DSM-5, or the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  In essence, pedophilia would be renamed to minor-attraction and would be considered a sexual orientation rather than a disorder.  Now, if you've been hiding under a rock or are just oblivious to the news, that's exactly what they did with homosexuality in 1986. Fast forward 25 years, and homosexuality is no longer illegal, homosexual relationships have been elevated in status as being equivalent to marriage, and laws have been enacted to force children to learn in schools (often without parental consent or, worse, in spite of parental dissent) about homosexuality and that it is natural and normal.

Imagine, in 25 years, what the landscape will look like for children in America when pedophilia is no longer illegal and many people in society accept it because the law says it is okay. Picture your child going to school and being reprimanded for complaining because a teacher or other adult is making sexual advances toward them, or being ignored when a teacher or adult uses their influence to push the children into having sex with them.  These children might be giving their "consent" - but that's the reason they are minors in the first place. Our society understands their brains and their knowledge and their experience aren't adequate to deal with life on their own. They need adults who have their best interests in mind to help them make sense of things.

I have heard it said many times that children "bounce back" from every hardship and adversity and trauma thrown at them, and I am here to tell you that isn't an accurate statement at all.  They don't bounce back, they absorb whatever  happens to them as part of their world view. In other words, they come to see it as part of "the way the world works" and they accept the abnormal as the normal because the people they trust most tell them that's what it is.

When I was four years old a "minor attracted" man moved into my mother's home with me and my two siblings. He proceeded to molest me for the next five years. At age five, he taught me how to french kiss. At age six, he taught me how to perform oral sex on him.  At age seven, he began performing oral sex on me. I didn't know that I could say no to him. He was my father, and I was taught to obey him, so I did.  I was terrified of him, terrified of saying no to him because his wrath was quick as lightning and he enjoyed hurting us.  He would frighten us on purpose, because it made him feel powerful.  I learned not to cry, because crying only fed his sick need for power over me and made him hurt me even more.

I endured it for five years, telling people but having no one hear me until I told my mother for the second time. Then, Mom took us to child protective services. He'd been doing it to all three of us. His going to jail was not the end of that trauma, though. It was just the first step on a long road of healing. What he did to me impacted every single corner of my life. It shaped and formed the way that I related to every other human being I met. His abuse taught me that I was an object, only valuable if I was pleasing someone. I wasted more than half of my life trying to please others by being whatever I thought they wanted or needed me to be. His abuse taught me it wasn't okay to say no when I didn't feel comfortable, taught me to feel guilty for setting boundaries. His abuse taught me not to trust the people who were in authority. His abuse taught me that the only way to relate to men was through sex, and it took me a long, long time to unlearn what he taught me so well.

No, I didn't "bounce back".  What he did shattered my personality. I've spent years trying to re-assemble myself, trying to put back the broken pieces and form a new whole. Pedophilia isn't normal. It's not healthy, and may God have mercy on the souls of anyone who says it is.  If you struggle with an attraction to minors, get help. I don't condemn you for the struggle, but I do condemn you acting on it. Please, America, wake up. Don't let them normalize this. Don't let this happen to your kids. I don't care how "gentle" they say they are with children. Sexual abuse attacks the very foundation of everything a child needs to learn in order to be able to truly love someone else: trust, respect, proper male-female relationships, boundaries, and self-respect. It is a slow poison that eats a child from the inside out.

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