Sunday, October 22, 2017
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Dedication

Dedicated to kids who survived violent training, dysfunctional parents, incest, child rape and broken family trust. Also dedicated to those kids who didn't survive . . . and to those who still keep the secret.
  • Dennis, who grew up in an extremely violent family, back when toughness was prized, who was praised and rewarded violence; forced to act tough and be tough, or else the beating at home would be worse.
  • Dewdy, what did happen to you?  You are silent, dark, angry and full of rage. 
  • BNN, who has shared her childhood pain; a pedophile, a trusted family friend who betrayed everyone I loved
  • Gingee, who shared her childhood pain of being unmercifully teased
  • Hap, how the memory of a cruel, frigid mother gave away to total vulgarity as his father's body lay cooling in the parlor
  • Gloria, who was snowed in with her siblings for two weeks as a child, yet never once opened the locked cupboards for food, so great was their fear of father. They salvaged food from the garbage pile under the snow and boiled potato peelings to survive.
  • Gerald Ray, whose preteen experience with a mother and daughter left him forever marked by to constantly prove sexual prowess
  • Ronnie and siblings, whose childhood was filled with extreme violence in an era when family violence was considered a "private family matter."
  • Cousin Gary, whose mother called him the worst of names, so he tried to live up to all of them.
  • Friends, who related their personal stories
  • Observations as a C.A.S.A., legal advocate for battered women, volunteer on the crisis line and researcher for this website
  • They mysterous young girl who asked if kissing would get you pregnant yet went on to tell of her special "chair" she was to sit in when her step father snapped his fingers.
  • Acquaintances I have met in many different venues and over a lifetime of employment and travel.
  • Nameless street people
  • Mumbling late stage alcholics who recounted memories of rape, incest, loaded guns, and unspeakable violations
  • Teens pumping gas in eastern Oregon who shared their story
  • The father who waited outside a truck stop restaurant to relate his custody battle to protect his daughters from the pedophile boyfriend of their mother
  • Truck drivers in long haul truck stops
  • Strangers in restaurants and banks
  • Veterans who suffered dual traumas of child sexual abuse and combat
  • Al, were you born a predator or taught by a family friend who committed suicide
  • Ida Mae K. Hillcrest School for Girls; Salem, OR (Winter 1960-1961)
  • The nameless, but not forgotten baby who screamed all night, waiting to die from inoperable rape injuries. Intake Cottage A between December 1960 - January 1961
  • "Hugs not Hogs" I will always remember you; The haunting memories of a nine year old boy, raped, sodomized and fed drugs to numb the pain, shame and rage by incestuous family members, unable to feel normal, afraid of the dark and what lurked there to harm him; a grown man who was still so afraid he would rather die of drink than spend a moment sober reliving the terror
  • AA Members who secretly wonder,  "Who will make amends to me for what I suffered as a child?"  "Will anyone ever say they were sorry?"
  • Anonymous: Many people shared their painful childhood memories during my wandering years.
  • Truck drivers who honked in support of the signs, "Stop Child Abuse" on the sides of my pickup along I-5, I-80, I-84 and many other US roads.
  • At truck stops in the Yukon Territory, British Columbia and Alberta, Canada
  • At the intersection of Bragaw and Mountain View Drive, in Anchorage, Alaska where twice I met the same man coming around the corner who yelled, "Right On, Lady!" And shook his fist in support.
  • Tinker, whose eyes still reflect the pain of child abandonment over 40 years ago
  • S., who remembers back to about 4 years old, when the cop stopped his father's car and he was sitting naked on his fathers  lap
  • Alcoholic men who tell of sexual abuse by older brothers
Such sadness and pain decades later.  Ruined lives.  Such a waste of humanity.  Such sorrow.
So many stories, all different yet alike; the memories, the pain, the rage, the shame, all bubbling below the surface, decades later.
Wanting, above all else, for someone to notice them, to say, "I am sorry for your childhood pain, for your loss of innocence, it was not right, what happened to you.  It was not your fault.  You are OK, for I am here.  We will stand together with heads held high and tell our stories."
 
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