Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

My Rape Story

I was 12 or 13 years old, back in ’72 or ’73.   It was summer.   I played outside with my friends and did whatever young boys do, with time on their hands and no supervision.   My friend Bob and I were outside goofing around.  We ran into Jimmy, a man that lived in the neighborhood.  He was tall, thin, had a mustache and long hair, in his late 20’s or early 30’s.   He often said hello to me as he walked by.   Bob and I saw him and we got to talking.   There was a forest preserve across the street from my house, where I often played.   As we walked along talking, we entered the woods.  I had no reason to be suspicious.   I was always in those woods.

(Cross-posted at The National Gadfly)

Somehow, Jimmy and I became separated from Bob.   We were alone in the woods.  He told me that he wanted to tell me a joke, but that we should go further up the hill, away from the path.   Once we were away from the path by a good measure, he told me that he wanted me to “do him a favor”.   I had become nervous, but I was too frightened to move.   I feared that I might upset him if I did.   I began to think in my mind as to how I might control this situation.   But, I was not the one in control.

By now, he had a hold of me and was pulling me to the ground.   He said that he wanted to “lean on me”  I didn’t know what it meant, but I was terrified.  He pulled me down and his grip was very strong.   I remember thinking of what I might be able to say, to make him think that I was not going to run and at the same time, get free of his grip.   I remember pleading with Jimmy, begging him to stop, to let me go.   He was still trying to get me to lie down and was taking off his shirt or something.  I remember him loosening his belt and pants.  I remember him dropping his pants.  It was all happening so fast and I didn’t know what to do.  I was crying and asking for him to stop, but he wouldn’t stop.

Then, I think we heard Bob on the trail, looking for us.  Jimmy still had me, but now he was asking me to promise to keep this a secret.  Not to tell anyone.  I was so frightened but I was so relieved that I might be able to get away from this place in the woods.  I promised him that I would.  Suddenly, I was aware that I was free from Jimmy’s grip.   I felt as if I had come back from the grave.   I saw light returning to the forest.   I could hear things…birds, cars, planes.

I found Bob, and Jimmy came up right behind me.   I didn’t tell Bob anything right there.   He looked at my eyes and we just got out of there.   We separated from Jimmy and he asked me what the hell happened.   I told him and he said that he thought as much.   We discussed what to do…go to the police, tell our parents…what?   We didn’t tell anyone.   We were pretty sure that we were the ones that would get in big trouble.   I was sure that I would.  We told no one.  I told no one – for years.  I think that I told my parents about 15 years later, when we were all liquored up one night.

I was lucky that a friend came back to find me.   If he had run into another pal and taken off to do something else for a while, I might not even be here.

I saw Jimmy around the neighborhood a few times more and then not again.  Bob and I stuck together for months.   I never went outside without knowing for a fact that Bob was around.   I felt lucky that my parents and nobody else knew.   I was a skinny kid and the common insult back then was ‘fag’.   I didn’t want to be called fag for the rest of my school days.   I didn’t want to be in trouble with my parents or police or have Jimmy come looking for me, if he found out I had told on him.

I pretended that it never happened, but it did.   It took me years – over a decade to admit that I was not the guilty one.   When I could bring myself to think about it, I was clear that Jimmy was not gay.   He was a child molester.   They are not the same thing.

My rape story is one that has some lucky breaks – I lived.  My story is a survivor’s story.  It has colored my world view.  I think that it allows me to stand one step closer into someone else’s shoes. Thousands of children go up into the woods every day and do not come home.  Children are raped and killed in every country in the world.  Children, barely able to think for themselves.

At the top of the human social ladder is .01% of the population running empires of weapons, oil, drugs, finance and bureaucracy that exists only to make them richer.  While at the very bottom of the pile, being starved, raped, mutilated, burned and murdered – are hundreds of thousands of children whose lives are forever shattered every day.

I don’t know how the world gets fixed, how the economy turns around, how jobs come back and how we fight terrorists.  I don’t know how anything gets solved.  I do know however, that I don’t know how to fix all this crap, all the lies and all the cruelty. I do believe that until the children are safe from the absolute worst of humanity, we have done nothing.

Until then, Rick Santelli can pay the fucking mortgage on everybody’s house.

– gadfly


  1. “I do believe that until the children are safe from the absolute worst of humanity, we have done nothing.”

    That’s all I can say right now. This touched a very raw nerve.

  2. Michelle

    I admire your strength and courage to step forward to share this horrifying experience.  Finding one’s voice after such trauma is unbelievably challenging, and I am heartbroken that your path to finding your voice was so difficult.

    So many men and boys feel overwhelming shame at having been raped, and yet they rarely speak up because of what I suspect are a variety of cultural expectations.  I applaud your voice in speaking up here as a survivor and as an advocate for using our resources to fight the ills of the world, especially the inhumanities committed against children.

    Speaking out and fighting against sexual assault is something near and dear to my heart as a survivor myself, though I was raped as an adult.  It is appalling to me that these atrocities exist, that a child molester lives around the corner from me.  I know this because I checked the sex offender registry.  Every time I see him, I have bloodlust, and children live right next door to him.  The fucking damage done from rape is unfathomable.

    We need to do better as a country when it comes to our children.  We need more strong voices like yours.

  3. I see that boy that you were, and the terror and guilt he felt, and that poignant line…

    I pretended that it never happened, but it did.

    Having known several victims of childhood abuse (some of them very close to me) that’s the line that comes through again and again: the wishing it away, the blaming of the self, the guilt and horror carried through the intervening years. I don’t know about you Gadfly, but my experience of these things is that childhood victims of abuse tend to think of themselves as uniquely cursed, uniquely bad, uniquely punished. And that’s the terrible damage these acts do. They rob you of a future as well as a past.

    The more people are open about this, the more they know they are not uniquely cursed, and can begin to break down the mistrust and horror of the memory, and realise that – bar this mad/bad/sick few who use you – most people are loving and attentive.

    I had a near rape situation with a senior patrol leader in Scout camp when I was 111 (he was 14), and though he proceeded to bully me when I go away, I never went through the guilt or trauma of what you did. It’s often overlooked, but young boys are victims of abuse as young girls, mainly from older men, but sometimes women too.

    Sexual abuse has little to do with gender – it’s more the ultimate power trip of adulthood over vulnerable childhood.

    The other thing that makes this diary so important is that, though the vast majority of abused children never go on to abuse others, nearly all abusers themselves are victims of child abuse. I could look up the figures, but it’s somewhere in the 90 per cent plus mark.

    That makes it more important that we talk about it, and air – as you have done so valiantly – in safe and thoughtful spaces such as the Moose. Breaking the silence helps the victims. It can also help prevent potential perpetrators too.  

  4. Neef

    how moving I found this. I really don’t have the words. But I’m posting to let you know you moved me.

  5. I’ve bumped heads with many folks (here and everywhere) on issues of gender.  The noted advantages of being male are in my opinion often overstated and simplified when discussing the noted challenges of being female.  Your story demonstrates issues that are beyond gender as well as some which are very specific to men and boys.

    It is almost trite to say I find your story moving.  I do, and you have my respect and my sorrow and my support for living it and for sharing it.  You are entirely correct to say that until we can protect our children we must wonder what we have accomplished at all.  Rather than vilifying Jimmy, however, I feel for the boy he was who without doubt suffered trauma that turned him into the man you encountered.  We cannot address the risk to the boys without addressing the genesis of the men who threaten them.

    In Nov 2007 I met a couple, both British police officers, who work with child predators.  He captures them through online investigations, she works with them in prison.  The summary of hours of conversation is that, while it is tempting to simply hate these men, in reality they are just normal men who have been warped by their lives.  Their heads don’t spin around, they are aware of the harm they do, they are wracked with guilt, and they are largely unable to control themselves.

    I don’t believe we are going to do much to protect our children from these (primarily) men until we address the unique struggles of males in our society.  There is no diminishing of the unique struggles of females to recognize and address the unique struggles of males.  

  6. Holli De Groote

    I have seen this issue from the other side. People I care about and children I have worked with. I put much of a decade trying to help families and kids. Way too often, the system does nothing.

    The really sad part is that this is completely preventable. It would take a generation, but if we could stop peds from assaulting children, this behavior could be almost eliminated within 30 to 50 years. Kind of the way we cured small pox and polio.

    If we actually helped families be strong and successful, educated everyone, really protected kids, and figured out a way to deal with offenders, we could eliminate child abuse as well. Many will scoff at this, but I absolutely believe this can be accomplished.

    I am aware of numerous communities that are meeting these problems head on. I will need to look them up, but numerous Native communties have implemented amazing programs that are dealing with these issues. One in Canada has almost eliminated child molestation over the past 15 years.  

  7. … I’m having a difficult time figuring out how to say this. Then again, maybe I’m just having a hard time saying it. That is not the same thing, although it might seem so to some people.

    When I read this diary, the first thought that came to me was how brave gadfly was to write this for people to read. Talking about what has happened to you as a child can be very difficult when it comes to molestation. This is definitely one subject where people do not like playing the victim.

    I was 10 years old when I was molested. I wasn’t able to speak of this to anyone until I was 55 even though I had tried a few sessions of therapy with a couple of different therapists. You would think this would be one of the first things I would want to talk about with them. Unfortunately, it is not true.

    Why didn’t I want to talk about it? Plain and simple guilt. What was it about me that made him choose me? Did I encourage it? Was it something I really wanted, as he claimed? Wasn’t it all my fault, since children do bad things and adults do good things? Besides, who would believe a child over an adult? Would my parents still love me if they knew? Would everyone call me a fag if they knew? Would they laugh at me and make jokes about me? What was wrong with me? Good God, I was only 10 years old when it happened. It was not my fault. Yet, I still have a hard time with it.

    I am now 61 years old and this is the first time I have admitted openly talked about this with anyone other than family. I still can’t face up to every affect this has had on my life. Writing that first comment where I mentioned my own experience with abuse was really difficult. Writing this comment is also extremely difficult. How in hell are we going to get children to talk about this if adults find it so painful and difficult?

    I don’t know the answer to that question. All I know is that I am thankful I didn’t turn out to be one of the abused that became an abuser. Some do, others develop an almost irrational hatred for abusers. I’m more like the second group. I would like to see us round up every admitted member of NAMBLA and isolate them from society. I’m a pretty compassionate person, but there is not an ounce of mercy in my soul when it comes to this subject.

    I sat here and read this comment over and over before I could bring myself to hit post. It doesn’t get any easier as time goes on.

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