#Metoo Knows No Gender
September 25, 2018
I may have been four or five years old. It started one night with a babysitter. My parents, on a much needed night out without me pulling on their heels, headed out for a date night. I was left with a trusted female neighbor. She was probably 13 or 14 years old.
At the door as my mom and dad left, I remember my mom telling the sitter that I liked Captain Crunch as a snack sometimes. I recall the red box, on its side with the character I remember staring at many times on mornings before a day of play, sitting on the top shelf as she pointed out where it was as she came back in to make sure the sitter knew where to find it in case I wanted some.
As my parents left, I remember being scared as I had never been left with a non-family member up to that point. My aunt Julie had always been my sitter, but this evening didn’t work out for her to be there.
I don’t remember a whole lot of how it started after they left. The mind has a weird way of repressing things, but I occasionally get glimpses that pop back in my mind.
I remember her making me take my pants off through threats of violence. In a mask of tears, I obeyed in fear. She let me keep my shirt on.
I remember her turning off all the lights in the house and screaming for help as she locked me in my parents’ room. I don’t recall how long, but it felt like forever. My cries for my mom went unheard.
I remember her making me urinate into a bowl. It was a white bowl with a decorative swirl around the top edge on the outside. I remember seeing those bowls in other homes as they were pretty common for the time. I wonder how commonly they were used for this purpose.
I remember hiding in my parents’ closet to keep her from trying some new form of torture.
I remember seeing her days after as I drove off with my parents, her glaring as though we had an unknown secret, one that she knew I wasn’t brave enough to share.
And that’s all.
That’s all I can remember.
I know my parents were gone for at least a couple of hours. I’m aware that there may have been other things she may have done…I honestly have no idea. They may have come home right away after hiding in the closet. What I do know is that my mind bottled up what happened that night. My parents still don’t know, and I’m a 30 something year old man. In fact, there may only be two or three people on this pale blue dot who know about it.
I’m one of your teachers. You may have had me in class. I have a good life – a loving wife and kids, a nice house, no real worries or threats in the world. I don’t cry myself to sleep at night. I don’t honestly think about that night from my childhood much anymore.
You see, sexual abuse knows no gender. I was a four or five year old little boy who was abused by my female teenage neighbor. A lot has been made lately of the #metoo movement and why victims might be inclined to hide what has happened to them.
I can’t speak for every victim, but what I know is that the mind has a way to protect itself. Sometimes triggers are presented that bring these things back to the surface. They make the victim remember a new piece or relive something that happened. For me, hearing the dialogue around victims waiting until it’s most opportune is a terrible mindset to have, and they honestly bring to life the night described above. Some of us can’t help when it surfaces.
I was four or five years old. Her name was Cindy.