Tuesday, January 31, 2006

My Immortal

Your presence still lingers here
And it won't leave me alone
These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase
It’s my fault. It’s all my fault. It was only lanyard!!! It’s not like it was a rope or something. I could’ve broken free and ran if I really wanted to. Lanyard is real easy to rip, especially when you are afraid for your life. But I didn’t. I gave in. I let this man do as he pleased. Why? I must have really wanted it. It wasn’t against my will. I must be a bad person. Let me explain…
He had the coolest car. He would drive it around camp to impress all the young campers. As Rainman would say, he was an “excellent driver”. He had two special talents when it came to driving. One was that he knew how to drive really really fast. Just like me, he was known for his speed. I used to be able to run really fast (I guess you can say that I needed too) and he used to be able to drive really fast. It was a common practice of his to drive well over 100 mph on the curvy and dangerous country roads. After all he was the coolest guy to ever walk this planet. Nothing could stop him, and no one was able to get in his way (I will discuss his second talent later).
Hey, you want to go for a ride with me in my car, he asked? It’ll be a lot of fun. We’ll go to this special area in the country that I found, that no one else knows about. There will be no cars around. That way we will be able to go over 100 mph down a really curvy and dark road. It’ll be a real thrill! I can’t say that I agreed, but somehow he understood that I was too afraid to tell him no.
So he and I snuck out of camp one night after curfew. I got to sit next to him in the front seat. What an honor! He was driving really fast. With the windows open he put on some really loud music too. He was singing together with the music. He was singing to me..."And here's to you Mrs. Robinson, Jesus loves you more than you will know" ...The car was hopping...What a thrill for a 19 -year-old who is still excited about the newness of driving, especially in the country where the roads are more dangerous. But for a 10 year old camper?
As he was driving me around, impressing me with his knowledge of all roads and all the shortcuts etc…I realized that he had another special talent when it came to driving. He was able to drive with only one hand on the steering wheel. His other hand was down my pants...
I was sort of used to this behavior by now. It was a common occurrence for the past two summers. It was what happened next that made “this night different than all the other nights of the year.”
He stopped the car. He had a serious look on his face. It was scary. What was going to happen next? He already molested me. He had his fun for the night, so what else could he want from me. Apparently I was wrong again.
We walked together into the woods (“va’yelchu sh’nayhem yachduv"). Abuser and I were in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the woods. All I could hear was the howling of all the wild animals that lived where we were. It wouldn’t have surprised me; at the time, if he told me that he was going to feed me to the wolves. I may have actually preferred that. I guess I was relieved when he told me that we were just going to play an innocent little game.
He picked a tree for me to stand near. He told me to close my eyes...I guess we were going to play hide and seek, I thought. That could be a little fun to lighten up my living nightmare. But that thought quickly ended when he took out the lanyard that he had in his pocket...Lanyard, huh? What was that for ("ayeh ha’sea le’olah")? My question was answered when he started tying my feet together. My hands were next. Apparently, I was going to be the sacrifice. He took out his red Swiss army knife and cut the lanyard and made a few tight knots. Whatever was about to happen i didnt know, but it seemd obvious that he knew i might not like it. So he tied my feet and hands real good so i could'nt escape the inevitable. My soul had already been killed last summer, but now I felt my heart die too. I thought that somehow at the end of this night I was going to literally die. I completely shut down. My mind turned off and my body went numb…
I can’t remember what happened after that. My next memory was being woken up by my counselor (and hearing all the annoncemnets being made over the loudspeaker)...Good Morning! It’s time for Cocoa Club...Don’t forget to say Modeh Ani...We all have to thank God for giving us another day of life…But I’m a little tired, I had a long night, I said… C’mon, hurry up get out of bed you lazy bum – davening is in 25 minutes…I watch everyone get out of bed. Some go to cocoa club and others sleep a few minutes later. My friends wake up with smiles looking forward to another fun and exciting day of camp activities, while I think about how ironic it is that today is Rosh Chodesh Av, the beginning of the nine days. I watch some of my fellow campers get out of bed and start to put on their yarmulkas and tzitzits over their t-shirts.
Hmmm…makes you think about God.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Summer of 69'

Oh when I look back now
That summer seemed to last forever
And if I had the choice
Yeah, I'd “never” wanna be there
Those were the “worst” days of my life

I was in fourth grade. I was 9 years old. I was a young, cute, and innocent boy. I had curly red hair with a face that was full of freckles (I call then sprinkles). I was full of energy and life. I loved to laugh, smile, and have fun. I liked to make people laugh and smile as well. My soul was free, uninhibited, and innocent...Oh, how I wish that I could still feel the same way today.
I loved sports. Watching sports is fun and all, but there’s nothing like playing sports, especially when you’re really good at it. One of the keys to being a popular kid in Yeshiva is to be good at sports. Everyone likes the guy that excells at sports. If you are good at sports than you are considered cool. For me, my favorite sport was, and always will be, football. I also enjoyed playing baseball, basketball, and hockey etc…
One Shabbos afternoon I was sitting in the living room with my parents when they showed me an advertisement in the Jewish Press. The advertisement was about a new sleep away camp that was opening up that summer. My parents asked me if I would be interested in going away for a month to this new exciting sleep away camp. I had never been away from home. I was scared. I told them that I would talk it over with my friends in school.
That week a few of my friends and I decided that we would be brave and go to sleep away camp. We would all be in the same bunk in this new camp. For me, although I was scared to leave home, the ability to play sports all day was a dream come true. It was an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up. I was very excited...I’m sure many of you can relate to that feeling of excitement that you feel when you’re about to go to summer camp – where it’s all about fun and games – for the very first time !!! Little did I know that my decision to go to camp would change my life forever!

I was only 9 years old. In June, I graduated the fourth grade and went on the bus to sleep away camp. Looking back at my first summer of camp – I don’t remember much. But what I do remember was that my athletic abilities and charm caught the eye of one “strange” counselor.

He was the most popular counselor in camp. When color war time came around, it was only natural that he was one of the Generals. He was always the referee of all the sporting games too. He was the guy who was in control, and to get to know him, and be friends with him, was the greatest honor a camper could ever wish for. So when he introduced himself to me – I was ecstatic. The cool counselor likes me. Not only that but he gives me free candy. He also promised me that if I hang out with him he’ll start giving me piggy-back rides and start taking me on trips to places where no one else goes. But, there was one condition. It had to be a secret. No one can know about our private, special, intimate relationship.

He made me one more promise. He knew how competitive I was on the sports field. He knew how much winning meant to me. He told me that he would referee my league games and that if I was in trouble, and my team was losing (on those rear occasions) he would cheat for me and make sure my team would win. An offer that I just couldn’t refuse. So, we became friends. We had a relationship. A relationship that would destroy every future relationship that I would have for the rest of my life, to date.

Even as a nine year old, I sensed that there was something very wrong. I didn’t know exactly what it was, but something just didn’t feel right. It felt very weird whenever he would give me a piggy-back ride. Piggy-back rides are supposed to be fun. I can remember on Simchas Torah my father putting me on his shoulders and dancing with me and the Torah. That was so much fun. But somehow with this man, it just wasn’t the same. He seemed to be doing it for himself. He seemed to be getting more pleasure out of it than me. Why was his body positioned in a way that he could feel certain parts of my body that were supposed to be private? Why do I feel like I am being violated?
The answer, to me, was obvious. I am a little kid and he is a mature adult – so obviously he knows what’s right and I don’t. If I think what’s going on is somehow wrong that’s because I’m only a kid and am unable to understand the true good that this adult is bestowing upon me. He is right, I am wrong.
But this still made no sense to me. What is going on, I don’t understand? Somebody please help me? I’m really scared now. Where’s my Mommy and Daddy? Why did they send me away to sleep away camp? Why is this cool counselor making me feel so uncomfortable and embarrassed? Why does our relationship have to be a secret?
My life was beginning to change. Light was beginning to turn into darkness. My childhood was ending, even though I was only 9. Confusion began to creep into my young soul. Something is wrong and there’s no one to help me…

Monday, January 23, 2006

Who am I?

I have trouble with my words
They don't seem to come out clear
but I want you all to know me
So I'll try
The time has come for me to start writing about my life. I have been reading various different blogs over the past few months and I feel like I am ready to start my own. Better yet, I need to start my own blog. It will be therapeutic for me. I am not a good writer by nature, but I will try my best.

A little background about myself: I am a frum Orthodox male in my mid-20’s. I have lived in Brooklyn my whole life. I went to regular main stream Yeshiva’s for elementary school and high-school and spent 3 years learning in a prestigious Yeshiva in Israel. So I’m your regular frum yeshiva guy...Or am I?

I graduated from Touro College a number of years ago, and I am continuing my secular studies, while working at the same time. So in addition to all the learning that I have done and continue to do, I’m also someone who has a career and indulges in everyday life. So I’m your regular learner/earner that looks so good on paper...Or am I?

I also have a good personality (at least people tell me that). When you see me, you will always be greeted with a smile. I have a good sense of humor. I am intellegent. I am good looking. I have good middos etc...I work, go to school, learn and daven daily, and always seem to be in a good mood...So I’m just a great overall guy...Or am I?


What is this blog going to be about? I will tell you. This blog will be about something that haunts me everyday. It will be about something that stripped me of my humanity. This blog will be about something that because of it I feel like I am a bad person and unworthy of any goodness in this world. Because of it I hate God and I hate myself. It makes me want to rebel and go "off-the derech". Becuase of it I am filled with a tremendous about of anger and rage. It almost caused my death. It causes me to feel a tremendous amount of guilt and shame on a daily basis. It’s something that isn’t talked about much in the Jewish Community, even though 1 in every 4 children are victims of it. I need to unload. Now is the time...
This blog will be about sexual abuse. I will share my stories and struggles with you – for my sake.