Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Welcome to My Life

Do you ever feel like breaking down?
Do you ever feel out of place?
Like somehow you just don't belong
And no one understands you
Do you ever wanna run away?
Do you lock yourself in your room?
With the radio on turned up so loud
That no one hears you screaming…


Do you wanna be somebody else?
Are you sick of feeling so left out?
Are you desperate to find something more?
Before your life is over
Are you stuck inside a world you hate?
Are you sick of everyone around?
With their big fake smiles and stupid lies
While deep inside you're bleeding…


No one ever lied straight to your face
And no one ever stabbed you in the back
You might think I'm happy but I'm not gonna be okay
Everybody always gave you what you wanted
You never had to work it was always there
You don't know what it's like, what it's like…


No you don't know what it's like
When nothing feels all right
You don't know what it's like
To be like me


To be hurt
To feel lost
To be left out in the dark
To be kicked when you're down
To feel like you've been pushed around
To be on the edge of breaking down
And no one's there to save you
No you don't know what it's like
Welcome to my life...

I

I changed my mind. I can’t do this anymore. I can’t write about all these painful memories. It’s too hard and too emotional for me. I wanted to write about all the events that happened in my life as a camper. But I don’t want to anymore…

II

I shared with you about the time that my abuser took me for a drive in his car to the woods where he tied me up and did to me as he pleased. I told you about the time that I sat in the front seat of the car, next to him. But I didn’t tell you about the times when I wasn’t that fortunate.

I didn’t tell you about the times that he put me into the trunk of his car and drove off to never land. I can’t, it’s too painful. My hands are shaking as I write this. Do I need to write about this anymore? A young innocent 11-year-old boy being locked up in the trunk of a madman’s car being driven into the woods to be abused! I think not…

III

I told you about my doctor’s appointment and what it triggered in me. I didn’t specifically tell you all the details of what would occur on Friday nights when all the lights in camp were turned off. I can’t. I don’t want to remember.

Suffice it to say that I had a halachic problem every Shabbos morning when I awoke. I felt that I needed to brush my teeth. My mouth felt very dirty. (The past few years I also have the compulsion to take a lot of showers – I feel dirty). So every Shabbos morning I would brush my teeth. My friends would tell me that you are not allowed to brush your teeth on Shabbos. What are you doing? You are being Mechallel Shabbos. I agreed with them. I was violating the Shabbos! But what was I supposed to do. I couldn’t go the entire Shabbos with that bitter taste in my mouth…Shabbos is something that I struggle with today… I have an urge to be Mechallel Shabbos every week...Shabbos for me is the lonliest day of the week. I am filled with intense feelings of pain and lonliess on the holiest and most special day of the week.

IV

I didn’t tell you about the time that he took me to the janitor’s bungalow…The janitor had a nice big television. “You want to watch a movie with me”, he asked? Once again it sounded like it might just be a night off for me. But I got very scared when I saw the movie that he put on for us to watch together. Two beautiful women in a bathtub…touching each other…kissing…naked…having sex…doing things I never knew even existed. I couldn’t comprehend what was going on and what kind of movie this was. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I actually realized what he was doing to me. He was forcing me to watch pornography, another form of sexual abuse. I don’t want to talk about this anymore, I can’t. Once again it’s just too painful.

V

I went to camp and was abused; summer after summer, for 7 years by this sick monster. Don’t ask me why I kept going back every summer if I knew what was going to happen, because that is a question that bothers me every day of my life. Why did I keep going back? Why didn’t I have the courage to actually tell someone what was going on? I don’t know. That’s abuse for you. I was just too scared to tell anyone. Would anyone believe me anyway? Besides, it was all my fault, not his!

I have 7 years worth of stories to share, but I don’t know how many more I want to write about. I don’t have the strength. It’s not healthy for me. There are; however, a few more things that I do want to get off my chest.

How does an abuser make sure his victim doesn’t talk? Every abuser has his/her own ways to make sure that the victim remains silent. I want to talk about some of the things that he did to me (non-sexual) to scare me – so that I wouldn’t tell anyone. I also plan to continue writing more about how my life progressed after being abused by this man. I want to show how one tragedy leads to another. They say "aveira goreres aveira", one sin leads to another. The same is true, in many cases, of abuse. Once you are abused - the likelihood of it happening again, and again, and again etc. - by different people - increases greatly. I would like to share that part of my life too, if i have the strength to write about it in the future...

To everyone reading, Welcome to My Life.
And until next time,
Carpe Diem

24 Comments:

Blogger Vicki Polin said...

Carpe Diem,
Thank you once again for your honesty about the ugly truth. Your courage to share your life can be extremely healing not only to your healing to others survivors out there who feel they are alone and/or afraid to talk; and can also be extremely educational to those who have never been abused.

8:09 PM  
Blogger turquoiseblue said...

It kills me to read this blog... I cannot even begin to imagine what it is like LIVING this blog/reality.

And yet I feel compelled to come back.

Hopefully leaving my "footprints" in the comments section is something you appreciate... someone, somewhere is listening to you. And crying with you.

2:21 AM  
Blogger Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

I want to know -was the abuser punished? put in jail?
waht about suing? somebody must haveknown and covered up?surely you werent the only one?

6:06 AM  
Blogger Bughouse Square said...

Is the answer always putting your offender in jail or suing them?

If you try to put your offender in jail then your whole life story is open to the public, with your name attached. I don't know if I'd want that. I know that many survivors don't care. But for myself I do.

Early on when I started therapy I was such a mess. I would never want my psychological record made public. If I tried to sue my perpetrator I'm sure that would be entered into evidence. It's really not so simple to use the legal system.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

but at the same time he could be continuing to harm others
he and the camp and everyone should be sued
get a tough lawyer
and fight the bastard

9:55 AM  
Blogger Bughouse Square said...

datingmaster,
I do hear what you are saying. But going to court is a personal matter.

I agree that an offender needs to be stopped, but not at the cost of a survivors sanity. Someone has to be in the right place to take on the legal system.

10:01 AM  
Anonymous SouledOut said...

Angry soul. I do not know you, for if I did, I would hold your hand and allow you to cry on my shoulder. And I would cry with you. I cannot begin to comprehend the pain with which you live every day or the guilt with which you must be racked. The only words of encouragement I have are these: Every day that you overcome your pain and guilt and go on to live a "normal" life, you are "sticking it to the man" and showing him that you have survived and thrived DESPITE what he did to you. And while this blog may be painfully theraputic for you, it WILL give others the strength and encouragement to overcome their pain and make teh best of their lives. Emo Anochi B'Tzara... Good luck and keep up the good work.

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm filled with great rage.

Your blog is tearing me apart.

Unfortunately, I am able to empathize with the way you feel. I've had my fair share of experiences to understand the way you feel.

It's not a good feeling.

I don't feel dirty or ashamed anymore. I talk about these experiences with my loved ones.

I hate the one who took advantage of my innocense, and I believe in G-d.

I pray to Him every day, that he would heep retribution on the one who defiled me.

And over the last 20 odd years I've watched this guys life unravel little by little.

There's a G-d, and he's watching.

4:01 PM  
Blogger stupidFrigginMoron said...

Being as how I am lucky enough not to have gone through something like this in my life, I do not really feel adequate arguing whether or not it is the right thing to do to bring this perp to court as it can result in unwanted publicity to the survivor. I don't understand though, how one can suggest that he be left to live a normal life without suffering, especially knowing that he is most likely still engaged in his sick activities. If you can't deal with the publicity, at least think of the other people that can be saved as a result of this person being put away. Too often in the frum world this type of story is denied or swept under the rug. People must be made aware that just because we live amongst frum people we are not protected from the likes of this person. The truth is, if one can't handle a law suit, perhaps an accident can be arranged... This person is clearly a rodef.

8:30 PM  
Blogger Frum but Thinking said...

He needs to be stopped. Out there somewhere- they guy who did it to you is tyeing up other little kids and doing that same to them.

Your story is horrible. But you must prevent him from continuing...BTW- does your family know?

9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No need to hate Shabbos.

There is an invention called "MOUTHWASH".

11:10 PM  
Blogger turquoiseblue said...

Wow. AngrySoul - you must be a very courageous person to be able to confront him like that. And make sure that people around him know who he is - how dangerous he is.

Kudos to you.

And lots of Hatzlacha in your recovery!

11:57 PM  
Blogger Bughouse Square said...

Angry,
I responded to what you posted on my blog. I really think his name should be made public. Especially if he's as active as you say he is. I mean with so many victims. This is really scaring me.

8:34 AM  
Blogger A Frum Idealist said...

The reason to do something is not about revenge. It is about protecting other children and getting a sick man off the streets.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous CampHater said...

The abuser should die a slow painful death. He and those that harbored him should suffer unlimited tribulations thru life.

AngrySOul, is this monster married with children?
I am sure that you are not the only victim. You should look for others who were with you in camp. I think that prosecuting this criminal will be the start of your rehab.

I am sure that the rabbi's want the matter silenced. Dont listen to them!! Until a monster sticks his "ervah" down a rabbi or his immediate family member's throat, he will never understand!!!!

Listen to your heart and to what's right for you!!!

11:07 AM  
Blogger S.M. said...

Hello from a fellow survivor...
I wanted to say, first, I do not know your pain, but I know my pain, and I know our pains are similar... And I feel for you, think of you, and hope we will stay in touch...
Also, i wanted to tell you regarding shabbos.
1. you can brush your teeth on shabbos, as long as 1) you don't use toothpaste -- you can use mouthwash on the toothbrush, i do this sometimes, and 2) that your gums don't bleed. just don't brush THAT hard... and you'll be ok.
and, i wanted to tell you...
2. you can can even SHOWER on shabbos, if you turn your hot water heater off before shabbos, so that when you use the hot water, you don't cause your water heater to turn on... and then, you use liquid soap, not bar soap, --
i tell you these things because i have myself needed to find my way around, and you can be ok... there are ways to find comfort within the bounds of halacha... it's ok.
with much love, SM

4:08 PM  
Blogger SS said...

I can't say any more than everyone else has. I agree, however, that revenge might feel good, but is probably not the best thing for anyone to be thinking about as a modus operandi. He should be stopped from abusing anyone else, though, especially his kids (that makes me sick, that people like that can live "normal" lives, with all the benefits and pleasures, after ruining someone else's life so completely that they never feel good!) I'm with you in your pain, Angry Soul. Good luck in your healing.

4:44 PM  
Anonymous Camp counselor said...

AngrySoul,

I discovered your blog this past Thurday evening from a link that was posted on a different blogsite. I was immediately captivated by your stroy, and read your entire blog. Reading your blog has been a real gut-wrenching experience for me...

As a youmg child I was victimized by three separate auhority figures who subjected me to severe physical and emotional abuse that still haunts me in my dreams to this very day (almost 2 full decades later). Although the abuse I encountered was never sexual (at least I don't recall any of it being as such) I still feel somewhat of a connection to you through my experiences, being as they also led me to struggle with my own religious observance. The only people who know about my experiences are my parents, and a few of their closest freinds.

Growing up I attended a sleep-away camp, and have always enjoyed the experience. As a camper, I was a great ball-player, and was thus very well-known and popular. As a staff-member, I discovered that I have a knack for working with kids, and have been a J.C. and counselor over the past few summers.

I belong to a small group of 3 close friends who are all very out-going, and are extremely popular amongst the campers. We also go out of our ways to try and know ever camper in the camp by their first names. All the campers want to have us as their counselors.

Working with children as a JC and counselor has helped me to overcome my issues with religious observances. I have always enjoyed making my campers smile and giving them a great time. Upon being successful in doing so, I recognized the potential to be a great positive influence on many of them, and felt a sence of responsibility to work on my religious short-comings so as to be a role-model for my campers.

Being as I have always been held in very high regard by campers and staff members alike, camp-life has been great for my self-esteem, and it definitely helped me grow & develop my strengths as an individual. I always envisioned sending my children to camp so as to afford them the opportunity to enjoy similar experiences.

Reading your blog has completely changed my naive attitude towards camp life.

As I browse through your postings, I feel like a traumatized first-hand spectator as you recount your terrible experiences on this blog. The abuse you suffered has really disturbed me, and left me with a terrible and uneasy feeling... It has made me want to hate the entire idea of summer camp
as an institution. It has made me want to quit my summer job, and convince my friends to do the same. It has made me want to keep my brothers and other children out of camp.

What are your thoughts and feelings about summer camps in general? Would you send your children to summer camp? What would you recommend to others? Are experiences like yours common in Orthodox summer camps? (I don't know of any such sickos in my camp)

4:27 AM  
Blogger AngrySoul said...

to camp counselor (and to anyone who has any interest in my valued opinion):

1. thanks for writing and sharing your concers with others who read this blog and other related blogs

2. i value your thougts and comments and encourage you to continue sharing as i continue to post new material.

hopefully something positive can come out of this blog and other blogs that are just beginning to be formed.

Any ideas and thoughs of how to make something positive come from these bloge will be read and thought over so by all means please share...

3. I havent been to a camp in many years now - but i would assume that there are many abusers out there in camps today- even in the orthodox community. But just remember my case. My abuser alone abused over 100 children in his camp days. so all it takes is one abuser to mess up hundreds of kids. And he wasnt the only abuser in camp at the time. there was another man who abused kids also. i know because he abused me too - just not as bad as the abuser i write about. There were probably more.

Camp is a great institution especially for the kids. camp is when kids have the most fun of there lives. so kids shouls go to camp. but the staff has to be taught about abuse. there should be staff members whose job is to look out for abusers -people who know what to look for. There should be a lecture in camps about it and all staff shoul be aware of the problem. in my case i have reason to beleive that the camp knew about my abuser but did nothing about it. I have proof about this etc.. i know people who complained to the staff about this man and they thought nothing of it. instead of throwing the staff member ouit of camp they threw out the camper. Staff must be aware and take this seriously.

2:55 PM  
Blogger GeeWIZ said...

New Remedy (that should be) Instituted for Child Molesters: All those accountable for molesting a child should be sentenced to a barbed wired surroundings, filled with hundreds of ravenous dogs(when I say dogs in this case… I do not mean the molesters). Those individuals who do not make it out, got some of what they deserved, and if not, god will take care of that. Those who do muster the power to survive should be sent back in.

It pains me when I hear such stories. When we hear the stories its too late, that damage is done to the poor child. Yet, we can still set a goal of prevention. it should not be too late to help our future generations!

1:51 AM  
Blogger Datingmaster, Jerusalem said...

you have to go the whole way otherwise all your life you will regret it

9:53 AM  
Blogger Liorah-Lleucu said...

That poem describes how I feel too. Keep writing for all of us.

11:03 PM  
Anonymous boog said...

I feel for you, Angry, and hope you will
become whole and heal.

I try to understand where you're coming from in not outing him, but I believe that you should.

There are innocent children that may be harmed by this sicko. If you come forward and go public, daving one child from this predator, you will have accomplished much.

9:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstly, I want to say that I am very sorry for your pain, and I hope that you can recover from these thoughts and feelings. I was a camp counselor in a very mainstream camp for many up until 2000. I dont know if I was very naive or just didn't know what these things were, but now that I think back at some of staffs behavior, I realize that they were doing these things. I would see a guy sitting on a kids bed in the middle of the night, and when asked would say that the kid was crying out or some lame excuse like that. I wish I would have been more informed back then and could have been there to stop some of these atrocities. Now that I am a parent would hope that someone would be there to help my child if Chas va sholom the situation warranted it.

4:03 PM  

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