Wednesday, June 27, 2012

So delusional

Jerry Sandusky must live in his own fantasy world to believe that his repugnant behavior, year after year, was OK. Photographs of him before and after he was caught reveal a man who seems to have no idea that he was torturing boys. He enjoyed himself and, I do think, believed his victims were enjoying his attentions.

In no way am I trying to excuse him. Being a survivor of molestation, I have little sympathy for him.

As with many of child victims, confusion, shame and disbelief kept my lips sealed until I got home and screamed into my pillow until I was hoarse. I had no idea how to act or what to say to the man who molested me.

To this day, I don’t know how or if my abuser was dealt with. He was an old, respected, up-standing member of the community. Mom was a young mother of three. I don’t think she told my Dad about it because his reaction would have been loud and clear.

When I experienced a sickening flash-back years ago, I was stunned to learn from so many women friends that they, too had been victimized as children and more as teens and adults. These are smart, capable women of a wide range of ages, some raising families of their own. This lead me to wonder how a parent can prepare a child to handle difficult situations.

As an 11-year old, I knew nothing about men and women, much less sexual behavior. I had been taught to respect and obey my elders; a perfect target for a pedophile.

If I had been told it was OK to refuse -- even coming from an adult --anything that turned my stomach or made me feel weird, would I have reacted differently? Maybe. Adults are physically bigger than children and perceived to have priority and authority. I believed that ninety-nine percent of the adults in my life at that time were worthy of respect. It was the evil one percent I knew nothing about.

Instincts in children tend to encompass simple things like not liking the smell of spinach or fearing water. Their instincts about people are pretty rudimentary, too. Early on, they fear strangers but, with age, they become more gregarious and socially aware.

Is there a way to develop and hone instincts in children so that they can better protect themselves without making them paranoid? I hope so.  Being a woman who enjoys babies and children, I would be heart-broken if children were taught to fear anyone but members of their immediate families. I love to chat-up babies and their parents in the grocery store.

The sad truth is that child abusers have been around for thousands of years and they aren’t going away. It’s about time this crime was recognized and dealt with as a crime, rather than being hidden away in shame. It’s time we Americans shed our Puritanical imprinting.

The courageous victims who have spoken up against their abusers deserve our respect and attention. They also need help to overcome their shame, hatred, and every other emotion that sexual abuse provokes. I read somewhere that some abusers were themselves abused -- a vicious cycle hard to be break.

Perhaps psychologists need to re-examine the minds of pedophiles. Mental illnesses are most often the result of a brain chemistry imbalance. Jerry Sandusky seems a prime example of someone whose mind is polluted with delusion.

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a pill he and his kind could take that would correct that imbalance? Maybe medicine needs a Super Fund like the petroleum industry has.

Dream on. . . . …..

1 comment:

beth said...

this man is so guilty and i hope to god he stays in prison the rest of his life.....