This post is about child grooming ( child sex abuse) and as such may not be suitable for everyone. It isn’t graphic or violent, but still… hence my notice.
Welcome to the world my child,
Don’t be afraid of the wicked
we have confined them into a prison of scorn and contempt,
from where’ll they’ll never escape,Frances Bebey : A Forest Nativity.
The recent high profile arrest, “suicide” and Netflix documentary about Jeffrey Epstein and G Maxwell has bought the issue of child abuse and sex trafficking into focus for those of us watching. When you factor in Prince Andrew and his childish rebuttals to very credible evidence in abundance, (not to mention Jimmy Saville, good friend to Prince Charles, Cyril Smith and Edward Heath, and on and on) the pattern of high profile politicians and entertainers, royalty and business men defended and protected while the victims are disbelieved and discredited has been rampant, each decade has bought with it different layers of accusation and rebuttal. There seems to be a veritable avalanche of testimony, credible and compelling, corroborating and crushing, a tidal wave of abuse victims and the reckoning with the pedo-criminals, and other wild abusers is seemingly coming to pass. An avalanche of trauma coming of age, refusing to be vilified any more. We can only hope this is true.
I have been binge watching on You Tube the alternative podcasts and news outlets focussing on both Epstein and the victims who bravely won’t give up (Shaun Attwood, ex con, Jon Wedger Ex detective with the MET, Carine Hutsebaut a therapist with over 30 years experience of child killers and victims.)
So, for a start, why? At first it was click bait mania, but I realised listening to hours of testimony of victims that I resonated with the stories of these girls and boys, rolling my eyes at the lame, creepy justifications and excuses of abusers and their apologisers, protectors and cohorts. I wasn’t one of the unbelievers. But it was only after hearing story after story of the targeted attempts of paedophiles and abusers to pick on children who are vulnerable for a variety of reasons, their modus operandi, the burgeoning sexual desires and need to escape something, at home, or school or wherever of the children involved that it dawned on me that I was one of those children….I had never seen myself as vulnerable or a victim so this was quite an epiphany. It was the loyalty to the groomers which really ripped a veil off my experience from the testimonies of children groomed by older men.
The internal personal subjective dictionary that every human has, of approximately 25- 35000 words and if you ask 10 people what the word child means to them they will give you a wide variety of answers, from a little baby to an adolescent teenager. And this is where “society” seems to have fallen into a hole, prepubescent and adolescent girls are seen as game, almost a woman, close enough.
Where is that prison of scorn and contempt for the contemptible and shameless.
There’s an internal personal subjective experience, there’s not negotiation, it’s you, and when you have to navigate with other people you can quickly learn to project your experience in a deceptive way. Did I know I was being groomed? well no, because to me it was as if this was the seam of life that I had found myself in, there were other adults, including my family, neighbours and such, so I never felt unsafe, or that was happening was inappropriate. Did they know they were grooming me? At the time obviously I didn’t think so and vehemently defended them if the issue ever arose, twice as I recall, once by my brother who saw a man in Jag drop me off at 11.00 at night, and ran out to confront him.
Grown men hanging out with young girls, with easy access to alcohol, flats, cars and money. It started to involve more friends, girls of 11 and 12. I remember an image of me at 12, in a grown mans flat with a few other men, people I perceived as friends, as we did other things together ( participated in plays at a local theatre centre and met up local family parties of mixed ages, pretty much like a church functions, children play, women cook and men drink beer… )
So there I was whisky in hand, sitting in between the legs of a 38 yr. old local businessman, a friend of my mother, well at least known to her, with his hand tucked in on the inside of my jeans at the front, not quite touching my vagina but just there. My Saturday job was cleaning this guy’s flat; he would pick me up and drop me off, his “cover” for our acquaintance. Once when I was cleaning his bedroom I found a cache of orgy photos, with two of my “men friends” and two of my close girlfriends, school friends, 12, 13, something like that, and remember a pang of jealousy that I hadn’t been picked, or chosen, or whatever it was; my older brothers and family a bit too problematic, more likely to be rumbled, not vulnerable enough like these other two, but I only see that now. I was also sexually confused. Up to that point I had not seen it as real, as if what we were doing was role play, playacting being a woman, like the stage shows we put on… but the visceral shock of the photos disabused me of that innocent notion.
From that point on I understood this was part of an underworld of lies and secrecy that all double lives lead onto: tunnelling to gods knows where, the never ending spectrum of wrongness. It never occurred to child me to question if it was was wrong on any moral or ethical, societal level, secret yes, but not wrong. There were many other sexual snogs and gropes and titillation, “would I honour a man (28) and his girlfriend (16) with a threesome, to express what close friends we all were, sharing in this intimate act with them?” At 13. I didn’t, no. In part held back by fear of my older siblings finding out I think now!
My family broken down by the time I was 11, dad gone, poverty arrived, two older brothers running wild, my mother busy, how could I not be drawn to the attention and benefits which were being offered. Twice at age 12 and then 13 I was picked up in a Jag Christmas morning to go to an Xmas day party, with a 38 year old man, giving me a huge vintage teddy one year and a large stuffed lion the next and expensive perfume, L’air du temp, I still remember the shape of the bottle and an exquisite, sophisticated, grown up feeling it bestowed on me. I was special… however the following year at 14 he had started favouring my best friend, and I was hurt and rejected and internalised it as not being good enough, I had really thought I was the chosen one. Chosen for what I wasn’t quite sure, having no sexual experience to speak of (I was 11 at the start, but soon found out from her.) They stayed as a “couple” until she was 20. Hard to believe now when I think about it…so what harm eh?
(When I think about these guys turning up at adult parties with me on Xmas day or any other times for that matter, as an adult I am gobsmacked, and yet I still remember the child me in that environment feeling completely at ease and normal, downing glasses of egg nog ((blurgh)) cuddling my new stuffed toy).
At the theatre centre where all this was seeded another rival group of adults began bandying around words like statutory rape… however they didn’t talk to me but sent a letter saying I was banned from the theatre unless I contacted them to discuss my behaviour as I was perceived as a ring leader, gobby and acting out. I was summarily advised by the “male friends” not to engage with them and ignore it. I never went back. A place that I had been attending since I was 6 or 7, putting on plays and shows and it being like a second home really, my social hub. I was the only person ever banned from that place, and by not sticking up for myself but walking away with my “pride” , head held high, whatever the cost, became a feature too of my life, even though it wasn’t in my interests, or my idea, and I lost a huge amount in terms of friendships and opportunities, and was solely to protect the agenda of those contemptible men. To prove my loyalty and therefore my value.
So ended my sojourn into paedophilia. Phew.
For many girls and boys this sadly can end with finding themselves in places where any notion of choice or complicity is gone. There but by the grace of god go I. The extent of this and its development globally is really a concern for everyone.
I spoke to my friend recently, and she said” I often think the historic sex abuse cases coming up now are the same as what we went thru'” with no sense of irony. Almost as if she were still looking at it from the point of view that we had been making equal choices like the men. This burden of responsibility for sexual assault, rape or child abuse put on the victims by perpetrators and their protectors is reinforced in most institutions in society.
A common significant feature of a victim’s outlook is personal responsibility, as if it is your fault, so what’s to complain about? Fail safe. I needed some attention, some companionship, a gang. I didn’t feel like a victim, (I was tough, a leader, I was 12.) So how could I be. Me at 12 “allowing myself” to be sexually fondled and groomed for god knows what, but I’ll tell you one thing… it wasn’t done with my well being in mind.
Was I raped? honestly I don’t think so, but there was plenty alcohol, so maybe? Was I was trafficked, kidnapped, sold in to SRA. No. Maybe we were the first round, did they carry on after we left with other groups of girls? In the swathes of True Crime I’ve been listening to for a couple of years now victims not coming forth to report abuses allowed serial rapists, killers and pedo-criminals to avoid detection and suspicion for years. I received an email from a man at another local theatre in 2007, saying he had heard what a goer I was back in the day, meaning he was talking to these men in 2007, I had no idea how he had found my email either and joking about me as a “goer” . Bare in mind I was 14 when I left. I asked him did he take his 11, 12 or 13 year old children to the centre. I was going thru a very hard time then with various problems and didn’t pick up the ball, as I wish I had, I remember filing it for another day, I was angry and humiliated that my reputation was so tarnished.
Is it the opaque, black and white decisions and experiences which “maketh the man (sic)” or the subtle and transparent, invisible internalisations, based on feelings of self worth and value which build character and empathy. I became more internally passive, and outwardly loud. If intimate love and interest knocked on my door so be it, but would I fight for it? No way. I looked down on women who laid their desire out to see, chasing men at parties, opening up themselves, to be rejected or accepted, I never saw the importance of letting someone know they were wanted….. Inevitably I ended up alone.
My feelings about that time, with many other factors, are less important than the understanding that what they did was criminal. I have taken my childish groomed loyalty and culpability and stomped it into dust. Thanking my Goddess self for strong mental health and steel wired vulnerability. A beautiful paradox. Energetic transformation over action. But hey I am 5 decades in now.
I’m pretty sure like the #metoo movement and the current child abuse victims speaking out with horrendous experiences, that most people reading will have had some similar or worse stories, and acknowledgement of that is in and of itself a good thing, shedding light on secrets covering shame and self worth, and exposes the methods employed to abuse with impunity .
Peace and love to all the light workers, you know who you are!