Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dear Daniel

Dear Daniel,
It’s been awhile since I wrote letter with any kind of anger or rage fueling it. It seemed like everything had settled down in my life personally. That I had come to some kind of understanding with mom and dad. How wrong I was.

In life there are those that talk about forgiveness and hide behind their religion. And I really wish this of thinking could be extinguished in the world. For me, as a child, organized religion housed one of my biggest demons. One I never breathed a word  about for fear I would not be believed.

Coming back from the abuse has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I shared it with friends and my therapist but I did not share it with too many family members because the initial reaction was one of disbelief. Except Sara. She believed me and for that she’ll always have a certain amount of my gratitude and respect.

Indifference or people making excuses for the predator is hard to stomach. It can trigger old memories and feelings of shame and rage and powerlessness. My parents are the king and queen of this and what’s worse they hide behind the religion and twist what forgiveness really means and pervert it into some kind of pass to the transgressor for what they did. Minimizing the crime and attempting to finesse the situation, a child sex crime is not a situation cannot be finessed.

No matter what you say or how you say it. The ugly fact remains a child, the world’s most vulnerable member of society has been victimized.

It took me years to realize what happened to me to have to be validated by some third party entity to make it real. And it took even longer for me to know it wasn’t my fault. But still on days like today. All the progress in the world can be shot to shit in the blink of an eye.

In this day and age technology has created a new playground for pedophiles. Places where they can hide in the dark with fantasies and revictimize children repeatedly without ever meeting them. It’s call internet child pornography. And even though there was child porn before the internet it is a billion dollar industry. One which I thought would never touch me.

This morning I found out how wrong I was.

I got a call from Missy at about 9AM. She asked if my family church’s musical director was such and such. I said yes. She asked if what he was in the medical industry. She then directed me to the local news website where it said he’d been arrested on child pornography possession and distribution charges.

The first thing I felt was shock. The second thing I felt was mom needed to know this. So I texted her. She called me I gave her the details and for once I thought she might be more concerned with the children in the pictures than the man charged with the crime.

Some things change. Some things don’t. I called mom to discuss dinner and we started to argue about what forgiveness meant and she said ‘her religion’ didn’t allow her to just write of the person in question.

First of all forgiveness is not an act. It’s a process by which you learn to let go of the pain and anguish someone has inflicted upon you with their betrayal. And Jesus may have hung with the lepers and prostitutes and poor, he said nothing about being friends with a person who has wounded you deeply and betrayed you. You don't have to break bread with someone to forgive them. Forgiveness is about moving on with your life and not allowing the hurt done to you undo you.

Mom continued throughout the night to try and finesses his actions with little to no regard for the children in the pictures and video.

Now my mom is not a bad person. But when faced with something like this she never fully grasps just how heinous the impact is on the victims. As for dad, he’s a public defender, and as liberal as I am I am pretty conservative when it comes to how I think these creatures should be treated.

I felt victimized all over again. But I am not a child anymore. I have the power to speak the truth and to keep myself out of an environment which is nothing toxic for me.

Tonight I blew my diet. And I still feel full from dinner. But I want people to know. The church he belonged to does not support him. He’s on his own. Mom lamented he might harm himself. And while I don’t go around wishing people to commit suicide I will say what I’ve said on occasion which he’s made his fucking bed, now let him lie in it.


Amy McCorkle