Hey, COACH! By His Grace, I Survived Your Sexual Abuse
I was trying to come to grips with what had started to happen to me over 36 years ago. I did not want to write a "healing" letter but 2 1/2 years ago Jeff Janes, [former] Director of First Stone Ministries, convinced me that it was a key factor in my healing process.
Every time I sat down to write the letter I faced a block that I could not overcome. I believe that it was only through the aid of the Holy Spirit that I was able to begin the process. The first draft was actually much longer and filled with more graphic details. The graphic details helped me to come to terms with what actually happened to me. God knew that the letter did not need to see the light of day and somehow WordPerfect(r) sent it to cyberspace. I then started the letter that is included in this writing. As you will see, by writing the letter I was able to process my hate! Part of the hate stemmed from the fact that I hated myself!
I hated myself because I had been convinced by the pedophile that:
- It was my fault;
- If I didn't do what he wanted that he would tell my classmates that he had caught me "being queer;"
- If I told anyone that they wouldn't believe me;
- He would get even with me if I told;
- I really enjoyed it;
- And that I had seduced him.
I hated myself because I had very conflicting emotions about my abuser, a high school teacher and coach. It was not until I recognized him for what he is that I was able to start the healing process. I think the process of writing these two projects has freed my spirit from the hate that once bound me in my sin. Even though the hate is gone, some of the hurt still remains. I pray that someday the healing process will completely remove this hurt.
Before you read this next paragraph, you need to know that I dearly love my wife and I thank God for the fact that she has stayed with me through all of my rough times-times when I could not seem to get my sin under control. Imagine if you can, someone so loving that she put up with my being dysfunctional for 30 years of our marriage. Then you can see what a loving wife God has given to me.
Part of the hurt stems from the fact that the first person (other than the First Stone staff) that I told about the "Coach" was my wife. She knew about my struggles but she did not know any of the details. We were raised in the same small town and she knew the "Coach." About two or perhaps three years ago during one of the times we were having marital difficulties, I told her that the it was coach who had molested me and started me down my walk in the life-style. Her response was that she did not believe that he would do such a thing. She said that if he had a problem, it would be with girls and not boys. When I heard her response, it all came crashing back, just like it had happened yesterday. It was like being molested all over again. People did not believe me! In fact, the person that I loved the most did not believe me. I started to believe that maybe the rest of what the Coach said to me was also true. I asked myself, "Was it true?"
It was at the 1997 Exodus Regional Conference in Enid, Oklahoma, that Dr. Daniel Fleeman took the time to explain to me that a pedophile develops the ability to spot someone who he can control and manipulate. Pedophiles develop an ability to identify and stalk their victims. All of a sudden things started to fall into place. I could relate to that because many of us who struggle with sexual brokenness have developed what is termed gaydar. Gaydar is a glance toward a person of the same sex that lingers too long, a certain walk, and a certain talk, all of which indicate to us the strong possibility that this person is interested in us. But in my case, I had not done anything! I was a 12 year old boy who was frightened by the process of going from grade school to high school and was trying to make my way through the changes that were starting to happen in my life. The pedophile was able to recognize these fears and take advantage of them. To confront these fears, I wrote the following.
To Coach . . .
I am writing this to you to let you know that I have survived all that you started. Knowing you, you are probably saying, "What did I start?" Well I will tell you what you started. I was only 12 years old when you started to mess with me. I was only a child, a seventh grader and you sexually abused me. I was just out of grade school.
The first time that you had sex with me, I was scared to death. Each time after (for the next six years) I was also very scared. I was scared for several reasons. First I was scared because you told me that it was all my fault. The second reason was that you told me that you would tell the other kids that I was queer. The third reason that I was scared, I thought I would get a disease. I was right on this point. You will remember that I contracted venereal warts from you, also you may remember that you wanted to have sex the very day that I was dismissed from the hospital after having my rectum operated on.
I have tried to cope with this through the years but have never been able to until the last six months. I am very angry because you robbed me of my innocence and you destroyed my childhood. You should know that the pain and the fear have never stopped. In fact, it has gone on for 36 years. I have been afraid of what you would do or say and to whom you would talk. When you first molested me you told me that it would be over when your wife's period was over. Well you lied to me about that and you continued to molest me for six long years. It was not over after the first time and it still seems to continue. WHEN WILL IT BE OVER? At times I am afraid that it will never be over!
You have also messed up my relationship with my wife. It has been very hard to establish a loving and trusting relationship with her. You confused me about what a man should be. You caused trouble in my relationship with my wife and you also caused trouble with my relationship with my children.
I have often wondered, "Who else you have ruined? How many other lives have your destroyed? Have they all been little boys?" If I knew then what I know now, I would see to it that you were arrested and sent to jail forever! Do you have any idea what would happen to a person in prison when it's disclosed that you are a child molester? I almost would like to be there to see what would happen to you.
I do not like feeling all of this hate and bitterness, but I know now that I will survive. I am praying that in time the Lord will take all the hate and bitterness onto His shoulders and leave me free. But as for you, you will burn in hell unless you repent for what you have done to me.
Where are you today? As a child, were you molested? I believe you! Was the guilt transferred to you? It does not belong on you, place it on the back on the person that needs to carry it! Is he going to tell? Pedophiles can't do that without getting into deep trouble, and he is not going to put himself in jeopardy. Were you convinced that you enjoyed it? Even in abuse the physical touch and sexual feelings may actually feel good. You should not feel guilty about how you were physically created by God. Were you convinced that you had seduced him? Come on! If you were like me, I was 12 and he was 26, who is the responsible party!? Through the process of dealing with the pain of my life and in being honest with myself I wrote the letters as a part of my counseling with First Stone. It brought up a lot of intense pain. I also had to be honest with my wife and with God. Jesus Christ has begun a healing in my heart that I did not realize could be possible just one year ago.
If you have felt trapped by your past abuses, know that there is hope. Trust Jesus. HE will heal your broken heart! Though my perpetrator in this world was able to touch my flesh, he was never able to touch my spirit. "Behold I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them, and I will reveal to them an abundance of peace and truth." Jer. 33:6