Letter to a 'friend' after decades

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I called someone, years after, who'd been in the house where I was first molested. The morning I was first molested, he likely had already left the house for the day. But he was not always out of the house when the sexual mistreatment was ongoing. Not at all.

That phone call was the first time we'd spoken in decades. The call covered many things, including his and my family's stories in those decades we'd been out of touch. Later in the phone call, I brought up the fact that the person he'd live in a house with (a relative of mine) had molested me. This "friend" reacted, a bit breathlessly, by insisting he knew nothing about any of that, and he had known no proof of it. And, he went farther, while not attacking me, but behaving as if I was suddenly calling to shake him down for some cash or something (hmm, silly me, maybe I shoulda...).

I think he actually was aware, had to have been, a little, as his own younger brother, I quite awkwardly discovered, was also involved with my relative's sorry idea of caring. So, he was a liar.

(A very brief explanation of these living arrangements, to try to ease any distracting assumptions about this household setup: several foreign students had stayed at my relative's house, over many years, while the students got a college education in the U.S. They helped keep house, they may have worked jobs to help monetarily, even. My relative had strong ties to their native country. My relative did not molest or sexually get involved with them all, I know only that much; certainly could have been involved with more than one.)

My "friend's" cowardly denials were hard to take on the phone. I cooly challenged his all-too-neat denial, but I relented, merely expressing my disappointment in his response instead. So much for me thinking him as respectable as he was book smart, though. I realize even any genius is embarrassingly naive or blind to matters other than where their genius lies. But this ignorance of his would have had to go on for something like five or six years, and included his own little brother, and several neighborhood boys, too. More than I was aware of, no doubt. Horrible. Madness.

Perhaps a few years after that call, I sent him a letter (tried to, at least), on the heels of the horrid Penn State coach Sandusky trial. Yes, pretty old. (If you aren't aware of this story, I almost wish I were you. Suffice it to say a college coach had quite a long history of abusing young people, according to victims and their families, and the bastard was finally taken away from his cozy life.) I happened upon this in my Evernote (an app) notes, and I thought it was worth sharing here.

Note: the letter reads quite respectfully. Don't underestimate the rage in me that is not evident in the letter. It took a while to whittle it down to this, if I recall correctly. Take from this letter, and the above blather, what you will. That's why I'm sharing it. Be well.

Hi [Friend],

I thought you might gain something, albeit a painful realization, perhaps, if you refer to this story of the Penn State shame, as food for thought for yourself.

I have considered you a friend, though we have been rarely in touch over the years. You would be right to consider the betrayal and abuse of me by my [John, my relative] in that lack of contact. While perhaps not everyone of a similar connection to him has been bedeviled by the trials that I have been, perhaps, it was not and is not an overreaction. I know what I thought then, and what I blamed myself for, and what I know now, as different pieces of a broken tale.

John's facade is a big part of a burdensome feeling of betrayal, having deep distrust, and worse, in my life.

I do not blame you for a thing, as I cannot be angry at someone for not knowing what they do not know. My own parents took John's word over mine. Betrayal, again.

But consider the Sandusky case as an example of just how comfortable a man can be in his lies he tells himself, and others.

God bless you, my friend.

[my link below is now broken, but I found this, not that I encourage you to click it: https://www.salemnews.com/news/worl...cle_9bede1ad-7555-550e-af32-03c5e4ceb58a.html ]


I hope to come back more often, as I certainly do need the community of this site. Don't give up. I'm trying to keep it on the rails. So far, so good.
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