Nerds of Mass Distraction has been sleeping for a while. If you have followed the blog in its many incarnations in the past, you may have noticed that I haven’t updated anything in bloggo formo in a long time. While I have been introducing the new facebook page and dumping as much nerd based material onto that as I can, I have missed the personal depth that a blog can provide. Done right, a blog is kind of like viewing a piece of someone’s personality. That’s what I tried to capture over the years. If you read the blog you get to know me, at least just a little. To really explain why I haven’t touched the blog in a while is to delve into a very serious subject, one that few people talk about, but things need to be brought to light. So on that note, take some time to compose yourself….laugh break starting in 5….4….3….2…..1….
Okay, are you done? Good. In January of this year I had an incredibly traumatic experience, something that would soon trigger a chain of events that changed my life in many ways. My lovely wife was giving me a back rub, as lovely wives tend to do. Out of the blue I was hit over the head with a horrendous memory of my childhood. A memory that had been locked inside my mind for over 25 years. I pushed my wife away and began to sob uncontrollably. I had just came to the realization that I had been sexually abused as a child. Now as odd as it sounds, repressed memories are not uncommon, especially for someone who experienced a traumatic event at such a young age.
For both legal and privacy reasons, I will not go into the Who’s and the How’s all too much. The fact is, that my abuser was someone who had abused many people in and around my family and did serve jail time for two of those crimes. Before this sudden and traumatic flashback, I only remembered and acknowledged one such event of abuse by this man but suddenly after January I would suddenly be ambushed by wave after wave of horrible memories. As these flashbacks continued to provide clues to the bigger puzzle, I talked to family members, asked questions and put the pieces together. Soon I came to the horrific realization that I had been abused for at least three years (That I can remember) From this January to now I have had my emotions just flipped upside down and blended into mush. I would get angry for no apparent reason, I’d yell, I’d cry….I was a mess.
Thankfully, God has blessed me with an amazing wife. Mercedes has been both a rock to keep me anchored and sane and a safety net to catch me when I am falling due to one of these emotionally overloading flashbacks. Let me tell you, they are incredibly painful to experience. I never know what the trigger will be and suddenly for a brief moment I am no longer in the present day, I am reliving that moment where my six year old self is frightened and powerless. Not to take away from the seriousness at all, to me, the experience is very much like Quantum Leap….instead of my consciousness jumping into JFK or Babe Ruth it jumps into my younger self and I am back there in the 1980s scared out of my mind. While these experiences don’t last a long time, they feel like an eternity. Some are very brief with a little impact while others send me falling to my knees crying. Amazingly, this experience has brought us closer together than ever before. I am so blessed by God that I have a strong, powerful and courageous wife otherwise I’d be a raving lunatic. Mercedes Castro-Miller, I love you so much. (Okay, I promise I will stop embarrassing you, Wifey-Poo…well, I just did it again, didn’t I?)
My church has been incredibly helpful as well, I have awesome guidance through my Pastor, Richard and his wife, Jennifer. They have both kept me grounded and reminded me that I am loved and I am NOT TO BLAME for what was done to me. I wish I could say that I found love and support all around, but I would be lying. Sadly we live in a society that would rather sweep the truth of sexual abuse under the rug and pretend there aren’t abusers rather than have fruitful and productive discussions on the topic. When I told my mother about what I’ve been going through she said “I’m really sorry that happened to you.” My father on the other hand said “Well it happened a long, long time ago. You should really get over it.” Needless to say, I haven’t spoken with him since then and I have no immediate desire to speak with him any time soon. Also on my father’s side of the family I’ve had an aunt and a cousin who accused my wife of convincing me to “make up stories to stir up shit”. I’ve stopped talking to them too. Family can be a magical thing, can’t it? Sadly, I’m not the only person who has had to face these ignorant types of people.
The topic of sexual abuse is like the proverbial Sasquatch in the living room, you can cover it up with a blanket and pretend it isn’t there, but that doesn’t make it go away and it doesn’t make it any less dangerous. Men, women and children are in danger everyday from predators who wear the disguises of friends, family, civil servants, clergy and what have you. For whatever reason males who have been sexually abused get ignored in our society. We have our cultural stigma that a boy/man can handle anything and “They’ll be okay…just tough it up….” The problematic misconception is getting worse. In my case the abuser was a man. However in our society if a woman abuses a young man many people say he’s “lucky” or she’s a “cougar”. No, he is a survivor of sexual abuse and she is a predator…end of discussion.
We need to stop ignoring the abuse and start supporting the survivors rather than treating them like jokes or pariahs. That’s why I am telling my story today. Yes, I know I write a funny little blog about family, fatherhood, comics and being a nerd but it is a good platform as any to bring this dark subject to light. Now as I am beginning counseling, I am slowly starting to be comfortable again in my own skin and comfortable interacting with people. It’s a slow and steady process as with any post traumatic stress, but the healing has begun.
For anyone new to my blog who may be startled or offended by the little sprinklings of humor I put in this post….get over it. One thing my wife is helping me with as we go through this experience is that I need to stop holding back who I am for the sake of sparing the feelings of others. That side of me is definitely on its way out. This is who I am and if you don’t like it you can take a walk. I always try to bring humor and humanity to topics I write about and I will not allow this traumatic experience to change that. Any sane person will realize that I am not making light of sexual abuse. The truth is sometimes bitter and painful to swallow so I am just giving it the candy shell of humor.
So with that said, you’ll start to see a lot more of me and my blog and soon we will be back to that point where you all get sick of my rants once again. As always thank you for reading and may you forever be nerdy.
For the facts on sexual abuse please visit these sites, they’ve helped me:
One in Six: A resource for Male survivors of sexual abuse. This site really helped me a lot when I was first coming to terms with my experience. There is a wealth of information here for men.
Male Survivor: Another great resource for Men who have been sexually abused. There are a lot of great resources here.
RAINN: This is an excellent resource for anyone who has been sexually abused. This is probably one of the best general sites out there on the subject.