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The first time I was molested I was five years old. I dont remember being scared or thinking anything was wrong. He wore a uniform. He was gentle. I didnt know him. It happened in a hotel.
I was molested again when I was 11 and it went on for three summers. It happened at my theater camp. His name was Bruce and he was a director of almost all the musicals I performed in. If I think about it for long enough I swear I can still feel his fingers inside of me or his breath on my neck. It makes me want to vomit.
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When people talk about their first kisses, theyre first times, I never really know how to answer. I feel like I never got to have one. There was my first time being molested as a child, my first time being molested as a teenager, and then my first time as a willing participant. I got to have three firsts.
My family handled the first molestation in the worst way possible. They just didnt handle it. So the second time it happened, I just didnt tell anyone.
I know my family loves me, but I sometimes still wonder if they even believe that it happened. I think its my greatest fear in life. Sometimes, when I talk about what happened to me, when I tell my story, I even scare myself into wondering if I made the whole thing up. Was it all a dream? Did I make believe this?
In your letter, Dylan, you asked what my favorite Woody Allen movie was. Mine is Everyone Says I Love You. I grew up watching your dads movies, ironically, with my father. Its a hard pill to swallow that the man that stole your childhood will be touted and celebrated for as long as you live. His films will make money. Hell go on to win awards.
The men who touched me and stole my childhood will die and their graves will not read child molester. Their families will grieve just like I would for my parents. And Ill never be able to reconcile that.
Ive been very angry the past few days since your letter came out. Very angry that both men and women around me have had gut reactions (public reactions, nonetheless) to question whether this really happened to you. I know how that feels. I know that when I talk about what happened to me, even to my own family, they question it, despite their promises of trust. Without cameras to prove it, how do they know?
But I know, Dylan. I know it happened. I knew when I read your words that youre one of us. And you didnt write it to prove anything, or out him. You did it for you, which is the strongest thing imaginable. I wish I could say that once you share your story you heal. But you dont. It never goes away, at least for me it hasnt. You still see their faces, feel their hands, hear their voices, wonder how you let it happen. Those people questioning you? They dont have to feel those things.
So fuck Barbara Walters on The View.
Fuck those Twitter assholes.
Fuck every person in your life who turned an eye to you in favor or keeping him on a pedestal.
Now, go live.