Dear Team Never Quit
I wanted to write to you today because I’ve been listening to your podcasts trying to pull myself out of a depressed and unmotivated state. I’ve had this since early childhood and can usually pull myself out. I just listened to your podcast with Evan Hafer. While Evan had some great tips it was the letter you read at the end that really inspired me to write this. I realized I have never heard this topic discussed probably for good reason as it’s uncomfortable and difficult to talk about. I want to let these survivors know they are not alone. They are not weak in reality they are among the strongest survivors because they simply keep waking up everyday. You see I was repeatedly sodomized at the age of 8 by our next door neighbor. My parents had asked him to take my younger brother and I to school everyday. They had no idea what was going on.
At that time this wasn’t a topic that was discussed. So they didn’t know the warning signs. Just like my brother had no idea what was happening while he was there. I knew when we walked in the door if Barry Manalow was playing what was in store just like I also knew if I screamed or said anything he would do the same to my brother because he said so. Like so many kids I believed him when he said he would tell my dad I had misbehaved. There was no stranger danger then. Getting in trouble with dad was the last thing I wanted to do. Because my dad is a hard-charging Vietnam vet from Texas that expects the best and doesn’t take excuses. After the first time, he told me if I told he would say it was mutual. The school year ended, he went to college and the abuse ended.
I didn’t tell my parents until I was 13. I have attempted suicide several times but not since having kids of my own. I didn’t want to leave them on this earth without a mother. I wanted to tell the survivors to go get help. You do need it, it affects you in ways you don’t even realize. Yes, you are strong, but you need the tools to cope. I wanted to let the parents know the signs. I went from a straight-A student to failing every subject. I slept all the time. I never wanted to go outside anymore and I told outrageous stories.
Talk to your kids let them know that no one is allowed to touch them in that way. If you see something that is off, ask the hard questions. When I did come clean my parents asked me I wanted to tell the cops. I chose not to. While I understand where they were coming from. That shouldn’t have been my decision. Call the cops because your child will wonder if the offender offended again and they will carry that guilt. It is not their fault. I realize now that my dad knew I needed him at home with me more than I needed him behind bars.
While he thought “his talk” had handled the situation and he would leave me alone, never to look at me again, it didn’t. Dad’s this doesn’t work. You could be the baddest man on the planet. They are not afraid of you. In that moment fear doesn’t rule them. If it did they would never do the things they do. There is light at the end of the tunnel you can overcome this. Go get the help you need to do so. You also need to realize it is a never-ending battle. There will be days you do think about it. With the tools you can overcome it. Doing that is giving the asshole a gigantic middle finger because they didn’t break you. You are among our strongest!