survivors manchester

A Letter to You

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…the man who has sexually abused me

Today, I write you this letter because the time has come to close this chapter in my life and to confront you with reality: you have sexually abused me when I was only 11 years old. You’ve abused a child that, like every other child, depended on an adult for his security. You’ve approached me with your lies and affection; you came as a friend and gave me your attention to create a relationship with me, a relationship that brought with it a lifelong, destructive toll. When you invited me to your house, when you took sexually advantage of me, an 11-years old child, you also destroyed a part of that child, a part of me.

I grew up believing that when an adult gives me attention, they’ll charge for it afterwards. You taught me that when a man gives affection to a boy, he will sexually abuse him afterwards. And you made me believe that it was natural, that it was normal and acceptable to all men to have sexual contact with children. How could I thought otherwise if my first sexual experience was with you, an adult, who took advantage of the innocence of an 11-year old boy saying it all was perfectly natural?

I am going to explain you what were the consequences of your acts, so you don’t have any doubts about the way you scarred me. Because of you and what you did to me, I grew up believing I had no value, that I wasn’t worthy of anyone’s affection. I grew up believing that I deserved your abusive behavior, that I was the one to blame. With your lies and cunning words, you sowed in me guilt without end. I grew up disgusted with myself, feeling dirty as if I was to blame for your actions, as if I, a simple child, was the one who had sexually abused you, a poor, innocent man who was caught in the web of an 11-year old sexual demon. That was how I felt. For decades, I was the criminal.

You’ve sexually abused me, however you walk as a free man. You’ve always walked free and exempt from a guilty conscience. Otherwise you wouldn’t have the courage to approach me in the street, with my mother by my side, and invite me to your house, you wouldn’t have the courage to ask me why have I stopped going to your street. I will never forget the last time you took me to your bed; the panic on your face when someone rang the door and you covering my mouth with your hand so they couldn’t even hear me breathing. If that was natural as you’ve always carefully told me, why did you react that way? It was in that moment I understood there was something wrong. In that moment, your dread didn’t match your deceitful words, craftily used since the beginning. You were so frightened that I took the chance to flee and never went back. But the harm, the damage, repeated over and over again, was already done and I brought it with me.

The worse of it all is that even though you were the monster who abused a child, the shame, the mortification, the guilt, the malaise, the will to die, the never-ending dark hole, the nightmares, the suffocation, all of it came with me. It was I who carried that horrible weight throughout my life.

And still you’re seen as a model citizen, someone who is a friend, someone everyone can trust. But that ends today because I know who you are. I see you for who you truly are and today is the day you’re going to see yourself in the mirror, the day you’re going to be confronted with your true self.

Today, I’m grabbing the mirror to show you who you are. To you and to the world.
For decades I was the one who kept a secret and that protected you. I was afraid that those who love me would say I was the abuser. The guilt, the disgust and the shame were so paralyzing that I kept my mouth shut, bearing all of this in silence. But that ends today. I refuse to be a victim of a past that I couldn’t escape.

Today I give you back everything you’ve given me, everything I didn’t deserve and never asked for. Today I return you the shame, your indecency, your guilt. None of it belongs to me.

Today I give you back the horrible, inhumane crime you’ve committed to an 11-year old child, so that you feel the weight of your actions for the rest of your life. The shame is finally yours to have.

Today, I break the silence and declare you guilty!

NOTE:
For some time I believed I shouldn’t publish this open letter as it no longer represents how I feel. However, these words still speak for how I felt for years and decades, and how many men still suffer in silence. Having that in mind, I’m sharing this letter to bring visibility to this cause and the some much needed awareness. Please share it!

#breakthesilence

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