Connecting the dots TW

If I told you of all the men, you would not believe me.
“Til it happens to you, you don’t know how it feels…you won’t know, it won’t be real…won’t know how it feels.” Lady Gaga

I think if I purge it all then I will be free of it. I talk of it as if it will release each memory and go into this space of the internet where all will be cleansed and free of the pain. I just don’t know if that’s true. But keeping it inside of me will destroy me. So I speak it. It makes me feel worse at first. I feel vulnerable. I think others will judge me or think I’m making it up or I’m crazy or give them reasons to shift blame to me. Then when I stop thinking of them and I have stopped thinking about the event I wrote about, a little tiny place inside of me feels…vindicated. I’ve kept their secrets and after I reveal them then I feel some sense of justice even if real justice will never happen for me. And it won’t. All of these men can’t be found, prosecuted, held accountable for what they did. And they are not thinking of me. They are not suffering. They are sociopaths, psychopaths, pedophiles who did not think of me for a second after I was gone. There will never be justice for me. I can just let out what I can into this internet space of men who will read this and get pleasure from my pain. That’s a chance I’m taking. It wasn’t everything that was done to me as much as how it all made me feel. That ONE moment. There was always a moment of realization. Where I knew I had been used up and tossed aside. Right before that moment, I could have been feeling joy or maybe even loved. Then came the moment of loss. The realization that if I allow myself to feel joy or love that it will be taken in the cruelest of fashions. I was so groomed and brainwashed that every form of affection was interpreted as love until it caused pain and only then did I see it for what it was. I was so manipulated and tricked and forced that I knew nothing of purity and goodness from men.

I met someone who lived in Indiana a few days ago. I told this person I had a waterskiing job there. I went on with my day and later that night I grabbed a handful of chocolate chips. Then the flash came. I remember being picked up from the airport for that job in Indiana and taken to the home of the director of the job. He was so handsome and I was so flattered that he thought I was beautiful and he gave me so much attention. It was days of sex and just being in his bed and showering and more sex. I’d never been treated so affectionately or adoringly. He never offered me any food or meals so I would go into his refrigerator and get bread and in the pantry was peanut butter and chocolate chips. So I made myself a sandwich. Peanutbutter and chocolate chips. I created this fairytale that I’d go to my first day on the job queen of the world. This man must have loved me! It was this automatic love! We drove to work through the corn fields and they were beautiful. We were in his jeep and I was waving my arm up and down like the blowing corn. Surrounded by corn. I saw myself smiling in the mirror. I felt joy. I had just escaped my home life where I was abused by the ski team for my entire childhood and finally I got this job in Indiana and I was free!
We got to work and he dropped me and my suitcase off and acted like he had just picked me up from the airport. He told me I’d be staying in the skihouse with all the other skiers. He did not touch me again. I was 16 years old. He was 25 years old. That would be considered rape in the laws now. In this county and city at least. But…Too many had already had sex with me. I knew no different.
I looked at the chocolate chips in my hand just two days ago and remembered that part of the story that I’d forgotten. I remembered him and what he did. He humiliated me multiple times later in my career just because he could. He neded up at the job I took at Seaworld years later. Everytime I thought I was free I wasn’t. I have put together over the years that the entire waterskiing community was connected. I was abused every place I went that was waterskiing. And that was everywhere. That’s what I did. I skied. That was my job. My career. My passion. And it took me to different places from Indiana to Costa Rica to Canada all to be abused by different men.
Everyone was connected. I made a chart one day to see the connection.
Each line connected one, two, five, 10. Each one was an added secret. Each one was a new loss. But all connected.

I ran into an old friend from the lake who introduced me to his friend when I was late teens. I knew I would be safe with this guy because he said he was saving himself for marriage. But he liked to videotape making out with girls. I’d never been videotaped before. Half way into the videotape he told me that he didn’t believe that anal sex counted as sex and he would still consider himself a virgin. His plan was to trick girls into making out with them under the premise that he would stay a virgin so they’d be safe only to find out with the videotape rolling that what he considered virgin was not what they considered. That was one of the only times in every scenario where I stopped everything. I don’t know why he was different but I told him to stop and I told him to give me all of his videotapes of all of the girls. Maybe it was me realizing that he’d tricked all of these girls into having his kind of sex with them. I could never stand up for myself but the idea that he’d done this to others made me stand up for them in the best way I could. He’s out there. Married. All of them are I’ve kept tabs on them. I like to know where the abusers and manipulators and rapists are. They are all married with kids and grandkids.

When you watch movies and documentaries of sex trafficking you see women and girls tied to beds drugged with men having sex with them 24/7. This does happen. I know many women through abuse programs that this has happened to. Violent rapes with beatings. Not all sexual trafficking is that.
In my case, one man, when I was 11, told another man. Then I went to ski school at age 13 and that man told another man in Indiana and then that man told the guys at Seaworld, That waterskiing world was connected to my church and the theater group I was in. Everything was connected and every person told another person so that there was no place on earth I was safe.

Our town had a group of men who had sex with each other behind their wives backs. They had affairs and who knows what else. Love? I don’t know. It’s been said some were in love with their lovers. I don’t know how they felt, I just know it happened. Secrets in the church. Secrets on the ski team. Secrets on the lake. Secrets in the theater. Secret affairs. Secret molestations.
Nothing could bring attention to the men and what they were doing. Having sex with each other. Some men who were molesting the little girls were FRIENDS with the other men having sex with other men. THESE MEN! THOSE MEN! How could one man stand up for me when he was cheating on his wife with another man and his secret could come out? Some of these men came out as gay many years later. Some of those men did not hurt me but didn’t they? They were all part of the inner circle secret. Each had a secret of their own. None of it was good. None of this scenario was good.

The inner circle secret. One man connected to another by either sharing me or by using me to keep their secret. They knew about the secret of me but their secret was more important than saving me. You may think oh they were just gay men who could not come out. Let me tell you that any man or woman who allows a little girl to be abused just so their own innocent sexual identity won’t be shared, is not innocent. These were men. Married men. Allowing a little girl to be abused and caring more about themselves. Am I to feel sorry for them? Poor man who cannot just be with his male lover? While cheating on his wife? While knowing what happened to me but pushed it under the rug? I don’t accept that.

I am not talking about homosexual orientation and whether it is right or wrong. I am talking about a specific set of men who surrounded my life and allowed me to be tossed around like garbage because they were more important. And this is not just about the men either. You don’t think some of the women knew? Oh they did! And I held them MORE accountable than the men! That was then. I’d say it’s a level playing field now of the men and women involved that kept secrets.

I wrote out a chart of every man who had ever hurt me. How all of the men were connected. I kept going back to that moment my father shook the hand of the man who destroyed my entire childhood after my father KNEW this man had abused me. The big man on campus, on the lake, head of the ski team. They shook hands. My father shook hands with the man who abused me and ruined my childhood. They were the inner circle. Those two men. I could draw lines to and from everyone from each of them.

Chocolate chip memories and secret men groups. How will writing about all of this help me? I am not sure yet. But I know keeping it inside will destroy me and I really do want to live beyond this.

My family washed their hands of me long ago. As did every man who ever touched me. God how I wish I could wash the stench of all of them off of me!
Somehow their inner circle of secrets has gotten so large that it enveloped me.
Connecting the dots has brought the evils of the world into the light. It stayed in the recesses of my mind in the dark until it could stay there no longer.
Remember as a child you’d connect the dots and draw the lines and in the end you’d see a picture of a pony or cat. I connected the dots of an inner circle of darkness and found that what I’d hoped for all along never could have happened. I could have never been saved. There was no one to save me.

They forgot to mention he was an abuser!

Can’t access the link. Don’t worry. I will provide you with the content.

Looks like they forgot to mention that he molested me. Gave me life long PTSD. Cost me thousands of dollars in therapy. Cost me thousands of hours of pain and suffering and YET he is honored?

How does HE get honored???

Where is my honor for enduring and surviving his abuse. Where is the honor that should have been giving to me through validation of the ski club members that knew I was being abused. Where is the honor in my family supporting what I went through and still do because of this man. Where?

Keystone heights. A place where they honor child molesters and toss their children to the wolves. Congrats to them.

Guess it just slipped their mind to do the right thing. Cowards.

Gatorland ski team

Outwardly, my life really did look perfect. Maybe the truth would be easier to swallow now if outwardly my life didn’t look so perfect then.  I would be able to say, “Yeah, that makes sense.” Had I been living on the streets then maybe all of this would seem more…common? I mean if I were a little homeless girl out on the streets then this story would be equally as tragic but you could say, “Well I just wish she would have had a nice home and a family and maybe that would not have happened.” It happens! It happened! And I had what it seemed like the perfect life for a little girl. We had money. We lived on 5 acres of wood on a lake. I had every toy and doll I could hope for.   I was dancing at a dance studio. I was performing with my family in the music theater. I was waterskiing with my brother on the Gatorland ski team. Everything LOOKED perfect. Our house, it was perfect. My ruffled hand made comforter, it was perfect. My ribbon hair clips and my white keds, were perfect. None of those things lessened the trauma that happened to me. Perfect appearances didn’t protect me. 

Every weekend we had waterski practice. Every weekend for as long as I can remember. I learned how to ski when I was 4. I think we did our first ski show when I way around 8. Those ski team members were as much a part of my life as my own family. The ski team and the theater group and church members, they all overlapped. Everyone was intertwined. We had ski costumes and theater costumes and dress rehearsals. My parents sang in the choir and I went to Sunday school. None of that changed my circumstance. I was SURROUNDED by perfect people and a perfect life and none of that saved me from abuse because none of those people chose to.

The ski team would perform at different locations around the state, some out of state, and even once out of the country in Costa Rica. My brother and I were the youngest on the team. Most of the team members were couples, or the parents of one of the couples. They watched me grow up. As I wrote Gatorland Ski Team in the subject line it was like seeing my childhood flash before me. I was proud to be on the team. I was proud to be in the parade in our small town every year representing MY ski team. 

I sat on the edge of the dock with my feet in the water waiting every Saturday. I would call the same number. I still remember it. It was the man who molested me. I would call his house and tell him I was ready for practice. I loved all of the ski club members. They were like older brothers and sisters and cousins. The man who abused me, I cared about him, before the abuse.  I would call excitedly and tell him I was ready for a boat to get me. Those feelings are the one things that bothers me the most right now. I cared about Gatorland ski team. But they did not care about me. We were a team. We competed at the WORLD FAMOUS CYPRESS GARDENS. So, it was pretty shocking when the man I genuinely trusted and cared about started molesting me. I wish I could forget his phone number but 30 years later, I still remember it. When I told my parents I didn’t want to go back, that I didn’t want to be around him anymore, that he was, I think I said “Weird and perverted,” my mother made a call. She called that phone number that I can’t forget. She was promptly told that I was going to hell for my accusation and that he had no part in it. 

My world stopped.

But no one else’s did. The Gatorland ski team kept on going. As a child, I remember looking out my bedroom window, and watching the ski practice go on like nothing had happened. But wait, I thought, we were a team, why was no one coming over? Why was no one coming to check on me? These people had been a part of my life for my entire childhood. I was very alone. Did they not know? So I painted it, as I have written about before, on the ski jump, right in the middle of the lake that he, the main man in the ski team, had molested me. Everyone needed to  know what he had done to me. I had to protect the other girls. Now someone will come and tell me how sorry they are that he did this to me, I thought.  But no one ever came. They knew because the ski club members painted over my words. These were the thoughts of a child.

I suppose now I was still that hopeful child when 2 years ago I told my family of the abuse in detail and I waited. I waited for them to come, for someone to come, and no one did. No one has ever come. Not back then. Not now. 

As an adult I can go over scenario after scenario. I can put together conversations and comments. As an adult, I know, they all knew, and did nothing. I had waited for something that never would have happened. It isn’t JUST that they continued being the Gatorland ski team. That was bad enough to have to watch out my window. But no one came to me. And they all knew what he did to me. Many of the ski club members verified that they knew when I confronted them during a time when I thought I would take the abuser to court. That fact is just really sinking in just now. So many people knew. As an adult, thinking about them now, knowing they did nothing, floors me. I reached out to some of them recently. Those still on that Gatorland ski team. I asked them why they did nothing. No one replied.  All this time I thought, “I don’t matter. I didn’t matter.” And to those people, I didn’t. I don’t. They went on with their lives in the Gatorland ski team and to this day not ONE of them has had the courage or integrity to tell me they are sorry for 1. Knowing and doing nothing and 2. Not being there for me after the fact. 

My parents let my brother keep skiing with the ski club under this pathetic excuse that it was all my brother knew. And I watched. Even after I attempted suicide, I came home and watched him skiing with the team. As a child, I was confused. As an adult, as a mother, I am outraged. Outwardly, our perfect family could NOT be interrupted. And it wasn’t. My family had secrets of their own. Apparently, EVERYONE decided that the secrets were more important than I was. The absolute undeniable fact of the matter is I DID NOT MATTER.  

My therapist told me a very valuable tidbit last week. I told her, “Since my family left me 2 years ago after receiving the letter to my father about the abuse….” and she said, ” The didn’t leave you 2 years ago, the left you 30 years ago” (bit of paraphrase for the quote). And she is right. How do I wrap my mind around the realization that my perfect family, was rotten. How do I reframe it, compartmentalize it, deal with it, process it. Garbage. Liars. And every person that was on that ski team that KNEW and did nothing. Garbage. Trash. Liars. How do I take that trash, those rotten liars, put them in the garbage can and put the lid on it. I don’t know yet. 

Do you ever hear a story and think to yourself, “That is way to far fetched. That is way too out there. There is no way that can be true.” If someone told me the story of me, that is what I would say. It is an unbeleivable story that so many people had an integral part in. But there is ONLY one truth and I am telling it. 

I have recently learned of one man. One man that knew what happened to me and was prevented from helping me. Someone actually tried to help me. Someone wanted to counsel me and comfort me and he was prevented from doing so. So I wasn’t really alone after all. It rocked my foundation to hear this. I had always known of the people who knew and did nothing. But this man knew and tried to do something but was stopped. I’m glad I know. It gives me comfort to know. I am sure there are others who knew about the secrets and lies that prevented me from mattering who just haven’t come forward yet. I hope there are more. I hope my childhood wasn’t just the members of the Gatorland ski team and the likes of them who let an innocent child feel worthless. 

The truth has prevailed. I knew it would. Now I just need to take out the garbage.