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My early childhood was pretty ordinary to start with. Maybe I appeared to be somewhat quiet and lonely but not to the extent it turned in to an issue. When I was around the 7-mark my parents had me signed up for extra music classes, something that turned out to be a lucky strike. Oh, music really had me amazed and sucked up and to this day it hasn't loosened its grip in me... rather the contrary. So if you ask me, were you a lonely child I'd say Hell no! Maybe there wasn't friends around 24/7 but my interest in music and my vivid imagination kept me busy for sure.
A bunch of years later when I was 13, like all my peers at that age, I had to change school. I recall my new school as enormous and pretty frightening. Everyone else were just huge! Switching school when högstadiet begun meant that I suddenly had gone from being amongst the eldest in my old school to become one of the youngest in the new one. I guess that exactly didn't improve my outgoing skills. I kept a lot to myself, kept a low profile. I sometimes wonder if that self-assumed apparent loneliness had me singled out, if it had me spotted ready for grooming. My new school offered a lot of non-compulsory after-school activities, different sports, drama and such and I signed up for the photography class. The teacher turned out to be a beefy guy with a massive beard. Think Hells Angels and you're pretty much there. Some of my fellow classmates were scared shitless of him but I thought he was nothing but great! I just loved how he acknowledged me, the way he leaned over, how he touched my shoulder and took himself time to explain and show how and what to do.
Sometime later I found out he was a keen sailor, then we truly had a lot of common ground and I liked him even more. My family were also boaters but unfortunately because of my dad's work beside a few summer weekends it never was enough time to go sailing, so when I after some time was asked by my photo teacher to join him I was delighted to say the least.
The first trip(s) in his yacht was okay, nothing beside sailing happened and I came back home with a new tan, happier than ever - but then he started to abuse me sexually. The first experience was me waking up at night finding him sitting beside in bed masturbating me. I guess I should have screamed or punched him hard but instead I just froze in fear and pretended to be asleep, which of course he knew I wasn't, and had him to continue his stuff. From that on everything soon escalated and he made me do things to him too, not only in his yacht. A number of times he "happened" to bump in to me outside school offering me a ride home in his car. Whenever I could I made up half-lame excuses to escape but sometimes I found no way out and entered his green Volvo knowing what would happen. That ride always went via some secluded place where he wanted me to perform bj's on him. Like in his yacht I did whatever he wanted because I felt I had to, because he was my friend, because I didn't know how to say no, just to get away.
I didn't know what to do, didn't know what to say so I said nothing at all. Did nothing at all. Just kept the abuse running. To the rest of the world I pretended everything was allright and kept coming back. Kept on taking rides in his car. Kept on sailing with him in the weekends. Kept a smile on my face. A smile that by time became so heavy to carry.
Of course I should have told someone, today I realize that but back then I just couldn't. The shame and the humiliation made it impossible. I felt dirty beyond words. I was afraid to get yelled at at home, afraid no one would believe me, afraid to be blamed, afraid the word would spread at school, afraid everything would turn even uglier if I told him to stop. Or maybe it was all my fault, maybe I had done something to make this happen? No matter how I tried I couldn't see any solution or way out.
But I admit I was torn. At day in his yacht we had a great time and he sure was a great sailor, he definitely knew what he was doing, I soon saw that. He taught me how to sail, how to read the charts, how to predict the weather by watching the clouds, how to adjust and trim the sails. He laughed at my jokes, he said the right stuff and he always had an ear for me. I brought my guitar and tried to pick out our favourite tunes. Sometimes I made it but mostly I didn't. But it never mattered if I played the wrong chords, he always said I did a good job all the same. That part, that undivided attention, I loved it. Suddenly me, the lonely kid, suddenly I was someone.
I soon learned to disconnect to cope with the abuse, I learned not to care, I learned not to feel anything at all but I also learned to hate myself, learned to hate my body that made it look like I was enjoying his abuse. Worse of all was when I sometimes couldn't stop myself from feeling aroused from what he did to me, and when I saw how he noticed that. If I only could I would have blown my head off. Right there. Out of self-hate and humiliation.
Eventually I started to think of ways to kill him. In my mind it didn't matter if it also meant killing myself in the process. If it served the purpose, then fine. But it never came to that. Instead one day, and it took over a year till I managed to gather enough strength, I told him I didn't want to come any more. Of course I got yelled at. Every kind word, every soft touch got taken back. With interest. He exploded, told me I was a "...worthless piece of shit and an ungrateful bastard..." and so much more. Those words still echoes in my head. Back then his anger scared me, nowadays I only see my strength forcing myself to look him in his eyes and say No. However I still couldn't tell, the shame was too intense so what had happened became my secret. For a short period our paths kept on crossing at school but we avoided looking at each other. Every time I saw him even in the distance I wanted to scream out loud but all I felt was like dying, like a knife was stabbed into my stomach. A little later he quitted and left. Maybe he was scared I would tell, maybe it was something else that made him leave, I never found out. At that time I didn't know but that was the last I ever saw of him, however the fear of unexpectedly bumping in to him stayed with me for so long.
But I never said a word, I just couldn't. The words that had to be used, it was impossible to phrase them. Like poison. Instead I turned inwards and got stuck in confusion, anger, reckless and self-destructive behaviour, alcohol and some drugs. I started to question my sexual preference, got involved with people not good for me, basically did anything to destroy myself, to end up feeling as shitty as possible, which even included selling myself to men in my neighbourhood. As some twisted irrational revenge I guess. To break "his" toy maybe. Got sent to the school counsellor but I refused to cooperate. Insisted everything was ok. Yeah right. Well eventually I guess I simply gave up. The anger slowly drowned and was replaced by... life. Could just have been death. Yes, I tried that option out as well.
(fast forward 30 years)
To my immense surprise I have met the warmest and loveliest person on earth and I'm a dad of two teenage boys. I live a "normal" life, have a career. What used to be my secret still is, only a few trusted knows, no one in my family though. I have yet to tell them. So far, basically scared of my own reaction, scared of changing our relationship, I haven't dared. I trust them to know my secret but I don't trust myself enough to feel ready to tell, however I see that day coming closer.
A couple of years ago I learned my abuser had passed on, then so much I had repressed started to come back. The consuming black hole inside me was still there. So much I hated about myself got brought back to the surface. I have deep trust issues, I absolutely detest being touched, I have low self-esteem, I avoid see myself in mirrors, I tend to drink too much, my mood is the steepest roller coaster, I sometimes go depressed, I have sleep issues and nightmares, I feel emotionally dead inside, I feel like my sexuality has been stolen - just like my youth, I feel like my perpetrator ruined my life for his own amusement, then he left me to try pick up the pieces of my childhood by myself.
I have been doing rounds with therapists to try put my perspectives right, however, what have helped me most of all is just talking. I have a dear trusted friend with whom I have been open about my past. Those talks are neither fun nor easy but when we're done it feels like a heavy burden has been taken off my chest. I just hope that weight hasn't landed on him but he has ensured me that isn't the case. Talking helps, despite the pain. It takes the edge of that black hole.
So that's me. I'm Daniel. A Scandinavian guy in my mid 40's and I hate snow. Sports never has me going, I'm more in to the creative arts. I write I play music I photograph however unfortunately neither of my hobbies are my profession. I have a career elsewhere making it possible to pay my bills and have a roof over my head, I try to be a great dad and a good husband, I try to be a responsible and organized co-worker, I can make people laugh just as I sometimes can be a complete asshole and a jerk. That's what I am, that's how I nowadays would like to be seen - not like a "poor abused kid". And that's probably why telling is tough for me. That, and the shame that still cast its shadow over me... oh this isn't much of a personal add, is it?
I congratulate you if you made it down this far. Thanks for reading.