In response to releasing “The Destroyer” out into the universe, a lot of insights (and incites) have emerged. I will share a few of mine now. The video, is not intended to resolve the epidemic of Childhood Sexual Abuse. Resolution of that problem, so deeply rooted in our culture, will take a global awakening of empathy. Many saw the video as reflecting the hate-filled politics of our time. I wrote the poem before 2016. When I revisited it recently, it resonated the current climate for me. That’s part of why I made the video.
The ending of the video is intended as a gentle suggestion, as a way of coping with the upset caused by hateful, abusive people, whoever and wherever they are encountered. Learning how to cope with the triggers of hate is a huge part of the recovery process. There is no magic bullet for “healing” when it comes to surviving CSA. The artwork featured at the end is from a mixed media piece, called Centered.
Although the video is from the point of view of the perpetrator, I wrote it for survivors like myself, who struggle with a perpetual victim mentality. In my advocacy against CSA, I have encountered perpetrators and survivors. All too often, they are both. CSA is traumatizing for everyone. I saw a movie about nymphomania. The main character said something that really struck me, something like, “there are millions of people who are sexually attracted to children; only a tiny fraction of those people act upon those feelings.” I find that both fascinating and disturbing. What has to happen in the mind of someone to act on those feelings? What drives such a terrible choice? It must be gut wrenching. CSA takes a tremendous toll on everyone, including the perpetrator. I understand the rehabilitation of a sex offender is next to impossible. I’d like to believe that wasn’t true.
Did you ever watch that video of Epstein yukking it up with Trump? You know exactly what they are laughing about and it’s enough to make anyone vomit. These people are not going to let go of this awful subculture, lurking below and motivating policies in the highest echelons of our government.
I said in the “disclaimer” of the video that when I write or act I have the ability to channel or embody the person I am portraying. My secret is Stanislavsky’s “Magic if.” What if I were this person or that person? How would it feel? What would I want? Then I go from there. Sadly, the abuser is in me, perhaps implanted. Who knows? With the magic if, anything is possible. Who I am as a person, however, are the choices I make every day. I am not the abuser. I am a self made man, informed both by the darkness and the light.
As a survivor, I can speak firsthand that being abused changes a person in ways that muddy certain normal boundaries. I’ve crossed lines I may not have crossed because of abuse. Fortunately, not lines that would constitute abuse. But certainly, with my desperate need for affirmation, I engaged in a bit of what we used to call “womanizing.” This need for affirmation is also responsible for my developing talents and teaching me to have compassion and empathy. So there is always a balance, a give and take, when it comes to any trauma. Another downside is that CSA has left me questioning every action because I don’t always trust myself. These are all common traits among survivors, by-the-way. CSA changes a person’s moral wiring. Sex, even consensual sex, becomes something dirty. It is forever associated with abuse. I tell myself, CSA has skewed me, but it hasn’t screwed me. I have learned to make adjustments and adapted to a new normal. This is what it really means to survive.
I will be guesting on a podcast about CSA this Wednesday, 11-27, starting at 8 pm EST. I will tell my story and hopefully share any insights about my journey towards recovery. Tune in live and share or ask questions. http://www.naasca.org/_2019-RadioShows.htm