“He has done nothing to hurt anyone.”
Hearing those words about a pedophile and child molester made me want to throw up. I listened as the parents sobbed in grief and tragedy about their son’s depraved desires even as I struggled with a competing thought, “How could any parent, any adult for that matter, even the mother of this adult son say, “he has done nothing to hurt anyone?”
The never-never land of childhood is meant to encircle and protect innocent children from the knowledge of good and evil that they will all too soon encounter for themselves, when they are more prepared, emotionally and intellectually, for the acceptance of the duel nature of man.
Why does this desperate declaration of stubborn denial bother me so? Why am I horrified by its implications for the adults in this tragedy, let alone the innocent, raped children in the videos their son used for self-gratification?
“The unconscious sends all sorts of vapors, odd beings, terror and deluding images up into the mind. Beneath the floor of the comparatively neat little dwelling that we call our consciousness, goes down into unsuspected Aladdin caves.”
The Hero With a Thousand Faces. Joseph Campbell
I believe the role of the adult is to protect the innocent.
I believe the role of the adult is to stand for those who cannot stand for the themselves.
I believe the role of the adult is not to say about the offender, “whatever makes him happy.”
I believe the role of the adult is not to support the offender’s need for a “break from the stresses of his life.”
Where is the absence of horror about the prepubescent victims who were instructed to perform sexual acts for the pleasure of those stunted in their emotional development, having devolved into depraved fantasies of power and control. It’s not surprising when studies in the Encyclopedia of Personal Disorders say the younger the victim, the lower the I.Q. Of the sexual predator.
Soon, clothing themselves as victims of their own childhood traumas, the sexual predator attempts to excuse their behavior, conjuring up hopes of pity and helplessness, seeking an escape hatch in which to appear an acceptable member of society, all the while their gaze and thoughts searching the room for their next memory later rise to the surface providing self-satisfaction late into the night.
The sexual predator, over years and decades practicing their preferred gratification, become desensitized to the now-familiar stimulation and must push the boundaries further and further, enlisting those closest to them into participation, inviting them to enjoy and share the dark fruits of their personal demons, endeavoring to create a sense of validation for their skewed fantasies.
The sexual predator, this social animal, rationalizes that his actions are on some level acceptable as no one has arrested him. Society has not rejected his behavior. His parents push the excuse, “He has done nothing to hurt anyone” so from all outside appearances accept his actions without consequence, again, validating his activities.
He has gotten away with it.
He doesn’t go to counseling to understand and manage his desires. He fears the truth and it’s inevitable release as anything he confesses will be used against him in a court of law – as if avoiding going to prison is the goal of seeking professional help. He brazenly entices a new girlfriend to be in a relationship, knowing she as two little girls just the ages his fantasies have had to previously concoct vicariously, illegal videos of children being raped purchased with gift cards, downloaded through I.P address scramblers so as to send authorities scurrying away on rabbit trails, hiding his deplorable habit as any bloodthirsty vampire who cares not for the source of his blood, but only to quench his thirst.
No sane person would condone this behavior. No one with the slightest sense of moral standard would go on as if life was the same as it always was. Football parties, weddings, a night at the movies, spa weekends all continue unabated. Why is there no outrage? Why is there no voice for the innocent children in these videos? Who are the adults who direct these children to perform illegal acts, taking off their clothes, capturing the pictures, selling and distributing them, profiting off the traumatic aftermath these children will have to endure, their own subconscious den of horrors pooling, not knowing the source of future feelings of inadequacy, body dimorphism, fears, terrors, and low self-esteem.
They wanted to please mommy and daddy. They did as they were told. They didn’t understand the internal conflicting forces as others stood by, watching, silent.
Where was the mother of Isaac when his father took him up the hill fully intending to kill him – sacrifice him – in the name of God? Did she hide in shameful regret for not standing up for her child in the face of irrational and illegal murder because her husband heard voices in his head?
Instead each remained . . . Silent.
"Tolerance is the last vestige of a depraved society" Dr. James Kennedy
In world where we are afraid to judge another, in cases of protecting the innocent, as one U.S.Marine would tell me, “Maybe a little more judgement is needed.”
Where were my thoughts formed, the outrage, the horror, the helplessness of naivety? As I look back, I attempt to view my past through a veil of empathy and love. All adults have their reasons for what they do. We have all failed our children in a myriad of ways, in their eyes and our own. But our subconscious will always hold the memories, the keys hidden beneath years of life and living, one event stacked upon another, one step, one decision adding to the mystery of why we do what we do.
I am acquainted with the feelings from watching someone stand by, eyes cast downward, silence on their lips as disgust and humiliation are poured out in an odd form of righteousness. Innocent thoughts and feelings are driven out of the body and mind through intimidation and force of hand. Once, I heard a person behind a closed door say, “leave the boy alone.”
The boy. The innocent.
I am acquainted with being bullied, those stronger and smarter than me trying to wrestle away everything I had worked for, sacrificed for. Faceless corporate raiders want to board my ship, sow discord among my staff, turn my efforts into a mutiny so they can mop up the remains for themselves.
I didn’t know what to do. I was alone, helpless, frustrated and confused. I was frightened as I paced back and forth so much an imprint trail was left in the carpet. One day, a person, who would later become my friend, asked what was happening. I shared my circumstances and he said, “I know what to do. They are bullies and they steal what they cannot earn for themselves. Here is what we are going to do.”
He laid out the plan and its various components. I didn’t know what the outcome would ultimately look like, all I knew was to instinctually trust this stranger, place my life in his hands. He shared wisdom and with the insight of a battle-worn soldier he said, “follow me.” And I walked into the fray and I watched his steps, listened to his conversations, their motives explained to me toward a more expansive horizon, bright with hope, leaving grey clouds of doubt to drift away with each passing day.
He didn’t have to help me. We did not have a contract or relationship. He saw a bully. He knew what had to be done to protect an innocent. He offered his help and I gratefully accepted.
Yes, I know the fear and fog of thinking the world was operating against me and I was helpless to fight, until a stranger, and now my dear friend, changed the course of my life, and the lives of those within my circle, with his outstretched hand and with great relief my grasping it tightly.
My subconscious is clawing its way to the surface hearing the words, “he has done nothing to hurt anyone.” I am once again, thrown backward into the mind and body of one screaming, “Is this what life is? Is there no one who will speak for me, when I don’t know what to do?”
Silence is all I hear as I sit on the edge of my bed. There no one to stand and say, “I’ll speak for you. I’ll stand for you. I’ll protect you.”
We cannot save the world, but we can change it’s course.
We can count the cost of silence and make the difficult decision.
We can say what is true.
We can press an unpopular reset.
Silence is the harbinger of the defeated, the solace of the shameful.
Stand for those who cannot stand for themselves.
The innocent depend on it.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep
But I have promises to keep
And miles to go before I sleep.
And miles to go before I sleep.