Warning: I'm going to talk about my experiences with being sexually groomed as a minor by a man more than a decade my senior. Read with caution.
So for the past two days I've been trying to write this journal describing how I was the target of a sexual predator. I tried talking about how it all was just a perfect storm of a bunch of different things.
*My mother didn't give me any privacy
*Giving me a phone gave me 'privacy'
*After my dad remarried, my daddy issues only grew worse in the following year (when I was 14)
*I didn't think people were capable of doing this
The man who targeted me was Allen. He found me on a RP chat board I found via the internet on my phone when I was 14. To a 14 year old he was very charming. Talked about how he was a truck driver from Tennessee and how, when I described what I looked like, I sounded like the most beautiful person in the world to him. We texted and called for all of a month, until it got sexual. Detailing what he'd like to do to me, what he wanted me to do to him.
At first I didn't think anything was wrong with it. This was what couples did. Eventually I was found out, and my mother was furious, of course. (More about her phone bill going up than she was about the strange man talking to me.) But before that, one of my last calls with Allen was interrupted by a friend of his. A few friends of his. Fellow drivers, I think he said.
After this call, and after being found out, Allen suggested (and pushed) that we meet up at Six Flags, because he would be in Texas. I told him I didn't think I could get there without my parents knowing about it. He suggested I go with a few friends. I've blocked out a lot of this because of how much of an idiot it still makes me feel like I was, but I want to say we went so far as to plan what ride we'd meet in front of, and a date.
I think after that, my parents intercepted a call, and my step-dad likely threatened to kill him. A lot of us have dads who would kill for their kids, but being a retired police officer, my dad had actually killed before, and knew the law pretty damn well.
He made sure that man never called again. Never got to me. And made sure that his friends couldn't get to me either.
Knowing what I do now about the world, I can't even begin to imagine what would have happened to me if I'd gone through with things. If I'd gone to see 'Allen.' Or his friends. Because his friends were in on the trip to Texas, too.
That experience kind of warped me and it wasn't until a few years ago that I realized how much it had. I've repressed a lot of things over the years, but this experience is one of them. Allen was anywhere between 22-30 years old when he targeted me, when I thought I knew what it meant to be in love with someone. I was still a child. And that man used my naivete, my eagerness to please a man older than me and be accepted and loved by him, whatever that meant, to take advantage of me.
And unfortunately, this is still happening to this day. Not to me, but to other kids. Kids outside and inside our own community, whether we want to admit it or not. It's not easy to find because predators like to keep it that way. They don't want those of us who know it's wrong to see it, which goes without saying, and they train their targets to keep it hidden. 'Don't tell your parents,' 'Your friends just don't understand us,' 'Age is just a number.'
I'm here to tell you, from personal experience, and hearing the experiences of kids that were around or my age who had this happen to them: no, it's not. It's fucking not. The way our children are raised does not equip them with the sense of self responsibility, with the skills necessary to handle actually being sexual with someone else. And not only that, people that much older than kids (a decade+) have one thing that they want from them.
Absolute power and control.
When older people target kids, its easier to warp their minds to their needs. They use manipulation to take apart what defenses a child might have and change it so suddenly, this is alright. This is okay. It's acceptable so long as you and I are the only ones who know about it. It's a heinous, disgusting thing, and it happens. Adults targeting children do so because if they convince a child that their abuser can do no wrong, they'll never have to get rejected. It's easier to warp their minds to escape this, where with their peers in the same age group will be more well equipped to see this from a mile away and run.
I am so, so adamantly against people producing artwork of children and teens. And I hope by sharing my very real and completely honest experience, folks will understand. It doesn't matter if it's 'just visual.' Especially when produced by well known people, it gives them the mindset of 'well if they can make this art, then I can get away with it too.' It gives them a power trip. It gives them enough confidence to then move on to actual children.
I'm glad tumblr has taken away adult content. I actually am, because part of it took away a platform where pedophiles, minor attracted persons and their ilk could thrive. Good.
I hope none of them ever have a safe space, ever.
And if any of you have a problem with this, please let me know, and tell me why.
That's about all I have to say on this. Sorry if this is disturbing, but its something I felt like I should share.
I don't think it's okay how tumblr is handling removing all adult content, and I'm not glad that a lot of people are losing a very important platform. I know there are good people on that site who use it for a myriad of reasons that include adult content, and it's heartbreaking that so many are losing that. I've been testing the waters of various platforms as a replacement, and if anyone wants me to signal boost those on places like Twitter etc., do let me know! I'd be more than happy to help.