Monday, September 15, 2008

A Victim Of Rabbinic Sexual Abuse Ponders!

Why is it still considered taboo to go to the police when a child has been molested?

Can someone please give me an answer? Why are there child molesters (that we know about) roaming freely and being given the biggest respect and protection, while their victims are not allowed to get any sense of closure? Why is Dov Hikind not advising to go to the authorities?

I am fighting for this worthy cause. My motive is to stop the ugly cycle of molester/victim/molester/victim/etc.

What I'm implying in my last sentence might well bring upon me the wrath of victims and family. Let me preface with the fact that I was used and abused sexually by rabbis in our society and am left deeply hurting from those episodes and the cover-up that followed. As long ago as they may have occurred, the brain is still a huge blackboard with NO ERASURE. Hence when rabbis counseled me with the words "just get over it, it’s a thing of the past" I knew I was talking to men who are phenomenal IMBECILES when it comes to relating to this complex and painful topic.

Having said all this I will venture into dangerous waters now. Please be patient and follow my logic to its conclusion.

All or most seem to concur that a large percent of victims will due to the mental trauma, (and lack of normal sexual maturity while in a proper and healthy state of mind), likely and sadly become child-rapists themselves (albeit without being able to comprehend the severity of this due to having been programmed as such by the molestation). A far larger number will at least entertain thoughts of abuse and sexual violence.

As horrific as this sounds, allow me to prove it. Many survivors who fail to get proper therapy in a timely manner and try to live a normal life (i.e. getting married), will eventually find themselves in a turbulent marital relationship due to the fact that they were taught by example, and will therefore relate to sexual acts and marital relations in a different manner. These victims were taught, even before attaining full puberty, that sexual gratification is attainable at the expense of one’s supposed loved one, and that the object of your desires exists only to fulfill your every desire and fantasy with all the twisted justifications in tow.

Obviously such a relationship will crash and burn very badly, all the while, the original victim struggles, yet fails, to fully comprehend what went wrong with the relationship. (As a side note, I insist that a great many of the divorces in our society stem from this issue - yet another price to pay for harboring rapists and molesters.)

Take the above married couple dilemma and replace the wife with a student, neighbor's kid, or sibling, and you see the disaster perpetrated by those advocating cover-ups and shipping our problems to another town or yeshiva. This is all the more reason that this is a real emergency.

A final example, is the child of violent parents who will likely grow up to beat his own children, since he was taught to deal with his anger and negative emotions with violence unto helpless children.

Now, although we are sickened by this reality and the seeming unstoppable cycle of ever-increasing molestation and its resulting side effects, and although victims must be held accountable for improper actions (just like children are taught lovingly that they must be responsible for stealing and biting etc.), you would have a heart of stone not to feel sorry for the victim of child molestation who turns to this very same trade. This person’s confusion, post traumatic stress disorder, disassociation, depression, low self esteem, the insatiable need for over stimulation brought on by the inability to reconcile what happened as a child or teen, and a slew of other side effects of abuse, are more guilty than he himself.

Now, look me in the eye and tell me what you would say if you found out that Kolko or Mondrowitz or Lanner or Colmer or any of the other alleged or convicted prolific molesters/rapists were themselves raped, sodomized, or prematurely stimulated by others as children? If true, was not their plight at the hands of an authority figure reaming him in the mouth, pounding him in the ass or making him fondle the molester or perform sex acts on camera etc., any less painful then the plight of his very own victims? What about his molester? Was he molested too? Don't we owe it to possible victims of rape and incest, who in turn abuse others, to discern and consider whether we are dealing with one whose heart and spirit died a horrible death years earlier at the hands of another molester?

When that once-carefree spirit died it too had no one to mourn its demise, no one to share in the grief of the little victim as his wretched abused soul shriveled up and died that day! For example, what will we say if it turns out we have reliable sources documenting that Mondrowitz was molested as a child by the "butcher of Chicago" who lived in the same building he grew up in? May G-d forgive me if what I write here is used unjustly by Mondrowitz's defense, but my intentions are pure.

Heaven forbid that I am advocating moderation in pursuit of justice and closure. What I am saying is that Dov Hikind may know what others don't, or may be going the more cautious route and giving the opportunity to those victims-turned-molesters to come clean, fess up to what they did, beg and plead on both knees to the victims (every single last one of them), for forgiveness and then give these souls the ONLY kind of therapy that works. Namely to explain to them how they came about to molest, what they are perpetrating and perpetuating with these acts, and that they can and will overcome the trauma of their youth. They can then use the one little known strength of victims, which is a hidden and long dormant tenderness and ability to feel for others, and then move toward a lasting, honest and fulfilling marriage.

You might raise an eyebrow and say, "what is this guy talking about a victim’s hidden strength of tenderness"? Well, bear in mind that it is those with an inherent shy and timid kindness, with an unlimited innocent sense of human goodness, and a yearning for peace and warmth --- who wouldn't hurt a fly, that falls victim to molestation.

We may perhaps venture now to answer a question that has reverberated in the halls of modern medical schools and in the journals of mental health. Can a molester be “cured”? The answer comes with a big IF. IF and only IF the molester was himself victimized, then conditional to the steps mentioned two paragraphs back, I can safely state that barring other severe mental issues, YES! The logic found above points solidly to this answer.

I repeat that I have always been an active advocate of strict and immediate definitive intervention. But after the initial intervention and the truly sincere apology to every last victim, parents of victim and spouse of victim (I won’t want to have to hold my breath waiting for this ever to happen), we must give quarter to those who too have suffered a lifetime of living with an unshared secret of pain and horror. If my tormentors turn out to be victims themselves I would upon the above conditions consider the case closed even though the issues I deal with may linger for a lifetime. Hopefully Hashem will reciprocate and bestow upon me his unlimited kindness and forgive my shortcomings on account of my being a human and a victim of sexual abuse. And I hope he will grant me the strength to live life to its fullest potential - and love it, in the company of my spouse and children, who are so dear to me for eternity.

I write these lines in honor of first - the victims (those who are with us and those who died waiting in vain for closure and validation),and most of all, in honor of my wife, the compass of my soul, the healer of my heart.

UOJ, If you find this piece worthwhile, publish it for all to see, so as to give some sort of balance as we strive to do the elusive right things before Yimei Hadin.

This topic has no quick answers and has more facets than a prism. It is a difficult task to stand in judgment of these episodes, and even harder to do right by finding the perfect solutions. Which is yet another reason why victims live in turmoil.

Please Hashem, free us of this epidemic for all time.