I am warning you now, this won’t be an easy read and I fully anticipate you will be uncomfortable.
I have been an open book about my issues with depression, suicidal thoughts, and drinking. I can own it as part of my story as something that I manage and to some extent have walked through. My family and the world have seen me speak publicly about these problems and how yoga gave me a route into myself to do the work of bringing compassion in. But, there is a larger piece to this story that I have kept hidden and under wraps, robbing me of my power and my gift of connection, and perpetuating the silence that allows this behavior to continue. It is my hope that by sharing my story that it will have value and power and render the act powerless, or at least the power and control it has had over my life to date. It shows up in weird moments of tenderness with my partner, when I am watching tv, or when I am trying to enjoy anything. Keeping it suppressed was an attempt to ruin the story and even how I speak about my younger selves, I often describe those parts of me as dead. But that boy doesn’t want to be alone anymore.
Writing this, my heart is hammering and hot tears are running down my face.
When I was 11 years old, still in primary school, I was playing at some houses near the school. We tended to roam out into the woods and open fields and it wasn’t uncommon that I would end up off somewhere on my own. I was already quite a quiet boy, already feeling quite different. Maybe that made me a target.
An older boy from the high school started speaking to me outside his home, he must have been at least 17 and almost finished school. He wanted me to see something in his room and I remember looking around to see if any of my friends were around, they weren’t. I went into his house and we sat playing a computer game for a bit, him sitting next to me on his bed. It was all fine until he suggested a different game.
He locked his door to his room and made me undress. He decided to educate me on how things worked and aggressively forced me to do things to him and he did things to me, making it clear that I wouldn’t be able to leave until then. I remember the confusion, the instant shame and then my mind went blank. I feel like that day, the pieces of my soul that I had built up, shattered. All the memories and good times, and bad times that had brought me to that point were obliterated. I barely remember getting dressed, but I must have. But, I remember standing on the front path of his house and he spat in my face and used his hand to rub it down my face.
I was already working out that I was gay, that I wasn’t feeling the same as others. This event made me think that in order to have a physical connection, it would be powerless, in secret, and that it would be rape. That was all I was good for. I collapsed in on myself and began sitting alone at school. I remember days of sitting wrapped in my jacket in a corner almost every day from then on. The boy inside was crying for help but seeking help would reveal who I was and what it seemed like I had let happen.
The silence led to it happening again.
The silence meant, that when my first real relationship ended, I felt that same rejection and shame. That vacuum of history sucked me in and told me to end it. And I tried.
There is a terrified boy inside of me, huddled in his jacket. He has been alone for a long time and his pain is just as real as the day it happened. He deserves his time. He deserves for you to know him because he was who I wanted to be. He was the collection of good times in my formative years. He was my connection to my family and siblings, he was my connection to my home. I told people he died, but he has been waiting for his time.
His time is now.
If you won’t sit with him, then it is your time to go.
I don’t know what I want this to achieve, but, it has been important to me.