When I was thirteen, I was called by my principal to come to his office. Bewildered, since I was a good student, I got up and left the classroom accompanied by a chorus of, “Oooohs”. Upon arrival, I saw that he was not alone. There was another man there, a man I did not recognize. He introduced himself as a social worker and that he needed to talk to me. He informed me that in order to talk to me, my mom needed to know my whereabouts. However, my mom could not be reached. He said, “I shouldn’t do this, but it’s really important for me to talk with you. I don’t want you to go home and make-up stories, so I’m going to take you to my office anyway”. And just like that, I was escorted to his car. I was scared. I didn’t know this man. My mom did not know that I was with him. And I had no idea where he was taking me.
During the drive, the strange man informed me that he was friends with my father. My father sexually abused me. He laughed and talked fondly about my father the entire way to his office. It was a small town, but I did not recognize the building we entered. There were cubicles and small offices. I was told nothing except to wait in a chair. So I did. For over an hour. I could feel panic start to rise when I looked at the clock and realized school was letting out. I rode the bus to and from school everyday. “OMG”, I thought, “How am I supposed to get home?”. I think another twenty minutes to a half an hour passed when the strange man escorted me into a small, dark room. There was a blonde lady, an older gentleman, and a microphone suspended from the ceiling. I was asked to sit down next to the blonde lady. She looked like one of my barbies. They said she was another social worker and that the other man was a police officer. I was given a piece of paper and told to read it. I was shaking. I started to read, but the words blurred together—I was dizzy with fright and tears had formed in my eyes. After starring at the paper for a few moments, my eyes stinging from the saline, I was told to sign the paper. I did as I was told, but immediately my stomach dropped. I asked what the paper was for. They should have known right then that I didn’t understand what I had “read”, torn up the paper, grabbed a new one and explained what it was for. But they didn’t. They actually should have read over the paper with me and made sure that I understood BEFORE they told me to sign it. And they should have asked me if I wanted to sign it, instead of telling me to do so. Anyway, I asked them what it was for and they told me that they were going to ask me a few questions and that I had just consented to being videotaped and the videotape would be used in court should it be necessary. I can’t even begin to describe the emotions that flooded my frail, barely pubescent body. I was a smart kid, but the emotions I was feeling and the fact that nothing was being explained to me made it impossible to comprehend the situation.
I lost sense of time. I don’t know how long they questioned me for. They told me to look into the camera when I answered their questions. They started asking me questions about my father and if I knew what sexual abuse was. Of course I did. It was then I realized I had an opportunity…….and then I realized, no, it wasn’t. Strange man was friends with my father. He made a point of letting me know that. So no, I couldn’t tell them what my father had done to me. He would find out. That strange man would tell him everything. My father wasn’t living at home anymore, but he would stalk me at school. He once kidnapped me. He forced me into his car against my will, in front of everyone—they did nothing. He began driving in a direction that wasn’t familiar. I kicked and screamed and tried to open the door to jump out. I guess it made him too nervous because he let me go. The people at the child protection agency never told me that I would be safe if I told the truth. So, I made up stories. I denied that he had done anything to me. I said that I had lied to the person that I disclosed to. I fibbed hard. The blonde barbie then took me to her trailer until she got a hold of my mother. The red sports car smelled like perfume and air freshener. It was hard to breathe, but It got me home.
There’s more to the story. But I’m going leave the rest out for now. It was the most traumatic experience of my life other than the abuse. The people who were supposed to be there to keep me safe, are villains in my story. If it hadn’t been for the strange man, my dad might be behind bars right now. He never should have been involved in my case. He was friends with my father—the accused—that’s a conflict of interest, a dual relationship. He was the executive director of family social services at the time—I have never heard of an executive making a house call before. He had been a social worker for years before then, so he knew better. He purposely got involved when he shouldn’t have. I can’t read minds, so I don’t know his intentions, but it sure as hell seems like he did what he did to prevent me from saying anything.
As for the other two…well, they were not very good advocates. They did nothing to make me feel safe. They didn’t explain a single thing to me. They coerced me into signing something I did not understand. That’s a whole bunch of wrong.
I recently found out that the strange man has a private practice in city I live in. He’s counselling male sexual abuse survivors. One of my classmates is about to do her practicum with him. It makes me feel super weird. I found out his personal contact information through his website (How arrogant is that? What kind of social worker has their own site? Oh, and he also charges money for the support group for male sexual abuse victims that he runs. It’s a support group for god sakes, it’s not counselling. Who does he think he is charging people an intake fee of $150? Male victims have a hard enough time coming forward as it is. And he wants to charge them money just for talking amongst each other? Disgusting). My psychiatrist told me now that I’m an adult, I might want to consider arranging a meeting with him. I don’t think I’m ready for that at the moment, but I am definitely considering it for later. I need to do a lot of thinking and figure out what I’d like to ask him. All I can think of is “What the fuck were you thinking, you asshole?”….that is not exactly mature. He put his own personal opinions and impressions before my welfare, and I would like to address that, but in a more appropriate manner. Anyone have any advice?
Today was not a good day. Today I found out that the man who is the reason why my sexual abuser isn’t behind bars right now, is a counsellor for male survivors of sexual abuse and runs the only male survivor support group in the city. This is a man who did not follow proper policy and procedure and put his own personal opinions and impressions before my welfare. Rockstar social worker my ASS. He even has his own website—what kind of social worker has their own fucking website? Seriously?