Closet Secrets - Abuse, Trauma, Liberation

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Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 12, 2007, 23:42

Pentecostal curse…….i guess is a loose term one would use to describe a very negative prophetic word……ie someone who has the illusion they are speaking gods words of judgement…….not unlike the clairvoyant who tells you some tragedy will come into your life or the old aboriginal bone pointing and the person died.

Is it crap……yes……if you believe it or accept it you give it power to come to pass.

Just my thoughts on it.

Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
November 13, 2007, 00:08

Thanks so much Robert. It means so much to be heard. I must say I didn’t want to focus on abuse when I started this post, however it was me that chose that word to feature prominently in the heading. Must have been a dizzy spell but I guess it was for a reason.

It may be timely to bring up one of my greatest head spinners. Some former partners and some work colleagues went through similar experiences where they had sexual relationships with older boys and much older men from ages as young as 13. The only difference is that they retell their stories as conquests or experiments, not abuse. It’s almost like a peer pressure to get over the past in an adult kind of way and accept it was part of the conditioning. In one sense it makes me want to believe it was also part of my own education. In another sense, I cringe as I recognise that some of my brothers accepted abuse as the norm … and still do.

It may have been legal for a man to take on a 13 year-old male apprentice in ancient Greece to share his bed, but it is not legal in today’s Australia or USA. We all need to recognise when others cross our boundaries and we need to seek help when our experiences venture beyond our control. Do you agree?

Thanks again. Kit

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 13, 2007, 07:29

its good that abuse is now more and more in the consciousness of people in society. Previously everything was swept under the carpet. The secrecy kept people in prisons of fear and shame for years and created a whole range of psychological problems.

BTW I came across a very good but disturbinhg article back in 2004 on the abuse in the Catholic church…..but i think it applies to many denominations.

Are gay priests to blame? David France, who wrote the definitive investigation of the Catholic Church’s sex scandal, argues that the Vatican’s homophobia drove many gay priests to abuse youths. David France, the openly gay author of the just published Out Fathers: The Secret Life of the Catholic Church in an Age of Scandal (Broadway Books), says it’s not that easy. In his exhaustively reported and intensely emotional narrative, France reveals that many of the accused priests–numbering 4,392 since 1950, according to an independent report released in February-clearly are gay men.

Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
November 13, 2007, 21:12

Dear Anthony

Do you ever sleep? 6.29 am?

Thanks for the article. There but by the grace of God go I, so to speak…

The concept of being forced to abuse kids doesn’t sit right for most of society although I’ve observed that some judges are lenient with former victims. One issue that worries me is the philosophy of cause and effect. A savage, twisted American right-wing website demonstrates the way these issues can be screwed with to call for our collective blood…

I quote:

“despite efforts by homosexual activists to distance the gay lifestyle from pedophilia, there remains a disturbing connection between the two. This is because, by definition, male homosexuals are sexually attracted to other males … the evidence indicates that disproportionate numbers of gay men seek adolescent males or boys as sexual partners. In this paper we will consider the following evidence linking homosexuality to pedophilia:

Pedophiles are invariably males: Almost all sex crimes against children are committed by men.

Significant numbers of victims are males: Up to one-third of all sex crimes against children are committed against boys (as opposed to girls).

The 10 percent fallacy: Studies indicate that, contrary to the inaccurate but widely accepted claims of sex researcher Alfred Kinsey, homosexuals comprise between 1 to 3 percent of the population.”

“Homosexual pedophiles sexually molest children at a far greater rate compared to the percentage of homosexuals in the general population. A study in the Journal of Sex Research found, as we have noted above, that “approximately one-third of [child sex offenders] had victimized boys and two-thirds had victimized girls.” The authors then make a prescient observation: “Interestingly, this ratio differs substantially from the ratio of gynephiles (men who erotically prefer physically mature females) to androphiles (men who erotically prefer physically mature males), which is at least 20 to 1.”

This total rubbish doesn’t take into account that many cases of male-to-male sexual abuse occur by the likely 7% of men who parade as heterosexual and who they refuse to count in their greatly minimised calculations about how many gay men there are in the world. Just like politicians, the homophobes think they can have it both ways.

Every dog has its day.


Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 13, 2007, 22:50

Just to add to what you say Kit……from my experience……a normal same sex orientation…..when suppressed…denied….leads to self hatred and loathing…..and then can begin to manifest itself in some very unhealthy ways which include sexual addictions, Psychological problems and sexaul abuse.

all this would be reduced dramatically if we had a society that accepted same sex orientation so people didn’t feel the need to hide…..and create a culture of secrecy.

the deeper the closet the darker it gets…the darker it gets…the more perverse it can become.

thats why when i came out into the light as a gay man all my dysfunctionaliites dropped off overnight. I feel for those who live the tortured life.

Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
November 14, 2007, 22:56

Having thought about it, I’d like to share with F2B’ers an excerpt of my own original writing about my experiences of abuse as a teenager. Anthony’s writing has been an enormous inspiration to me in the coming out phase of my life.

As yet unpublished, my story is a true and honest record with names and a couple of details changed to preserve anonimity. I warn that it is graphic, however in context, I don’t consider it inappropriate for this website. I have made no attempt to hide my own vulnerability or youthful gullibility.

I hope you appreciate it.

EXCERPT from KIT’s story

I had no idea where I was going as I crossed Ann Street that night. My feet felt as if they barely touched the ground as I brushed a tear from my eye. In my dazed mind I heard an engine nearby and I stopped still in the middle of the road, inches from death as a shiny black panel van swerved to miss me. Its wide tyres screeched and the horn blared as it zoomed up the street, the polished paintwork glistening under the street lights.

Around the corner I spotted a hotel and walked into the bottle shop. My last pay packet was waiting in my pocket and I was on autopilot even though I had never bought alcohol before. Besides, Salvos didn’t drink. I had always been taught that abstinence was the only alternative for a good Salvation Army boy. The varied selection on the shelves mesmerised me until I noticed the barman staring in my direction. I dodged his gaze, unsure if I should make a hasty retreat, but I was determined to go through with it.

‘J…J…J… Johnny Walker please.’ I stuttered as I pointed to the shelf, remembering that a school friend had mentioned the brand.

‘Red or black?’ He asked. I didn’t have a clue what the difference was.

‘Umm … err … red,’ I selected. Neither of us showed any concern that I was just seventeen. The legal drinking age in 1972 was twenty-one.

Further along the street I passed the derelict crypt of the cathedral that was never built. The overgrown foundations were an ugly blot on Brisbane’s landscape. The Queensland capital was a rambling sub-tropical city on a hundred hills, boasting few tall buildings and little urban design. Opposite the crypt was a park and I found a dark corner. I took a mouthful of whisky but it was bitter and I spat it out. I was tempted to tip the contents of the bottle on the ground and walk away, yet I couldn’t give in so easily. I had to escape my moment of hell and it didn’t matter if I got drunk or run over by a bus. I didn’t care if I died.

Sitting on the park bench by a neatly trimmed hedge, I scraped my shoes back and forth in the dirt and frequently swigged from my whisky bottle. A grimace crossed my face with each mouthful and I thought about the huge hole inside me. I couldn’t believe what a fool I was. It was less than an hour since I had run away from Rex. The fact that he was using me was as plain as the nose on my face, but I hadn’t realised it. All the money. All the deceit. All my futile hope that he actually cared about me…

Cars and trucks idled past now and again. Occasionally a bus. In the distance was the sound of a taxi honking its horn and the squeals of a car doing doughnuts. A few people wandered by on footpaths while across the park some Aboriginal teenagers played tag. It seemed that life carried on for everyone else while I just wanted to die.

I tried to work out where I had gone wrong in the couple of months since I met Rex. A kid at the Salvation Army youth camp said he was looking for boys with a driver’s licence and I had just passed my test. It was my chance to drive real cars and earn some money of my own. The Sunday after I rang Rex, he turned up on my doorstep and my eyes almost popped out at the sight of his limousine. It had leather seats, electric windows and a wood grain trim, luxury I had never seen before. The power surged through me as we took off like an aeroplane on the tarmac. It was a hot summer’s day and the chill of the air conditioner fanned my face and arms. Rex proudly explained the instruments that filled the dashboard.

He was a Sergeant Major in The Salvation Army, the most important local officer in his corps, the Salvo equivalent of a church. He was an influential man and my parents had complete faith in him. Nobody ever distrusted a Sergeant Major. He ran an automotive business out of town, so he was driving me down to the depot where his cars were stored for delivery. Rex was a tall, large man approaching middle age with a clump of neatly combed receding hair. He was very friendly and he talked to me like an adult. It was the first time I’d ever applied for a job.

Queensland homes on stilts flicked by surrounded by well-kept gardens, mango trees and picket fences. The grooves we straddled in the road were a legacy of the tracks of the trams that had been taken out of service three years earlier. Beside me the electric window zipped up and down as I pressed the button like a young boy with a new toy. We had been in the limo for about ten minutes when I found the recliner button. My seatback rolled down and I lay back.

Rex glanced at me frequently, looking me up and down as he drove. My new striped T-shirt hung loosely and I knotted it around my thumb to let the air conditioning cool my tanned abdomen. I’d worn my best denim shorts, deciding my new boss mightn’t like my favourite sawn-off jeans with frayed ends. My legs and arms were golden brown from too much summer camp. My thick seventies style brown hair concealed my ears and eyes and hung loosely around the back and sides of my neck. My thongs lay where I’d kicked them off on the floor of the car. He made some fantastic offers of money if I agreed to work for him. I’d be driving cars out from the depot after school or on weekends. I couldn’t believe my luck.

‘Where do you like doing it?’ Rex said unexpectedly. ‘In bed? In the shower? … or do you prefer being in front of a mirror?’

Doing what? I thought as I sat bolt upright and raised the seat back as my cheeks blushed with embarrassment. It seemed perfectly obvious what Rex meant but Salvo local officers never talked that way. Masturbation was supposed to be a sin and I was worried that Rex assumed the things I did. I figured I’d done everything he suggested and more … but I tried to ignore him.

‘How far is it to the depot?’ I asked anxiously, changing the subject. Rex turned down a side street and headed towards the river. I knew we were going in the wrong direction.

‘All boys like a bit of fun,’ Rex persevered, ‘there’s no point having a penis if you don’t enjoy it.’ I glared at him with a frown on my face. With that his left hand drifted from the steering wheel and moved straight towards the front of my pants. I instinctively intercepted it and pushed him away.

‘Come on,’ he said calmly, ‘you seem like a very normal boy. Take your hands away, you’ll like it.’

The car was moving quickly as the ground scurried by. I kept glancing out the window, wondering if I should jump. Many of the houses looked deserted since it was the middle of the Christmas holidays. The grass was lush and long from recent summer rains. It seemed so wrong because men in my world didn’t do this. They preached against it. I was frightened.

‘You don’t need to do anything stupid,’ Rex said, ‘boys have always enjoyed a bit of fun. Don’t you know it was the same in Bible times?’ I stared at him in disbelief.

He fought off my resistance with one hand while he steered the limo with the other. He ran through a list of Bible characters to prove his point. The boy David had loved his friend Jonathan, a story that was remotely familiar to me. Paul had loved young Timothy, which I’d never heard before. And Barnabas had fought with Paul over the younger Mark. Rex was suggesting they all got up to a bit of mischief behind the scenes as his hand finally found its target. I was in a state of shock as I contemplated what Rex’s ‘fun’ meant. His slant on Bible stories was very different to everything I’d ever been taught.

‘And why do you think John called himself the disciple Jesus loved?’ he asked me. ‘I’m sure they had plenty of fun with each other. It’s perfectly normal.’

My penis was already excited by Rex’s attention and a strange cloud filled my head. It was as if my brain had relocated along with my blood flow. I didn’t believe that Jesus could ever have done what Rex was doing to me, yet Rex spoke with such authority that I was confused. Am I the last person on earth to be told, I wondered. Rex knew exactly what he wanted. He stopped by the river and unbuttoned my pants.

Half way into the bottle I was quite drunk as I relived my times with Rex and I noticed the Aboriginal boys coming closer. They were about my age and they saw my whisky bottle.

‘How about a drink?’ one boy asked.

‘Sure,’ I said as I held it out, ‘it’ll put … hairzz on yerrr chest.’ I could hear the slur in my words.

‘You pissed man,’ the kid said in a broad bush accent as I peered into his cute brown face. The whites of his eyes and teeth glistened in the faded light as they contrasted against his dark skin. I remembered the crush I had on an indigenous boy when I lived in the country in my early teens. However, my eyes slipped out of focus.

‘Sorry, man,’ I said as I tried to stand up, tripping and falling over my feet. Two Aboriginal boys helped me up again.

‘You better sit down, man,’ one of them said.

‘No, I’m fine,’ I insisted as I steadied myself. I left them my bottle as I set out along the old bitumen path that led to the street.

To be continued…

Thank you for reading. Kit.

Joined in 2006
November 15, 2007, 10:14

Gob smacked shock would be an understatement Kit, you are very brave and its admirable that you have shared your story thus far. I know that this is all actually a part of your healing and by sharing you have assisted mine regarding healing from abuse, Thankyou!

I can see now how predatorial and twisted these people are and how innocent and vulnerable we were but we are here and even though we have faced some mega challenges along the way and at times still do, they and their actions have NO power over us being able to forge out a fulfilled and happy life. Im more than ready to proclaim that what was meant for my being ripped off in life has not worked, am still on the journey but thats the thing Im still able to say Im on the journey as many of us are, they and their actions cant have any power over us anymore, too many are speaking up and speaking out, what isnt hidden no longer has the power to do its work in hiding, its being exposed to the light of day. Anthony is right in saying that the “secrecy” is what gives abuse its power, whether that be sexual, domestic or any abuse. Once we come out with it, whether it be public or private (via counselling or a close friend) it starts to lose its power over us and those exercising see that we arent afraid or controlled by them or their actions anymore. ( I will stop here, I think this could be a topic on its own)

Dove Snuggler
Joined in 2007
November 19, 2007, 19:19

Hi Magsdee

Sorry for the delay in my reply. I have just sat the final university exam of my degree today. It’s over. Yeehah!

I greatly appreciate your words and your preparedness to process my honesty. I need to contemplate the cost of writing to people who are not ready or able to deal with the issues, hoping I can grow in my sensitivity. It’s something that’s easy to forget when you have a passion to expose the truth and promote freedom.

Personal power is such a key to this issue. An adult can be disempowered and we all face that temptation, some more than others. As adults we also have a capacity to find a place of strength … our inner resilience. I don’t think resilience is something we achieve by finding success in life or in relationships, as wonderful and important as these things are.

I think it is finding that we’re still standing after a succession of failures, or that we’re still alive, as someone said earlier. It is about giving rather than waiting for a gift and most of all, it is about finding happiness in our circumstances, regardless of how little or how much power we have to change them.

When we have these ingredients I think we can be truly liberated.

For me, coming out was like jumping out of a plane, something I never actually plan to do in real life. But it was just as liberating. My past is just a memory but my future is in my hand. 😀

Cheers! Kit

Anthony Venn-Brown
Joined in 2005
November 19, 2007, 19:26

great outlook Kit……we are the blesses ones……somehow been able to leavee th past behind and move on.

I really wich at times I had the magic formula or a wand that would make that an instant reality for others.

I see them in the pain of the past and want so much to heal the hurt so they can live in the now.

Joined in 2006
November 19, 2007, 20:26

Woohoo!! Glad to hear that the exams are over wink

Thats really good to come to a place to see a future before you and yes its important to be happy with what you have where you are at. It doesnt mean that you dont have ambitions, it just means you are no longer striving anymore and wearing yourself out, just what I reckon anyhow.

What you shared may be a sensitive topic but it is also good to know that those of us who have been through that arent alone either, that it is possible to move forward from it and at least we can talk if we get stuck somewhere along the way of our healing. God bless you for your honesty and openess.

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