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I was five years old and had just moved to a new town.

Next to the house I shared with my mom and siblings was another house with a family, one with quite the propensity for violence. The older son befriended me, groomed me, really, and after winning my trust somehow managed to seduce me. He actually raped me, though I've no memory of the act. Such a traumatic incident was surely blocked as a self-protecting mechanism.

For the most part, I'd forgotten the entire incident, except that one night in the mid-1990's while at work (I was in my late-30's) when I was suddenly nearly knocked off of my feet, as a luminous memory managed to reach my consciousness. It was of an afternoon, details washed out not only by time, but the brightness of the sunshine when the event happened. It consisted of me as a boy looking back at my neighbor, with ten or so feet separating us, The odd thing was that in the memory, I occupied two spaces—standing away from the perpetrator, yet also standing beside him. I now recall turning back and looking at him, asking if he was sure I was not walking "funny." I was afraid that someone else might notice, then question me about the suspicious way I was moving. To this day, am unable to recall whether it happened more than once.

Years later as a teenager, I was living at my older brother's house, though at that time he was away so it was just his wife, his four year old son and me. One evening, I found myself in conversation with my sister-in-law, talking about whatever, until somehow she started to inquire as to whether I had a girlfriend yet and if not, why. Having grown up in a single-parent household (one without out a father) then losing my mom to cancer when I was nine years old, it had become difficult for me to form attachments with others. After her cajoling me, I reluctantly let her know that I was still a virgin and that I was uncircumcised and had contemplated doing something about it myself. She let me know how much she'd been missing my brother and how much she missed being physical with him. That disclosure and her attempts at learning more about my sexual life were far from stimulating. In actuality, my propensity to not only disassociate, but to also grow numb started to replay itself. She told me she wouldn't be denied—I was living in her house and she was intent on relieving me of my virginity. It was the last thing I wanted.

I finally went to bed. It was a small house and I shared a room with their son. Fifteen minutes later, she opened the door and let herself in, backlit, since the light in the room was off. I couldn't help but notice that she was wearing some kind of sheer, somewhat translucent thigh-length intimate apparel. As she neared my bed, she asked me to be quiet, lest I awake her son. She pulled the sheets back and undid my pajama bottoms. I was not only numb but terrified, yet I managed to lift my hips as she pulled the pants and underwear off of me, then climbed atop my bed and straddled me as I lay there, paralyzed yet managing to become erect. After a minute she got off of me, then just as quietly, she exited the room. Five minutes later, she returned, poked her head in and whispered, "Aren't you going to wash yourself off?" Trembling, I slipped my clothes back on and went to the bathroom. To this day, I've never felt so unclean. It was far from consensual, I felt and still feel, to this day, that it was a power move on her part. As a child, being told it was imperative to obey my elders, living at her house, she as an adult whom I thought I could trust, I felt I had no choice because she removed it from me. She did me no favors, but she did warn me to never speak of it, nor to ask to repeat such an act with her, ever again. As if I ever would.

A year or so after this last incident, during a camping trip with two other teenage boys and an adult male, I came very close to being raped a third time, when the adult entered my tent and I somehow managed to talk him out of the idea. When he relented, he said that the only reason why he didn't go through with the act was due to my not only being young, but because I had three older brothers and oodles of male cousins who he feared would beat him up if I were to tell on him.

I'm in my late fifties now and have had considerable difficulty developing close friendships, be they with males or females. As for dating, I'm a walking disaster. I've never married, nor have I had any children. I've had a few relationships, but during my twenties I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't procreate unless I could be damn sure that no child of mine, boy or girl, would ever have to live through anything even near what I've had to contend with. Since that's impossible to guarantee, I'm childless, and for the most part alone. It's likely I'll die this way. 

I've attempted suicide on several occasions, the last being over five years ago. It seems like every attempt has gotten me closer and closer to obliterating my existence. The one thing I learned from my last experience is that while I might be through with life, life's not yet done kicking my ass.

Thank you for doing this, for being out there.

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