The Following is a continuation of My Journey with CP: Robert Escandon Parts 1 and 2 … click here to read part 1
When I entered Coronado high school I met a friend I first met in the fifth grade. He was the only friend I had during high school, everyone else was acquaintances. I met his sister. I didn’t know I was walking into a war zone that both my friend and his sister were casualties of; however, my friend tried to keep himself from feeling the pains of divorce. His sister, on the other hand, was more traumatized, not only from the divorce but from other experiences before me. During this time, I thought I found a girl who genuinely cared for me and I based this on what she actually told me. In other words, she was acting; years later I found out that acting was her lifelong ambition. Little did I know she didn’t see me as a person but in fact was acting out what had been done to her (these are not assumptions; everything I say here is from what she actually told me 20 years later in a series of emails and she doesn’t nor do I excuse her behavior.) I didn’t know it was abuse at the time, the talented abusers can mask their intent with kindness and a false sense of mutuality. After the abuse had stopped I went into a deep depression. Although I didn’t have all the answers, I felt deep inside me that there was something much more damaging at work than just an attempt of love that failed. I had already experienced rejection from girls so I knew that there was something different, something more powerful yet sinister about she did. (Years later I found that there was no love in what she did what-so-ever.) I felt urges that I never felt before; the urge to touch and be touched- I never felt these in my childhood so I concluded (before emails) that these urges had to come from what had happened.She did give me a hint before she stopped talking to me that she was abused in her fifth-grade year by a group of boys (which was modified slightly twenty years later to she was groped and forcefully kissed by the boys at her school as the boys played a “dare” game.) I vowed never to touch anyone the way she touched me because I didn’t want anyone to feel the way I felt, especially if I was thinking about suicide; what if that person actually does commit suicide: I’d be responsible. The months after it all stopped two-mile stones passed; 1. I turned eighteen & 2. I graduated high school. I was ready to embark on a new adventure: college. However, my damaged soul couldn’t bear. Thoughts of sexual abuse plagued my mind to the point that’s all I thought about. My college grades suffered. She also disappeared, I haven’t seen her in person for 7 years but didn’t speak to her for another 3.
The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity, but a wounded spirit who can bear? Proverbs 18:14 (KJV)
College women wouldn’t date me; they’d look at me with contempt when I asked them out as if I did something against them. I began to think that maybe women thought I was gay and when I asked them out I somehow betrayed them; they’d act with hostility and (sometimes) threats. The words “embarrass” and “pervert” came back. Women look for a sexual partner whether they know it consciously or subconsciously. It’s something I’ve been getting subtle clues throughout the years- for example, women will look at me, with various scowls and tell me how embarrassed they will feel. (Years later I discover that other men with cerebral palsy get the same reaction from women.) My thoughts of suicide grew stronger as my loneliness grew; the memories of sexual abuse also grew stronger. If it was only loneliness I can handle that but the sexual abuse was strong. I tried different methods; I wanted to concentrate on genuine love so I can move on from whatever (I know what it is now) was keeping me in depression. I became attracted to objects that can bring physical harm and even death to me: knives, guns, bows, fast cars and racing. I was bombarded with all these negative feelings: sadness, anxiety, feeling of emptiness, and the like, hateful towards the abuser, ashamed that I, a male, was sexually abused, awkward, dejected [Sad and depressed; dispirited], frustrated, incomplete, embittered, destructive towards myself than the abuser, melancholy, misunderstood, powerless, an object, disinterested in living because I was tired of feeling miserable. I can go on and on; I didn’t realize that depression involved so many negative feelings.The only one who is responsible for the abuse is the offender: Not God. God asked her not to touch me. Did she target me for having cerebral palsy? Yes. (She actually wrote this in emails; she said, “the way you walk” and called it my imperfection.) God didn’t fully heal me back before the offender touched me nor did He fully heal me immediately after. I still have cerebral palsy. However, I have a testimony of forgiveness for one who lacks. I can be the miracle who shares this testimony for those who were sexually abused and have not found forgiveness or have difficulty in forgiveness. I can be that testimony for those who have been bullied, who have thoughts of suicide and other mountains of difficulty. In 2001, I fell off my roof while changing the air conditioner and hit my head and broke my shoulder. I’m not saying that God pushed me off the roof; what I am saying is: that event was the beginning of my God trek. And, me falling off the roof happened after graduation. After the accident, I didn’t want to wake up (I was still thinking of self). I just wanted to die. I didn’t know God was already working in me; my soul, spirit & body. I was depressed; I didn’t want to continue feeling all the above feelings and more. God said to leave the avenging up to Him, that I will not be disappointed. It took me years to find this passage in the Bible:For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God; that no one should take advantage of and defraud his brother in this matter, because the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also forewarned you and testified. — 1 Thessalonians 4:3-6 KJVIn 2004 I started seeing a psychologist and taking psychology classes in college. I was learning about sexual abuse, what the abuser thinks, feels and how they stalk their victim. I know that if I had the mindset of a victim, I would not have gone outside the box and learn all that, including taking psychology classes; it was my decision to learn all that because it was confirming what I already began to suspect. I, now, see 1. from the college classes, 2. from talking to others, 3. talking to the psychologist, and finally 4. receiving the answers to questions via email from the abuser that all these events had to take place to begin the healing process. I also know that I can never know every single detail of what happened, why it happened. I also know that just because I understand it doesn’t make what she did okay. Thanking her for the experience is not a requirement, especially since prior to the touching, I loved the Lord and planned to return to church when I get my car. She wrote me in one of the many emails that she learned to thank (not in person) the people who abused her because it made her the person she is today and that I should do the same. I told her one of the reasons why she did what she did was because of the abuse she endured, however, not to use it as an excuse because I was abused by her yet never sexually abused anyone. There were many other statements she said in the emails that told me that she was still thinking of me as an object (not a person). I do thank God that He allowed me back into His arms after all the thoughts of suicide, revenge and other sins I committed (Will people even give me a second chance or will they throw me away like a piece of trash). Although people would probably understand why I thought about revenge, I wanted to go back to God. In the abuser’s first letter she stated that she didn’t think of what happened as abuse and that actually thought that I was fine with it and walked away unscathed. A few emails later, she admitted that she didn’t see me as a person yet “played with my feelings” on the pretense that she “liked me” so she can get “a quick fix” (her actual phrases). These are categorically similar to what a child molester says to a psychologist while in mandatory sessions. She used the way I walked to target me calling it my “imperfection”; she created a false atmosphere of trust and mutuality [grooming]; thought that touching me would make me “good and confident” and to “teach me”; she thought was doing me a favor because of “my lack of experience with girls” (I was 15) [reward]; she continued to touch me under the pretense of “mutuality” even though she knew she shouldn’t be “engaging in highly sexual circumstances” [justification]; she rejected me for the very same reason she targeted me in the first place (the way I walk); blamed me for what happened because she thought of me as the “cause and effect all [she] had done” [(threat of) punishment]; directed the hate and insecurity she felt about herself at me to try to “sweep it under the rug”; etc. All of this because, as she said, “I wanted to feel pretty and attractive and be noticed by the opposite sex.” This list describes certain characteristics of what psychologists have found in common with child molesters from years of study.It was sexual abuse in the strictest sense. The objectification is one of the key characteristics; not to mention that she said many times she didn’t see me as a person and at times a human (Later, I will add the word “sexless” to objectification, however, that situation is unique to me or is it??). She is still living in denial. It’s incredible to me that she can say so much yet not put it together and accept responsibility. As a psychology major, she should be able to piece together all her thoughts, unless she lied. Which she did, and I called her on those lies. And other lies or inconsistencies follow in line of logic from known sex abusers.In 2009 (20 years later; she first started touching me in 1989), the offender wrote me and had answered many of my questions (2010). Her answers are identical to what a sex abuser says and now I know that I was, without a doubt, sexually abused and that all those feelings, the time I was suffering from depression and urges of wanting to be touched pointed to sexual abuse. Having to explain what I felt and knew to a psychologist was tough. At that time I didn’t have the offender’s answers and I had to fight through the stigma of males having been sexually abused by a female, to a female psychologist. As time continued the psychologist told me she saw the same effects a victim feels and concluded I was sexually abused.A year after the offender first contacted me, I can see that God spoke to her because of the things she told me.
Having more answers to what happened has helped me, enough to finally take control and verbally acknowledge that I have forgiven her.I began to plan my death so it wouldn’t be seen as suicide. Then I realized I had the answer all along; the very medication that kept me alive can kill me if I take too much: Synthroid. There was no escaping death now. But I changed my motive from suicide to homicide, thinking I will avenge myself. My plans were detailed and accurate to the day; I planned my graduation from college to be with the abuser’s (I had learned that the abuser loves going to school, she kept going up until 2015). All the while I had absolutely no contact with her (from 1992-2000); however I did see her at El Paso Community College’s Transmountain campus which sparked my revenge information trek (this was before the ease of the internet. I wasn’t expecting to see her but years later, through emails, I found that she loves school and stayed in college for another 2 decades). I found information about her relatively easy despite the non-disclosure clause as if someone wanted me to do this. After I planned my revenge to take place in 2001’s graduation, however; I decided to give God one more chance. I had the answer to how to force a confession and knew the adage about digging two graves when seeking revenge; I didn’t care. I was ready. However, God had a different plan. I asked Him to stop me because I really didn’t want to do it. God answered.I do pray for her. Don’t get me wrong, I have forgiven her and her taking full responsibility is not required for my forgiveness. Her taking full responsibility is more for her and the load of secrets (I became a skeleton in her closet;
I wondered if I was the only one, if not she may have a graveyard in her closet; perhaps, one of many. If she didn’t think she sexually abused me, how many others has she done this to where she doesn’t think she abused them?) She still carries this as hidden from her family: her mother, father, stepdad, and her brother. I asked her if they know and she said “no”. Furthermore, she said that she did want them to know and that she doesn’t think people need to know about her “sexual intimacies”. I told her that she never had “sexual intimacies” or a relationship with me since she never saw me as a person nor human – she could only have “sexual intimacies” with someone she sees as a person. She didn’t like that I can call her out on her lies and attempts at deception. All of this is part of my life; this is a piece of my testimony and to leave it out will be an injustice for the lesson here is forgiveness. I am still trying to figure out what I can do as a positive action, other than not continuing the cycle of abuse; what does the Lord have for me to do; if there is something about that experience I can help other(s) I’ll know it was the Lord turning a bad action into a positive and help to someone who needs it. I do believe Jesus Christ saved me from exacting revenge to my abuser; the world may have understood. The psychologist did tell me numerous times that I didn’t need to forgive her.
There is no doubt in my mind that if I was to exact revenge on the abuser, I would have ended up dead too. The abuser killed me when I was 15 years old when she molested me; whoever I was to become (without the abuse), I became a person who wanted revenge. Then that person, who was created when I was molested, died again when I personally accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior. I became a completely different person because of Jesus and His grace and mercy. The old is gone: Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 4:22-24, Romans 6:6-7, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Colossians 3:9-10.
Thank you to Robert for sharing your story from us at OurNotSoNeuroTypicalLife!