Archive for the ‘Child Abuse’ Category

A Tale For Our Times… From 35 Years Ago

May 12, 2018

I received the following anecdote from a person who, for reasons you will surely understand, wishes to remain anonymous. In case you missed it in the news, NY State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman – a politician widely expected to win election as governor and then run for president – resigned after The New Yorker magazine made public the stories of several women who allege they had violent sexual encounters with Schneiderman.
Mr. Schneiderman, it must be noted, denies these allegations and has stated: “In the privacy of intimate relationships, I have engaged in role-playing and other consensual sexual activity. I have not assaulted anyone. I have never engaged in nonconsensual sex, which is a line I would not cross.”
My correspondent relates the following:

   The recent Eric Schneiderman story immediately brought to my mind something that happened to me long ago.

   If you cringe at personal carnal details, you should stop reading now. I will present nothing crude, but it does get rather personal. I promise to present this in as tasteful a manner as I can.

   Back in the mid 1980s I attended a rent party held in a loft off 10th Avenue in Hell’s Kitchen. A most fascinating woman friend of mine, an artist, lived in the enormous space with several other people and, as happens with young people starting out in New York City life, they’d fallen behind in the rent. Rent parties happened all the time in the city back then – and the few bucks required to gain entry provided plenty of fun (and drink) all night long.

   Within 30 minutes of the doors opening, the party started cooking. Over 200 people had already arrived and more kept coming. Wine and liquor flowed. Music filled the loft. We all had a blast. I’d call the atmosphere one of joyous fun. People made friends. Whether we’d see each other again or not made no difference.

   At one point during the party I found myself talking with a couple of interesting young ladies. I don’t recall the details of our conversation (for reasons you will soon find obvious), but during our chat we all started laughing. And then another young woman crossed the loft and came over to us. Till that moment, I had not known of her attendance at the party. Oh, I knew her all right. We’d had a rather odd “relationship” a year or so earlier. She fancied herself a “free spirit,” meaning she thought it amusing to say and do things that upset people. Things like shoplifting in bodegas…

   When our laughter died down, the “free spirit” looked at the two women, pointed a thumb at me like a hitchhiker, and said, with a sunny, cheerful smile, “He’s a very funny guy. But he’s no good at all in bed.”

   This, naturally, drew startled looks from the women. But I had expected something like this from the “free spirit,” so I nonchalantly turned to the other women and said, “Well, the concept of ‘good’ in bed depends on the compatibility of the people involved. For example, this young lady found me extremely disappointing because I flatly refused to tie her up, gag her, and then beat the hell out of her while raping her.”

   You have no doubt heard the expression, “her jaw dropped.” Well, the “free spirit’s” mouth opened into as wide an “O” as her lower jaw mechanism could handle as it dropped down. Then tears came to her eyes and she cried, “I can’t believe you told them that!”
   I said, “Hey, you brought it up. I just wanted to explain what you meant.”
   And with that, the “free spirit” ran off and the rest of us continued our discussion. To this day I have no idea what we talked about.

To understand what happened that night, and why the “free-spirit” said what she said, we need to go back a year or so before the party.

I always liked this woman, the “free spirit,” who I will not identify here. We’d run into each other now and then and we got along well. She once gave me a few dollars when I needed it. Probably no more than $10 as I recall. Some months later, she needed money, about $300. So I gave it to her and told her this makes us even. She initially rejected the money and the idea that it makes us even, saying she had given me far less.
“It only matters,” I said, “that you gave me what I needed at the time I needed it, and now I want to give you the same thing: what you need when you need it. The amount doesn’t matter. This balances us out perfectly.” 
I happen to look at things that way. She accepted the money and soon after that, we started seeing more of each other. And then, well, if you cringe at personal carnal details you should heed my warning at the top.

   One night as we engaged in an intimate physical act for the first time together, she began shaking violently and then started crying. I immediately stopped what I was doing and asked her what happened. She hissed out, “I can’t!” then started crying again. After a moment, she added “I can’t do this without thinking -” and the dam burst. I held her as she heaved and cried. This went on for maybe a half hour. Any “romantic” thoughts I had harbored vanished in the face of a clearly uncontrollable emotional crisis. I held her till it started to ease for her.

    When she had settled down a bit, but still through tears, she said her reaction had nothing to do with me. It involved her father and I will not relate any more than that. But when she finished explaining, I understood her reaction completely. After a few minutes laying quietly side by side, she said, with an air of resignation, “I guess we should start over now,” and squished her face and eyes shut looking like someone preparing for something akin to a firing squad.

   I told her no, we will definitely not start over.

   “You have to,” she said in a pleading way as if she found it important. “I understand why,” she added. “I can take it. Just go ahead and do it.”  She squished her face again.
   “Why do I have to do anything?” I asked. She told me that she knew that if I didn’t continue… then I would probably die.
   “WHAT?!?” I shouted in spite of trying to remain calm. “I will die? How?”
   She blushed and said, “You know…” I told her no, I did not know.
   She whispered (why she whispered I never knew since we had nobody else with us) and she said to me, as though speaking to a moron, “Your BALLS will explode.”
   Before I realized it, I shouted, “Where the hell did you hear that?” I vividly remember seeing myself as Dave the astronaut in 2001: A Space Odyssey after HAL said he knew of the plot to disconnect him (“Where the hell did you get that idea, HAL?”) and it occurred to me that some guy or guys had fed her the old “blue balls” malarkey as a way to force themselves on her. The sheer cruelty of their action showed in the scrunched up face she made as she prepared to sacrifice herself for the sake of my very life.

   So I said, “Oh shit,” told her not to believe that stuff, and suggested we get some sleep. Over the next weeks we grew closer and we had something of a physical relationship going when she hit me with her Big Idea: She told me that she could only really enjoy sex if she had no choice in the matter; she needed it to happen against her will. So she enthusiastically suggested that I tie her hands behind her back with my necktie, gag her, then pummel her (anywhere but the face) and rape her. Not act like I would rape her, but actually rape her. All this would happen with her consent, she assured me.

   As she described what she wanted me to do, I saw clearly that this went way beyond any consensual act of “bondage” or “role playing” with their pre-arranged safety checks. The whole thing went against my nature. I could not do it. I just cannot get into that. She kept telling me that she needed to submit to real force, that she could not act willingly, in order to enjoy herself. Knowing what I knew about her history, I could see why she felt that way. But I had no intention of taking any sort of advantage of that kind of misery.

   I told her no every damn way I could. She kept pleading, promising me a good time. Now, don’t think I present myself as Sir Galahad about this. My demurral had a practical side as well as a principled side. I knew that during the course of enacting this “game” I will have left behind all the criminal forensic calling cards of a whole portfolio of felonies. I pictured myself shuddering in a small cold room deep in the bowels of the local station-house, facing a glaring 1,000-watt light bulb as I endured the grilling of a horde of beefy, enraged cops, all of whom have young daughters at home:
“Just answer yes or no! Did you tie her up?”
   “Did you gag her?”
   “Did you beat her?”
   “Is this your tie?”
What could I say that wouldn’t have me digging my own grave?

   Aside from my personal revulsion at her suggested “game,” if this troubled woman later changed her mind about it, I knew I would have absolutely no way to prove it all happened consensually and upon her instigation. If I tried to explain what really happened, I would seem, at best, like a cad blaming the “victim.” And to back up my story I would have to reveal the horrific story the woman had told me about her past – with no way to prove a single word of it.

   Knowing what she had revealed to me about her childhood, I realized I could not take the chance that at some point in the future she won’t feel regret or disgust over this and use it as a weapon to hurt me. Hurt me with charges of Rape in the First Degree (Penal Code §130.35), Unlawful Imprisonment (§135.10), Menacing in the Third Degree (§120.15), Assault in the First Degree (§120.10). That right there added up to well over 100 years in prison and any competent Assistant District Attorney could find more charges, all of which I would have no power to convincingly deny. Here I had not yet reached the age of 30 and already I faced a life stretch up the river. And as I said, the whole charade struck me as repulsive anyway. I cannot do something like that either in reality or “in fun.” Violence just doesn’t turn me on.

   No matter how I looked at it, I did not consider that game worth the candle. The whole thing not only turned me off, it left me too vulnerable in the hands of a person with some serious and profound problems; problems that I did not wish to toy with. I had no intention of paying the price for what someone else had done to her. This boy had read too much James M. Caine not to see a potential set-up in the making. All “film noir” stories require a willing sap who falls into the machinations of an alluring but troubled dame. Not me, tootsie.

   So it never happened.

   Does this sound a touch paranoiac? We soon drifted apart and I didn’t see her again till that party, where she indeed used that proposed encounter as a weapon. For practical reasons, if not ethical reasons, I knew the moment she pulled that stunt at the rent party that my refusal may have disappointed a lady, but I had made the right choice.

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Family Dysfunction Persisted

March 21, 2017

As you may have heard by now, noted literary lion Chelsea Clinton has published a new book.
With a speed of hand that would shame Mickey Spillane or Edgar Wallace, the Great Weird Hope of the Clinton dynasty got a book deal (the favored corporate method for bribing people in political life) and in doing so she inadvertently shows us how untreated child-abuse travels through the generations.

The book bears the name SHE PERSISTED, a PR phrase coined to promote another book deal – that one for the already wealthy Senator Elizabeth Warren.

In the Clinton Clan, persisting has a perverse history.

By now, who doesn’t know the story of Hillary as a 4 year-old getting thrown out of the house by her abusive mother? The child had endured taunting from bullies in the park, as most children do, and so she ran home to her mother for comfort and succor. What did this FOUR YEAR-OLD CHILD get instead? As Hillary compulsively relates it over and over again, even 65 years later, her mother had the love and foresight and compassion to… throw her out of the house.
Mother Rodham blamed little Hillary for the situation, said she “gave up” and called her daughter a coward who she would not welcome in the home until THE BABY dealt with the tormentors.
Slam went the door. Does anyone, other than Hillary, really believe this callous treatment had a salubrious effect on the child?

Hillary Clinton has, for the past 65 years, related that story with pride. She says it shaped her character. Well, yes, it did. But not the way she seems to think. To Hillary Clinton, giving up means losing mother’s love and – more to the point – getting kicked out of the house. One can only imagine the depths of fear and anxiety – Separation Anxiety – this “loving mother” sparked in her infant child.

As Dr. Gabor Maté notes: “In an anecdote related by the former Secretary of State herself as an example of salutary character building, four-year-old Hillary runs into her home to escape neighbourhood bullies. ‘There is no room for cowards in this house,’ says her mother, sending the child out into the street to face her tormentors. The real message was: ‘Do not feel or show your pain. You are on your own.’ Over six decades later the candidate hides her pneumonia even from her doctor and from those closest to her. Repeatedly she has overlooked her husband’s outlandish infidelities, defending him against disgrace— no doubt suppressing her own emotional turmoil in the process.”
(Emphasis added)

Hillary Clinton has never received treatment for this early-childhood trauma – and to me, every single time she relates the story she presents a 4 year-old’s repressed cry for help. To this day, Clinton shows an irrational view of the world as a place populated by “bullies” who she, and she alone, MUST stop. She even cited this as her Raison D’être for seeking the Presidency upon receiving the democratic nomination.

And then, in her own words, spoken in her first speech after losing the election, Hillary Clinton had one strong message:

For Mrs. Clinton, 65 years after her mother terrorized her by throwing her out of the only home she knew, giving up – no matter how useless the fight may be – means the loss of love and home.
Sheer stubbornness has become a virtue in Hillary-Land. What manner of person NEVER concedes loss? Or error? Or understands the pragmatic need for a strategic concession to an opponent? I’ll tell you what manner of person: A DANGEROUS PERSON.

Untreated family abuse wends its way down through the ensuing generations. So it came as no surprise to me to see that Chelsea Clinton, an adult-child who owes everything she ever got to her parents, also carries this mania. And in the aftermath of her mother’s embarrassing election loss to a known “bully” and TV game-show host, it falls upon the adult-child to become the mother Hillary wanted but never had. Thus the topic of Chelsea’s new book fits right into mommy’s mania – as the cover makes crystal clear:

The child taking care of the needs of the mother perverts the natural flow of life. Yet this child – at age 35 – has made a career of just that. Making speeches for mother (and in a subtle way sabotaging her in the process – displaying resentment) and even talking of entering politics herself – a clear attempt by a chile to vindicate the family after repeated losses and scandals. I mean, let’s face it, after seeing the sheer hell that BOTH her parents underwent, what child would say “THAT’S the career for me!”? Would Chuck Wepner, Jr. ever consider boxing? Hell, even the NIXON off-spring knew better…

Does Chelsea really see stubbornness as a virtue? Or has she taken up the call simply to soothe her wounded mother? And for god sake WHY peddle this swill to CHILDREN? Can this adult-child not relate her feelings to grown people? I see it as bad enough when family abuse gets passed on through the generations. But to deliberately pass it on to children one does not even know becomes a form of mass abuse. All to justify a mother who has long had the time and ample financial resources to GET THERAPY and change the warped view of the world she brags about carrying… ONE speech to Wall Street would have paid for Hillary’s therapy and then some.

Upon seeing the announcement of this book, I got hit with a wave of sadness. I hoped that Chelsea’s children don’t face similar horrendous abuse. Considering that the abuse has gotten mythologized as “character building,” will Chelsea take the chance to throw her own children out of the house at age 4? Will she do as her grandmother did, and make a mother’s love conditional

If Chelsea sees the delusion of stubbornness as a virtue, and sees it as good enough to spread to countless unknown children through her book – I wonder how she sees her own children? And their children after her? Where does it end. When she has a son, will she name him SUE?

Well, that comprises the problem which the Clintons must one day face. OUR problem, I see as more alarming: We as a nation must learn to stop electing to positions of power those damaged people who still suffer under the weight of untreated childhood abuse. But because of the alarming rate of abuse in America, such wounded and deluded people resonate with the bulk of our neighbors. Possibly even you… or me.