Note: This post may be triggery, links to articles included. Read with care.
I just finished reading this article. I feel… Okay, I don’t really know how I feel. But I feel something and it’s making me want to do something not very… healthy. I haven’t self-injured in a long time and I really don’t want to start again. It’s very difficult to stop. It can be addictive. When you’re desperate and you find something to stop the pain, even for just a little while, you keep going back. We all do it. Just some people’s fixes don’t leave obvious scars all over their body.
Talk of the Jerry Sandusky scandal is everywhere. I accidentally wound up at the article above via a misclick and meant to close the tab but couldn’t. The heading caught my eye and I suddenly was transported to that black doorway in my Hallway of Despair. That’s what I call it. We all have one. At least in my family. We all have that dreadful corridor of secrets that we visit more often than we’d like to admit. Behind each door is a memory so dark and shameful any amount of locks will never be enough to keep them hidden forever. I’m staring at a door right now.
Why do people look the other way? Why is there even a “bystander effect”? Remember this story from 2009? It all makes me sick. Literally ill.
Some people are saying they’re surprised the two men (the janitor and the then-grad student) even reported what they saw. They say “they did what they could” and that “it wasn’t their responsibility to do more.” Other people agreed. One person said “it was in the hands of those they told and they were the ones that dropped the ball.”
Fuck that shit. Fine, you froze. It happens. But when you start breathing again and your body is able to move, DO SOMETHING. Save that child!
I mean, FUCK! Did the children see them? I think I read that the then-grad student walked into the locker room and said both Sandusky and the boy saw him. THE BOY SAW HIM. That means the boy also saw him turn around and walk right out.
Think about what that does to a child? You’re being abused and someone, an adult, sees this and continues on their way, letting it happen. How is that child not supposed to grow up thinking they deserved it and it was their fault? Someone else knew, saw even, and if they didn’t save me, then there was no reason to be saved, right?
I was older. An adult walked in and saw what another adult was doing to me in his office. Because of a teacher’s misconduct (although it was never proven that I was involved), I was sent to mandatory sessions with the school counselor. One day his secretary walked in and saw me leaning over his desk, him behind me. Not exactly acceptable counselor-student positions to be in.
Maybe she didn’t do anything because I was 17, practically of legal age. Maybe she had seen it too many times before. Maybe she thought I instigated it. Maybe she thought she’d lose her job. Maybe she was just a fucking coward.
She walked in, stopped short and gasped before mumbling a quick “I’m sorry, I – you’re meeting’s been rescheduled!” She just as promptly turned and shut the door. I remember him freaking out and giving some pathetic little speech about trust and being human and all that crap. I don’t remember actually leaving his office so I don’t know if I saw her then. But I do remember that the two times I had to see him again, she couldn’t look at me.
Funny how all these years I hold the memory of her more clearly than him. She’s the one I’ve hated for all these years. I don’t imagine spitting of his grave. I imagine spitting on hers.