Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The OTHER Victims
Something has been on my mind a lot lately that I have been trying to process...sadly, not too well. At my therapy session last week, one of the men shared some of his writing concerning his victims...and the extent of the breadth of pain that he had caused. I've thought often on that myself, and only recently as I visited with a close friend whose husband was involved in on-line pornography, I was once again reminded of the pain that a woman feels when her husband betrays her in that way.
But in the past week, another group of my victims has settled itself in my gray matter, and it won't seem to let go. I know that there were a lot of different victims in the life that I was leading...most notably the young men or boys that were pictured in the pornography that I viewed. I believe I've reconciled myself to that group. I've prayed for them...I've prayed for the destruction of the international pornography industry. I don't know what more I can do, other than never support them in any way again in the future. When I was viewing those materials, I never thought about those individuals or the fact that they were most likely sold into that profession or so drugged that they didn't know what they were doing.
The group haunting my nights these days are the young men that I chatted with. Not all of them. I know that many were just like me...a man pretending to be someone else. A man living a fantasy life...in search of something, but not quite certain what. But some were exactly what they claimed to be. Teenage boys uncertain of their sexuality looking for a friend...a confidante...to share questions and struggles. I sat across the Blue Nowhere from these teens convincing them that I was just as they were...confused, searching, a boy in search of friends. Each night, I continued with my deceit and listened and shared my own inner self with them.
And then suddenly one night, I simply disappeared. To at least two young men, I had become someone important in their lives...at least my cyber-self had. Suddenly, a friend was ripped from their life with no explanation, no good-bye, no closure. The boy in Florida (me) who was trying to lift the spirits of a boy who had recently contemplated suicide because a friend from school that he was attracted to had rebuffed him was no longer there to offer support. I often wonder about that boy...and if he is OK.
I know that I can't find any of them now. I no longer remember their computer names. And I have no way of contacting them. I can't tell them that I was a fraud...and the worst kind of friend. I can't tell them that the most intimate aspects of their lives that they shared with me were shared with a deceiver and a liar.
I hope that they have simply forgotten me...I think. A part of me wants them to remember who I pretended to be...a boy like them who cared for them. And a part of me also simply wants them to forget a betrayal...but I know from my own life experience how difficult that is.