I Found Out You Were Murdered
Sometimes, I look for you. Check out where you are. Yesterday, I searched. And found out you were murdered.
Three years ago.
Almost four. 2015.
Almost four years ago, someone came into your house and they shot you several times.
And, there was only one news story about it.
One news story that said you were a caucasian male…no one will understand now — well, I’m sure someone probably does understand — how much your ethnicity or race had been used to pigeonhole you, especially by your adoptive parents.
The news story said that your neighbors in that once ‘up-and-coming’ — and now annoyingly millennial neighborhood — had no idea about you.
The story said nothing about your father.
Nothing about his history. About our church. His church. His past your past.
Said nothing about what happened to you. And the tens of others who were abused by your dad.
Your father went unscathed — caught, imprisoned for a ridiculous, slap-on-the-wrist, slap-in-our-faces three years (100 children, right?), then freed.
Your brothers: maybe they made it out okay. Maybe they got help. Maybe they healed, as much as one can after a childhood of terror.
Maybe they don’t think of their childhoods as terror. Maybe that’s just me projecting my childhood on them.
But you. You did not make it out okay.
Was the murder because of what you chose to become? Were you murdered by one of your victims?
A few years after the trial, one of your dad’s victims told me, ‘all I want is to rub his face in the carpet for an hour. ’ A long, humiliating rug burn.
My lord, it was such a beautiful idea. Such beautiful torture. A possibility I clung to in moments I couldn’t take my pain of recovering from my own abuse.
You, though. He told me he hated you and wished you worse. He told me you’d become as bad as, maybe more so than your dad. That your youth made you attractive and safe. That you smiled and accommodated and got boys to do more.
He called you one of his abusers.
But I, hopeful and remembering how you gave me love I never actually expected I could receive from any man…I…from an abusive family, completely willing to protect the abuser before the victim…chose to think maybe you would find the way out and become better than the asshole who adopted you and then fucked and tortured you and your brothers — except, of course, for his one blood son.
God. That poor, white, guilt-ridden kid.
You. Raped by your father — the Episcopalian priest! — at seven. Taught to be his assistant by fourteen(?). A predator by at least eighteen (not earlier, right??). Caught for the first time — by authorities — by thirty.
You became a less-religious, less-familial version of him, I imagine.
Were you murdered by someone who was unable to control their disgust, anger, and hate, unlike the multitude of your father’s victims?
Were you murdered by someone who knew you’d never stop?
Were you murdered by a brother? A family member who could no longer stand by and watch your father’s legacy live on?
Did you hurt one of your brother’s kids? Would you?
Did your murder end the suffering of your victims? Your victims?
Was your murder the end of your own suffering?
I remember you at five. My god you were fucking adorable, delightful. At sixteen, confidently awkward, overly — obsessively — loving, but so, so thoughtful and gentle with me. And everything — every thing safe to me. Me who trusted no one. Who was abused by so many. In your church. In that rectory.
Why did you choose to become a monster? Why did you turn away from the softer, empathic side you allowed me to see (or faked with me)?
Why did you go to the shadow side?
How is it that there is only one story about this? Only one news article?
Why is there nothing to chronicle your life:
- a baby adopted by a priest and his wife;
- later, as a young boy, he was abused in the rectory of the church by his father — an Episcopalian priest who spoke in tongues during sermons, the leader of a church and its nursery, elementary and middle schools;
- then, the son became a pre-teen who abused others for, with, his father;
- and, as a teen, he faked it: sleeping with boys and men on the side, and saying he loved a girl who was pretending to be naive but was terrified by men and the abuse she’d received in her childhood;
- eventually, as a young adult, he turned into an independent abuser;
- and, in the end, he was a middle-aged pedophile who was murdered, likely by someone he’d victimized.
The cycle of abuse isn’t always this easily documented nor does it always follow such a horribly disturbing path — does it?
I don’t know why I’m sad for you. For someone who destroyed the well-being of other innocents…
We knew each other for such a brief time. But your impact on my life — at one time, you were my love, my passion, my heart. And I remember you as soft, and kind, and awkward, and lost, and beautiful.
Then you chose to continue with the addiction. You chose to abuse boys. Boys like you were. Like you were.
You chose to seek the fire. Search for that incomparable, inexplicable gratification. Worse than heroine. Worse than any dumb opiate. Worse than any high ever designed.
You didn’t have to become this. You know that.
But, you did it.
And now. Murdered. You were murdered.
You no longer exist on this planet.
I am here.
I don’t know what to do with any of this.
I’ll probably keep looking for you.