As a young boy I was a very innocent, kind and caring person. I was always open to sharing myself with others. I was not raised by my mother and father, and my great aunt and uncle who raised me raised my mother when she was a little girl. So, they were already senior citizens when they raised me and my older brother. I would spend a lot of time outside exploring nature and the world that I loved. Unfortunately I was to innocent to understand that I could not be open and honest with everyone. As I was playing outside one day, a teenager asked me to come with him because he wanted to show me something cool. We went into his back yard and he began to sodomize me over a garbage can in his backyard. It was so painful that he had to stop because I was beginning to scream out loud. I was told by him to never to tell anyone ever what had happened to me. This teenager who was my neighbor some how became my neighbor in another town six years later. When I saw him living across the parking lot from my apartment, I still was unable to speak, or yell out even though I wanted too. Unfortunately, at the time of the original rape, my family was a mess, drugs and family turmoil engulfed my family on a daily basis. As a young boy I knew that I needed to handle my own problems and not add more problems or issues to the family. Even though I was only five when I got raped, I thought I alone had to deal with it. What I did not know was that I had suppressed the emotional trauma of the rape deep down into my subconscious until I opened up to my writing class in my late twenties. As I got older, I realized that even if I could not ever face my rapist in my life. I still had to come face to face with the pain and trauma of that situation one day in my life. I also realized that pain and trauma that has not manifested itself, when it comes out of the body it is coming out for the first time. I think that I had to become able to embrace the pain and trauma of that moment and when I was ready to do that the pain and trauma could come out for the first time. Once the pain came out I could be free of it and no longer live in fear of the man who had raped me. The day I overcame my trauma and had embraced my pain, was the day I saw the man who had raped me some 30 years ago. He got on the public train, and life had turned him into a social derelict. I had survived and I had overcome. So instead of feeling anger, or a feeling of wanting to hurt him, for what he had did to me. I was surprised to feel empathy for him. I no longer feared him, I had faced the real fear, the pain that he had caused me. So I felt that I had won, and he had lost. His current situation is the sum total of the choices he had made in his life. He had become a homeless crazy man because he spent his life raping young children. I got off the train, and went on with my life. I the funny thing about it, I realized that he had not recognized me at all that day on the train.
— Lynel, age 54