So Here It Is.

I’ve talked with a volunteer from AVFTI for a few months now about posting my story, so here it is, just gotta build up to it. Slightly anticlimactic, really.

It wasn’t rape that I endured. Nor was it sexual battery, assault, or anything violent related to sexual abuse.

I still try to justify it as only being inappropriate touching, nothing more, nothing less.

The reason it has taken me this long to even say anything is because while I recognize that it is a part of my history, it doesn’t effect me on a daily basis. It is there, deep down inside, but it isn’t something I think a lot about. It hasn’t changed how I view men, sex, or trust. Am I still justifying his actions? Yes, I am. Even today, even this moment. I just figured that my story couldn’t possibly help anyone else because it is so minuscule compared to the tragedies found in others’ stories. Yes, I’m comparing. Yes, I know I shouldn’t do that, but I am.

I was maybe 12 years old. I don’t remember the situation or the circumstances surrounding why I was at my house with my grandpa alone. I’d been with him alone thousands of times over my life. He was the only grandpa that spent time with me. I loved, and still love, him immensely. I could give you this huge backstory about all the awesome grandpa/granddaughter stuff we did together, but that would honestly be just me trying to justify to you, the reader, why this isn’t such a big deal.

He was getting ready to leave and was hugging me goodbye. The hug went on a little longer than normal, and his arms held me against him harder than normal. I went to break the hug and give him a kiss goodbye, and was met with his mouth instead of his cheek. I was totally confused, but didn’t return the kiss. I just stood there, frozen. Next, he took my hand and rubbed it along the length of his penis through his pants. I remember feeling it with my fingers, but not knowing what to do about it. Again, I just stood there motionless.

And that was it.

After a few more seconds, I backed away, he left, and I’ve never spoken of it since. He has never touched me inappropriately again, has never made any indication of wanting to, and has never made me uncomfortable being around him. I am now in my early 30’s and it is truly as if it never happened. I won’t pretend to have this big huge amount of shame or guilt attached to this incident. I don’t.

I’ve never told anyone other than my husband and the amazing person from AVFTI that has encouraged me to speak up.

I don’t feel better by posting this here necessarily. I don’t personally feel badly about the situation. Maybe I’m in denial? Who knows. I have never told my mom what her father did to me. If she knew, she would believe me, but it would cause so much strife and unnecessary turmoil in my family — the benefit of airing my dirty little secret doesn’t outweigh the trouble that would result. So for the greater good, I say nothing. My grandpa is still very much a part of my life, and my children’s lives and I would have it no other way.

So here it is.


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21 comments

  1. Kevin Casey Volunteer

    Sorry that that happened to you it was not your fault thank you for sharing your story it was anything you need or have any questions we are always here for you at avfti

  2. heartofgold

    freedomgurl – Thank you for that affirmation. I appreciate your comments and it definitely makes me feel like I did the right thing 🙂 Thank YOU.

  3. heartofgold

    freedomgurl – Thank you for that affirmation. I appreciate your comments and it definitely makes me feel like I did the right thing 🙂 Thank YOU.

  4. freedomgurl585

    Hi heart thank you for sharing. I see such value in your story, for imagine how things could have gone had just one factor been different. What if…? And thank the universe for it being what it was. As a child there is absolutely no reason you should have the experience of touching a grown man’s penis. Throughout human existence the sexualization of children has had ups and downs yet it has always been there. More and more people need to face the issue of child sexual abuse at any and all levels; sharing a part of your life story is another step in the right direction.
    Thank you

  5. freedomgurl585

    Hi heart thank you for sharing. I see such value in your story, for imagine how things could have gone had just one factor been different. What if…? And thank the universe for it being what it was. As a child there is absolutely no reason you should have the experience of touching a grown man’s penis. Throughout human existence the sexualization of children has had ups and downs yet it has always been there. More and more people need to face the issue of child sexual abuse at any and all levels; sharing a part of your life story is another step in the right direction.
    Thank you

  6. eric

    I haven’t done enough research to know what the situation was. I don’t recall any official saying he had made it on his own, but I was in the Marine Corps when all of this was coming out. So, who knows. It’s one of those grey areas.

    Anyways, heart, I’m glad you told your story even if you don’t feel like it’s worthy. I think it helps to illustrate the point that inappropriate behavior usually comes from people who we might least expect.

  7. eric

    I haven’t done enough research to know what the situation was. I don’t recall any official saying he had made it on his own, but I was in the Marine Corps when all of this was coming out. So, who knows. It’s one of those grey areas.

    Anyways, heart, I’m glad you told your story even if you don’t feel like it’s worthy. I think it helps to illustrate the point that inappropriate behavior usually comes from people who we might least expect.

  8. heartofgold

    That would definitely make me grateful that I did not find myself in that situation. Thank you for sharing that with me/us/the entire universe 🙂

    And Jamie, I’m here for the long haul. I believe in AVFTI and mean what I say when I state I will do anything in my power to help. I only wish I lived nearer to Cincinnati so that I could physically participate. There’s no way I could forget about you, the team, and the millions of innocent people that need a voice.

  9. heartofgold

    That would definitely make me grateful that I did not find myself in that situation. Thank you for sharing that with me/us/the entire universe 🙂

    And Jamie, I’m here for the long haul. I believe in AVFTI and mean what I say when I state I will do anything in my power to help. I only wish I lived nearer to Cincinnati so that I could physically participate. There’s no way I could forget about you, the team, and the millions of innocent people that need a voice.

  10. jamie

    Eric here’s what gets me. I don’t mean to put you on the spot because the AVFTI team members are not anonymous, so don’t answer if you don’t want.

    Was the child porn his creation? What I mean is, was it possible there were cameras or something in his rooms? I’d hope that if the police found that they’d notify the parents of his patients but I guess you never know.

  11. jamie

    Eric here’s what gets me. I don’t mean to put you on the spot because the AVFTI team members are not anonymous, so don’t answer if you don’t want.

    Was the child porn his creation? What I mean is, was it possible there were cameras or something in his rooms? I’d hope that if the police found that they’d notify the parents of his patients but I guess you never know.

  12. jamie

    Of course, and thank you for responding.

    I certainly wouldn’t call your story trivial or “taking up space”. Not every story is going to be as ugly as Rehtaeh Parsons in Canada, or as horrific as Penn State. The different degrees of severity in stories does not translate into different degrees of importance. While you may not feel like this greatly affected you, someone in the same situation may feel extremely torn up. Everyone’s different.

    I value your story as equally important as the others in creating the movement we are trying to make. I only ask that you not forget about us. You have a poignant point of view and a powerful written voice. We are getting more stories and more publicity all the time and we can only grow. Please stay an active part of this community. You can share insight, positivity, and inspiration for many.

  13. jamie

    Of course, and thank you for responding.

    I certainly wouldn’t call your story trivial or “taking up space”. Not every story is going to be as ugly as Rehtaeh Parsons in Canada, or as horrific as Penn State. The different degrees of severity in stories does not translate into different degrees of importance. While you may not feel like this greatly affected you, someone in the same situation may feel extremely torn up. Everyone’s different.

    I value your story as equally important as the others in creating the movement we are trying to make. I only ask that you not forget about us. You have a poignant point of view and a powerful written voice. We are getting more stories and more publicity all the time and we can only grow. Please stay an active part of this community. You can share insight, positivity, and inspiration for many.

  14. eric

    Don’t feel weird. Your story is definitely appropriate for this forum and I’m sure many people will identify with it. I have a situation that I just recently started thinking about once I started working on this website with Jamie. It’s different from yours in that there is no clear cut wrong doing, but it definitely makes me think. So, when I was in 8th grade I had to get a physical for wrestling. Most people know what that consists of. Everything went as planned and the physical was a totally normal one. Maybe six years later, this pediatrician was found to have child pornography and had been abusing children for some time. I don’t know what to think about it to this day. It definitely makes me realize how close I came to being sexually abused and it sickens me that other kids had to go through that.

  15. eric

    Don’t feel weird. Your story is definitely appropriate for this forum and I’m sure many people will identify with it. I have a situation that I just recently started thinking about once I started working on this website with Jamie. It’s different from yours in that there is no clear cut wrong doing, but it definitely makes me think. So, when I was in 8th grade I had to get a physical for wrestling. Most people know what that consists of. Everything went as planned and the physical was a totally normal one. Maybe six years later, this pediatrician was found to have child pornography and had been abusing children for some time. I don’t know what to think about it to this day. It definitely makes me realize how close I came to being sexually abused and it sickens me that other kids had to go through that.

  16. heartofgold

    Thank you, Jamie and Eric. I honestly feel weird about sharing my story now, for the sole reason that I feel it is inappropriate of me to take up space writing about something so trivial. I absolutely wrote it for the benefit of others…and the hope that someone else will identify with it.

    I have definitely had hesitation with the idea of leaving my kids alone with him. I know the statistics and what you say, Eric, is very true. Someone who offends once most likely will offend again. I can say that while it hasn’t necessarily been purposeful, they’ve never been alone with him. My grandma is always there, or one of my other kids. I appreciate you asking that very important question in the non-judgmental, non-threatening way you did, Jamie. Thank you.

  17. heartofgold

    Thank you, Jamie and Eric. I honestly feel weird about sharing my story now, for the sole reason that I feel it is inappropriate of me to take up space writing about something so trivial. I absolutely wrote it for the benefit of others…and the hope that someone else will identify with it.

    I have definitely had hesitation with the idea of leaving my kids alone with him. I know the statistics and what you say, Eric, is very true. Someone who offends once most likely will offend again. I can say that while it hasn’t necessarily been purposeful, they’ve never been alone with him. My grandma is always there, or one of my other kids. I appreciate you asking that very important question in the non-judgmental, non-threatening way you did, Jamie. Thank you.

  18. eric

    Thanks for posting this heartofgold. I think there are a lot of people out there that have experienced situations like this and have many of the same feelings that you do. There’s no doubt that what he did crossed the line and was entirely inappropriate. It’s true that families experience a lot of turbulence when a victim comes forward. Many times, things are never the same. It keeps a lot of people from coming forward. I can completely understand why you might not want to bring it up, though. I don’t imagine that I would do anything differently than you. I guess, the problem is that many individuals who offend once go on to offend again. I recently attended a training on preventing child sex abuse and they covered some stuff that might help you. It’s called darkness to light. I think the course costs like $10 something online at . Whatever happens, I definitely wish you the best. We are all just growing and learning together.

  19. eric

    Thanks for posting this heartofgold. I think there are a lot of people out there that have experienced situations like this and have many of the same feelings that you do. There’s no doubt that what he did crossed the line and was entirely inappropriate. It’s true that families experience a lot of turbulence when a victim comes forward. Many times, things are never the same. It keeps a lot of people from coming forward. I can completely understand why you might not want to bring it up, though. I don’t imagine that I would do anything differently than you. I guess, the problem is that many individuals who offend once go on to offend again. I recently attended a training on preventing child sex abuse and they covered some stuff that might help you. It’s called darkness to light. I think the course costs like $10 something online at . Whatever happens, I definitely wish you the best. We are all just growing and learning together.

  20. jamie

    That’s an interesting story. Thank you so much for sharing. Even if you didn’t feel like this was something you needed off your chest, there may be someone with a similar situation that does. Or maybe someone in similar shoes would benefit just by knowing someone else has been where they are. So even if posting this wasn’t a huge benefit to you, it is a benefit to others and I thank you for sharing and contributing to that.

    If I may ask, do you ever have hesitance to leave your children alone with him? I don’t ask because I necessarily think you should. I ask because surely it’s crossed your mind. You know your grandpa better than anyone on here obviously. Perhaps it was a case of confusion mixed with poor judgement. I was hoping you may shed some light on the perspective of a now parent who still has that person in their life.

    Thank you so much for being a part of this.

  21. jamie

    That’s an interesting story. Thank you so much for sharing. Even if you didn’t feel like this was something you needed off your chest, there may be someone with a similar situation that does. Or maybe someone in similar shoes would benefit just by knowing someone else has been where they are. So even if posting this wasn’t a huge benefit to you, it is a benefit to others and I thank you for sharing and contributing to that.

    If I may ask, do you ever have hesitance to leave your children alone with him? I don’t ask because I necessarily think you should. I ask because surely it’s crossed your mind. You know your grandpa better than anyone on here obviously. Perhaps it was a case of confusion mixed with poor judgement. I was hoping you may shed some light on the perspective of a now parent who still has that person in their life.

    Thank you so much for being a part of this.