I just finished the recent FDS (Female Dating Strategy) podcast episode which included an interview with Lundy Bancroft the author of Why Does He Do That.
I cannot recommend this episode more (and the book), and I am super excited for the second part (its a two parter.)
However, it was really difficult to get through for personal reasons and brought up a lot of memories. Its not a light episode, however the pure truth that Lundy speaks on this issue is incredibly important so I highly highly highly recommend listening to this episode (even if you haven't read the book).
Its probably my favorite so far (although its hard to pick, the one about dick size was pretty good lol, my least favorite is the one where they interviewed the conservative muslim pickme girl ---bleh....)
Anyway, on to the difficult stuff now. So I'm giving all you wonderful people a massive TW.
I grew up in a very violent home. My father was also a pedo and sexually abused me. His abuse was very insidious and he was very careful....he may have done worse to my siblings but again I'll never know, I went no contact with my whole family over 8 years ago, my buried memories of what my dad did to me around 5-8 years old couldn't even really surface until recently, probably because my entire home life was so extremely unstable and violent that it took a backseat to the stuff that nearly ended me....
Anyway, one of the worst parts about all of it is I couldn't tell my mother anything, for she would also attack me for having basic needs and often accused me of lying. (Ignorant, but well meaning) people often ask me "why didn't you tell your mother?" I couldn't... She was like a far more unstable, chronically helpless Dolores Umbridge...who was also abused by my father.
Anyway, how the police were not called to my home more often shocks me the older I get. But I now I understand its part of the whole system. Its EVERYWHERE and its NORMALIZED.
This is why I need everyone to listen to this FDS episode because the guest there talks about that. Its so important to understand how and what we can do.
Specifically, the protection of male abusers is normalized to the point that people are conditioned to look away. In fact its a complete MRA "fathers rights" fabrication that men are unfairly accused of being child predators.
I can tell you the complete opposite is the reality. Neighborhoods , churches, and families are CONDITIONED BY CULTURE TO EXCUSE IT, LOOK AWAY and TRUST MEN.
I lived in a middle-class neighborhood btw. Not a ghetto, not an apartment complex. I called my childhood neighborhood a disney village growing up because it was so "white picket" and diverse (like a perfect postcard of tolerance and opportunity.)
But here's the truth:
When my parents fought I would play a game and count how many houses away I could hear the screaming. It would average between 4-8 houses down the street.
Yet nobody ever, ever, called the police.
I lived in that street for 13 years. All my neighbors knew us. Knew the house had children in it. Knew there was abuse. Nobody ever called.
Whats worse is some of my neighbors who had kids clearly also had sexual abuse stuff going on.
One of my neighbors sons sexually assaulted my sister when she was four and he was 17. This was only learned later when she was a teenager. She, like me, never told anyone.
The first porn I ever saw was when I was about 10 years old and it was a vhs gang bang pool party by snoop dog (and other rappers?) on another neighbors big screen (my next door neighbor btw) In THE MIDDLE OF THE LIVING ROOM IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAY. Shown to me by their son who was a teenager, to his sisters who were my age, and to other younger kids (4-8) including my siblings. The VHS tapes of porn were all over the living room.
One of my worst realizations about my dad, was that he covered up his abuse of us by claiming he was a nudist and wrapping it all up in "no reason to be ashamed of your body" narration. He argued he was "just teaching us about bodies" and "who needs to be ashamed to be naked around your own parents?"
TW (this part is really gross.)
When I was a teenager, his sexual abuse of me stopped. However he was very emotionally abusive, boundary crossing and frequently forced me to hug him, hold his hands and kiss him and go places and do things with him under various manipulative tactics. Shaming, guilt-tripping and "you only get to be with your dad x amount of times" was par for the course.
When I was a teen one day he said he bought me a spa day at a very expensive place. I was shocked but excited to go. He told me he was going too, and I assumed it was going to be him in one room and me in the other and something like a facial/massage thing.
What he actually did was take us to a couples private jacuzzi spa. You know the kind where lovers go when they want a hot tub to themselves?
He also insisted ofc that we both go in together and both be naked together.
Now, he never did anything with me then. Never touched me. Never got aroused as far as I could tell. But yes, I was alone in a couples jacuzzi spa with my dad, naked, for about 2 - 4 hours a couple times a year, from ages 14 to 16. We would talk, but it was incredibly awkward.
Understand, he groomed me for years to think there's nothing wrong with nudity. Ofc I never complained because if I did there would've been potentially violent consequences. So in my head at that age, I just assumed he was too cheap to buy a separate room for me and had a weird ideology about nudity and I just had to accept it.
He ofc told me he also took each of my younger sisters there alone as well. My youngest sister was 10 when I was 16.
Now think of this from the perspective of the receptionist of this place. Would you never question a grown man taking a 10 year old girl with him to a private jacuzzi room?!?!? What about a 14 year old?
Nobody ever questioned it. Nobody.
This spa was indeed a very expensive spa. In the middle of the richest part of a very rich college town.
20 years later ofc, with my resurfaced memories and adult perspective I now realize how fucked up that was. Holy fucking shit.
And, my theory now is that he was doing things to my younger siblings and doing it there, under the cover of each taking us individually to father-daughter time.
He also was a serial cheater so its also entirely possible he booked these appointments with us and then used them to meet up with prostitutes or other women and only took us when they canceled the date.
The truth is I know that is also true because of the way he would give us (his daughters) randomly gifts that were clearly date type of gifts (chocolate, a random necklace) but when it came to our actual birthdays he was incredibly controlling (tl:drhe would take us shopping on our birthdays, and watch us pick things out, and if we didn't pick what he wanted for us, he would shame us, tl:dr it was a huge control thing for him obviously, and it even ended up with public crying in the mall which he in retrospect seemed to enjoy.)
The worst of it is, NOBODY EVER CALLED THE POLICE. NOBODY WHO WORKED AT THE SPA EVER ASKED ME IF IM OKAY. NOBODY QUESTIONED AN ADULT MAN TAKING AN OBVIOUS MINOR TO A SPA ROOM ALONE REPEATEDLY.
Similarly nobody questioned when a teenage girl was crying in front of her father in a store. "Teenage girls just cry" is the narrative. Its literally the opposite of what society says that men are unfairly doubted as good fathers.
Now, I can tell you 100% its justified the way women question men alone with children. From my abuse that I went through, I question it all the time. Its literally everwhere and no one cares. Its in the wealthy areas, its in the poor areas. Girls who are crying are ignored "just being girls."
Men can take minors alone to jacuzzi sex rooms.
I've worked with the public since (in a door to door way) and I can tell you 100% it does not discriminate. Wealthy women are getting beaten and poor women are getting beaten. And NOBODY CARES. NOBODY.
So tl:dr listen to that podcast now please please please, because they talk about what we actually need to do to stop this and its REALLY IMPORTANT.