It is funny how society portrays men as being stronger than women. Even though, men can also suffer and have similar emotions to those of a women. Trust a feeling that can be easily released, like a lollipop given to a child but later being taken away. Resulting in a devastating event kept silent to avoid labeling and pity, not leaving behind the loss of integrity.
Who knew one gloomy day, in a yellowish old house my life would change for the worst. During daylight a sweet and caring guardian angel but later after sundown turning into a monster with the hunger of hurting. The time came for me to go to sleep and during this period of my life I was sharing a bed with my uncle, it was getting cold in my dark blue room and I couldn’t stop shivering. I felt a hand over my waist. I thought my angel was covering me with his wings but it really was the beginning of a long war.
I became confused, I said to myself, “It will stop, It will stop, just ignore it.” I only was seven years old. Why me? I thought he cared for me. I can still remember his cold words whispering in my warm right ear while he was strongly grasping my waist, “It’s going to be okay.” My fragile brown skin was broken, turning into a pale stiffed small body. Being heedless during this moment I had to trust him, how would I known I was being sexually abused? I was only seven and the only thing I could think about is saying, “It will stop, it will stop, just ignore it….”
I could not do anything about my problem, I gave clues to my parents but something kept holding me back. His tall scary black shadow kept following me everywhere I went. Was it fear? Denial? What if my parents would not believe me? This questions kept spinning around me like if I was trapped inside a tornado. The abuse kept on for months, my life colors were fading away, leaving only darkness behind. My porcelain life was destroyed and the magic glue people talked about was not working.
As I looked back in the past, I could not believe how a playful innocent Hispanic boy had to grow up so fast, leaving behind a wonderful adventurous childhood for a quite grayish adulthood lifestyle. The abuse did not stop till I reached the age of eight, I always wonder, why did it take him so long to realize that he had caused a lot of harm to his own blood? When would he stand up to his actions or why did he sexually abuse me? I thought he was my guardian angel, but he ended up becoming my worst nightmare.
I had enough in my life, being raped and bullied (that is whole different story), hearing the same words my culture is strongly attached to, “be a man…deal with it.” No one could help me out, it was time to find a solution without the help of anyone. I went to the kitchen counter, opened the drawer and took out a shiny metal knife. Walked slowly to the bathroom, remembering what had happened, all my victimizers’ voices swirled around my ears. I opened the door to enter, I can still remember, the day I was on the edge of life and death. The temperature inside was humid and the smell was disturbing, maybe my dad forgot to flush again. I faced the water stained sink mirror, seeing an odd ghostly pale face reflection of myself.
Why did you make me suffer God? I thought you were the Savior! You are dead to me and now my nightmares will be over. I felt a strong sting in my stomach, suddenly warm red liquid started flowing down the tip of the knife, and seconds later I felt wind blowing at the right side of my face. Time was kept still, I just remember a sudden flash appearing with an image. My life was being displayed, I saw myself has a baby walking my first steps, going to school for the first time, my mom celebrating my birthdays. The people who cared about me where passing beside me, saying encouraging words as they disappeared one after another. When the last person passed darkness came behind it, leaving my memory foggy and the knife slowly fell down to the floor.
My story was a tragic and dislikeable one but I learned a lesson from it, I became stronger from it every day. When introduced to dukkha I was really shocked, why? For the reason it was a word that had no real definition, other than one’s self experience with it. An idea of dukkha could be love, at first it gives what the person may be looking for (giving joy) but when it is neglected to them, they end up in a withdrawal of pain. Meaning that dukkha speaks for pain, suffering, tragedy, sorrow, etc. (Rahula 17). Even though dukkha is negative it has a positive side to it also, a balance of good & evil. As for me, dukkha is pain in life ending into something I will become into peace later on life.
Walpola Rahula states, “What is necessary is not anger or impatience, but the understanding of the question of suffering, how it comes about, and how to get rid of it, and then to work accordingly with patience, intelligence, determination and energy” (Rahula 28). While reading my narrative I went back to reflect and understand how I could come into peace with my inner self. Combining the experience I had when I saw my life appear in front of me. I realized it was a beginning stage of peace. Telling my body and mind life was worth living, letting go of the idea that I had to be gone and converting the negative energy into positive. On the other hand, I knew it would not be an easy task for me to achieve peace because I had been glued with a shadow of self-guilt. The only yellow road I could construct for my life was one with the idea of being mentally discipline.
Rahula explain how the state of mental discipline is divide into three subcategories: Right Effort, Right Mindfulness and Right Concentration. Buddhist define Mental Discipline as one being aware of its own surrounding, emotions and body. If well practice one can be in control and equal with the mind and body. In my case I was not able to reach sukkah (joy) in my life. For the reason my mind was being pressed down with negative energy making my balancer unstable.
Right Effort, explains how I must move every bad voice or idea out of my mind, replacing it with good thoughts. If I had positive thoughts about myself, I think I would not have harvested the idea about eliminating myself out of the world. Instead of putting myself down every day and thinking of new methods to hurt my body, I should have feed myself with kind words to raise my self-esteem.
Right Mindfulness is defined as one being aware of its own surrounding, emotions and body. Having to be aware of what was going on could had happened but as a seven year old, I had no other chose but to shut down my awareness. I did not know what was good and bad, and still today I keep asking myself, why did I keep quite? Going back to the dark past is hard but I did realized I must have control over my mind, stopping every negative emotion and thought and flipping them around to positive energy. I knew the only way for me to have a sunny day is to accept the storm within me.
Right Concentration, a method I would have loved to known about earlier. It is the idea in which one must take control of the mind particularly in concentration, moving away the feelings of lust, self-doubt and worry. In my narrative, I wondered being depressed, antisocial, self-damaging and angry worth living with every day of my life? Well no, because I would be living a life of misery and neglecting the everyday beautiful mornings. If I had the chance to go back in the past and change something it would be my concentration. I should have focused more how I could have done something to stop the abuse or letting my voice be heard, taking control of my mind and body. Letting myself be worry free so I could have spoken up.
Going back to my suicide attempt, I realized death was not the solution to my problems. I know that out there are people who care about me and they are willing to fight the war alongside me. I quickly cleaned up the mess, washing the stained knife fast, like if had forgotten it was sharp. Aiding myself with rubbing alcohol and toilet paper, I never told my parents what had happen to me or even about the incident. My monster is still loose but sooner or later his punishment will come.
To sum up, I had to find a spine in life for me to keep walking. So I did, I knew I was not the only male or person who had suffer sexual abuse. I must help those in need of my help, not letting them suffer as much as I did in life, giving them a voice to be heard. One thing is for sure, (even though I am not religious, but do respect beliefs) I must stop blaming God. Like Rolf Gompertz, a holocaust survivor and author, said, “The real question is not, Where was God? But where was humanity?” Life is precious let us enjoy every bit of it, even if the pieces are bitter they will soon turn sweet.
Gompertz, Rolf. “Where to Now?” To Life! To Lived! In Poetry and Prose, A Spiritual Memoir. Lincoln: Word Doctor Publications, 1983. Print.
Rahula, Walpola. What the Buddha Thought. New York, 1974. Print.