In addition to Paul's courage in sharing his story with us, he was gracious enough share his appreciation for the work we do at SESAME, and for the opportunity to read other survivor stories on our website. Thank YOU, Paul!
"I came upon your website by chance while looking up sites for victims of childhood abuse. Although my experience was a little out of the norm from most other survivor stories on your website, I felt compelled to share my story. It was a great relief to find a website that allowed others with similar experiences to share their experiences. Thank you."
The mother of one of my best friends growing up was a teacher at my grade school. I never had her for a teacher directly, but saw her everyday at school. It was years before I realized that I had been the victim of sexual abuse because it was a little more subtle and indirect than your typical case of abuse.
As kids often do, my friend, "Kyle", and I often stayed the night at each others house. Over the course of our childhood I probably stayed the night at Kyle's house a dozen times, and even went on vacation with him one time.
Nearly every time I spent the night "Mrs. Smith" would be in a state of undress around us. This usually meant dressing in a short night shirt and panties in the evening, but sometimes she would walk by us in just a bra and panties, and on a few occasions she would be bare breasted. I remember feeling very guilty about seeing her like that, as if I was the one doing something wrong by looking.
When we were younger she would make me take a bath before bed. She always insisted that she dry me off herself and then she walked me back to Kyle's room stark naked and helped me put my pajamas on. I didn't think too much of this at the time since my own mother sometimes helped me bathe or dress at this age too.
Nearly everytime I was over there Mrs. Smith would threaten me and Kyle with a spanking. Sometimes she was just threatening in a kidding manner and sometimes it was a serious threat. Her comments were always directed more at me than Kyle. She would make reference to my backside in her threats like, "if you don't behave yourself I'm going to have to bare your bottom and give you a spanking", or "it would be a shame to have to spank such a cute bottom".
On thee occasions she actually followed through with her threats. Twice spanking just me, and the other time spanking me and Kyle together. The first time this happened I was around 8, the second time about a year later, and the third time I was 12. The first two times involved having my pants and underware pulled down to my ankles and then having to lay across her lap while she sat on the bed. These spankings were long and drawn out and I remember being quite ashamed for being punished in this way by someone other than my own parents. The third time Kyle and I were made to pull down our pants and underware and lay over the side of the bed whereupon Mrs. Smith spanked us with a leather belt. The thing is, I can no longer remember the reason for any of these spankings.
Anyone of these incidents in of themselves might not seem like a big deal, but taken as a whole I feel that it was most definitely sexual abuse. It took me a long time to understand this, but I have always felt a general sense of guilt and shame when thinking back to that time in my life. I didn't realize for a lng time that I wasn't supposed to feel that way about my childhood. I have Mrs. Smith to thank for that.