“DEAR V” by John P.
I have not read or heard much about men admitting and apologizing for the sexual assaults they have committed so I have nothing but Eve Ensler to try and understand how to go forward with my apology. Apologizing is very hard and difficult because I don’t think I really learned how to do it. I am only writing that so the reader may forgive any moments I might accidentally try and defend myself and/or may belittle my victim in the process. This letter or essay or whatever I imagine will change as I get older and continue to understand myself in the process.
When I was 21-years-old a handful of years ago I sexually assaulted a 15-year-old boy by having him perform oral sex on me. I confessed, convicted, and did time for the crime. This is my letter saying sorry:
I am sorry for sexually assaulting you. I am sorry that I caused you emotional and physical pain. I took advantage of you and manipulated you. None of what happened between us is your fault. I knew what I was doing and I regret that. I knew that I was hurting you and confusing you, and I regret that. I knew that I was using you, and I regret that.
I am sorry I pretended I was there for you, when I really wasn’t. I wasn’t a good person to you. I convinced you to trust me and to think that us having sex would make us happy. That was my fault. I knew what I was doing. I hurt you. I did terrible things to you and I understand how that might still affect you now. I understand how you might question relationships you are in and I really regret that. I was 21 years old and you were 15 years old. I knew I shouldn’t have been talking or having a relationship with you, but I did anyway. I made that decision and pursued you.
I used excuses to convince myself our relationship was sound. I told myself that our relationship was “immature” and that it would mature. I told myself that you needed someone older as if that would make the relationship healthy. I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have pursued what you thought was a healthy and real relationship. I shouldn’t have picked you up and had oral sex with you. I was very depressed and dealing with a lot of inner demons. I used you to hurt myself. I wanted to hurt others because I was hurting. You made me feel better and I took advantage of that.
I picked you because I knew I could take advantage of how young you were. I felt you would trust me easier than someone who was older or my age. I regret doing that. I hate that I did that. I can imagine relationships and friendships might be difficult for you now. I can imagine that what happened is always in the back of your mind and letting it go isn’t easy. That is my fault. I did that. I am sorry that I make things difficult now. I am sorry that feeling might be a little harder now than it could have been before. I am sorry that you might have a secret now that you don’t feel like telling others because it hurts. I’m sorry I projected my own faults unto you to make myself feel better.
Now, I have grown. I have faced my demons and have become a different person. I got and am getting help for my depression. I think I am still too young to really reflect on the type of person I am, but feel I can say I feel I am a much better person then I was—I still have more growing to do. I don’t hide behind my crime. I know what I did, and I regret it.
I have treated women badly for as long as I can remember. I grew up in a house where it was every one for them selves.We all knew to get out as soon as possible. I was the baby and the last. Always afraid I did not know who to trust or talk to. My pain ran too deep. I was ashamed of what i was not even knowing what I was ashamed off. fear of every thing. I felt had so much talent and I knew i could be great but there was no one to help me or mentor me or give me the confidence to try. I hated my mother for being so hard and bitter and inflexible for as long as I could remember. I hated my dad for being a sometime dad if that. I grew up weak and afraid and did not know how to let a women IN. Afraid she would find out want a freak i was. Which was in my own head. If I had let someone in and been honest she might have saved my life and we could be together. instead I led women on than just left when I thought we might be getting serious. Not talk to them again letting them wonder if they did something wrong. It was me I was afraid they would find out the real me and be repelled. When in truth I NEEDED thoSE GOOD WOMEN TO to make me whole. I was such an asshole. never learned.never knew how to change. I apologize to the women I hurt. _____, _____, _____ and _____ who I married but I knew it was wrong for both of us. We needed someone just not us. There are a couple of others. Wow am I sorry. none of them deserved the way I treated them. I am alone and I am destroyed and so sorry I was way I was. Sometimes I think they are better off without me because if we had kids could I step up and NOT be my own dad . I’ll never know because for some reason I was an asshole and could not commit. I was a hurt junkie.
It has been 20 years since I have seen you and many things have changed. I’m a father now and as I gaze into the eyes of my new born daughter I feel the time has come for me to apologize.
First, I’m sorry for taking advantage of you when you were only 15 and I was 30. My life was a mess as I was living with my parents and running from all my responsibilities, but you know that. I lured you into a trap, and forced you to pleasure me and be with me, against your will. I don’t ever want this to happen to my daughter, ever.
At first I thought you liked it, in my sick and medicated mind. I was your coach and I took credit for your athletic accomplishments. You had been on my team since you were 12 and when you hit 15, I wanted you all for myself. I wanted you to fulfill my sexual fantasies and I wanted it with you since you were so competitive.
At first I tried to talk myself out of it, but then I realized I had an infatuation with young girls, girls I could manipulate who would be forced to be with me because I would destroy your athletic career otherwise and in the end this is what I did to you. No other women would be with me, because I was broken and out of my mind. I loved being in control and having power over your life.
That night when you tried to leave me and I tried to strangle you but stopped, I realized I hit rock bottom. In the end, every one of your team members who had known you since you were young turned on you because of me. They didn’t realize our relationship wasn’t fair. It was me drugging you, and forcing you to be with me and if you left….there would be consequences. In the end, you left and I destroyed your athletic opportunities by shutting all the doors and then, destroying your trust in men. For this, I am truly sorry.
I was supposed to be your mentor, help you achieve your athletic dreams and help you become the best team member you could be. But instead I destroyed the most sacred bond a young person could have with a person who is entrusted to teach and help grow into the best person you could be. I’m so sorry.
I realized I fucked up. Now that I’m 50 and a father….I finally get it. I wish I could go back and changed everything that happened. All the lies, pain, and hurt I caused you. You weren’t the only one…….Will you forgive me?
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This is as an offering, not a prescription, not a must do, not the only way. It is an offering, period. Every survivor, every person has their own journey, their own process, their own timing, what works for one person may not work for another and what works at one moment of your life may not work at another.