I received a call from an old friend tonight as I was busy mulling over topics for this post. I have not heard from him in months. There is a criminal investigation against him for having sexual contact with a minor. So when he called I picked up the phone. His entire life has been shattered. His community has collapsed around him. He has grown clinically depressed, and is struggling to cope with realities of his shame. I was his friend before I knew he lusted after pubescent boys. I will continue to be a supportive person in his life now.
Personally, I find the whole situation to be surreal. I am providing support to a sex offender. The media stance has largely been to name and shame, spit on, and condemn known sexual predators. It makes sense. Adults that sexually engage minors harm the weakest of us in such terrible ways. I am being a friend to one of society’s most reviled people. Maybe I am wrong for not hating him. Is lack of hate the same as condoning? I don’t think so.
It is fair to say that I want to keep my distance from him.
What my friend did was very wrong. A child was deeply wounded. There will be an incredible amount of healing that needs to be done, and even then he will not be able to get back on the same tangent his life was on previously. I have adult friends that struggle with the realities of being abused. The wreckage from their experiences looks like general Sherman’s total war strategy.
I still feel compassion for my friend.
He is a broken human being, which is not entirely different from me in many ways. I lust. I hurt people by my own desires. My failings have been stark, and I am prone to failure as much as he is. My failings are different. I feel lucky to not struggle with hebephilic urges, but I struggle with things that can be devastating.
My friend had a tremendous amount to self denial that allowed him to do what he did. When the truth came to light he could not believe what he just done. It was as if he was looking at himself for the first time. In some respects he was. People do not set out to do such things. He is getting help now and is celebrating a lengthy period of sobriety from using sex of any kind. I am glad for that. In fact I am thrilled he is waking up. He is a human being becoming more human.