I rarely write about controversial topics because we all deal with plenty of negative, controversy, and disgust at what we absorb daily from the media. Controversy is not why you come here and we have Bill O'Reilly to point all kinds of fingers. And with my insane travel schedule right now, and my infrequency of posting why not keep it on the laugh track? But I do want to add my name to the long list of people disheartened by the recent breaking news involving Jerry Sandusky and his activities some of which occurred on the campus of Penn State.
There are so many levels of dismay and confusion following this topic: whether the school knew, or the reality that multiple people at the school knew but did nothing to stop it, how long did it go on, what the trainer saw, why no one removed the child from the situation immediately. A 28 year old trainer witnessed inappropriate contact between Sandusky and a 10 year old boy, contact of which there are now various versions of the truth but the constant in all the alleged stories is that the contact was incredibly inappropriate. Sandusky's charity, The Second Mile, immediately terminated their relationship with him in 2008 when a second report of misconduct with a child surfaced. I can't talk about whether Paterno should be forced out because frankly all of these topics are topics in which we don't know the full level of detail needed. And also because I am not representing either Sandusky or Paterno or the University (thankfully. Good luck legal team that is.)
But I have no shortage of opinion about it trust me, as I am sure those of you following the story don't either.
But I will, with a distinct level of heartache, include that I know someone who was molested as a child. Molested by someone older, established, and trusted. Which is not surprising given 90% of victims know their abusers. I have only a spectator's version of the damage and disconnect these incidences caused to this person's psyche and soul. But very clearly I witnessed it created a gritty sense of distrust in others. For years this person has painstakingly carried not only the secret but the ache of feeling responsible. And there is simply no reversing 100% of the damage.
When I heard the story as it began to unravel, I thought of all of parents who gasped for air over morning coffee because they had a child who participated in Sandusky's many outings. Who asked themselves Could something like that happen to my son? Did something occur he never told me? Parents who then picked up a phone filled with anxiety to call their son who might be at a friends house, baseball practice, or even in college by now to ask if they too had seen the news. And braced themselves for the response.
And I wonder if there will be other young men who come forward with a story to tell.
As a parent, how could you avoid imploding with rage?
Prayers and thoughts extended to the young men and families who are directly impacted by this story: those already known, those we will soon discover and those who will twist and turn with this in secret the remainder of their lives. Emotion is not easily translated across the web but today I hope somehow the collective concern and empathy of strangers could provide at least one layer of love in this awful situation. And maybe there can be some reverse to the damage now.