Letters to the Editor

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Name withheld

Stand by your man: I am so glad that David Holthouse did what he did! I have dreamed of doing the same to the man who had his way with me when I was eight! Thanks for putting that kind of story out there for those sick fuckers to read. I know that everyone who had the same experience feels the way that David does and stands behind him 100 percent.

Name withheld on request

The truth will set you free: David Holthouse, there is nothing more powerful than telling the truth. The power of your story and the good that will come from it outstrips any satisfaction that could have come from any harm you could have done to that man. Thank God you resisted that great temptation in order to be able to connect with us, your audience. May the God of the words you quoted in Romans give you peace. As another verse in Philippians 4 says, "May the peace of God which passes all understanding guard your heart and mind through Christ Jesus."

Michael O'Connor
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Breaking the silence: I was sexually abused by my father from the age of seven until I was fourteen, when I learned to avoid him. I had hundreds of fistfights. I lost one fight. I was married and divorced twice, my anger a huge part of the breakups. When my son, now eight, was born, I cried incessantly. I realized I was crying because of how precious my son was to me -- and thus, my father didn't love me. I scared my ex badly. Incredibly bad fights with the woman I love led me to see a wonderful psychiatrist. She says I became a lawyer so no one could hurt me again. I read a wonderful book called Victims No Longer, by Mike Lew (the only support I have found for men, although there are hundreds for women), before I sought counseling and realized there were other men like me -- same nightmares, same terrible symptoms, same self-abuse. I read it now with a different insight due to counseling.

I wanted at times to kill him. But the irony is that I have to find true forgiveness for the sake of my son, those I love and those I have harmed with my anger. Or I will continue to be angry. I do know I would go insane and kill anyone who harmed my son. I practice family law and care about those children immensely. I do not judge those who have withheld their names, but I didn't do one damn thing, nor did I ask for any of it. I am not ashamed anymore, and I won't stay silent.

Jim LeSuer
via the Internet

To tell the truth: I am from Denver but live in Anchorage, coincidentally. David Holthouse's article will be (and has been) a gift to many who have gone through what he did. As a person who has worked in the mental-health field for over twenty years, and with kids who have been sexually assaulted, I hope and pray that stories like this will encourage talking away the secrecy. Kids have to learn that they can tell and still be protected.

Marian Lilley
Anchorage, Alaska

Prisoner of pain: I read today about David Holthouse being arrested for "stalking" the man who raped him when he was seven. (I can't believe he actually got arrested for that -- even after they knew what he had done to him! How absurd!) Then I went to to read "Stalking the Bogeyman." I must say, I read it and cried. I mean, really cried. I cannot believe that David went through that and was able to talk about it, much less meet and talk to the man who did that to him. I just wanted to say that I commend what David has done.

I don't blame David for wanting to kill that scumbag, but I am so glad that he chose to confront him. I truly believe that the guilt will ruin the rest of his life. I don't know David at all, and probably never will. But I just wanted him to know how I felt. His story was as wonderful as it was horrific. He should take care and continue to grow from his pain.

Sherry Murphy
Lynchburg, Virginia

Close to closure: David Holthouse, your story was very moving. I feel for everything you went through. You kept an awful secret for a long time, too large of a burden for anyone, let alone a small child. But I was impressed with the way you handled things. Not many find the strength to confront their attackers. I hope you've found the closure you need.

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