Updated: Jun 28, 2022
Trigger Warning: Sexual Abuse and Suicide
The worst thing you can tell a survivor of any kind of abuse is that it didn't happen, that they made it up...when these messages come from people that the victim trusts, the results are often tragic. When my mom admitted her sexual abuse to a family member she trusted and was shot down, she took a razor blade to both arms and walked down the halls of Galena Park High School before being admitted to a psychiatric facility. The scars are still there, an ever-present reminder of that time she cried out for help and no one listened.
I have three uncles on my mom’s side, two of which my grandmother had later in life, just as my young mother was having my sister and I. So I have an uncle that’s one year older than me and one that is four years older than me. Our dynamics were more like brothers or cousins than uncles/nephew. The sensitive person you see on TikTok is how I’ve always been. I’m only a fighter when someone goes after someone I love, rarely do I fight for myself.
This made me an easy target of bullies, growing up…and many times, those bullies were my uncles. It was Hell and I could’ve lived without it, but it was my normal. I expected that at any moment, one of them would invade my personal space…and rip the book I was reading, to escape, out of my hands and demand that I iron their clothes or make their lunch for school or come into the kitchen so they could try out their new boxing gloves that my grandpa bought them on my face. I hated fighting. I hated noise. By that time in my life, my brother had been murdered so I was dealing with that trauma without ANY mental health treatment or even any acknowledgement of how it affected me.
My mom didn’t have time for that as she was struggling to survive her physically abusive boyfriends. The only reason we were living with my grandparents at that time is because she was trying to escape him, again. Though he would eventually move in and the cycle would repeat. Before anyone judges my mom, just know that abuse was all my mom ever knew as love. She was repeating what was shown to her, as we often do and it’s the generational curse I’m fighting hard to break and the only reason I’m writing this.
When I was 17, I admitted to my mother that her brother, Conrad, molested me on at least two occasions. He asked if he could move in with us in the wake of my grandfather’s passing and there’s no way I could share a home with him again. So I told my mom what I’d been holding in for years. She, true to form, validated my experience, and I asked her not to tell the rest of the family. I wasn’t ready for their response, and I didn’t want them blaming her as they often were prone to do. There are several reasons I didn’t come clean sooner, including feeling like I had to protect my mom as I’d taken on the role of emotional husband for years. My mom had already been through the trial of her ex-husband for molesting my sister and threatening to kill me, and I worried what this would do to her fragile mental health.
Then there was the shame I was carrying. Was it my fault? Did it make me gay? Should I have fought back? Did I somehow ask him to call me into the room with him and my other uncle? Was it me who said, “We’re gonna play sex,” as if I had idea any of what sex was? Did I ask him to throw me on to his black racecar bed while his sweaty, overweight body grinded against my innocent 9 year old frame? Did I invite my other uncle to watch it and be the lookout in case my grandparents returned unexpectedly? Maybe I did. Maybe it was my fault. Maybe it was also my fault that a couple years later, when they lived in the house on Boise in North Shore that I woke to him, sweaty and stinky (a stench I can still smell) behind me on the couch attempting to insert his sad excuse for an erection inside me. I called out for my grandpa and he eventually stopped.
This began the period in my life when I gave up all sense of self-care. I stopped showering and wouldn’t even properly wipe myself after using the restroom. And I would NEVER use a public restroom, especially with my peers. I’ve learned in treatment that this is actually a quite common form of protection…to make one’s self an undesirable as possible. I remember in 5th grade that I really had to shit. Pardon my language, but the word defecate sounds too proper, even for me. I HAD to go. So I ran to the bathroom and attempted to finish before anyone else came in. I failed. Mid dump, I heard a group of boys entering and my heart started pounding. Full on anxiety attack. I ran out of that restroom with feces literally stuck to me and spent the remaining afternoon like that. We had a Cinco De Mayo celebration that day in the gym and I was the main attraction.
I’ve gotten much better at self-care, and have become better at taking up for myself. I remember the one time I fought back. He was trying to pick a fight with me while my mom was gone and he was spending the weekend at our house. Don’t remember the specifics but, given his demands of being treated like royalty, I’m sure he was trying to order me to do something for him. But this was in my house, and I said no. This triggered him like you wouldn’t believe. “No.” Was not a word he heard often.
He jumped out of the recliner, looking like a sumo wrestler, ready to pounce…and, for once, without thinking, I fought back. It was my Anna Mae-finally-had-enough-moment. I grabbed the broom behind me and I started beating the shit out of him until he fell to the floor crying and asked me to stop. He never hit me again. I don’t condone violence, but sometimes the only way to end bullying is to confront the bully.
There’s no secret that I fight a meth addiction every day of my life. I’m open and honest with my struggles, in hopes that it will help someone. There’s so much stigma attached to both addiction and sexual abuse, especially to males. For years, I struggled with both, in silence. Staying silent about my own abuse only caused me to begin abusing myself. Before I ever picked up a drug, I took scissors to my body…luckily the scars have faded, but, in my twisted thinking, I thought I could cut my way to inner peace. The second time, I wrapped my wound in toilet paper, caught the bus to school, and immediately went to the nurse’s office as the blood was too prominent to hide by that point. I made up this implausible lie about how I was getting dressed for school and fell on to a pair of scissors. The doctor at the emergency room didn’t buy it and pleaded with my mom to get me help. I don’t think she was ready to dive into whatever was bothering me, so we never talked it about again.
But that shame demon still nagged at me daily, reminding me that I was a piece of shit, that I must’ve wanted him to do that, that I must have asked for it, that I deserved it because I was a bad son who couldn’t protect his mom from being abused no matter how he tried and who couldn’t stop his stepfather from sexually abusing his sister.
That shame demon disappeared the day I discovered crystal meth. The second time I ever used, I fell to the floor in euphoria, knowing in my soul that I’d just begun the hardest battle of my life…and that is saying a lot. While under the influence of that drug I’ve let many men abuse me in the same manner that Conrad did, making me feel as small as possible so they get off on it, literally mocking my body and my scars, calling me gross while they penetrate me, calling me a “little bitch”…while I’m just too high to care.
My ex, for whatever reason, called me a “little bitch” one day after I’d just come back from a therapy intake regarding this very subject. We have very different experiences of what happened afterwards, but they both involve me putting my hands on him and pushing him to the ground. This, the great love of my life…I remember the fear in his eyes, and I pray that I never forget that face…I never, ever want to put my hands on another man I love. This is the result of trauma. This is the result of unhealed, generational curses being denied and passed down. I refuse to play a role in this anymore.
Last year I came clean to my entire family about my abuse at the hands of my uncle. Others came forward about their own abuse or their suspected abuse of their children. To this day, he’s faced no legal consequences for his actions, but one of his sons, last I heard, was in a mental hospital. I wouldn’t doubt that it’s in some way related to abuse at his father’s hands.
As the Justice for AJ movement was taking off, he tried worming his way into it and playing some kind of leader in this movement that I was spearheading, and I wouldn’t allow him anywhere near me. Last May was the last time I personally texted him, asking him to come clean about the abuse, and to leave me alone.
Today I received the following Facebook message from his current wife or girlfriend. She can choose to lie to herself and pretend that she isn’t living with a sexual abuser and pedophile, but I will not play the role of villain in her narrative. This is what you don’t do to sexual abuse victims.
Pray for her kids.
If you have been a victim or suspect that one of your children has been sexually abused by Conrad Silva, please reach out to me 214-997-4985.