Children the world over are often the victims of adult sexual fantasies, beginning with their immediate support group of relatives, friends, and family acquaintances. Whether such unwanted advances are seen through to fruition, i.e. sexual abuse, goes mostly unknown. After all, the fear of being “found out” is something a child instinctively knows will probably bode ill for him or her. Adults are to be believed; children are to be seen…and not heard…according to society’s dictum.
The recent escape of Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, and Michelle Knight from the evil clutches of a band of brothers in Ohio, reminds us of the hold adults can have over unsuspecting innocents.
How many among us have been propositioned by an adult to have sex? Even if we were clueless about the mechanics of such co-mingling, we had a hunch it wasn’t child’s play. The mere thought of an adult touching his private parts can give a child the creeps, to put it mildly. I think it’s more likely the child would want to…get the hell out of there…AND FAST…even while his feet feel as though they’re cemented in place.
Pairing an overbearing, sex-starved adult with a child whose brain cells are still developing and maturing is like pitting Goliath against David…minus his slingshot. A child can’t even begin to wrap his or her brain around the torrid looks and lurid obscenities directed at him or her. They’re like “deer caught in headlights.”
To say I was such a child is probably commonplace. Perhaps the streak of cynicism I developed while living in NYC had been lying dormant since childhood. My ears and 6th sense have always perked up when men have made suggestions I thought were definitely…queer.
The earlier children learn about the “facts of life,” the better. And I don’t necessarily mean the how-tos of sex and making babies. Although that IS an inescapable reality.
A good friend once told me when our children were toddlers that they wouldn’t absorb any serious information until they were 5. My feeling was, and continues to be, that children learn from the day they are born.
From birth we are like sponges waiting to soak up all that we can in order to make decisions…great and small.
Values…right and wrong…good and bad…moral and immoral…are taught by adults who should know better. Every word…every gesture leaves an indelible mark upon a child’s psyche…for better or worse.
It’s never too early…and it’s never too late…to remove those rose-colored glasses from a child’s eyes.
A little cynicism is like…a 1/4 teaspoon of ground red pepper with the juice of one lemon dissolved in hot water. A daily dose of this elixir keeps my metabolism revved…and overall inflammation under control.
With life-saving information…a child can be on the alert for sexual predators…without even knowing that her radar is set to high alert.