As I mentioned last week, as a young adult, I was forced to do the things my abuser wanted me to do. Instead of playing baseball, hockey, basketball and spending time with other guys and my guy friends, I was forced to spend countless hours at the roller skating rink wearing extremely feminine looking clothing, doing feminine type routines on roller skates. The other people at the skating rink were very feminine in nature and it had an effect on me in spite of my efforts to not allow it to. I remember having to get fitted for skating outfits, by an elite seamstress who took advantage of being able to touch a fit young man. I hated going there, but my abuser insisted that this person was the best there was and I had to have the best looking outfit for my competition.
I was given the gift of athleticism by God and it translated into skating as well. I was one of the top skaters in the country, winning numerous awards and trophies, not because I wanted to, but because I was forced to. I was told I had to lead the skating rink’s effort to win the team trophy at each event and the team was depending on me.
As I moved into young adulthood, I tried to break away from the skating routine and my abuser and pour my efforts into my true love of baseball. I was good enough at baseball to receive a full scholarship to the University of Michigan and Cleveland State University. I was one of the top players in high school and even had a tryout with the St Louis Cardinals and offered a minor league contract. Upon my return from the tryout, I wanted to discuss my options of taking the contract to pursue a professional baseball career. My abuser would have no part of that, and told me the words that would effect me for life, “I knew you wouldn’t make it, it’s time for you to get a real job.” My abuser would never attend one of my games in high school or college. On occasion my father would try and sneak away and attend a game without my abuser knowing it, and although he didn’t really understand the game or have any interest in it, he knew I was one of the best in the game.
Next week, I will conclude my blog by talking about the long term effects DV has had on me as an adult, and even now as a senior adult. Unfortunately abuse doesn’t go to the grave with the abuser, and even though my abuser can no longer hurt or have an effect on me, I still have to fight to convince myself of that fact.