Second, go read this. That is the suicide note of Bill Zeller in which he talks about why he's doing what he's doing. What he does is gives a crystal clear look into the thought processes of someone ready to commit suicide. He was successful in his pursuit of death. May he rest in peace.
Third, I've been there. I have felt that--THAT--that darkness, that blackness, that evil thing inside me that made the things that happened to me happen--the reason I was targeted for the things that happened to me, just as he did and somehow also transmitted to me by what was done. I have felt that I infected others around me with whatever that evil is. I have felt that distance and separation from others because surely everyone else could see this thing. It's why I was targeted, right? So obviously it could be seen by others.
The hardest lesson to learn and keep before me always is that what happened, happened *to* me, not *because* of me. There was nothing about me that made me deserve what happened. There was nothing about me that caused me to be the target. I was there and I was unprotected--neither of those are things inherent in my person but merely circumstantial.
Truly, being raped as a child messed me up mentally in ways that being raped as a teenager did not and I cannot help but think that one, in some perverse way, led to the other. But kids do that, right? Take on responsibility for things they can't possibly be responsible for in order to exert, even retroactively, some control over the situation?
"If I hadn't been bad, Mom and Dad wouldn't be divorcing. It's my fault."
"If I had been there, the bad thing that happened to her wouldn't have. It's my fault."
"I knew the bus was going to crash and didn't say anything. It's my fault."
If I weren't such a bad person, she wouldn't have wanted to hurt me that way.
To learn and accept that I had no control, no part in this except as a thing upon which she acted out her forbidden desires, was the key to escaping Mr. Zeller's hell for me.
BTW, she was not a relative. She was from a strict "Christian" family. And I understand 100% Mr. Zeller's anger at his family. See, their job was to protect him and they failed to do so in a big way. For a long time, I was more angry with my family for failing to protect me, despite the secrecy and threats around all of it, than I was with her for doing it--because she "couldn't help herself". [See "all my fault" above.]
At one of those dark moments where one fork in the road leads to death and the other to life and some kind of healing albeit a lifelong process of work and re-work, I chose the latter. I was 23.
Mr. Zeller chose the former. He was 23.
RIP, Mr. Zeller. I understand your choice but I'm really glad I chose differently.