A Victim like Me: Wade Robson Says Michael Jackson Molested Him and I Believe Him

miss lori age 3miss lori age 3I had a really difficult conversation with my mother this week. It was about the very first time I was sexually abused as a child. I say first time because there were a number of instances after that. And truthfully, in a way I have been victimized for decades, only just now scratching the surface of my truth to get at the business of healing. Part of that healing is asking questions that I have been unable to in the past, unwilling or just plain old too terrified to ask. But the past four years I have been on a slow and painfully arduous personal journey. On the eve of my 43rd birthday, I felt compelled to ask questions that had been haunting me ever so subtly for decades.

Related: Simple tips for preventing sexual abuse in children

My first abuse event happened at my preschool in Milwaukee. It's taken me nearly four decades to begin to peel the onion back and examine the smelly, tear inducing veins of my victim experience. But if I didn't start to do it, if I didn't get to the heart of my trauma, I feared I would be lost to my children and to myself. I couldn't be the mother I wanted in my heart of hearts to be if I continued to allow this agony to fester within me. My greatest fear was that I was leading by example, an example that my children would emulate in their own life, and I could not let that happen.

With that first abuse event I feel like I was marked with neon paint that all predators could see, and for the rest of my life I was easy pickings. At the same time, I feel like I gained the second sight as well and could see victims myself. I have always felt compelled to fight for children, all children, but especially those tagged with the invisible neon green paint of abuse.

By now you have at least heard about, if not seen the interview with long time Michael Jackson playmate Wade Robson. I say playmate not to make light of the situation, but because I think it accurately describes the relationship I saw between the child Wade and the adult Michael Jackson play out in the media as I was coming up. Wade has always insisted, even under oath, that he was never abused by Michael Jackson. But today, at age 30, he is standing up and telling his truth, the truth that he only now is beginning to fully understand. Because that's how confusing and paralyzing child sexual abuse is. Wade Robson says Michael Jackson molested him, and I for one believe him.

Do you know what I see when I look at Wade Robson? I see a glow. A neon glow. But it's not as bright as what I see on others. It looks like it is starting to fade. I believe that with every truth he tells, every time he stands up and says, "I was abused and it wasn't my fault," a little of that neon marking fades away. I hope that I am doing the same thing for myself. I've got forty years' worth of neon marking to scrub away, but it is my life and I deserve to reclaim it. And so does Wade.

Robson talked about the birth of his son two and a half years ago, and that the thought of his son suffering the same fate that he did as a child drove him to a breakdown. That is real to me. I understand that. I have felt that crack within my own psyche. Always I hear about how resilient children are. I am sorry, there is no amount of instinctive resilience in the world to pull a child away from the dark, encompassing grasps of the evil echoes of sexual abuse. It infects you, and colors every choice you make going forward, until you deal with it. I think Wade summed it up very well at the end of his interview with Matt Lauer.

"The trauma and the psychological effects of sexual abuse last for so long. I had no understanding of this until just over a year ago. I am just at the beginning of my healing process. I am sure I will be dealing with this for the rest of my life. But I am so thankful that this is happening now, because now I can get my life back. And my son, my son is the one who saved my life." -Wade Robson on The Today Show

Wade's son gave him a reason to save his own life. His love for his son may have even given him the strength. But I believe Wade is the one saving his own life because he is finally in a place where he feels safe enough to do so. He is standing up and protecting himself, as I am standing up and protecting myself, the way we wanted someone to have protected us back when we were being abused.

It's never too late to live.
- By Miss Lori
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