I LOVE Matthew Sandusky because he had the guts to appear on International television and tell the world that when his adoptive father, legendary football coach Jerry Sandusky, gave Matthew oral sex, it felt good.
Do you know how many men he has helped by being so brave? Do you realize how many children Matthew has helped by being so honest with himself and the public?
As I have written in numerous articles, and to quote Oprah: “It’s okay to say it was pleasurable.”
The hour-long interview between Oprah and Matthew Sandusky aired last Thursday evening.
With tears in his eyes, Matthew told Oprah that when Jerry Sandusky gave him oral sex, he said he was so confused because he had “a [sexual] reaction, and you don’t know what’s happening, but it’s just what it is I guess. I don’t want to say that it’s pleasurable, but it’s not –it’s not the most painful thing I guess.”
Oprah immediately picked up on Matthew’s shame and discomfort. Oprah stepped in with strength. She told him in that moment, “You can say it’s pleasurable.” Oprah then continued in a strong and direct voice:
“This is what people don’t understand about sexual abuse. People think that sexual abuse is somebody throwing you against the wall, and torturing you or raping you…they don’t understand that the aim and the intention of the perpetrator is to make it pleasurable, so you will be confused.”
Matthew Sandusky had indeed been highly confused by Jerry Sandusky.
Jerry Sandusky kissed his teenage son on the mouth, digitally penetrated him, and forced Matthew to give his father oral sex.
Unsurprisingly, at age seventeen, Matthew attempted suicide with carbon monoxide poisoning, and an overdose of aspirin.
After the suicide attempt, Jerry Sandusky stopped the sexual abuse, but he continued to place his hand on Matthews leg, and, through psychological manipulation, Jerry made sure Matthew would continue to keep the secret.
I had numerous opportunities to tell people… and I didn’t. “I was afraid of that man.”
When Jerry Sandusky was first accused of rape and sexual molestation of several very young boys, Matthew defended his adoptive father and denied anything sexual ever happened to him.
This is quite common behavior for a victim –especially by a man who was sexually abused by another man.
When one of Jerry Sandusky’s victims told his story on the stand, Matthew sat in the courtroom in order to show support for Jerry. Sometime during the testimony Matthew realized that the man on the stand was virtually telling Matthew’s own story. This was when Matthew knew his own denial would no longer work for him.
Matthew then decided to come out and talk about his own sexual abuse.
Matthew says he was not driven by money, but by “a desire to stop being a coward.”
Afterwards, Matthew and his wife, and children, became the target of vicious character attacks.
“I can handle it. I can handle people attacking me. I handled the abuse. I can take it. My wife is an innocent. My children — they’re innocent. For people to attack them — yes, absolutely, the simpler answer would have been for me to keep it, to deal with it on my own.”
I am so happy he did not keep quiet. I am certain his wife feels the same. I am sure she would prefer that Matthew help other victims.
When Oprah asked Matthew if he feels Dottie Sandusky knew about the sexual abuse, Matthew expressed some doubt because he said Dottie never walked in on her husband and Matthew in any sexual acts.
Instead, Matthew says she only saw “bedtime roughhousing.”
However, Matthew said Dottie did walk in on Jerry and Matthew when Matthew would be laying on top of Jerry on the bedroom floor, wearing only underwear.
A father and teenage son in his underwear laying on top of one another on the bedroom floor did not give her pause?
She did not want to know.
In an interview with Matt Lauer, Dottie made attempts to discredit Matthew, which is a common tactic among abusers and those who protect them.
Dottie accused her adoptive son of stealing from the family as a teen, and says Matthew suffers from bipolar disorder.
“I’m not bipolar,” Matthew told Oprah. “I’m dealing with psychological issues from the abuse.”
I don’t like labels, but bipolar has been linked to child sexual abuse.
Matthew also denies the theft.
So what if he stole family items? It merely helps substantiate the sexual abuse because children who are being sexually abused are often kids who can try to get attention through stealing or set fires as a a cry for help.
Referring to his adoptive family, Matthew said:
‘They cared about me, they loved me. I owed that family everything. Everything I was, and am, I owed to them….Ninety percent of the time with Jerry Sandusky was everything that a child would want,” Matthew said. “He gave you things. You had fun. You went places that you would never go without him. But the ten percent of the time where he was doing these things…” Matthew shook his head. “It can’t even compare. That ninety percent — it gets obliterated by the damage that is done to you, that you are willing to accept in that moment. You have his time. Let him do what he’s going to do. It’s not worth me causing an issue. It’s not worth me upsetting him.”
Yes, the price a child is willing to pay. I speak from personal experience.
Referring to Matthew saying the oral sex felt good, Oprah said to him, “You know there are going to be people who say vulgar things, like “you enjoyed it, so that’s why you didn’t tell,” and “why did you keep going back to that house? Why did you stay in that family?”
Although well-intended, Oprah is a little off here. Maybe not in Matthew’s case, but untold numbers of children don’t disclose the abuse because it does feel good, they receive gifts, they are made to feel special among other children, or they crave the attention.
Many children only disclose the sexual abuse because it has ended, not to end the abuse. I should know. It’s what I did.
Oprah rightfully stated that so much of mainstream society thinks it’s all about the sex act, but the shame and the secrets are what actually cause you to turn on yourself, and often in ways that are violent or rage-filled.
Jerry Sandusky, is currently serving thirty to sixty years in prison. He has lost a recent appeal to the State Supreme Court and maintains he is innocent.
If only the abusers would learn that by admitting to what they have done, and then trying to turn it into a way to help children, or other perpetrators –oh what a beautiful thing it would be.
But sadly, most of them deny, attack, and reverse the victim/offender relationship.
The majority of perpetrators, and their wives and other family members, use name-calling, vindictive personal attacks, attempts to discredit the victim in any way they can think of, and they maliciously cut the victim off from any love-relationship or harmony between loved ones that could have existed –and they do so without a blink of an eye.
I speak from personal experience.