Thursday, March 22, 2012

25. Losing My Religion

I read about him in the newspaper the other day, I think it was Tuesday’s Washington Post.  His first name was Aaron—which the world will likely forget by next week—and he was molested by his rabbi. 

When Aaron was in 7th grade, his parents hired the rabbi to tutor him in religion.  Aaron complained to his parents after the rabbi fondled him.  His parents did not believe him.  They actually wanted Aaron to continue with the tutoring.  The tutoring and the abuse continued for over a year.    

How must that feel:  to not be heard?  to be ignored?  You have a problem that you cannot face alone, so you seek help and support by taking the situation to the people you trust most—your parents—only to be treated as if you made the whole thing up?

Aaron, who previously had been a straight A student and natural athlete, began to withdraw.  His self-esteem, along with his grades, plummeted.  He began to hang out with the wrong crowd.  He dabbled in drugs.  His parents continued to pretend that nothing was wrong.    

On his 18th birthday, Aaron lay across railroad tracks under the dark of night, waiting for salvation.  His suicide note read: “I did not want things to end this way.  I feel dirty.  I feel ashamed.”

Aaron’s devastated parents now devote their withered lives to fighting sexual abuse in temples and churches.  The newspaper gave one last quote from Aaron’s father:  “He did not deserve this.  His heart was clean.”      

trifecta challenge.  the word is "clean"


  1. This story is heartbreaking. Poor child feeling hopeless. A bit too late to discover his heart was clean.

  2. I tell my daughters and the people who come to my workshops: BELIEVE YOUR KIDS!!!


  3. Sons, too. I agree with Barbara. Well done, MOV.

  4. This is a sad story. If either of my kids hinted that someone touched them inappropriately I would believe them. And if they showed reluctance about being around a person, I'd investigate.

  5. Thanks for linking up to Trifecta this week. What a sad, sad story. I love your use of the word here. Like it was ever the boy's heart that we needed to worry about. Nice job. Hope to see you back again soon.

  6. I'm impressed - I just randomly checked back on some of your earlier work and this is where I landed. i spend my days with middle school kids and there is something very remarkable inside every kid. I agree. Trust kids. They know more than you think they do.

  7. I'm afraid there are many "Aarons" in the world, abused by people from church, school teachers, by relatives or family friends--It's a real problem.



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