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In the fiery debates going on about the passing of the man, there is a vacuum of discussion of a point which I feel needs to be made. I must begin this diary with another truth, that I need you to notice. I am NOT a victim of Jerry Sandusky. I have never met him. It's important.

Follow me below the squiggledoodlethingey fold, and let's look into it.

Joe Paterno died. He's gone. These are the facts we know. Period. I hold no animas toward the Coach, his family, his friends, his colleagues or his football teams. I hold no aminas against those who are railing against him, the team, the program, or the University.

Draw a line there. Because there is a serious animas which I do have. It's personal, but I also believe it is the most important thing in this conversation. I can't get it out of my head, or my heart. I wonder if you can help me do that. I'm going to try. Here. Now.

From 1998 to 2012 is a period of more than 14 years, if you count until today. I do not have a correct count of many things. But this is accurate, and factual. Let's stick with the facts, and stop for a moment, just for a moment, the considerations of presumption, allegations, etc. Because, what is bothering me is solid, physical reality.

Okay, now that we've agree to that, I want you to fully engage your imagination for just a few moments.

Think, for just a moment. Imagine you are a victim of Jerry Sandusky. For me, it's easy. For you, it may not. Do the work. When you get there, read on. Until you do, work on that.

If you have arrived at that imagined reality, let's walk together for a bit.

Imagine it's Saturday. Game Day at Penn State. In State College, PA, the place you call home. You see Coach JoePA, and his coaches take the heavenly field of battle at Beaver Stadium. You have walked past the statue of JoePA, and taken your place in the stadium.

Or not. Perhaps you don't pay notice of the game, because you cannot. You must not.

All day long, there is but one question in your mind. What do you think, as the heraldry, pomp and circumstance of the most worshipped activity in your home town begins to play itslef out?

I'll tell you.

"Why is there nobody who will believe me or help me?"

Perhaps your violent abuse began in 2000. Yet, every single time this fanfare plays itself out, there is the reality that you do not matter. No matter how else that day plays out, the amount of concern of the folks in your town is whether or not the team wins. Otherwise, how will the community share the grief of a loss?

You know about loss. You have lost everything. You have lost your childhood, your innocence. You have lost your family, because you dare not admit to the unbelievers who patronize the perfection of the coach, the team, and THAT MAN! You avoid, and cannot invest in your friends, because they must not know your secret. No one can know your secret. Not here. Not with these people.

Meanwhile, he continues his strange and dangerous game. With you. For years. Then, as he finds new, more interesting, better looking...younger boys to "play" with, you are cast aside, a dead carcass. But you know that you can say nothing.

Every game reminds you. Every time you see that strange parade play out on the telvision, or read the articles in the newspaper, you know. You remember.

That's all you have left, because you do not exist. You do not matter. Your only responsibility is to maintain your silence, no matter what your life brings you.

Saturday after Saturday, you know, but can do nothing. It may have taken a long time to get you where you are. It may have only been one occurrence, one "sleep over" at the Coach's house. But, it happened. To you.

How do you feel now?

You see, I cannot get over the truth of all those "Saturdays of Silence", of fear. Seeing those who will not admit, or refuse to help, lifted up as heroes has an effect on you. It really doesn't matter, because you do not matter.

How many are there who are just like you? You may not know of another person who, like yourself, got bought into the terror. But, it IS terror that will never go away. And every time the team takes the field, you are reminded. You have to silently suffer the terror all over again. But what you MUST do is to remain silent. That is, you see, the only reality in your life, the only reality that matters, to anyone. But, most especially, it is a reality YOU must maintain, at all costs. That is the full and complee meaning of your life now.

Fourteen years. How many of them are there, really? Where are they? How many more Saturdays must each of them endure? How many more Saturdays will they not matter? It isn't the why that bothers me so much, it is the "how many". Where are they? How do we reach them, and begin the terribly difficult task of rebuilding a life, time after time, after time again?

Every moment we don't means that there will be another "Saturday of Silence", living the husk of a completely destroyed life in the shadow of that place, and those people.

I want no more "Saturdays of Silence". None. That, for me, is the only thing this entire passion play brings to my mind. And, as I consider this point, I understand their terror. I know their lives.

It is an absolute truth, you see, that there are those of us who, regardless of the opportunities available to us, simply do not have the fuel required to get to them. So, those who care most must come to us. Yet, we must remain invisible, silent. Unremarkable. Why?

Because it's almost Saturday.

Originally posted to An American Citizen on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 02:54 PM PST.

Also republished by Three Star Kossacks, Daily Kos Phazebook Progressive Social Networking Group, and House of LIGHTS.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (26+ / 0-)

    My latest writing "This is a time for great moral stamina!" ~Adam Clayton Powell~ I am an American citizen. I am a writer. You have been warned.

    by Bud Fields on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 02:54:18 PM PST

  •  I'm with you. Every good deed Paterno (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Babsnc, Onomastic, JayRaye, science nerd

    did as a coach, for the game, for the kids, for the community, etc has been overshadowed and rendered irrelevant by his protection (witting or not) of a serial pedophile.

    Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Main Street. Occupy everything. Force a tsunami of change on the nation.

    by Black Max on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 04:09:16 PM PST

  •  thank you for writing this. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Onomastic, IndieGuy, JayRaye, science nerd

    you have given strong support to others who were/are abused.

    the silence to "protect" the guilty, the enablers, those who choose NOT to see what is in front of them is devastating!

    i am sorry you had to live in that silence - thank you for breaking it now!

    it is a real crime that people haven't stepped forward to repeat loudly to the victims this simple fact:

    it was NOT your fault!

    Is GlowNZ back yet?

    by edrie on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 04:12:55 PM PST

  •  Silence (6+ / 0-)

    I am amazed that there would be comments on Swedish Jewfish's diary that attempt to silence her.  Contrast this with the "Fuck you, Governor Brownback" diary of yesterday.  There were far fewer comments and none attacked the diarist.  I have an idea why.  Others may disagree.  SJ is female and discussing her sex abuse and sex abuse in college athletics.  This diarist and the FU Gov. Brownback diarists are men.

    Don't look back, something may be gaining on you. - L. "Satchel" Paige

    by arlene on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 04:46:37 PM PST

    •  The backlash we witnessed (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Onomastic, poco, science nerd

      against Jewfish sent me to a dark place today. But she and others like her continue to speak out, nevertheless. They are the true heroes, Courage under fire.

      If there's a reason for the rich to rule, please Lord, tell us why. -Battle of Jericol, Coal Mining Woman

      by JayRaye on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 07:08:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Powerful, searing, and heart breaking. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndieGuy, JayRaye, science nerd

    Thank you for saying what so many can not.


    If corporations are people, then I want to see some birth certificates and talk to their parents.

    by Onomastic on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:06:15 PM PST

  •  I believe they should put this on his statue: (8+ / 0-)

    “The only thing necessary for evil to flourish is for good men to do nothing.” –Edmund Burke

    You usually get what you paid for.

    by IowaMike on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:23:21 PM PST

  •  Thank you. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JayRaye, Onomastic, science nerd

    "If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.." - John F. Kennedy: Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961. We are the 99%.

    by IndieGuy on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 05:56:41 PM PST

  •  Thanks for the beautifully written diary and the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    clear perspective. Again FUCK HIM TO INFINITY AND ALL OF HIS DEFENDERS. He can rot in HELL. Sorry, this whole reverence is making sick and anxious.

    Deux poids, deux mesures.

    by Patate on Mon Jan 23, 2012 at 06:27:32 PM PST

  •  Put yourself in Joe Paterno's shoes... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kishik, Bud Fields

    Imagine for a moment that you are told something of a sexual nature occurred between a child and an adult.  And you report this to your supervisor...

    Would you follow-up?  Would you check in with administration to make sure the "next steps" are in progress?  To re-assure yourself and the person who reported it to you that something is being done?  

    And I can't imagine that there isn't some system in place for whoever you report this to not to come back and say "ok - here's what's going to happen" or "child protective services have been alerted," or "we did look into it, but found nothing there."  I'm not asking you to go outside of the chain of command - I'm talking about asking the person YOU reported it to (if you haven't heard back from them) "by the way...what ever happened to that alleged child sexual abuse thing I reported to you?"

    And as a human being, I can't imagine you wouldn't WANT to know that something was being done about what you reported...I'm not saying get further involved, I'm not saying launch your own investigation, what I am saying is not letting a child slip through the cracks because of bureaurocracy or red tape or just plain apathy.  This isn't like reporting a pot hole in the teacher's parking lot.   This is reporting about the welfare of a child - which is why they make it MANDATORY - So I respectfully ask again - would you follow-up on your reports?

    The difficulty in all of this is not that Joe Paterno reported it to his supervisors.  The difficulty and outrage some people feel, I feel, is that, according to him, he never followed up..."So I backed away and turned it over to some other people, people I thought would have a little more expertise than I did. It didn’t work out that way.”  Joe Paterno, 1/14/12

    He never followed up?  Asked a simple question of "hey - you guys are looking into this, right?"  We are expected to believe that he never spoke about it again?  That's what drives the anger in me.  How can you KNOW a child may have been hurt and not follow-up?  As a teacher, a coach, a father, a could he not follow-up?  "It is one of the great sorrows of my life.  With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had done more" Joe Paterno, 11/9/11

    I did report when I was 13 - to my school counselor.  And she alerted Child Protective Services, who showed up at my house, that night.  How do I know she alerted them?  Well, considering she was the only one I told and CPS did in fact show up that night, she's the only one who could have.  The next day, she stopped me in the hall at school and asked me how I was doing and let me know if I ever needed to talk her door was open.  And every day the remainder of the year, she would check in with me periodically, just a kind word, or smile, but always let me know that she cared.

    "...I am the master of my fate/I am the captain of my soul" Invictus - William Ernest Henley

    by Roxine on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 06:20:56 AM PST

    •  thank goodness... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bud Fields

      for you school counselor!

      And I agree with your post... 100%.

      All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

      by kishik on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 02:25:34 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I agree with you. (0+ / 0-)

      First of all, I too am grateful to, and for your Counselor. It is amazing the power that we people can have when but one truly cares. You were very lucky. Not because you dared to find a ?Counselor, but because of the Counselor you found.

      This is a dynamic, powerful, and necessary contribution to what remains largely a silent, shadowy conversation. You bring an absolute sense to the discussion that is not based upon one man. This is the conversation we all should have, and dedicate ourselves to. Thank you. For us all.

      My latest writing I am an American citizen. I am a writer. You have been warned.

      by Bud Fields on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 03:57:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm sorry I missed this... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bud Fields


    Powerful diary.  

    Thank you for posting.... none of us should remain silent on this topic any longer, not any day of the week.

    All the suffering of this world arises from a wrong attitude.The world is neither good or bad. It is only the relation to our ego that makes it seem the one or the other - Lama Anagorika Govinda

    by kishik on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 02:22:29 PM PST

    •  Thank You for your comment. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I believe you are correct. This is an issue that will forever be in the shadows of Saturday's Silence--until we as citizens of a nation who cares more about its people more than corporate profit. Thank you for contributing to the solution. We all appreciate your notice, and ask you to continue to speak with us, and for us.

      My latest writing I am an American citizen. I am a writer. You have been warned.

      by Bud Fields on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 03:55:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  As I said in the diary's title... (0+ / 0-)

    this is not about Coach Paterno, or his staff.

    This post is for, with and about every child who, every Saturday, felt the absolute desolation of their souls. No, I was not one of those particular lost children, but I am one of the lost children. I only speak for myself, but my heart sears for them. I don't know their terror, but I am fluent in the terror they live.

    It is these children that make me cry. I do not know how they can be found, and shown that we really do care for them, that their lives CAN be better with a boatload of help. I hope that, through this conversation, we may at least find a way to touch them, and let them know that they are NOT alone, and that we DO care.

    You are invited to shred your guts in this conversation. We cannot remain silent. These children of "Saturday Silence" MUST be found, and brought back to us. No matter what.

    My latest writing I am an American citizen. I am a writer. You have been warned.

    by Bud Fields on Tue Jan 31, 2012 at 04:02:05 PM PST

  •  I don't understand why this wasn't rescued (0+ / 0-)

    I guess the rangers wanted to get past the Joe Paterno story. But, of course, you post is about the living, not the dead.

    I would have never seen this post but I was checking out the social networking group set up by Dems Ramshield and noticed it.

    Very powerful writing & very sad stuff.

    The hurt never goes away.

    look for my eSci diary series Thursday evening.

    by FishOutofWater on Thu Feb 02, 2012 at 06:13:40 AM PST

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