Friday, April 12, 2019

Uncharted Waters

Yeah, it's been a very long time since I posted here. I actually forgot I had this little blog. Never the less, here I am.

I need some place to vent, and this blog is pretty disconnected from my online presence. So it's safe to talk about some things that I can't on Facebook. Now that I'm here, I'm not sure what to say.

I have known MM for 8 years. He was 15 and a brand new Senior Patrol Leader when I met him. I was a new Scoutmaster, and we began the leadership roles that would define us together.

Somewhere in there we became friends. MM aged out, and remained with the troop as adult leader. I mentored him, he helped me. Became my right hand. Became my kid brother.

We endured an episode of youth on youth sexual abuse in our troop. We spent hours and hours talking, discussing, supporting one another. He was the first person I texted when I had my heart attack, and he was the first non-family person I saw when I came out of surgery. Any time I needed help, he was there. He kept me on track and saw to the many things I tended to forget.

I trusted my son's life with him. I loved him. And I still do. That's the problem.

It turns out the young man I thought I knew had a dark side. For at least the past year, and probably longer, he has been sexually exploiting children. Using a fake Snap Chat profile to extort young boys into sending nude and sexually explicit pictures. Hundreds of them.

What the fuck, man. What the actual fuck.

I am beyond devastated. Broken. Rudderless.

I've been crying on and off for two weeks. Feeling angry, betrayed, heart broken, confused. Mourning the loss of a person I thought I knew. Someone I took pride in being partly responsible for. That's one of the great things about being a Scoutmaster. You get to take pride in the fine, upstanding young men you have a hand in molding. And then this happens.

I am friends with his father, and have been talking to him a lot. Trying to make sure he is OK. He is not.

Yesterday I talked to MM on the phone. He's in federal prison. I couldn't ask him any of the questions I have. I couldn't scream at him. All I could do was make small talk and ask him about his day. Surreal.

The hardest part of this is I still care about him. I worry for him. All while I am still horrified by him. And waiting for more information to come to light.

I read the complaint today, which is what prompted me to turn here. Absolutely revolting to read the details of the two charges against him, and the terrible knowledge that this is just the beginning.

I don't know where to go from here. How to feel or process. It's a nightmare from which there is no waking.

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