Perspective: My story of being abused (Pedophilia and Grooming)
TW: Pedophilia, Grooming
I’ve been sitting in this circumstance for a long while. Struggling to put my thoughts into words, going back and forth between the prospects of potential solace, and fear. Fear of not being believed, fear of misinterpreting the situation, there was so much I second guessed. In all honesty I didn’t want it to be true, I so desperately pleaded that there was some sort of stipulation to justify it, and that I was not a victim, and the person who once meant the world to me didn’t take advantage of me or manipulate me for their own gratification.
Growing up I have always struggled with fitting in and self-esteem, always trying to find a group to call home, people I could relate to and share my passions with, and I just didn’t seem to resonate with anyone locally. This all changed when I created a Twitter, initially intending to have a social media to accompany my then YouTube initiative, it ended up becoming my everything. I found like-minded fans in the Pokemon Community I was then a part of, and the level of validation I found through people’s support and enthusiasm gave me friendships and encouragement that I had never found before. Fast forward a few years and I eventually transitioned into the Smash Community as my interests shifted, along with some friends I met in the former community who also were involved with Smash. Through pure circumstance and luck, in 2015 a friend of mine found a player on For Glory, thought he was really good, used ingame tags to contact him, and invited him to our Smash Skype group, this person was Blue (former New Jersey player/TO).
I had the opportunity to play him in a lobby and was amazed by his skill, I had not played anyone of his caliber before, and I felt privileged to be able to. I never anticipated what my dynamic with him would become, but before too long, he was a part of my entire world. Group calls and practice sessions started becoming more individualized between me and him, eventually getting to the point where I would call him every single day and we rarely participated in group activities anymore. My initial intrigue was in his game talent, but that quickly became second to the friendship that was developed between each other. He granted me so many opportunities, chances to talk to players in the New Jersey scene I deeply admired, even let me have games with them. For the first time in my life, I felt immersed by incentive and happiness and it felt like everything was going my way, the joy was unparalleled to the mundane proceedings of my typical routine, and it gave me hope.
Unfortunately, this also made me completely blind of the prevalent red flags being exhibited.
The initial and rightful cause of concern from everyone was the significant age gap, when we started talking I was 15 and he was 24, 9 whole years. My parents and some close friends expressed concern on the prospect, to which I spent a long time reassuring and convincing them it was ok and that it was a healthy and trusting situation. Growing up I was absolutely aware of the reality with stuff like this, and signs to look out for, but because of all the aforementioned benefits and positive advancements, I was genuinely convinced it was ok, and kept overlooking things, even as my comfort started to deteriorate. I did not realize it at the time, but I had become isolated by pretty much everybody else in my life, and my focus was strictly surrounding Blue and the time we spent together, it got to the point where I relied on his presence for my own well-being because of how centralized everything was. Things would not last within this bliss however, and things quickly became horrible. Blue posed the idea that we simultaneously masturbate at the same time while on call, and in spite of my overall absent mindedness towards our relationship, I was very much shocked and against this prospect, meeting him with multiple counts of denial and reluctance. He kept pushing for it and reassuring me that it wasn't sexualized and it was a bonding thing, and because of all the kind things he did for me and my life, it imposed this sense of obligation, so I went along with it. This happened a handful of times, he tried to make me more comfortable by telling me to pick a specific pornography video for us to watch, I suppose in retrospect it was to detract from the clearly disgusting behaviour he was exhibiting, and he always got really upset and flustered if we did not climax simultaneously, also looking back tells a lot about the situation.
In spite of the horrible circumstance I found myself in, I feel like the stars aligned in a branch of fortune, as the two times we met in person gave little to no room for him to provoke anything. The first instance was when we both went to GOML 2016, with our interactions being strictly venue oriented as I was staying with the local smashers I went up with, and he was in a separate hotel. The second time was in November of that same year where we organized he would come up, house with me, and attend our regional tournament. This was big at the time given the isolated nature of Nova Scotia and the lack of incentive to have “invader” players, which garnered a lot of interest, fortunately leading to me housing 2 other people in my room during the same weekend. While I wish I could say nothing happened entirely through that weekend. Unfortunately he was staying at my place after the tournament, and eventually the other people went back to their homes. One night after all of this took place, Blue insisted we cuddle on my bed, which met with the same cycle of reluctance into reassurance into obligatory compliance, this was when I was 17 and he was 26. Nothing drastic occurred beyond that as the lingering threat of my family being at the house (mom, step dad, step brother, step nan) was potent and would complicate any intentions beyond such.
As time went on after that me and him drifted apart with schedule changes, interests, new friendships, and a multitude of other semantics. We would message sporadactly here and there within the next 3 years or so, but nothing more than passing talks, a call here and there, and nothing that was comparable to the former relationship.
It wasn’t until last November 2019 when I had a revelation, and was able to put everything into perspective and truly realize how awful it was. There was controversy around Spectrum Smash in light of very ill advised decision making on Blue’s part, leading to the VOD’s being completely wiped. This prompted me to look into him out of curiosity and passing concern, and I started seeing comments of him and a potential reputation of being a kid toucher. I spent so long desperately trying to find leads and more information so I could represent other people’s stories and grant them the same solace I was struggling to find. Despite my best efforts up until now I have not been able to do that, and any info I have found, while the concept seems potent in the New Jersey community, there has not been any definitive leads.
On top of the discouragement in not being able to help others who may have similar experiences, I felt scared of repercussion, I as a victim was scared of not having proof of voice call masturbations, or cuddling, I felt powerless. Even in the face of wonderful initiatives that give victims a platform to profess their truth and be met with belief and encouragement, the fear was still lingering in my head. A few months ago even the prospect of “ruining his life” bothered me, even with the acknowledgement of his pedophilia and grooming, even with reassurance from my closest peers, but I am happy to say I have since gotten over that.
While the circumstances surrounding Spectrum are terrible, and I genuinely feel sorrow for the hours of community documentation lost over his selfish initiative, him leaving the community and leaving his position of power as a tournament organizer gave me some sort of relief. He has been rightfully exiled and is in no position to intervene with any smash related conduct anymore, as someone who knows how cunning, immersive, and convincing he is as a person, I feared the same fate for many more.
So where does that leave me. Many of these conclusions I came to 7-8 months ago following my initial realization, and on top of the fear I mentioned prior, I also felt my private confiding would be enough for me to heal and move beyond this. Yet as I see so many beautiful people sharing their stories of pain and misconduct, I also see the power it has in uplifting people and giving them that extra push to move on and alleviate the burdens plaguing their subconscious. My initiatives of moving on weren’t enough for me, there were still sleepless nights, still gut wrenching nausea as the thoughts lingered, so this post is for me. This is to profess my truth of pain and suffering at the hands of someone who used me for their own personal gain, took advantage of my naive nature, my trust, my enthusiasm, and used all of it as mechanisms for his intentions. I am stronger than you will ever be Blue, I am surrounded by people who genuinely care about my well being, people who uplift my best qualities and want nothing but for me to prosper and shine like I deserve to do. This is me moving on, empowering myself, and getting the piece of mind I have sought after for years.
Thank you so much for reading this everyone, it means the world to me you would take the time to read my story, I love you all.