How to Love a Monster: A Candid Reply to a Painful Question

I have a cousin who is a homo-erotic pedophile.

When I was 10, he was 13. My little brother was 3. My cousin was living with my family and I because we had adopted him. His father (my mom’s little brother) has always been in-and-out of jail, and his mother was out of the picture since he was a baby (she abandoned him).

One day, my mom & my grandpa (my father didn’t live with us, so my grandpa stood in) took my older brother out to shop. It was just me, my cousin, and my little brother. We watched TV.

At one point my little brother asked me to take him to the bathroom. My cousin volunteered to take him instead. I think nothing of it.

Until a few commercials pass by and they are still not back. My brain automatically goes back to the one memory I have when I was 5 years old and my cousin (who was 8 years old at the time) had me pinned to the floor behind a couch at my grandpa’s house. My cousin had tried to “make out” with me like we saw in movies. I remember saying I didn’t want to “play that game” but he continued to insist anyway.

While I never told adults about that time, I always felt there was something not right about it. Perhaps that was why I never told the adults about it.

Regardless. That moment when it occurred to me that something might be happening to my little 3 year old brother, I went full berserker-rage.

I started pounding on the bathroom door (locked) and making all sorts of threats against my cousin. It only took a short moment but I realised I could pick the lock with a toothpick, and I did.

Long story short, I break into the bathroom to find my cousin leaning over my little brother, who was naked and on the floor.

This time I told the adults. Not about me, but about what had happened to my little brother and what my cousin did. I remember sitting on the steps waiting for them to get home and my cousin crying and begging me not to say anything.

My mom, who has a violent nature, beat the living shit out of my cousin that day.

My cousin was then taken to live with my aunt (another one of my mom’s siblings) and no one ever spoke of what happened again.

The worst thing to come out of everything that happened is seeing the effect this had on my grandpa.

My grandfather was a wonderful person. He was there for me when my father wasn’t. When he lived with us, he was the only one to keep my mother sane when my father couldn’t. And when my cousin was abandoned as a baby, my grandfather took up the job of raising this little kid that no one wanted.

My grandfather loved my cousin as his own son.

That day when my mom beat the shit out of my cousin, a part of me felt triumph, but when I saw the pain on my grandfather’s face, I lost it. I understood in that moment that no matter how terrible and hurtful my cousin’s behavior was, he was still that little abandoned baby in my grandfather’s mind–and to see my cousin being punished broke his heart. I feel that seeing this happen to my grandfather in turn broke mine.

I feel that eventually I tried to understand my cousin, and I tried to see him with the eye of a parent. I could do this by envisioning my own little brother who could be a pedophile, a monster. I studied Criminology in school and I focused on pedophilia. I had a thirst to understand how to forgive.

What I found is this: pedophilia is a mental illness. It is only classified as a mental illness because there is no other way to describe it. It’s like people who are attracted to furries or people who are attracted to dead people. It’s an innate urge they have inside their brain that they cannot completely control.

And when I think of that with my cousin.. I feel sad and sorry for him. Because he has a part of him that is harmful to society, yet at the same time he cannot tell his brain not to be attracted to the things that attracts him. And because of this thing that he cannot control, he must be ostracized and prosecuted.

If I look at him with the eye of a parent, I hurt for him. I can’t begin to understand how it must feel to be prosecuted with hate for something that you cannot control without assistance. It’s like putting an alcoholic in jail after a drunk driving and having the rest of your family just write you off and disowning you.

I think of how alone my cousin must feel. I think of how people see him as this disgusting monster and how he must hate himself for thinking that it is true. When I think of that, it hurts. It hurts because I don’t think anybody deserves to feel unloved by their parents or family for having something they never chose to have.

I’ve asked my cousin before, when we were older, what he thinks of his “illness.” He said that life would be very wonderful if he could just be a “normal guy” who was attracted to the “normal things.” There is nothing he wants more than to be “normal”.

Being attracted to the things he is attracted to is not only a “forever-alone” sentence for him, but it is also a “hated-for-life” sentence as well. No matter how well he adjusts his behavior in order to fit into regular society, he will always know that there is a part of him that is hated and despised. He will always know that people like him should just be dead so that everyone else can live in a happier society.

So when you ask “What the fuck were you thinking…” I think your parents see your brother as a child who they love. I think when you have your own child, you will understand just how difficult it is to hate your own child, even if it is a monster.

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