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Guilty as Charged

Guilty as Charged

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Published by Thomas Fullmer
This is a personal essay that explains why I carry so much guilt in me to this day. It all started on an LDS mission in October of 1978. Well actually it started in my ten year old bed before that. We all care some burden of guilt if we have a conscience that hasn't been fried yet. This is mine. The story "The Return" is loosely based on this essay and what happens in it, though it is a work of fiction.
This is a personal essay that explains why I carry so much guilt in me to this day. It all started on an LDS mission in October of 1978. Well actually it started in my ten year old bed before that. We all care some burden of guilt if we have a conscience that hasn't been fried yet. This is mine. The story "The Return" is loosely based on this essay and what happens in it, though it is a work of fiction.

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Published by: Thomas Fullmer on Mar 07, 2011
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02/01/2013

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Guilty As ChargedBy Thomas Fullmer Guilt has played a major role in my life ever since I was ten years old. Guilt has overshadowedmy life like a ghostly specter of doom, and limited the freedom and clarity with which I have acted attimes. When I was ten, the summer before my eleventh birthday, I had my first experience with sexualcontact at the time with my best friend Stanley. We were experimenting, and since we had no one elseto experiment on, we experimented on each other in my down stairs bedroom of my parent’s home inGunnison, Utah. If my mother knew what we did that day in the basement of her house, she wouldhave thrown a fit. My father would have beaten me to a bloody pulp. We were very discrete however and no one found out what we had done, and yet it left a taint on my life that I was not able to removefor decades. I can still feel Stanley’s naked body on mine as he mimicked the gyration of coitus.When it came my turn to get on top, I couldn’t do it. I tried, but my heart wasn’t in it. So Iplayed the subordinate role, typically played by the woman, and Stanley got on top one more time as Iclung to his back, a little boy clinging to the last vestiges of childhood as my innocence was washedaway in tears I could not shed. Stanley wanted to be a cowboy, and that day we enacted our ownversion of Brokeback Mountain decades before it was ever created. We didn’t do anything weird, wedidn’t even touch each others genitals, we merely shattered our tender childhood dreams and identityby this ignominious act. The sweet smell of cinnamon candy sticks still brings that image to mind,frozen as if in time as that last innocent moment was lost with a thrust between my tender legs.I didn’t tell any one about this act until I told my mission president on my LDS mission inNorway. I went to him because I was extremely depressed that cold Norwegian winter, whentemperatures dipped to twenty-five below at night and only increased by five degrees or so each sunfilled day. I was depressed because I had been molested by a retired army general just months earlier 
 
as we proselytized in an area on the northwest corner of Oslo during a particularly warm October thatwas like Indian summer back home. Can you have an Indian Summer in a country without Indians?This violation left me very disturbed, depressed, and doubtful of my own sexuality as I didn’trespond to the perverse act. I was so shocked that I just stood there as the piggish man kissed me andgroped me, holding onto my hardened penis as if it were his own appendage.I spiraled into a depression as deep as the grand canyon, wit a weight as heavy as Mt. Evereston my tender shoulders, as I grappled with questions about my self as the specter of guilt from theearlier act with Stanley haunted me.I went to my mission president and instead of telling him about my recent experience withmolestation, I told him of my previous one with what some would term a homosexual encounter. Itdidn’t help, as my mission president merely told me that my experience at age ten was justexperimental and not to worry about it. Had I been able to articulate about my molestation by thepervert general, then perhaps I could have gotten the help I needed to continue on my mission and heal.As it was the healing process was postponed for over twenty years, as I added to my burden of guiltwhen I left the mission field a few months latter in April, and returned home in shame. The depressionthat seemed to weigh on me like a heavy burden was nothing compared to the awful darkness Iexperienced when I returned home a frightened and broken young man.So I went back into the mission field after eleven dark days at home. This time I went toCanada. But my heart was no longer in my work, as I continued to suffer bouts of depression, guilt,and a desire to return to Norway and make things right. I never did.It didn’t help matters any when I had a break down in Canada, and returned home four monthsearly, to enter the psychiatric ward of St Marks Hospital in Salt Lake City, where Dr. Moench tried to
 
nurse me back to health.He never did. I was left to nurse myself back to health that next fall (my hospitalization was inApril and May for five weeks, and again in July and August of 1980) after I had attempted suicide andfailed.Surprisingly I have no guilt from the attempted suicide when I couldn’t swallow more thaneight of the pills I was supposed to take each day. Four pills made up a dose, so it wasn’t much of anattempt to kill myself. However it did make it so I lost muscle control of my body for a few weeks.The only feeling I had in my whole body was when I masturbated beneath the covers of my bed on thefloor. My mother stood over me and watched me do it once, but said nothing..Did she know what I was doing? She never said. She just ignored me and walked on. All Ican say is that I was crying out for help and there was no one there who would help me So I eventuallyhelped myself and gradually came out of it all, my sense of guilt still in tact.My sense of guilt got a health shot in the arm just a year later as I ran away from my boyhoodhome in Gunnison, Utah to become the next great writer. I never did become the next great writer,actually I still hold out hope. The problem was that in doing so I borrowed twenty-five hundred dollarsof my mother’s money I found hidden in a red tool box in the fruit cellar of the same home where I wasfucked by Stanley. When I found the money I was looking for something to eat. It was a Sunday andmy family had gone to Price to the blessing of my nephew John who just happened to be born on mybirthday that year. I didn’t go because I was supposed to go to work before my family got home fromthe blessing, at Mom’s Café in Salina. I was a dishwasher there. In any case, when I found the moneyI was gripped by a fever. There was over twenty thousand dollars in that red metal box.At first I was going to take forty bucks and go out to eat with it, you know splurge. Maybe go

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Phantomimic added this note
Oh man, it hurt so much to read this. You have had a rough journey. I hope you have found your way out of this darkness.

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