C.T. Wilson, a delegate from Maryland, stepped to the podium of a state Senate committee during a routine hearing, to tell a story he never wanted to share.
“I don’t really, really want to be here,” he said heavily. “I can’t describe to you the pain of being beaten, sodomized and molested for years.” Between ages 9 and 15, “I went from a difficult life to a downright hell.”
As a man who stands up for the rights of other people, Wilson revealed that his adoptive father repeatedly beat and then raped him as a child.
Wilson exclaimed that the man who did that to him died in 1999, and that made him an “angry monster” inside.
His testimony was to support a legislation to extend the statute of limitations on filing civil lawsuits in child sex abuse cases. He was moved to testify, although it’s not his bill, in part over outrage that similar bills die every year without a vote.
“It was brave. You don’t get a lot of personal stories down here. People don’t really talk about themselves, not like that,” said Republican Del. John Cluster, who was present when Wilson testified a second time.
Wilson, a second-term Democrat from Charles County, knew by his colleagues as gregarious but also intense, aloof and short-tempered. Wilson told them that he wanted them to see that he is broken.
“The temper, and the anger … and the incessant, right-below-the-surface volatility: These are my damages. I wanted to put a face on the damage that the paedophiles cause, because it’s lasting.”Wilson told the senators
From the Baltimore Sun:
In Maryland, a criminal case of child sex abuse is treated like murder — there is no statute of limitations. But for victims to file a civil case and seek damages, they must do so before they turn 25. At least eight other states have longer statutes of limitations for civil cases.
Such civil cases have played pivotal roles in uncovering patterns of abuse because they allow lawyers to discover and document evidence that criminal prosecutions do not. They also allow victims whose abusers are locked up for crimes against others to gain a sense of closure.
Researchers and child sex abuse advocates say that many victims like Wilson do not fully admit and confer their trauma until they reach their adult self.
Wilson shared that few lawmakers had thanked him and others were provoked that they too have been victims of child sex assault. I’ve had people kind of give me a wide berth, which is fine,” he said.
He already shared a bit of this story in his self-published book before about foster children when he was still working as a prosecutor for Prince George.
He waited for years before he fully understood that he was a victim, a dozen years after his foster father died. He thought of his lost jobs, broken friendships and two failed marriages as the damages of his dark past which he tried to hide than to confront before. He says he can’t trust his instincts because knows his tendency to fly into a rage isn’t normal.
“You don’t even know your life is that messed up until you become an adult. And by then, you’re so busy trying to deny what happened,” he said. “All I ask is that you please don’t continue protect the monsters, like the ones who created this monster.”