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Lessons Learned from an Affair – Part 3. If you feel they’re being groomed, YOU possibly are.

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Each year, in a packed classroom, I speak with a group of gifted and talented primary school students  about some of the essential things they need to know about being gifted and talented.

One of those things is personal responsibility.   My gifted and talented wife, Dianne, is a great believer in personal responsibility.    She explains that if you put yourself into a dangerous situation, and something happens to you, then YOU are a key part of the problem. You are not THE problem, but a PART of the problem.   She explains as an example, if you are drunk at 3am in the rough part of town, YOU increase your chances of being mugged exponentially. YOU contribute to the likelihood of the problem occurring.

As I explain to the gifted and talented students, if a plumber accesses a sewer, what is he going to get covered in?   He’s doing nothing wrong, but it’s going to stick anyway.

Young women often wear skimpy clothes to nightclubs and bars.   Some say they should be able to wear anything they like without being harassed. I agree.   However, what they are forgetting is their logic only works if they are dealing with people who are balanced and follow society’s rules of conduct.   What if they encounter those in society who often seek to take advantage of a situation, for example, a narcissist, a manipulator, a paedophile, or a muslim who sees you as ‘uncovered cat’s meat’?   If you access the sewer…..

And the sewer can appear in the most unlikely places.  Here’s a couple of examples…

Former Geelong Hospital heart specialist Associate Professor Alexander (Sandy) Black,  “a substantial contributor to the community for many years”, has pleaded guilty to charges of knowingly possessing child pornography.   Amongst his stash, 39 movies contained acts of child penetration, and,  the material included images of child sadism/bestiality.

61 year old Sydney army cadet officer, Christopher Williams, was charged with using a carriage service to procure a person under 16 for sex.   Previously, he had been sentenced to 3 months gaol (suspended) after being convicted on fraud and forgery charges.   He was also disbarred as a lawyer and has worked as an Air Force cadet officer, at the volunteer coast guard association, Scouts, St John’s Ambulance and the Masonic library. According to a NSW police statement of facts, he exchanged about 2800 phone text and Facebook messages with a 13 year old girl, including this…  “If you want to do something to yourself, do something that will make you feel goodyu can always masturbate, that will make you feel terrific and keep negative thoughts away.”

My then-wife, her sister, and our families used to holiday together at a caravan park in Tocumwal, NSW. Our young daughters were of the age where we allowed them to go to a small lake to feed the ducks. What I didn’t know at first was that among the nearby campers at the lake was a man who wore a small pair of speedos who had an equally small dog. Now I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t begin talking to a group of 4 young girls whilst wearing nothing but speedos, oh, and having a tiny dog under my arm.   Of course, the girls were attracted to the dog, patting it and making a fuss.    When the girls came back to our van, they told us, their parents, about the ducks, the lake, the dog, and the man.    For me, alarm bells rang loudly. Not long before that holiday, I had read a news article by parents of an abused child. It included the ways paedophiles groom children, befriending them, giving them something nice to come back to, creating an air of trust, and grooming the parents into trusting them.   So, when my wife, her sister and her sister’s husband wanted to meet the man, I said, “NO”.

Off they went, and later came back happily telling me that the man was “alright” and I shouldn’t be concerned about our children playing with him and his dog.  In fact, they suggested I should meet him!   It seemed as if everything I’d read in the how-to-spot-a-paeophile article was unfolding before my eyes!   These people had given this man their trust after one brief meeting.  My paternal instinct was in overdrive and I could not believe that these adults would allow, and encourage, their children – and my children – to be in that environment.  Nobody else in the whole caravan park wore ONLY speedos, except at the river-beach. (Even I wore speedos at the beach.)

Who knows if I was right to suspect that man? To me, warning bells were ringing and I spoke with my children about not going to that area again. Meanwhile, my then-wife was encouraging them to go and feed the ducks!

The lesson from Part 2 of this series of articles was, Trust Your Gut. In this case I did. However, this led to my then-wife and I arguing incessantly. My children’s welfare was on the line, and despite what she said, I put my children above her concern of over-reacting.   We’ll never know if I was right or wrong, and I’m glad about that.

So fast forward 10 years… what do you do when your friend buys your 15 year old daughter a $400 ipod for her birthday, and an easter egg bigger than any you’ve ever bought yourself!   I’m thinking she, we, are being groomed for something. What?  I didn’t know.  I was confused, and my then-wife told me she was surprised and hadn’t expected a gift at all for our daughter.

Well, that’s not totally the truth. What she told Alan Workman in a ‘secret’ email to him regarding his giving of the gift, she says, “I knew you would still do it, and yes  she is thrilled with it.  I think the easter egg shocked me more than anything”.   Hmmm, it seems that the only thing my wife didn’t know about was the super-sized easter egg, but she knew far more than I did. I wonder why she told me something different to what she told Alan Workman.

One of the lessons from that experience was how hard I found it to say ‘these gifts are excessive and unacceptable’.  My then-wife said it was simply our friend, Alan Workman, being generous.   Alan Workman made a habit of buying people gifts. Large gifts.   I used to say to my then-wife, ‘It’s as if he buys people off.   It’s just like grooming.    The gifts make it difficult for people to say anything’.

In time, I knew my gut feeling about something being wrong, was right. How?  Because I found that the day after providing the gifts, Alan Workman emailed my wife to say, “I  have been thinking of your inner thighs and back.  Love the touch of your fingers on my stomach yesterday.  loved my hands around you (briefly) could do with more of that xxxx
So I had better find out what work I have to do today.  thinking of you in front of that fire, with champers and oil to poor over your back and thighs. Yumxxxxxxxx
Alan xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxmwaaxxxxxxxxxxxxxx”

Both Alan Workman’s wife and I didn’t know our spouses were having an affair. Grooming is a method of making people relax, or stay quiet, so they feel comfortable or obligated in an otherwise uncomfortable situation. It does not have to relate to paedophilia.   With Alan Workman’s ‘generosity’, I certainly felt uncomfortable about speaking out.

Although, I had already felt total unease when, during his birthday speech a couple of months earlier, Alan Workman, in reference to my daughters had said ‘I love those girls’…. I squirmed rather than spoke out.
And there was the time my daughter was invited by Alan Workman to stay at his home by the beach… I said NO to that, but my then-wife allowed her to visit with a friend.
Alan Workman once  bought my ex-wife’s parents a 4.5 litre bottle of Johnnie Walker scotch… Interestingly, I heard they also weren’t enamoured with Alan Workman, but decided, ‘It’s not our place to say anything’.   I wonder why they thought that?

And so on…..

Trust your gut. The lessons? If you feel they are being groomed, YOU possibly are, so speak up about what your rules and boundaries are.

Next in part 4:   More on grooming, aka ‘Wrestling’.