Originally posted on October 24, 2013
I stumbled onto a comic about sexual abuse:
Something Terrible is a short autobiographical comic by Dean Trippe, and deals with mature subject matter, including childhood trauma and Batman.
Dean Trippe is best known as the creator of the superhero parody webcomic, Butterfly, and as the co-founder and co-editor of Project: Rooftop, the superhero costume redesign art blog. He is also co-host of The Last Cast podcast, and you can follow him on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. Email for more information.
It is a powerful story, and reminds me much of my own. Comic books and comics-based TV shows and films, especially Batman: The Animated Series, were a refuge for me growing up. Once I left that house, I bought as many comics as I could afford.
They gave me a sense of something better than what I was dealing with. They helped me understand that I could move passed what happened to me. They showed me that I did not have to become like the people who hurt me. I could be a better person. That was something no real person ever said to me for a long time.
Trippe mentions the idea that abused boys will become abusers in his comics. That idea stayed with him, and plagued me as well. It had enough of an impact that I could not stand my godson hugging me when he was a toddler.
People often fail to realize how much these narratives and stigmas affect abuse survivors. People rarely see it up front. They rarely see the struggles, the pain, or the indecision. They do not see the doubt, the confusion, and the fear. It is easy to tell someone to “get over it” when you do not know what they have to get over.
Trippe’s comic gives an insight into what some male survivors go through. It is definitely worth the read.