In the past two seasons, New York Mets‘ pitcher, R.A. Dickey, has turned his career around. Before getting picked up by the Mets, Dickey played on four teams (Rangers, Brewers, Mariners, Twins) and struggled with each and every one of them. But since 2010, Dickey has been one of – if not the only – bright spot in the Mets’ rotation. But that’s not why Dickey is making news today, he’s making news because he has come clean about the sexual abuse he received as a child.
Sadly, sexual abuse appears to be the “in” thing the past five or so months. Ever since the disgusting Penn State debacle that prematurely ended Joe Paterno’s career, sexual molestation and abuse stories have surfaced. It’s one of those things that you know is happening, but you don’t know exactly how much it’s happening.
Having said that, Dickey comes clean in his new tell-all memoir about the abuse he received. And I’m guessing you will guess it’s a male doing the abusing. Here’s an excerpt:
“The babysitter chucks the pillows and stuffed animals out of the way. She looks at me and says, Get in the bed. I am confused and afraid. I am trembling. The babysitter has her way with me four or five more times that summer, and into the fall, and each time feels more wicked than the time before. Every time that I know I’m going back over there, the sweat starts to come back. I sit in the front seat of the car, next to my mother, anxiety surging. I never tell her why I am so afraid. I never tell anyone until I am 31 years old.”
That’s a pretty disturbing image Dickey paints from that brief paragraph. It’s sad that abuse happens in all ways, shapes, and forms. And the people you should trust most (coaches, babysitters, family members) are the one’s handing out the abuse.
Dickey also talks about steroids – most notably syringes – and the effects it had on him. Here’s another excerpt:
“The sight of it makes me cringe, the shiny thin needle lying randomly on the tile floor. My mind races with thoughts about how and why it got there. I know as much about needles as I do about jewelry, but I’m pretty sure this isn’t a sewing needle. I don’t know if this syringe injected a Ranger with insulin or cortisone or B12 or anabolic steroids, though you can hazard a guess when you run through the roster of my muscle-laden teammates.
“I’d never seen a syringe in a baseball clubhouse before. I’ve not seen one since. It may have been used for the most benign of purposes, but the mere sight of it makes me feel as though I am looking straight at Evil — like seeing a weapon somebody left behind at a crime scene.”
Dickey is a pretty interesting guy. And I’m sure his book is very interesting as well, even though some of it might be hard to stomach. Hopefully there is more words written about climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro than what is excerpted.