It can’t be easy to go through life with the last name “Sandusky” right now. But I have nothing but respect for Matthew Sandusky, the adopted son of Jerry Sandusky, convicted child molester/ex-assistant Penn State football coach. Matthew, who was one of six adopted kids, spoke with Oprah Winfrey on Thursday night about the sexually abuse he suffered by his adopted dad. But as can happen with victims of childhood sexual trauma, repressed many of these memories until he was an adult. When Matthew was interviewed years ago by investigators looking into his father’s past, he didn’t remember all the sexual abuse that he now recalls.
As Matthew told Oprah, he was abused by Jerry Sandusky around bedtime. Sandusky’s abuse started as playful touching — like tickling — and progressed what he now recognizes as an adult was oral sex. “It’s very confusing for [a child] because you have a reaction, you know. It’s something that you at that time you definitely don’t know what’s happening,” Matthew told Oprah. At the same time, Matthew showed compassion towards his adopted father, saying Jerry was so sick that he seemed to think sexual abuse was a form of love. “In his own — to me — warped way, I truly believe that he believed that he cared and that he was loving us,” Matthew said.
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