My name is Greg Gilhooly. I was repeatedly sexually abused by Graham James over a three year period beginning in 1979. This is my victim impact statement.
I am not sure that I can adequately describe in words the full extent of the impact that Graham has had on me. Even as I write this he is not “Graham James”, or “Mr. James”, or even “the Defendant”. To me he is still just “Graham”, who was once a friend, a mentor, somebody who was going to help me become everything I dreamed of becoming.
All I ever wanted was to be the best me that I could be. It is easy to see now that Graham never for a moment cared about that. But at the time I put all the faith and trust that a fourteen year-old dreaming about his future could have into him. I have had to live with that decision for the rest of my life, every single day of my life.
The easy part of assessing impact is to consider the actual physical actions themselves. Still, words like “massaging”, “touching”, “fondling”, “groping”, “masturbating”, “oral sex”, and “ejaculating”, words which attempt to describe various actions, can’t come close to describing the horror of what was going on. I live with the horror of those actions, and there is no erasing them. And until they invent a pill that allows you to control your own dreams and nightmares, I never know when I will revisit those horrors in my sleep.
The harder part of dealing with Graham’s impact is looking at who I was, who I became, and who I must become to better deal with this.
Graham left me with questions about myself that I have had to deal with for over thirty years, questions that would come up at times I couldn’t control. They would haunt me in the middle of the night, waking me up in a sweat and leaving me unable to fall back asleep. They would come up in the midst of me working on a file at work, taking me back to a different time and place. The questions would be front and centre during a handshake or a seemingly normal conversation, me doing my best to put on a mask to get through the encounter until I could retreat to suffer in solitude. The questions would always be there throughout intimate moments with somebody I loved.
Who am I?
Why did he pick me? He must have seen I was weak. People must see me as weak. I must be some sort of joke.
Why did my body respond to his advances and actions? I must have liked it.
Why didn’t I stop it? I must have wanted it. I deserve what I am feeling now. I deserve to feel like his leftover garbage.
How could somebody like him control somebody like me? I am worthless and weak. I am not the strong, tall, intelligent, athlete people see on the outside. I am a fraud.
I am a fraud, worthless and weak. What you see isn’t real. I am a failure, and I deserve failure, not success.
Can’t you see that I’m a fraud? I am a failure, not worthy of this success. I will show you I am a failure, worthless and weak.
What about the others I know who followed me? It’s all my fault for not stopping him. I am responsible for their pain. I have enabled him in his crimes. I deserve to be punished.
Who am I? I am somebody who wanted it, who liked it, who is a fraud, who is worthless and weak, a failure who deserves to be punished.
Who am I? I am a fraud, his garbage, his enabler. I am somebody who doesn’t deserve to live.