Pamela Anderson broke my heart on Friday.
Frank head shot the
The Canadian Baywatch star and former playboy model told an audience attending the launch of The Pamela Anderson Foundation for animal rights, that she was molested as a child.
Despite loving parents, she told the audience she wanted “off the earth” because of the abuse.
The horror started for Anderson when she was molested at the age of six by a female babysitter. Six years later she was at a friend’s house when she was abused once again.
“I went to a friend’s boyfriend’s house and his older brother decided to teach me backgammon, which led into a back massage, which led into rape,” she said. “He was 25 years old and I was 12.”
Then in Grade 9, she said a boyfriend thought it would be funny to gang-rape her with six friends. She kept these experiences to herself for years because she didn’t want to burden her overworked mother.
I am telling this devastating and all too common story because this was a revelation to the world and me. Whether her painful past should be obvious by Anderson’s public persona and career decisions — i.e. posing for playboy — I never put two and two together and I wager most of the world didn’t either. We saw her in a certain light, without an understanding of why.
I didn’t know the details of Anderson’s past, but without even choosing to, I judged her. I do this all the time because I forget that people are complex universes. Each person has billions of experiences that are painful, positive and mundane.
We aren’t all altered and broken the same way by our failures and hurts — but we have all been hurt to some degree. We are complex creatures.
The sad thing is, the people that have been hurt the most are the people that are often ignored the most. They are treated as an inconvenience, as annoying or too difficult to deal with.
I sincerely forget sometimes that other people are even human. Walking along in the world I am often in my own little world of shallow concerns, responsibilities and judgments.
When I do break out of my inner-slumber often my attention is grabbed by extremes. I may see a very overweight person and think to myself, “Man that person must love Burger King,” ora rich business man may drive by in a mercedes and I may think out of jealousy, “What a rich jerk!”
In either case the person is much more than I can see or understand. They are human.
Nathan Frank can be reached at 306-691-1263.