Jesse Ryan Loskarn was a powerful Senate aide until he was arrested on child porn possession charges. Last week, he committed suicide — and left this message. Excerpt:

The first time I saw child pornography was during a search for music on a peer-to-peer network.  I wasn’t seeking it but I didn’t turn away when I saw it.  Until that moment, the only place I’d seen these sorts of images was in my mind.

I found myself drawn to videos that matched my own childhood abuse.  It’s painful and humiliating to admit to myself, let alone the whole world, but I pictured myself as a child in the image or video. The more an image mirrored some element of my memories and took me back, the more I felt a connection.

This is my deepest, darkest secret.

As a child I didn’t understand what had happened at the time of the abuse.  I did know that I must not tell anyone, ever.  Later the memories took on new and more troubling meaning when I became a teenager.  They started to appear more often and made me feel increasingly apart from everyone else.  In my mind I instigated and enjoyed the abuse – even as a five and nine year old – no matter the age difference.  Discussing what had happened would have meant shame and blame.

I always worried someone might look at me and know, so I paid close attention to others for any sign they might have figured it out.  No one ever did.  By my late teens I reached a sort of mental equilibrium on the matter.  I couldn’t stop the images from appearing altogether, but I generally controlled when they appeared.

As an adult I thought I was a tougher man because of the experience; that I was mentally stronger and less emotional than most.  I told myself that I was superior to other people because I had dealt with this thing on my own.

But he hadn’t. Now he’s dead, by his own hand. Child sex abuse is a demon that is not easily exorcised from its victims.

I don’t know if Loskarn left behind any information about the identity of his abuser. I hope so. Not that anything can be done about it now, but at least the evildoer will not have gotten away with it, not in this life, anyway.