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#468313 - 08/01/14 10:40 AM I told my son
traveler Online   confused

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4287
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio

A week ago I had set up a time to take my son to lunch. We met at a deli near his office and I had told him I had some things I wanted to talk about. I had been both anticipating and dreading this day for the past couple of years. I planned to tell him about the CSA in my past. I was quite anxious about it. I had already told everyone else in the immediate family my wife and two daughters. He is 30 and they are 27 and 25. I knew he would be the most difficult to tell. But I felt like I needed to do that. Over the past few years we had become more and more distant and I knew that much of it was my fault holding him off and shutting him out. We rarely talked about anything deep or personal or significant. I knew that it was because of my inability to trust other men.

We started with small talk but as soon as the food arrived I cut to the chase and said that I wanted to do two things apologize and tell him some family history that might help him understand the dynamics of some relationships and the lack of others among our relatives.

I apologized for not being the dad that he needed growing up not being able to participate or take an interest in sports and for being distant and emotionally inaccessible and not as available and supportive as I should have been. (This was also a required part of the 12-step program I was involved in during the past year making amends to those we have offended or hurt.)

Then I told him a lot that he had never known about my dysfunctional family going back to grandparents, my mom and abusive step-dad, the CSA in my childhood, the bullying and abuse in middle school, scouts and finally from a stranger in a tailor shop while in my teens. I told him how it had impacted my personality, self-image, masculine identity, every relationship, jobs and career, and ultimately my own family including how I related to him. I told him that was why I was not close to my parents and why he rarely saw his grandparents. I told him about my bouts of depression, periods of suicidal tendencies, two rounds of therapy, and how I had also been helped by Male Survivor, a Weekend of Recovery, and Celebrate Recovery.

I barely touched my sandwich.

Afterwards he thanked me for sharing, said that he had not felt slighted or neglected and that I had nothing to apologize for as a father in his eyes. He also commented that it must have been hard to tell him all that. Surprisingly, it was not as difficult as I had feared. And he received it far better than I had expected. I could tell that he was not judging me and it definitely brought us closer. I had been allowing the big secret to push us farther and farther apart. As we parted and he returned to work, he gave me a big hug and told me he loves me.

A few days later, he was seeing us off at the airport. I barely succeeded in reaching that goal before we left for another 2-year assignment. I had been putting it off for the whole year we had been back in the US, but I am so glad that I finally got up the determination to go through with it.

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#468315 - 08/01/14 10:54 AM Re: I told my son [Re: traveler]
victor-victim Offline

Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 6387
Loc: 𝒪 𝒦anada
a deeply touching story.
thank you for sharing.
it makes me realize that i might have that conversation with my own son some day.


#468322 - 08/01/14 02:26 PM Re: I told my son [Re: victor-victim]
randombreeze Offline

Registered: 02/04/14
Posts: 60
Loc: WNY

Wow, thanks for sharing. I'm happy and encouraged by your story. Brought tears to my eyes thinking about how difficult, yet courageous it was to tell your son. I have been contemplating doing the same with my 33 year old son as well. Our relationship has been difficult at best, and I'd like to think disclosing to him might be a step in the right direction towards normalization.

I also have two daughters aged 24 & 27, who I haven't told yet either, but fortunately have a very close relationship with both. I plan on disclosing to all three once the time is right, as they've lost their mother, aged 52, in the past year to tragic circumstances related to a longtime drug addiction. They need time to get past that before having another load of pain dumped in their lap.

Again, like yourself, I believe the strained relation with my son also correlates with my abuse and the trust issues that have plagued me for 40 some years. Progress in therapy, attending my first WoR, and the good people like yourself here on MaleSurvivor have greatly contributed to my self confidence and willingness to forge ahead on this lifetime road to recovery. Thanks again for the inspiration.

Peace, Paul
"Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky"- Rabindranath Tagore

#468324 - 08/01/14 02:41 PM Re: I told my son [Re: traveler]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3856

Congratulations and I am happy it went so well. He must be a wonderful young man to open his heart and accept what you have lived.


#468338 - 08/01/14 07:30 PM Re: I told my son [Re: traveler]
Nothing Man Offline

Registered: 04/10/14
Posts: 1115
Loc: Ohio
Lee, what a terrific story of courage and love. I have two daughters that I would like to tell about my abuse sometime, but for now I think they are too young. They are 15 and 11 and I would like them to have a little more time to grow up before I tell them about the reality of some grownups' lives.

I wish you peace and happiness.

Suisse et libre
2015 WoR Hope Springs

#468339 - 08/01/14 07:52 PM Re: I told my son [Re: traveler]
ShortedDiode Offline

Registered: 11/26/11
Posts: 121
Loc: Hamilton, ON Canada
That's excellent - I'm glad it went so well. It must be a tremendous weight off of your shoulders.
If it's a choice between laughing or crying, I'd rather laugh.

#468341 - 08/01/14 08:32 PM Re: I told my son [Re: traveler]
Obi Offline

Registered: 12/28/09
Posts: 1634
Loc: kansas
congrats, lee.
live another day. climb a little higher.

my story

my vlog

#468357 - 08/02/14 01:55 AM Re: I told my son [Re: traveler]
don64 Offline

Registered: 10/09/13
Posts: 1106
Hi Lee,

I am so pleased you were able to walk through your fears and do this for yourself. I can't help but believe you have released a huge amount of tied up energy that us now available for YOU.

Best wishes in this new chapter of your life.

Divine Law is not judgment or denial of self truths. Divine Law is honoring harmony that comes from a peaceful mind, an open heart, a true tongue, a light step, a forgiving nature, and a love of all living creatures. Jamie Sams & David Carson, Medicine Cards

#468369 - 08/02/14 06:45 AM Re: I told my son [Re: traveler]
Still Offline

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 7011
Loc: FEMA Region 1
Lee, Well done. I wish control of such disclosure had remained in my control and not stolen and abused. You are fortunate and a good man!

Be careful in Africa brother.

#468435 - 08/03/14 09:40 PM Re: I told my son [Re: traveler]
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 397
Loc: Midwest

Congratulations on telling your son about your past. That took tremendous strength and courage to do so. In many ways, you broke through barriers. You put your secret out in the open where it is weakened and unable to hurt you like in the past. The fact that you apologized for not being the father he needed or that you could have been is wonderful. It has to bring you closer. I hope he sees you more as a man, and not just as your father. Finally, telling your son about what happened is the opposite of typical behavior. Normally, it's kids telling their parents. I could see how that could make you feel vulnerable, but it showed how strong you are, and how you're willing to help your son. Congratulations on all that, and good luck teaching.


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