I remained silent for 38 years. This was a mistake as I now realise. Disclosure was impossibly difficult - just getting those words past my lips was profoundly difficult and what has since happened has been, and continues to be, very challenging but I am considerably better for speaking and more at ease.
Some people I thought of as more than acquaintances are no longer around. Why? Well they found my disclosure too difficult to handle for reasons known only to them. Just recently I made a long-term acquaintance aware of my past - he has not communicated with me for 5 weeks. Is this just coincidence? Probably not. And if people walk away, go silent, are rude then just ignore it - they are in shock at what you have told them. Some just can't handle the subject - just look at how many believe child abuse does not happen or is grossly exaggerated.
Someone known to me was abused by my abuser. This boy told his father. His father did not believe him and physically hit his son and remonstrated with him. Thereafter he did not speak to his son again. The boy at the time was 13 years old. The boy’s brother does not believe what happened to him. Now both parents are dead, and the brothers remian estranged. Why was the father so angry? As was discovered many years later the father had borrowed money from the alleged perpetrator and quite clearly he did not want to hear the awful news his son revealed because of what might happen to his indebtedness. You really could not make this stuff up.
By not turning on the light in the dark corners in which perpetrators hide they become strengthened. By not speaking out parental ignorance of the subject is permitted to continue. If the lights remained “off,” child abuse will prosper not diminish.
What of me now that I have disclosed. Well I decided to disclose big time and try to live by what I've written above. I have been working very hard seeking change in child protection legislation in education, and seek an overhaul of the useless schools inspections. Whenever I and others sit down with a group of apparatchiks from Government they look very uncomfortable because they know they are not dealing with theory. This is a very unnerving experience for them, and one they do not enjoy. They would rather we were elsewhere. They see us as the awkward squad. As someone from a well known charity in the child protection sector said to me "you and the others are very intimidating because of the extent of your knowledge." Well quite frankly that is their problem and I do not intend it will ever become mine.
It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness.