I just joined here after finding that there aren't any support groups that seem active in my area. I've been struggling with my journey recently and am eager to get some advice from others on here.
I recently (as in November of 2011) admitted to my partner and myself that I was sexually abused by a priest when I was 17. I met him through a Catholic youth retreat, he groomed me starting around 16, and the abuse continued until I was 22 and finally told him I wouldn't do it anymore. For a long time I told myself it wasn't abuse because the majority of it happened when I was over 18. When I started counseling about 2 months ago, my therapist helped me realize that there was a pretty intense power difference there, and helped me identify where I had been guilted and coerced into continuing.
When I told my partner, it was because he had confronted me about it after having a conversation about this priest. I burst into tears and spilled everything. It makes me sick to look back and think that I lost my virginity to this priest, and that it continued for as long as it did because of the mind games he played with me. My partner certainly struggled a lot with the news, and initially expressed a lot of anger that I had kept this from him for so long (although he has now gotten pretty amazing with supporting me!)
So, here's where my current struggle lies: I feel like I have a moral obligation to report this priest to try and stop him from doing this to other youth. I haven't told my family or friends, and I'm really worried about putting that on them, especially my parents. I feel like I would have to do that before reporting him. I'm also having a lot of anxiety about the actual reporting process. I know going to the church isn't typically a good idea, but should I go through law enforcement or hire a lawyer? The idea of taking the stand in front of this man scares the crap out of me!
If anyone has gone through this process (namely, reporting/telling family and friends) I would really like any feedback or ideas to help me through it. Right now its feeling like I have an angel and devil on my shoulder, each telling me two very different things.
Thanks for reading!
"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." - Anais Nin