Feels like it's been longer than a year on MS, frankly. Wanted to note it in this forum and keep it closed to comments. I want to share my journey thus far in hopes that it helps someone.
Despite years of recovery in Al-Anon and ACoA, I came here triggered by the testimony of the Sandusky victims. I'd been abused for a year at 15-16 by my [now deceased] director of high school guidance who was also the former director of a church camp where I worked. My setup for the abuse was a combination of an abusive home environment (a narcissistic adopted mother on her third marriage) and, I believe, a cohort in the high school guidance department who steered me to my abuser. He would make me blow him, sometimes in his school office actually during school hours or in one of the church camp activity cabins. There was no reciprocation. The blunt truth is he repeatedly raped me in the mouth. It was his perverted power trip. He was married with four kids (at least a couple of whom were off their rockers) and, in addition to his school/church duties, he was also a BSA scout leader.
In the course of the past year I've dug up more of his background. It seems he was fired shortly after our encounters for "sexual issues" according to one of the school secretaries I tracked down. Whether knowledge of his activities with me were a factor I don't know. He lost his marriage and moved to an adjacent state where he died in 1998, beyond my mortal reach.
One son is a fat middle school teacher in my hometown's neighboring community. Another is a fat, redneck "survivalist" scoutmaster in NC. Both have a long history of anger issues.
For me, both the home and school/camp abuse completely undermined my self-confidence and led to a lifelong battle with depression, plus a couple suicide attempts. It made college impossible for me to complete. Significant relationships have been almost impossible for lack of an ability to trust anyone. What my adolescent mind subconsciously concluded, and it directed my actions for years, was that my only value was as a sex object.
Though I was encouraged by the Sandusky case that I might have some recourse, it's becoming apparent it's likely very difficult and perhaps not in my best interest. The school is protected by tort laws and, despite my contact with them, they knew damn well there wasn't a thing I could do about it and treated the matter with a "polite" brush off.
A classmate who is now a Virginia pastor was a bit more helpful, indicating he was aware of one other victim who happens to live in my current city. Attempts to contact that victim were unsuccessful as were attempts to contact other classmates I suspected were his victims.
I received only superficial assistance from the diocese involved and a patronizing, "We'll pray for you."
One attorney I contacted was more interested in his media image and, in the process, re-victimizing victims with his own arrogance. Eventually I found another attorney who had considerable success suing another denomination in my hometown area. But we're hampered by the state legislature's foot-dragging on revising the statute of limitations.
When the diocese learned I'd obtained legal representation, they hired some of their own.
Because I've felt it more important to my recovery that I share my story openly on MS – likely something the diocesan attorney would discover – I've all but nixed any idea of a lawsuit. At least I got the attention of the diocese and that alone may put them on notice that they need to actively protect kids, not just engage in lip service.
Complicating this are health issues of my own. I'm an HIV survivor of 21 years. It seems likely to me that the stress of the CSA issues brought on my second case of shingles last fall which, as many of you know, was drawn out and painful.
I sought out, too, for the first time in years, a therapist. Referrals to public agencies were nonexistent from the diocese, dismal in my former hometown, and blown off locally because men aren't supposed to have those kinds of issues. I settled for an intern who, though my age and empathetic, jumped to wrong conclusions. However, on the up side, he also referred me to an osteopath to treat the shingles. The OD eventually referred me to a 2-3 year protocol for an advanced HIV treatment that's resulted in astounding changes to my physical health and stamina the past five months.
In short, this journey has taken me down paths I never would have expected.
The course of all this also resulted in reconnecting with a some relatives, a step sister (who did more than confirm the abusive nature to this day of my adopted mother - or Mommybitch as I call her) and, among many cousins, one who was particularly close to Dad because of their involvement in AA. As a solo kid, I was kept isolated from Dad and his second wife – the only relatively healthy family I had - by a vindictive, self-absorbed Mommybitch who, with husband #3, would engage in a kind of daily emotional/verbal tag team against me. Fortunately, I cut her and now-deceased husband #3 off almost 25 years ago having concluded the relationship was completely toxic. The familial reconnection with this cousin on Dad's side in particular has grounded me beyond words. We've even established our voicemail greetings to each other..."Hello, it's your favorite cousin!" He is. He's more like the older brother I never had.
Kinda taking out the trash emotionally has helped in the tangible world. I've usually kept an existence free of an excess of material things. But the past year has encouraged me to further clean out, often sell, stuff I haven't used in years. It's opened up space to acquire a few specific models of vintage radios, a hobby, which have emotional meaning to me. And it's encouraged me to update some professional hardware as I sell the old stuff.
I feel a lot calmer. Not much noise going on. If I had to summarize - and the last thing I am is religious - the Serenity Prayer would describe my blueprint.