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#209392 - 03/07/08 09:04 PM Trying
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
On Monday I am off again to the States, this time for my parents' 60th wedding anniversary and the 70th birthday party of the professor who probably saved my life in college. And although usually my wife and two kids (both in college now) usually can't join me when I travel, this time they will. So it will be a happy and fun experience and I'm looking forward to it.

Just this evening my son and I were talking to my mother on the phone and she asked the question, "Will you want to go to church on Easter Sunday?" Before I could say anything my son said, "Sure Grandma, that would be cool." So there we are. My wife and daughter will not yet have arrived by then, so it looks like my parents and my son and I will go off to church.

This will be the first time I have tried to do this since I started dealing with my abuse issues and it won't be easy for me. The abuser was a deacon in our church, and since he had a set of keys there wasn't any place in the church where I couldn't be hurt, no place where I could be safe out of sight of my parents. I still sometimes feel ashamed of what happened there, and I remember hating to see our church's big picture of Jesus surrounded by laughing playing kids. They were all safe - what about me? I felt so screwed. After all, if God is against you where else is there to turn for help?

I know it will be difficult walking into the church on Easter Sunday, even though I remember the atmosphere on that day always being very joyous and positive. I have made so much progress in my recovery and feel "put back together" in so many ways. But not in this way. Little Larry is still so full of shame for what happened in the church, even though Big Larry keeps trying to tell him it can't possibly be the child's fault.

But this isn't something I am doing to mollify my elderly mother on Easter. I want to go. And my son wants to go and I want to be there with him. And on top of that I feel like I am "trying", but I don't know what I am trying to do.

So ... it took me awhile to get around to finishing this post, because I knew how it would end and I feel so awkward doing this. Little Larry remembers how none of his prayers for it to stop were ever answered, so he thinks it's crazy for Big Larry to ask for prayers for anything, especially not for himself. But if anyone is up to such a thing I could use a prayer or two on Easter Sunday.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#209393 - 03/07/08 09:09 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
Larry,

Consider it done. For that matter - I bet there will be some even before Easter.

M


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#209410 - 03/07/08 10:41 PM Re: Trying [Re: MarkK]
Pete2004 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 958
Loc: North Carolina
Larry:

I know this is a big step for you and that there are still a lot of questions festering as to why.... Going back is bound to be awkward. I'll be praying for wisdom and strength as well as understanding for you my friend.

Take care of yourself,

Peter

_________________________
There is a destiny that makes us brothers;
No one goes his way alone;
What we send into the lives of others,
comes back into our own. (Edwin Markham)

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#209411 - 03/07/08 10:49 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Larry,
This will be tough but you are an adult now. First thing to remember it is just a building. When you first walk in it will hit all of your senses, there will be sight, sounds, and smells that you have not experiences in a long time. Smell is one of the most powerful triggers for memory we have. I just want you to be safe and know we are with you in spirit.
Peace & Light

_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m_ô¿ô_m__
|| || || || || || |

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#209423 - 03/07/08 11:58 PM Re: Trying [Re: GateKPR4]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Larry,
It took me an awful long time to get comfortable in chruch after my parents died. My dad was the preacher, My mom played the piano and sang and taught sunday school. There are certain song and yes Ricky certain smells that just make me want to cry like a baby. I had to force my self to go a lot and missed a fair share and only my wife knew why. Easter, Christmas, and especially communion service are particularly painful. I will be offering prayers for the both of us.
All I can say is I know God was there. He cried with me in the corner. I don't understand why he didn't intervene. But I know he felt my pain. I plan on having a little chat with him when I die about certain things but in the meantime I will just have to trust that he knew what he was doing.


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#209424 - 03/07/08 11:59 PM Re: Trying [Re: GateKPR4]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11055
Loc: Denver, CO
Larry,

You got it. I'm a big believer in prayer. And I know this is a big step for you.

Andy

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#209433 - 03/08/08 12:26 AM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Larry, my good friend....I've told you this before, but remember that you have many that pray for you often. It's not just your mother. \:\) You have nothing to be ashamed of, my friend. Nothing whatsoever. On the contrairy, you have much to be proud of in Little Larry. What a great, great kid.

Love you, man,
Eddie

_________________________
Eddie

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#209438 - 03/08/08 12:42 AM Re: Trying [Re: EGL]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Larry,

You have asked. I will be with you in spirit on that day. The thoughts and prayers of your friends will be with you as well.

Hugs,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#209706 - 03/09/08 12:25 PM Re: Trying [Re: WalkingSouth]
markgreyblue Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/19/03
Posts: 5400
Loc: Pasadena, CA
Larry,

Big prayers for you - ever and ever.

I can't say how to react, just know you have others behind you
praying for you.

Mark

_________________________
"...do not look outside yourself for the leader."
-wisdom of the hopi elders

"...the sign of a true leader is service..." - anonymous



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#209724 - 03/09/08 03:17 PM Re: Trying [Re: markgreyblue]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Thanks to everyone who has read or replied or just thought about this for me. I had a talk with my Dad today. He says he will have a word with my Mom so she understands how huge this is for me, and if I have to get up and leave at any time during the service he will go with me and I won't be alone.

I mean, WTF? This is like being 10 all over again. But at the same time it feels really important. I remember how important having a church life was to me, and I miss it. I feel like I have a right to want it back, even if I don't know what I will get from it.

I don't mean I'm looking for some kind of saved-from-damnation scenario. A god who would punish a kid for things he never even understood isn't a god of much interest to me. But I look at good friends I have, and I see they have something I once had but lost. They talk about prayer and spiritual strength, and it feels like they are somewhere I would like to be but am not. Or rather, it resonates in me. I WAS there; I had it. But the abuser took it away from me.

I want it back.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#209752 - 03/09/08 05:34 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Originally Posted By: roadrunner
I mean, WTF? This is like being 10 all over again. But at the same time it feels really important.

It's okay to be 10 again, actually. I've read it and heard it from any number of sources any number of times that the lessons we learn in our recovery more often than not take us right back to our state of being at the time the brokenness occurred. We then progress in our healing right from where we left off when the injury took place. If that is the case, feeling 10 again is a good thing \:\) and in that sense it IS really important not only because of what it is you will be doing with your son and mother, but because it's the next big step on the recovery path.

It will be what it will be, Larry. A puddle of tears or a joyful occasion. Either way it's important to you on more than one level and whatever emotion you experience will be what is most needed on your journey.

Hugs Bro.

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#209997 - 03/11/08 12:37 AM Re: Trying [Re: WalkingSouth]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Larry - I've been thinking about you today, knowing that this is the starting date of your journey here to the States. Want you to know that many are keeping you in mind and hoping for the best possible outcome from this trip.

Love you, big bro,
Eddie

_________________________
Eddie

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#210150 - 03/11/08 06:12 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
JT's the Man Offline
Guest

Registered: 02/21/08
Posts: 41
Larry.
That last phrase really speaks to me.

I want it back.
Take it back.

Reclaim your innocence. Start over.
Much love...


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#210215 - 03/12/08 01:09 AM Re: Trying [Re: JT's the Man]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Thanks again everyone. Yep, I am safely socked away at Cathie's (Lady Rock here on the site) house and just relaxing for the time being.

It feels odd sitting here late at night at a strange PC without 100 lb. of warm furry dog laying across my feet. \:\)

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#210239 - 03/12/08 07:57 AM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
DanM Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 540
Loc: So. California
Larry,

I am late coming to this thread, but I am particularly touched by your posting. I know that this is a very difficult situation for you, but you are fortunate that you are going to be surrounded by those who love you and care for you. Think of the support that little Larry is going to have. I have a feeling that this is going to be the resurrection of your spirtual life. It is obvious that you have come very far in your recovery and this is one of the final steps that you facing you on your journey.

I want you to know that you are in my prayers and that when I am in church on Easter morning, standing next to my two sons and my wife, I will be thinking of you and praying for you.

Enjoy your time in the States and have fun at the anniversary and birthday parties.

With Warm Regards,

Dan


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#210254 - 03/12/08 09:07 AM Re: Trying [Re: WalkingSouth]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Thanks again for the continuing support. It's cool to look and see someone has commented and all the responses do help.

Last night my cousin Leslie came over with her husband and we had a great evening reliving old times - but as she remembers them, from relating to Little Larry the Chameleon. Today we will go over to visit my parents, and on the way I plan to suggest we stop for a coffee so I can tell her the real story. I just wish there were more time.

Originally Posted By: walkingsouth
It's okay to be 10 again, actually. I've read it and heard it from any number of sources any number of times that the lessons we learn in our recovery more often than not take us right back to our state of being at the time the brokenness occurred. We then progress in our healing right from where we left off when the injury took place. If that is the case, feeling 10 again is a good thing \:\) and in that sense it IS really important not only because of what it is you will be doing with your son and mother, but because it's the next big step on the recovery path.


It DOES feel like being 10 again, going over to see Mom and Dad knowing what will happen soon. I keep asking myself crazy questions like "Will there be a boys bathroom?", "Will there be a Pastor's Study?", "Will there be a Fellowship Hall with back rooms?" - all the places Little Larry remembers being taken, sometimes walking past people who never ever SAW what was happening right there in front of them.

I keep functioning in a normal way, but when these thoughts come up I wonder "How am I doing that?" I don't see me heading into a big meltdown like I used to do, and I feel vaguely guilty about that. I feel confident but I wonder is it real. I feel like maybe I'm a lot stronger than I thought, but that is a VERY scary idea somehow.

Much mumbling,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#210257 - 03/12/08 09:17 AM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
Quote:
I don't see me heading into a big meltdown like I used to do, and I feel vaguely guilty about that. I feel confident but I wonder is it real. I feel like maybe I'm a lot stronger than I thought, but that is a VERY scary idea somehow.


I'm not sure what I'm relating that to, Larry, but that is SUCH a familiar feeling.

Is it because we think of no-crisis-right-now as a kind of denial?

Is it because part of our healing, a major part, is wondering whether we deserve to heal?

Is it because we are used to the calm before the storm, and a big calm means bad weather coming?

Is it because being stronger means the past isn't driving us anymore--the kid we used to be isn't tugging on our sleeve as often--and we'll miss him because he was really amazing?

No answers...but you deserve, and have earned, all the strength and serenity you have.

David


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#210316 - 03/12/08 03:47 PM Re: Trying [Re: MemoryVault]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Larry,

I'll be thinking of you walking into that Church on Easter morning. I'll be scared for you and concerned; I'll be hoping that you can see past all of the old, ugly memories and instead see the beauty that's there. I'll be wishing I could hold your hand and tell you it's OK, go as far as you can and not one step further. Your family and friends who love and support you will be there and all of your friends from here will be thinking of you. You know that - so hold us all close in your heart and do what you can do.

BTW, your Dad is the COOLEST! I know you already know that what the abuser told you about him was a lie, and on Sunday morning, he'll be right next to you, whether its inside or outside of the church your Dad will be with you. I'm pretty sure that between the grown up Larry and Larry's Dad, you've got this covered!

ROCK ON........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#211380 - 03/18/08 12:23 AM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
blueshift Offline
Guest

Registered: 01/21/08
Posts: 1242
Loc: infinity
Can't do the prayer thing, but wow! And i thought i was making a ballsy move getting set up for therapy! I really hope this does, as your hoping, turn out to be the start of something good for you. I gotta say i'm kinda scared for you though. I tend to get issues triggered by being in churches and i wasn't abused by a deacon. Maybe before then you might try something like a toe in the water kind of experience like maybe just walking into a church that is open but not holding a service just to see how it is for you first. Just an idea. Good luck, my thoughts, if not my prayers will be with you.

_________________________
My Story
My Art

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#211779 - 03/19/08 10:31 PM Re: Trying [Re: blueshift]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Had an interesting experience over the weekend in State College, where I was speaking at a conference to honor my first teacher in Middle East history. There was a guy there who had also studied with the same teacher and went on to become an eastern Orthodox priest.

We were talking about whether the church bears institutional blame for allowing kids to be abused by priests that just got shifted around for decades, and anyway, suddenly he was looking me in the eye, saying I am so sorry, and asking if I would accept a prayer and a Russian blessing from a priest who was as outraged as I was. I don't remember much about the next few minutes, except what he was doing felt important.

I have no idea why it feels so dangerous talking about this. I mean, I DO, but I think I don't. sigh

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#211785 - 03/19/08 10:47 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Larry - knowing your story as I do, it sounds like you were triggered by him being an official of the church, much like the deacon was an official of your church. I could imagine it felt dangerous being in that situation because here you were with a church official and "that" (the SA) was in the room as well, even though it was there as an intangible object, being your conversation. I could be totally off the wall (as I often am), but that's my take.

Love you, man,
Eddie

_________________________
Eddie

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#211798 - 03/19/08 11:34 PM Re: Trying [Re: EGL]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Eddie,

You may well be right. In a kind of silly way it was like the robot in "Lost in Space" buzzing around waving its arms and droning "Danger! Danger!" Not anything specific, just danger. And this despite the fact that I liked the guy.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#211820 - 03/20/08 01:16 AM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Quote:
In a kind of silly way it was like the robot in "Lost in Space" buzzing around waving its arms and droning "Danger! Danger!"

Larry,

You describe that so well, it's comical but yet it rings so true, which also makes it sobering. We learned as a kid that such and such was very unsafe. We built our life around that fact. Our little guy's still don't understand that they are now safe and like the robot just keep warning us that danger is imminent. They throw all the emotion and anger they've kept in reserve into their warning and actually flood our system with adrenalin urging us into "fight or flight".

Your reaction was completely understandable given the situation.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#212052 - 03/21/08 02:42 AM Re: Trying [Re: WalkingSouth]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6401
Loc: 2.5 NATO Nations
Larry,

Just so you know, I'm hear praying for you and your family. I can't say much more about your post...but I've read it all. It causes me much fear and anxiety...can't say much more.

_________________________
Wishing You Were Here!

The Aftermath Video

The Water Buffalo Song

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#212205 - 03/21/08 10:28 PM Re: Trying [Re: Still]
Pete2004 Offline
Moderator
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 958
Loc: North Carolina
Lsrry:

Just a reminder that I am praying for you this weekend.

\:\)

Peter

_________________________
There is a destiny that makes us brothers;
No one goes his way alone;
What we send into the lives of others,
comes back into our own. (Edwin Markham)

Top
#212207 - 03/21/08 10:32 PM Re: Trying [Re: Pete2004]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Thinking of you this sunday Larry, I may sneak out the back my self. Easter was mom's favorite service.


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#212209 - 03/21/08 10:43 PM Re: Trying [Re: Freedom49]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
I've got my arms around you and your family over the weekend, Larry. You've got all the support we can muster. Hope you're feeling it.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

Top
#212227 - 03/22/08 12:38 AM Re: Trying [Re: WalkingSouth]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Thanks so much - all this means the world to me. I can't say how I am doing - pretty well so far, all things considered. I had a session with my "American T" \:\) Sharon and that was a good thing; we talked about Little Larry's continuing feelings about churches and I was finally able to say that he's terrified of God.

I do want to see all this as the evil of one person, because that's exactly what it is. That's perfectly clear to me, but I also understand that knowing it and believing it are two very different things. Part of me still sees the abuser as almost magical in his power. I remember sitting at the dinner table as a boy and thinking that if he wanted to, the abuser could walk into my house right now and drag me away by my ankle (he did that once, moving me to a "better spot"); I would be unable to utter a sound and no one would even see it happening.

So a lot of memories and a lot of old images whirling around. Little Larry wants us to work on recovery without giving God the chance to throw us under the bus again; Big Larry thinks he's a spiritual person and wants to say "Trust me; that won't happen and that's not the way it was back then anyway." The fear of a child is an awesome thing.

Much love,
Larry


_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#212229 - 03/22/08 12:45 AM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Larry,

Have I told you lately what a brave man you are? Both you and little Larry are among the bravest guys I have ever known.

Love you, big bro,
Eddie

_________________________
Eddie

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#212269 - 03/22/08 11:49 AM Re: Trying [Re: EGL]
ineffable Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/08
Posts: 1371
Loc: state of holeecrapdood
Hi Larry

A word about this thread & your signature

Reconsecration?

Craig

_________________________
:: "Anyone who can handle a needle convincingly can make us see a thread which is not there" ::


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#212273 - 03/22/08 12:35 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
KENKEN Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 09/25/07
Posts: 762
Loc: NOTHERN COLORADO
Larry,

I will be praying for you this Sunday also. We are all with you in our thoughts and prayers.

Ken

_________________________
I AM A GOOD PERSON, I AM A GOOD MAN

From the Movie: Antwone Fisher

***WOR ALUMNI SEQUOIA MARCH 2008***

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#216010 - 04/06/08 11:01 PM Re: Trying [Re: KENKEN]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Thanks again to everyone who posted here or spoke to me or otherwise gave me support. All that was very important to me and I really do appreciate it.

In the end all this ended on a rather anti-climatic note. We were all ready to go to church on Easter morning, and then my Dad called to say that my mother was feeling unwell and was not strong enough to go. We didn't want to leave her behind, so we all stayed home with her and had a quiet family morning together. It was rather nice ... but in a way I was disappointed and relived at the same time.

That afternoon, as we began Easter dinner, my Dad said grace and I kind of lingered on every word. I appreciated everything he was saying and I even believed some of it, but mostly I was amazed as what a serene man of grace he was. I felt bad because I felt I could never be anything like that. I mean, I knew the feeling wasn't true, and I knew it was an echo from my childhood, but there it was anyway.

Later in the week I wanted to talk to him about this, but over and over again we were interrupted and it was difficult to get any time to ourselves. We finally did talk and he had some useful things to say. But he was talking in ways that brought up my usual problems; I hear the words but they just go right past me. Not because I don't want to hear them, but because it's like listening to an expert talking about a subject when you yourself don't have the slightest clue.

So is this back to Square One? I really don't know. Clearly this is something I just have to keep working on.

Anyway, thanks again. \:\)

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

Top
#216012 - 04/06/08 11:07 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
Jarrad Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/27/06
Posts: 1071
Loc: arizona
larry, come visit me. i'll take you to church. the lightning will for sure hit me so you will be safe \:\)


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#216035 - 04/07/08 12:00 AM Re: Trying [Re: Jarrad]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Originally Posted By: Jarrad
larry, come visit me. i'll take you to church. the lightning will for sure hit me so you will be safe \:\)

I am having mental images drift by my minds eye watching the two of you approaching the front of the building, one wary eye each cast toward the heavens... \:D

Seriously, nothing so sinister would ever happen. God is not like that.

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#222045 - 05/01/08 10:10 PM Re: Trying [Re: WalkingSouth]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
All this has now taken an unexpected turn. My Mom recently sent me an email saying that she and my Dad would soon be returning to the church where so much of the abuse occurred. The Sunday School class they founded in 1953 was celebrating its 55th birthday, and if the opportunity arose would I like her to mention to anyone on the Session that I had written to them about what happened to me but was ignored? I said okay, sure, why not, but I expected nothing to come of this.

But what happened was that they met one of their close friends from those days and told him about my letter. He was horrified that the abuse had occurred in the first place, but then was especially angry that my letter had been ignored. He checked into it and has now raised the matter with the new pastor they have.

I will be back in the States again this month for a conference at Princeton, so that will give me a chance to pop over to PA again. The church told my parents they would like to welcome me for a visit to talk about things and see how I am doing.

I'm thinking I will do this. I don't have any anger towards the Presbyterian Church; I was abused by an evil man, not by the Church as such, and I don't feel that the Church has betrayed me (though I understand and support others who do feel this way). If it can be said that I want anything, it would be for them to appreciate the need for vigilance.

It's a beautiful old colonial-period church anyway, so it will be nice to walk around and see what I remember. Cathie and I were there in 2006 to burn my letter to the abuser over his grave in the cemetery, but the church itself was closed that day so we couldn't get in.

I'm not sure what else I want, but this "feels" like an opportunity. For what? I really can't say. But it feels like an opportunity all the same.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#222047 - 05/01/08 10:16 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Larry,

Wow! A new, unexpected, and interesting turn If I may say so. I like your approach. Just go and see what happens. I'm sure it will be a very positive but possibly emotional time.

Don't go into it expecting certain things to happen in any certain way. Just let what will be, be. I think you'll be okay with the outcome.

Hugs,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#222049 - 05/01/08 10:25 PM Re: Trying [Re: WalkingSouth]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Larry, my big brother,

Wow, that is some interesting turn of events. I'm glad to see it come about as well, for several reasons. They are coming to face what they choose to ignore, and I also think it will be good for you in several ways. I think it is an opportunity as you said. Keep us posted on how this turns out, I'm interested in it, but mostly am interested in how it affects you, as my dear friend.

_________________________
Eddie

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#222053 - 05/01/08 10:31 PM Re: Trying [Re: EGL]
FormerTexan Offline
Site Administrator
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 09/12/04
Posts: 11055
Loc: Denver, CO
Larry,

I am amazed at this upcoming event. I can't wait to hear how it goes for you.

Andy

_________________________
List of things ain't nobody got time for:

1. That


If I could meet myself as a boy...

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#222514 - 05/04/08 07:58 PM Re: Trying [Re: FormerTexan]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
A new twist here is that Joanne, my "second mom" (I talk about her in the "Special People" thread in the Images forum on the Members Side), is a member of what they call the Presbytery in the Presbyterian church. That's a kind of supervisory board that looks after the affairs of all the Presbyterian churches in the district and takes decisions on anything affecting the church district-wide. She didn't know that my letter to the church was ignored, but now she does and she's mightily pissed.

She says she has called the church and told them that this one is not getting swept under the carpet and that the Presbytery expects the church to hear me out, look into what can or should be done to keep kids safe, and then submit a report.

This sounds pretty good to me, but Little Larry is digging his foxhole all the way to China.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#222517 - 05/04/08 08:03 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Larry (and little Larry) - throw down that shovel, men, you have nothing to fear because you have done NOTHING wrong. Remember, you did not ask this perp of the church to abuse you, he came looking for YOU. I think this will be a healing moment for you, Larry, when you have the opportunity to address them in person. You can really open their eyes, and I think it will be validating to know that now the perp's church can look into the eyes of one of his victims and see the real human side of all this.

Remember, Larry, you got a whole team of cheerleaders here rooting for you, man! GO! GO! GO!

_________________________
Eddie

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#222557 - 05/05/08 12:27 AM Re: Trying [Re: EGL]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
And I was getting a kick out of seeing the dirt fly out of that hole too! Flashback to the cartoons I used to see \:\)

Eddie is right, of course. Neither of you've done anything wrong so come on up out of that hole any time you're ready \:\) Larry, you've got so many people on the local level that love and care about you. While you must take care of yourself in all this, I'm sure they'll be willing to receive input from you on what you're comfortable facing and what you're not. Don't be afraid to discuss all this with them so you don't feel railroaded in someway.

Lots of love,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#225130 - 05/19/08 04:40 PM Re: Trying [Re: WalkingSouth]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
So ... my conference is over and here I am back in PA until the end of the month. I had just about forgotten the unfinished business at the church where so much of the abuse took place, until I was contacted today by the pastor I wrote to back in 2006.

He told me he is so very sorry at what happened to me, and he said the church failed me miserably. He wants to extend his apologies, but also wants to know if I can come to the church to talk to them. He, the leaders of the Session, and representatives of the presbytery will be meeting at the church at 10:30 to discuss my case, and they would like to know if I can join them at 11:30.

They want to hear whatever I feel I need to say, and they would be especially grateful if I can offer any insights on how they can make the church and its activities safer for kids. They don't have an end time in mind. He says they want to hear me out and they will end when I think it's time to quit.

So here's a processing task. I told them I would be happy to meet them on Wednesday, and now I have to decide what I want to say. That won't be too difficult - but cutting it down to just one afternoon will be rough!

I'm looking forward to the meeting. I think I can handle it and I think I can use the opportunity to achieve something positive. But still, it's rather daunting.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#225142 - 05/19/08 05:12 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Larry,

I've no doubt you're up to the challenge (even the task of trimming it down \:\) ). You'll do well in that regard.

I'm keeping you and Little Larry in my thoughts and prayers as you go through this time. Your little guy may start clamoring for you to keep him safe, etc., and I know how that can sneak up on a person bringing out the unexpected emotions.

Hugs,

John

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#225146 - 05/19/08 05:41 PM Re: Trying [Re: WalkingSouth]
GateKPR4 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/28/07
Posts: 955
Loc: North Carolina, USA
Hope it all goes well for you Larry,
Remember no caffeine or sugar before the meeting..lol \:\)
Have some ice cream after. I'm sure you would enjoy that after a meeting such as this. Sounds like progress and I'm glad you have the chance to talk to them.
peace & light

_________________________
I'm a normal person dealing with abnormal experiences.
The greatest discoveries we will find within ourselves.
Ricky
__m_ô¿ô_m__
|| || || || || || |

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#225153 - 05/19/08 06:06 PM Re: Trying [Re: GateKPR4]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Well, Larry it is finally here. You get to say your piece. Now the anxiety begins. I know that feeling. Remember to breathe. Write it all down as I am sure you have. My suggestion, hit the bullets and let them ask questions for details and specifics. The impact will be greater I think. They sound sincere I would assume that was true. Good luck.


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#225182 - 05/19/08 08:21 PM Re: Trying [Re: Freedom49]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Wow. I very rarely come to this forum, in fact, I haven't been here since my last post in this thread; it seems like I've missed alot.

Larry, if anyone can do this, you can, I'm quite sure of this. It's time for you to take so much of your own wonderful advice to others and apply it to yourself - I'm certain it's good stuff. My thoughts will be with you.

ROCK ON.......Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#225591 - 05/21/08 05:21 PM Re: Trying [Re: Trish4850]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Well, it's done!!! I went to the church at 11:30 this morning and had my meeting with the pastor, the church's legal counsel, and the two main directors of the Presbytery. These last two people are especially important since they manage the affairs of all the Presbyterian churches in central PA.

I arrived early and the pastor came out of his office straightaway to greet me and take me into the meeting. They were all very friendly and said how much they appreciated me coming. They said I should tell them whatever I felt they needed to hear about CSA and its effects on boys, and that I should not spare the church in any way - if I had harsh opinions they wanted to hear them.

We talked for two hours and I spoke on the basis of some prepared notes I had in my pocket. But as I was reaching for them I thought no, I can just DO this. So I spoke off the cuff, but with those notes in mind. They were stunned at what I was saying and said they had no idea the problem was this big or that the effects of CSA were so devastating.

I could go on forever, but to get to the main point, the director of the Presbytery said he's absolutely convinced that CSA is a problem the church in our area has to face as immediate and urgent. He wants to establish educational and awareness programs in central PA so parents and others will know how to "read" the danger signs, how to help abused kids, and how to encourage them to talk and seek help. He says they have no idea how they would even start, and he asked if I will help work with them on this. We will be in touch in the next few days.

As we were getting ready to leave the pastor said he wanted to offer a prayer and was that okay. I told him sure, go for it, and it was really really nice. After that the reps from the Presbytery left and the pastor showed me around the church. He knew I had been abused in just about every room in the old part of the complex, so he asked me if I was okay. I lied and said yes and he took me around.

I was in tears as we walked down the old dark corridor (lots of old photos and memorabilia) to the room I remember so well. It wasn't the pastor's study, as I had thought, but the church parlor, and it was much the same as it was decades ago - kind of frozen in time. I was trying to show Little Larry that it's just a room - nothing bad can happen to us there, or anywhere. The pastor saw I was upset and asked if he could stay with me - which was nice. He asked if I wanted to say anything, and I just mumbled something about how I was treated worse than an animal in this room, like week after week after week. I wasn't angry, I just felt so much grief.

As I was leaving the pastor said he was grateful to me for coming and the Presbytery would be looking forward to working with me. I was waiting outside for my brother-in-law to pick me up a bit later, and the pastor came out and asked was I okay, which was also nice.

It was a clear morning, so I walked over to the old colonial cemetery and back to the abuser's grave, which I had last seen with Cathie in February 2006. That time I was so scared I could hardly stand. This time it was different. I felt safe and confident. I could stare at the stone with his name on it and think "You sure did mess with the wrong boy back in 1959". I'm looking forward to working with these people and I really do think they are taking the issue seriously.

The director of the Presbytery also said he hoped that working together would help me restore my connection with God. It totally floored me that he said that. It just never occurred to me that he would care, or that anyone would care. I still have difficulty with that.

This has been one of the most difficult posts I have ever written. I hope it doesn't come across as too dramatic. I won't revise it - it's exactly what I feel right now, and that's what I want you all to see.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#225600 - 05/21/08 06:30 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Larry,
I am still crying but I want to tell you that I think that was amazingly brave to go there. Expecially the tour. I was moved to weep when you talked of standing in that room where so many terrible things happened to you. I can relate but not here. I feel for you staring at his grave. Some day soon I will return to my dads site and I am not sure how I will feel but I am positive it will not be near what I am sure you felt there. He took more than your body as that pastor is fully aware. He damaged your spirit and your connection to your maker. I am in hope that this connection may some day be restored as well as your faith in church leaders. There are still many good ones that are doing the best they know how. Thank you for sharing that.

Now I need some chocolate...


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#225606 - 05/21/08 07:07 PM Re: Trying [Re: Freedom49]
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Larry, as I told you yesterday, I knew you could do this and I'm glad you did. As incredibly painful as I'm sure it must have been for you, I feel like it was necessary and that you will reap some healing from this. It sounds like they were very receptive to what you had to say, which is great, and now hopefully we'll see some greater good come out of all this. What an incredible legacy for all of this is if this causes others to not have to go through similar pain in the future. Well done, my good friend!

_________________________
Eddie

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#225649 - 05/21/08 09:39 PM Re: Trying [Re: EGL]
Trish4850 Offline
BoD Liaison Emeritus
MaleSurvivor<

Registered: 10/15/05
Posts: 3280
Loc: New Jersey
Larry,

I'm so proud of you. What you did today took courage and faith and a determination to make sure that the children of that church are safe. They may never know what you've done, but if they did they'd all buy you ice cream.

I hope you spend tonight giving and getting the hugs you deserve {just don't spill the Bailey's} \:\)

ROCK ON...........Trish

_________________________
If you fall down 10 times, Stand up 11.

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#225650 - 05/21/08 09:42 PM Re: Trying [Re: EGL]
mogigo Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/24/07
Posts: 1331
Loc: Colorado
Wow Larry, I'm so happy for you. It's come full circle. All he was all, all he worked for has been exposed as fraud. He WAS a fraud and now everyone knows it. Now you are what's important to the church and you will make the exact opposite contribution to them that he did. He brought shame and you will bring pride back to them.

I hope this will be healing for you're spirituality as well Larry, you deserve to get back that part of you as well as all the other parts of you that you have reclaimed.

Stay strong
Mike

_________________________
Thriving

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#225653 - 05/21/08 09:55 PM Re: Trying [Re: mogigo]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2502
Loc: Denver, CO
I'm proud of you Larry. Very very proud. I think you have chained away more "ghosts and goblins" than you are aware of. You have opened people's eyes to the truth. God has used you mightily with part of His people - and I am awestruck.

Again - I'm just so very proud of you.

M


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#225685 - 05/22/08 12:25 AM Re: Trying [Re: MarkK]
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16264
Larry,

There are so many things that could be said but somehow they seem to be trite on this occasion. I just want to offer you a huge hug and let you know you're loved.

{{{{{{{{Larry}}}}}}}}

_________________________
“Life’s journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting ‘Holy ____…! What a ride!’” ~Hunter S. Thompson

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#225896 - 05/22/08 10:29 PM Re: Trying [Re: WalkingSouth]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Thanks for all the support everyone. Today I have been exhausted and still processing. Took a few phone calls from family members and local friends who are also very supportive. I just feel so tired, just emotionally gone. But Cathie produced a coconut cream pie and that has cheered me up! \:D

Tomorrow I'm planning a long walk by the river ....

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#225901 - 05/22/08 10:43 PM Re: Trying [Re: roadrunner]
theatrekid Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/03/07
Posts: 702
Loc: oregon
Larry this is awesome. sorry for not seeing this thread sooner. I think its really cool that your church is so open to dealing with this. maybe it will start a new trend and other churches will follow there lead.

Anyways i think its really great that you are able to face this stuff in such a positive way

best regards,
Chris


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#225944 - 05/23/08 03:50 AM Re: Trying [Re: theatrekid]
ak Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/10/04
Posts: 1491
(((hugs of support and admiration)))

andrei


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#225948 - 05/23/08 05:29 AM Re: Trying [Re: ak]
DanM Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 540
Loc: So. California
Larry,

I almost don't know what to say. I am very happy that you were recieved so warmly by the leardership of the church and that they took an active interest in you. It is a difficult issue for both sides to address, but it does help when they sincerely want to address the problem of CSA.

In my eyes, the best thing that happened is when the pastor said he would help you re-establish your relationship with God(paraphrasing). I think this process started some time ago, beginning with your retirement and leading up to this meeting and the opportunity to work with them to establish educational and support programs for survivors and family members. God has been working through you for a longtime and has never left your side Larry. I think he has selected you to be his instrument in helping all of us on MS, and now, in helping countless others throughout the US. This has the potential to really blossom into a national model for support and education.

I am very proud to be associated with you. You are a very good man and role-model for all fo us. It is long overdue that you have the peace in your life that you so deservingly earned. I think you took one of your final steps to burying your demons when you went to the grave of your abuser and this time he had no power over you or your emotions.

God bless you Larry and keep doing what you do... for all of us!

Dan


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