I really want to tell you how much I admire how brave you all were for breaking free from your isolation & opening up. I could see your hearts opening & that touched me. Unfortunately I didnít do very much of that myself. I was one of the biggest isolators at the weekend. Most of the shame that I carry is because I have screwed my life up so much career wise. In the past I have opened up at workshops like this & felt a real sense of hope, felt connected to myself and to others. Then I had to go back out in the real world unemployed & isolated. I have to stay shut down in order to just survive. My job struggle has been my biggest obstacle to recovery. I was abused by Father Steve Jeselnick when I was 20 years old, shortly after my beloved father had a major heart attack. At the time I was planning to go to law school. My life was completely shattered by the abuse & I spiraled downward. I didnít tell my family about it as I was afraid it would kill my father. I became alienated from my family, as they did not understand my erratic behavior.
During the past 27 years I have screwed up many great opportunities as I felt unworthy & unloved by God. I feel like I am still a 20 year old college student waiting for my life to begin. I have lost count of how many times I have had to start over. I didnít realize how profound the impact of the abuse was until the clergy abuse crisis started in 2002 and I discovered that I was one of thousands who had been abused. I became re-traumatized and lost a really great job (which Iíd had for six years) that I loved. However I picked up the pieces once again. Then four years ago I began to work as a real estate appraiser through the help of my brother. Last August the real estate market crashed & I spiraled downward again, this time further than ever. I was approached to tell my story in several newspapers. I did so as a desperate cry for help, as I realized I couldnít continue to live such an isolated, unfulfilling life of just barely surviving. I had considered taking my own life at that point.
I went public & told my story which some of you read about over the weekend. Emotionally it has been a very empowering & healing thing. However as a result, my brother & several of my sisters have stopped speaking to me, which has been very painful. Naively I thought that going public would somehow get the Erie Diocese to finally come to the aid of me & my mother, or that someone would offer some kind of assistance in helping me to get on my feet or in dealing with the Bishop. I was wrong. Instead I have been ostracized by almost everyone from my home town. I didnít want a handout; I just was looking for some help getting on my feet. I just want an opportunity to prove myself somehow. I had such a bright future ahead of me when I was 20, which was taken from me when I was abused. At this point, I have been shattered so many times that it seems like there are no pieces to put back together, itís all been reduced to dust.
I have been unemployed since last August. I am pretty much completely isolated at this point. I am considering entering the Peace Corps as I donít have any other options. I donít know where to turn. There is no light at the end of the tunnel. If there is anyone out there who reads this whom can assist me in any way with obtaining meaningful employment again, please contact me. I am a very talented creative man with abilities in a lot of areas. Iíd love to do something creative again. I donít want a handout, just a chance to get my life back. I have a lot to give. I just need a chance to give it.
Edited by ModTeam (04/12/08 11:54 PM)