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#28131 - 08/15/05 05:58 PM From Survivor to Thriver
Zipser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 351
Loc: Connecticut
Like EGL, I posted this on the Members forum and someone there suggested that I post it here on the Public side as well, as a means of encouragement to others.


To all who are on this journey of healing and recovery,

If you haven't already guessed I am an advocate of setting a personal recovery goal of confronting your abuser. You must be prepared, though, before taking that step.

We didn't ask for this when we were young. We didn't consent. It was our body, not someone else's and that POS had no right to do what he did to us.

My abuser was a teacher. He wormed his way into our family by promising extra help and guidance to an older brother who was his student. I was abused from the ages of 11 to 14 or 15. I'm 50 now.

About 20 years ago in an effort to make some sense out of all this I confronted him one evening at his home to ask why. He turned into a quivering, crying waste of a human and begged me not to tell his mother who was in the next room.

At that time I took no legal action as I was unsure of what rights I had before me. Then, in the summer of 2002 the Connecticut State Assembly passed a law extending the statute of limitations for civil cases to 30 years past the age of majority which meant that victims of CSA had until the day they turned 48 to file. I turned 48 in October of 2002 and we just beat the clock.

Fast forward to early June of this year. I've already been through his deposition, my deposition, various discovery requests and telling my family (mom and brothers) that I was going public with what this POS did to me. I had long ago told them and there were varying degrees of support but the support was there and that helped to a certain extent.

Make no mistake about confrontation guys. You must be fully prepared. My abuser took the 5th rather than admit in a legal setting that he abused me and others. As Ivanhoe mentions in his post, read the articles on this site.

Even though there was an out of court settlement, which the judge had urged us to achieve, I won with no restrictions on confidentiality which is frequently the case with out of court settlements. My perp asked for confidentiality but I SAID NO!

Oh, and before I forget. Do you know what triggered me to action? It was my older son entering the 7th grade. That's when it was the worst for me. I took one look at how innocent he was at that age and all I saw was what had been taken from me and I was enraged.

So the past two months have been liberating. I started seeing a fantastic T just after Christmas of last year and last night was our final session. She and I are both in agreement that it's time for the next phase and so I'm turning to everyone here, especially the mods and directors, for some input.

I know this is a place for healing and you've all contributed to my healing in one way or another. I've been blown away and remain humbled by the spirit, the thoughts that have been so eloquently expressed and the support that you so generously extend. I've been blessed to have found this haven.

But what's next? How do I take the energy that is flowing my way with the casting off of this demon and apply it in a most useful manner? I have sometimes felt that I'm ready to explode.

I want to help. I want to educate the community to the dangers that are out there. I want to become a healer myself (insert Howard Dean Scream here) ;-).

I am open to all feedback. Thanks in advance fellas. It is my wish that you all may someday feel the way I am feeling now.

In closing, I shared the contents of my signature line with my T last night. Her reaction was "Wow". I don't remember exactly who wrote it but I did find it on the members side. If you, the author, read this I want to thank you for writing what you did. It has given me so much strength.

With warmest regards,

Zipser

_________________________
"I stand proud that the boy so badly damaged managed to get me this far and I will honor him and myself for being a survivor." - A member

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#28132 - 08/16/05 04:19 AM Re: From Survivor to Thriver
healing_inside Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/28/05
Posts: 2005
Zisper,

U are very inspiring to me. U give me hope

Thanks 4 sharing with us.

Healing_Inside

_________________________
I can't come to the phone right now, I am out living my life

*** WoR Retreat Alumni - Alta 2005 ***

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#28133 - 08/16/05 04:36 AM Re: From Survivor to Thriver
EGL Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 06/19/04
Posts: 7821
Very inspiring and encouraging, Zipser. Thanks so much for posting this here. It helps to know that there is hope ahead for everyone here.

_________________________
Eddie

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#28134 - 10/11/05 05:50 PM Re: From Survivor to Thriver
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

I thought it might be a good idea to let this resurface since you have just posted the letter of apology from your abuser over on the members' side.

I admire your courage in pursuing this all the way to its conclusion. It's good for us to see that sometimes justice can be done.

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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#28135 - 10/13/05 10:14 PM Re: From Survivor to Thriver
lacansletter Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 10/04/05
Posts: 67
Loc: St.Petersburg, FL
Z. thank you for the inspiring letter. I am in the early stages of discovery, before even a police report, and confronting the catholic church. apparently, each Bishop has total control of how the situation will be handled, whether or not the Dioces will be understanding and accomodating or confrontational and underhanded. So far, they have been less than cooperative but not outright confrontational.

My T says that I am credible without a doubt but of course I have my own doubts of myself. I'm scared witless about what is about to happen to my life soon. I was doing ok in recovery, getting the panic attacks under control. so I thought that I was strong enough to fight the church. Well, I rapidly declined into depression, unable to work many days, catatonic at night on the couch.

If you are looking for ways to help, maybe you can give me some advise or something on how you were able to keep yourself together during the whole ordeal. I would welcome any PM also. One thing that I have thought of as a long term goal, after the majority of my recovery is to campaign for more appropriate laws concerning statute of limitations. We need champions like you. if anyone is in Florida, you should know the criminal stat/limitations is very short. I am going to pursue the church in civil court but if I could get only one thing resolved in all this, I would have my perp in jail for a long time.

sorry I am rambling. It is satisfying and a bit enviable the picture you paint, recovered and vindicated as well. i would like to feel that one day. Thank you for sharing.

Jack

_________________________
"The only Zen you find on the mountain top is the Zen that you bring with you" Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

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#28136 - 10/17/05 05:52 PM Re: From Survivor to Thriver
Zipser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 351
Loc: Connecticut
Jack,

I wish you the best on your road to recovery. You're brave and strong to do this and you are doing what needs to be done.

I'd like to collect my thoughts and offer something constructive and supportive so if you can wait a day or two I'll post a reply.

In the meantime, please be sure to keep yourself safe and welcome to MS. There are many guys, and gals, who are rooting for you.

Take care,

Zipser

_________________________
"I stand proud that the boy so badly damaged managed to get me this far and I will honor him and myself for being a survivor." - A member

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#28137 - 10/18/05 02:16 AM Re: From Survivor to Thriver
WalkingSouth Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/30/05
Posts: 16265
I've read this thread and am moved to tears

('''''''TEARS''''''')

Zisper, you are an inspiration.

You asked for suggestions on where to go from here. I'll rattle off a few that come to my mind.

-Speak out at any opportunity that comes your way in an effort to educate

-Start a CSA support group in your area

-Lobby your state legislature regarding CSA issues

-Make yourself available to the news media as a CSA survivor resource when there is a SA story in the news

-campaign for full disclosure to the public via convicted sex offenders lists when offenders are released from incarseration


I wish you the best in your life from this point forward.

Courage,

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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#28138 - 10/24/05 08:40 PM Re: From Survivor to Thriver
Zipser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 351
Loc: Connecticut
Hi again everyone,

I did reply in private to a member but also want to excerpt that reply on this board in case it can be helpful to someone else. Here it is:

What sustained me was the desire for a public accounting of my perp and those who enabled his behavior. My perp was a teacher and as the years went by I kept wondering if the school officials knew about this guy and "gave me up" without a second thought.

I remember crying when I read the complaint we filed and when I received confirmation that my perp had been served by the sheriff. They were healthy tears and I also remember saying words to the effect of OK, creep, now were going to fight on even terms. It's not predator vs. prey, now it's adult vs. adult and I've got the law and a pissed off lawyer by my side.

My wife was beside me all the way. She, in fact, encouraged me to file using my real name instead of a John Doe. When the Hartford paper eventually called I was prepared to talk about the CSA in a public setting. There were some people who contacted me after seeing it and to a person their response was overwhelmingly positive. Some were in the town I live in now whose sons I've coached in soccer. Not one person pulled back and I still am active with our town club.

There were ups and downs throughout the whole process. My perp took the 5th during discovery and also during his deposition. I had what can best be called a "purging" cry in my car after the deposition when the enormity of the betrayal of me AND my family sunk in.

My deposition wasn't the worst thing I've ever endured. The defense lawyers were professional and although it was emotionally and physically draining I felt comfort in knowing that I finally had the forum in which to tell my story.

I also had the support, in varying degrees, from other family members (siblings, etc). It took me a long time before I realized that my entire family had been betrayed so terribly and had it not been for my last therapist I'm not sure I would have grasped that.

Finally, what sustained me was knowing that I was finally doing something for myself. Like most survivors, my self esteem is not where it should be. You tend not to think you're worth the good things that life can offer because of what happened to us.

As you pursue your case, the advice I can offer involves making sure you have the support that you will most likely need, be it family, your lawyers, friends or therapists. Of course you will find unconditional support on this board.

I think each of us deals with surviving in his own way. The best way I can describe how I've felt since the case was settled is to picture a boat that dropped off a few items on the dock and was then loaded with lots and lots of baggage for the return trip. As each day passes that boat is getting smaller and smaller on the horizon as it sails back across the miles and miles of ocean. It's taking the burdern of my CSA away from me and will deposit those bags at the feet of my perp. My CSA is finding its place and perspective in my life story and it's a great feeling of release.

I'm finding more peace in my life than I thought imaginable. The love for my wife and my boys is even stronger and when I look in the mirror now I'm just fine with who is looking back.

My wish for everyone is that wherever your journey takes you, you too can have these feelings. You so deserve them!

Best regards,

Zipser

_________________________
"I stand proud that the boy so badly damaged managed to get me this far and I will honor him and myself for being a survivor." - A member

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#28139 - 10/24/05 11:26 PM Re: From Survivor to Thriver
healing_inside Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/28/05
Posts: 2005
Zisper,

I will say this in public as I have said in private.

U and your family are very couragous people and the support u got from them has given me the courage to keep plugging along, no matter hard things get. Thanks 4 sharing

Healing_Inside

_________________________
I can't come to the phone right now, I am out living my life

*** WoR Retreat Alumni - Alta 2005 ***

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#28140 - 08/04/06 02:32 PM Re: From Survivor to Thriver
Zipser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/19/05
Posts: 351
Loc: Connecticut
Bringing this back up to show one person's experience with legal confrontation.

Paul

_________________________
"I stand proud that the boy so badly damaged managed to get me this far and I will honor him and myself for being a survivor." - A member

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