I was going to post this in the Story section but I see that here are no replies to the stories. Because when I told my parents at 18 that I was abused when I was a boy and only recieved silence in return, I would rather have feedback than silence, so I have posted my journey here, hope that's ok.
I donít remember when it started but I was exhibiting a classic symptom at my first year at secondary school (12yrs upwards) which was to severely isolate myself there. I did not hang around with anyone, went to lunch and breaks on my own and sat on my own mostly for the next 5 years. I might as well have had a sign stuck to my back but the teachers were oblivious. I had free school meals because my dad was in prison and I suppose it was less intimidating for my abuser with my dad not around.
My first detailed memory of this was my abuser following me into an alleyway as I needed a pee. He was never that close to my age that we over lapped in secondary school but not too older for it to be seen as unusual for him to hang with me. At a guess I would say he was 5 years older than me.
My memory goes blank a lot but I remember him babysitting me (he was my neighbour then but not now) and doing stuff in the house while my sister was upstairs asleep. Being quiet so she would not hear. I donít remember the specifics though. I was told to keep a lot of secrets.
We went camping on a regular basis and I have a distinct memory of our sleeping bags being joined together or me getting in his. My memory then goes blank after that.
I remember one time he got 4 or 5 of us in the woods and one guy ran off (Steve) but my memory goes blank after that too. There was a regular place in the woods he took me.
During school holidays we camped on the local school fields and we did stuff there and around his house (next door). My school was close so we went there in the evening and found dark places to hide in addition to camping.
My friend that lived near me, Martin, went into his house and came out pretty quick complaining that he got it out of his trousers. (roughly we were about 14/15).
At 15/16 I told him to ****** and leave me alone.
When I was 15/16 I buried myself into computers and spent a lot of time on bulletin boards, running my own geeky bulletin boards and racking up crazy phone bills with my two Atari 520STs and my 300 baud modem (painful to think of the speed looking back...you could watch the cursor move across the screen like a snail...cool though!). I don't think my family saw much of me in them days as I was in my hi tech bedroom all the time. It was a useful but needed safe distraction.
When I was apprx 17 I went home with the intension of committing attempted suicide and planning that my parents would find me just in time. I would then tell them what has been going on when they asked why. I swallowed half a bottle of something, donít remember what it was, but it was not enough to knock me out. I woke up and went back to work.
I had terrible sexuality problems.
I exploded and told my mum, dad, sister and best friend at dinner when I was 18 (1986) as my dad kept going on 'what's my problem' (cos I was severely withdrawn) but I did not tell them who because I was too scared that my dad would do something stupid and get sent back to prison.
I could not articulate my feelings so I gave my mum a book on sexual abuse when I was 19 ish.
It has never been talked about since apart from my sister moving house.
At 22 I started to write a diary and I kept writing over 20 years later. I mainly write in it when I felt crap as a survival technique.
I started to exchange letters with London Survivors in my early twenties.
When I was 23 I went and told my GP. He referred me to a psychologist at a specialist psychiatric hospital. Everyone knew about this place and because of the stigma attached to it there wasn't any chance you'd get me there, so I never went (I didn't think I was mad was my knee jerk reaction at the time!).
About 12 years ago he was helping my sister move when she had a young boy aged about 5. I then told her to keep him away from him and told her why.
At 25 I started working for a youth counselling organisation after passing their qualification. We were a drop in centre where teenagers could have private confidential chats with us.
At 27 I buried myself into qualifying for a diploma in counselling but quit after one year to bury myself again into my I.T. career. It was not wasted though because I still managed to get out of the unfinished diploma a combined certificate in counselling skills & theory.
When I left school I had regular friends that were nothing to do with my school but as I got older my symptoms got worse. I would bury myself into work and gradually hung around with less and less people. I looked at myself when I was 38 and saw myself just hanging around on my own, writing in a diary, not being able to hold down a relationship of any kind, would seek out emotionally disconnected sex and was/am? incapable of putting the two together.
My mum and dad were never big talkers and we would have dinner and finish up without a word being spoken at the table during my teenage years. This turned into me being terrified of dinner invitations, making excuses aswell as the social skills I was fumbling with that seem to degrade year on year through into my 30's.
I am not afraid of the unknown and I take risks, my logic was to do something big, leave it up to fate and then see if something big and positive comes out the other end for me. I was looking for a cure. This translated into me leaving my current life (mortgage, motorbike, family and secure job a liked) to go to South Africa for a year to think about what to do with my life as I was 'broken'. I also thought to keep me busy I would train to become a wildlife guide which was a 1 year training course (how could that not be good!)
6 months before I left I hired a specialist sexual abuse counsellor to help me a little before left.
But after a couple of months in South Africa I was in a car crash (April 2008) and I had to be flown home because of sevare internal head injures.
Having nearly met 'the man upstairs' made me realise that going to South Africa was not the answer. My problems would always follow me where ever I went until I confronted them.
Was kind of getting annoyed with myself in the counselling sessions I was having. Felt like I was just talking but not doing.
In Feb 2010 I attended the Survivors Fellowship in London as I needed to meet other survivors urgently, it felt like I was in withdrawal from something that I had never had. I did not like the unstructured format of the conversations though at that time, bit early for me but it has its place for people at different stages of the healing process.
In Mar 2010 I attended a more structured 1 day workshop run by Into the Light, London. This was good as we took time to talk about shame, anger, powerlessness and betrayal. The shame section felt like my guts had been twisted, pulled out and hung out to dry (when she draw a shame tree).
This though spurred be on even further to face my ghosts. I am a bit stubborn like that!
In Jun 2010 I then found a workshop called Shame and Self Defeating Behaviours run by One In Four, London which was perfect timing after my last one.
In Jul 2010 I attended a weekend workshop, was really scared but the feeling soon goes because everyone else make you feel at ease when things get bumpy. It was the first time I told someone the full (high level) story (other than my counsellor) and chatted to other survivors in an informal setting as well as the structured workshops.
In Sep 2010 I started socialising every few months with some people from the weekend workshop. This was and still is a massive tonic for me. At last... real conversations, no constant small talk and NO secrets. It's very powerful.
In Dec 2010 after I exchanged a few legal type emails and hearing other survivor stories, I arranged to meet two policewomen and gave them an informal overview.
In Jan 2011 I created a police evidence video. They also wanted to see my diary which I have always been too scared to read because of old crap memories but need to now. I know all this effort might not come to a prosecution but at least it puts him on thier radar. I will have also done everything in my power to prosecute the him and I should be able to lay that (one of many) chunky question marks to rest.
Looking back it feels like the universe conspired to bring me back and resolve my ghosts. Or another way of looking at it is that my decision to go to South Africa and find a cure worked. The ongoing cure being my journey!
2011 was very interesting! Since I went to the weekend workshop things have gone into fast forward. I never saw this in my flashforward but what I did see (as I forgot to wear my quantum entanglement device) is a happier content Lee in a relationship. Not sure how far forward I jumped though but the main thing is I saw it.
12 Apr 2011 After speaking to a couple of witnesses the police woman assigned to me said he was going to get arrested imminently (Monday April 4th!).
16 Apr 2011 The police called me and said he was arrested. They said he was not at home before when they tried. I wish they told me!!! I email a lot between myself and the police investigation and it makes it very real when someone calls you and tells you something has moved forward. They are ran it by the Crown Prosecution Service before talking to other witnesses. They avoided my dad; he's just a caveman that grunts. Ever since the investigation started I was extremely stubborn about not approaching my family about this topic and they would have to get a cold call from the police. I know that sounds a bit it harsh but I did not feel capable, my mouth would not open. The hardest point in this process was to walk through the police station door on my own. It is something I had to do on my own as it was too private to have a gang with me, even though they cared. Ever since that moment over weeks I have started to think about previous things that I have found impossible to do I have found quite straight forward now. For example the same day I got a call from the police I went down stairs and after 24 years of the topic being a white elephant at my partent's house it's now a grey one everyone can see. I told my mum to have a seat at the table. I asked her not to fire 5 million questions at me afterwards and said
"The guy who sexually abused me was arrested this morning".
She said GOOD. I said do you know who he is...? she said she had a good idea. I didn't have the energy to ask her why she had a good idea but I have informed the police of our chat and they will go into more detail with her.
That's what I pay my taxes for! I did the same to my sister but over email and explained that she will be getting a call from the police over the next week or two also. My sister said she hoped I would do something about it eventually. Doing the police evidence video made my shoulders lighter in a massive way, it was so important for my story to be formally recognised by the establishment (and me).
01 May 2011 I hated my parent's house. I forced this subject with my mum. This turned a massive white elephant grey. It's turning bloody white again!... WTF!!! I leave this place on 21st May and I will be glad to get out of this disfunctional house that seems to be behaving like society as a whole (a society full of white elephants that people on the forum turn grey but they are white again 5 minutes later because of apathy by society).
24 May 2011 I went to see my sister around the new place she is renting. It is nice and quiet and we sat in the front garden chatting. We don't chat much so this was a new thing for us. I told her that my police case is doing an early run through with the Crown Prosecution Service before formal statements are taken. I brought up the subject because I wanted to talk about it. But I got absolutely nothing back. Is she scared of upsetting me? Is she not capable of talking about this topic? I know its all questions I should be asking her but easier said than done. So youíre getting them! I see myself in a lose lose situation again, I bring up the topic and don't get anything back. I don't bring up the topic it vanishes into the universe. It may pop back in discussions after a few orbits around Mars, Jupiter, the Sun and a few nebula clouds.
08 June 2011 I have just moved to a new house so just sitting typing this with me and my shadow. I am trying not to be on my own too much but because my health is not 100% then sometimes I don't have much choice because just talking makes me very tired. The police wanted to drive the 50 miles to see me and talk to me. This was because they had an answer back from the CPS.
13 Jun 2011 I had two police officers around my house because they heard back from the CPS. The CPS are not taking it any further. They are hoping that the ripple affect of him being outed will cause more direct or indirect evidence to surface. The whole family is dodgy in my opinion but that doesn't mean anything without evidence. I needed to process this and think about the next chapter of my life.
Jul-2011 Since my car crash I had been having a strong pull back to nearly 20 years ago because the counselling service I worked for was so personally rewarding. I decided to finish my incomplete study from 1995 and this month I got formally accepted into an internationally recognise counselling and psychotherapy school called the Metanoia Institue in Ealing Common, London, England. To my amazement, a friend from a weekend survivors workshop applied for the same course (Transactional Anaylysis Psychotherapy MSc Degree) which lasts 4 years. We have supported each other through the very bumpy emotional training process.
Mar-2012 In 2010 The same friend setup a Community Interest Survivor Support company in the UK. He asked whether I wanted to be a director and I accepted. There are 3 of us that share clinical practice,HR and other strategies and I help with with the website, writing small healing articles for survivors and other back office tasks. When my health improves I hope to be more involved with clinical practice but I can't at the moment on top of my required clinical practise for my course. Our attitute is an inclusive and innovative one and we aim to work with other agencies and look at new ways technology and the internet can help the healing process in a safe way. This is why I am experimenting with Reddit. I am not advertising here, rather, I am just being honest about my journey but if I have broken any rules then zap anything you need to as I haven't read all your rules yet.
Jul-2012 We have successfully finished the first year of psychotherapy training and successfully applied for our second year with clinical placements. This is a major life goal of ours and personally for me I want to reduce my time working in computer software consultancy. It's ironic that because of my car crash my company is currently allowing me to work 3 days a week only, I am now receiving accredited personal psychotherpy and healing during the course learning process as well. I also don't want to increase my I.T. work pattern again and I want to lean towards psychotherapy instead. Possibly try to juggle both.
Edited by Lee Jenson (08/07/12 09:20 AM)