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#431899 - 04/20/13 10:36 PM Told Mom and Dad..feel better
Suwanee Offline
Chat Moderator

Registered: 10/30/12
Posts: 1075
Loc: Southeast USA

Five presidents ago....twenty seven years ago there was a 13 year-old boy.
Ten hours ago, I told my parents what happened to that boy.

I rode my bike over to my parents' house. The morning air was cool; the grass was covered in dew. My head was burning with thought underneath my helmet. Yes, I was going to help my dad repair his lawn irrigation system...but I was also going to talk. Unpleasant, uncomfortable, but necessary talk. I was ready with strategy from MS, my wife and my T.

After the business at hand was complete, my mom made some sandwiches and brought them outside for lunch. I prepared mom and dad ahead of time by telling them I wanted to talk about something.

We talked about 1985. We all agreed the year was forgettable. The travel, the relocation...the camp.

Dad: "That was a hard summer on us all."
Me: "Yes. Definitely."
Dad: "You were at camp for the whole summer."
Mom: "We were living out of boxes until September."
Me: "I missed most of that. I also missed you and dad."

Dad got a funny look.

Dad: "Was camp bad for you?"
Me: "What do you mean?"
Dad: "You seemed different when you got back."
Me: "What do you mean?"
Mom: "Your dad and I thought you seemed---angry."
Me: "I was. I was pissed off. I was 13 and full of testosterone."
Dad: "You got in fights at your new school."
Me: "There was a kid who didn't know when to quit."
Mom: "You got into trouble for fighting with him. You didn't do that before we moved."
Dad: "You beat the daylights out of that kid."
Me: "He had it coming. He started it and I finished it."
Dad: "Was it (the aggression) because of the move?"
Me: "Partially."
Mom: "What else was there?"
Me: "There were other reasons."
Dad: "Do you want to share?"
Me: "There were other reasons."
Dad: "What were they?"
Mom: "Were you homesick?"
Me: "You could say that."
Dad: "When you got back, you were so aggressive. When you were in the hospital for your knee surgery, you were mad at the world. You said things..."
Me: "Okay. What do you think I was upset about?"
Dad: "Did something happen at camp?"

THE question.

Me: (my voice taking that high, sing-song quality) "Yes. I had a bad experience there."
Mom: "You never wanted to go back."
Me: (voice really breaking now) "There was a counselor.."
Dad: "What happened??
Me: "He...he...he assaulted me in a sexual way."
Dad and Mom: "Oh God."
Dad: "Who is this son of a bitch?"
Me: "Shawn G____"
Dad: " I knew something happened at that camp."
Mom: "Are you okay?" (as if it just happened)
Me: "I'm fine."
Dad: "You could have told us."
Me: "Yeah, would've, could've, but I didn't because I was just a kid and I was embarrassed."
Mom: "Your dad and I support you."
Dad: "Buddy, what can we do?"

I teared up, my mom cried, and my dad cried. I told them that I kept the secret for years and finally told my wife and a therapist.

Me: "I acted out. I was pissed, but I also achieved success in school, sports, and life partially to forget."
Dad: "I'm so sorry you had to forget anything."
Mom: "I'm so sorry I wasn't there for you."
Me: "I don't blame either one of you for what happened. There were circumstances."
Dad: "Where are you with this? I always knew something happened at that camp."
Me: "I'm seeing a psychiatrist for my ADHD and a psychologist for the abuse."
Mom: "This shouldn't have happened."
Me: "No, nor the Boston or Oklahoma City bombings."
Mom: "So where ARE you with this?"
Me: "I spent 26 years forgetting and the last year dealing with this with a professional."
Dad: "I'm sorry I wasn't more available."
Me: " I don't want either of you to blame yourselves. The person in question is the only one who deserves to have blame heaped on him."
Mom: "How do you feel now?
Me: "I don't know. I don't want you to feel bad. I needed to get it out. I mean, I HAD to get it out. You both are great parents. You busted it to get ahead and give me opportunity. I thank you for everything you did. Boarding school was a lifesaver. Your no-questions asked ticket out of bad situations...was a true I used once...we all sacrificed something at one time or another, and we have all reaped the consequences--good and bad.

So...that is more or less the transcript. At no time did I mention specifics...and at no time did they ask. I simply said I was "sexually assaulted."

We finished lunch. I was strangely energized, though my head was full of noise. My mom and dad were relatively quiet. We all had a good hug and I got back on my bike for the ride home. I pedaled away feeling like the disclosure went very well.

I rode down the street and breathed in the air sweet with freshly cut grass. The wind rushed past my ears and I imagined my parents sitting on their back porch....either relieved I disclosed what they already knew, or dealing with terrible new information. Shifting gears, I turned down one street after another and pedaled up a small hill and into my own driveway.

I unclipped my shoes from the pedals, took off my helmet and hung my bike on the wall hook in the garage. I had the house to myself, so I sat down on the sofa and looked out the window at the barn swallows flying back and forth plucking insects out of the air. The drama continued unabated for a long time until I heard the garage door open..followed by my wife and kids running in the door---amped up by cake and ice cream.

The noise was jarring, but I felt like I left a huge weight behind at my parents' house. Still, I was exhausted and just wanted to take a nap. My brain simply had sapped my glucose stores and left me begging for a 30 minute nap before I could contend with the rest of the afternoon.

The talk with my parents was relatively drama-free and somewhat anticlimactic compared to the build up. Telling them was much easier on us all than I imagined. But.... if I know my parents (and I do), one of two things will now happen:

1) It will never be mentioned again; or
2) They will have a "Part B" conversation with me at their convenience and after they have processed the news together.

I'm betting on the latter. I expect another talk within a week. My parents certainly like to prolong I do come by it honestly.

Thank you to my MS brothers who sent words of wisdom over the last few weeks and months. I couldn't have done it without your input.

I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made. ---FDR


Cruel Summer
My Journal

#431903 - 04/20/13 10:54 PM Re: Told Mom and Dad..feel better [Re: Suwanee]
Jacob S Offline

Registered: 01/01/13
Posts: 627
Loc: where the shadows lie
That's incredibly brave. I'm so glad it worked out. Once upon a time when I tried to tell my mother, she told me that no one ever did anything to me and I was just making it up as an excuse for my immaturity. That's how I always assume these kind of stories are going to end and I am so happy when I am wrong.
I will always be your champion
I will always tear the monsters from you

#431905 - 04/20/13 11:10 PM Re: Told Mom and Dad..feel better [Re: Suwanee]
genedebs Offline

Registered: 11/09/12
Posts: 303
Loc: MO
Dear Suwanee,

Lord have mercy. Your disclosure was honest straightforward and cool. Their response was incredibly open and receptive. You are indeed fortunate. I believe they will not deny or attack you for your disclosure at the next discussion. That means they may actually be support.

Jacob and I had equally unsupportive responses. Although my mother did not deny it happened, she asked if I liked being penetrated and when I send no, it hurt, she said, then you're O K. My father said nothing.

My you continue to be blessed on your journey.

#431907 - 04/20/13 11:16 PM Re: Told Mom and Dad..feel better [Re: Suwanee]
Farmer Boy Offline

Registered: 08/23/12
Posts: 442
Loc: Australia

Thanks for the update.

You did good! I am sure your parents are just as proud of you now as we are. You have overcome so much to be the man you are today. You should feel proud of your self.

It made me cry - both in a bad way and a good way. A bad way becuase of the reminder of what happened to you at 13 and in a good way because of the love and support from your parents.

It is to be expected that you felt so drained. Hell I am drained and I wasn't even there.

Take it easy for the next few days if you can.

More than meets the eye!

#431910 - 04/21/13 12:19 AM Re: Told Mom and Dad..feel better [Re: Suwanee]
SoccerStar Offline

Registered: 10/15/12
Posts: 926
Loc: New York

I am so happy for you. KNEW you could do it. It does help to feel better. Not a "magic bullet" but if you're blessed with supportive parents.... there's nothing on which you need their support more than this.

You can take the "Part B" discussion as a given. Probably safe to assume they won't ask about forensic details, but there's a greater chance they will be concerned about your emotional state and how your therapy / recovery is proceeding.

The feeling of floaty exhaustion and being immersively distracted by all surrounding details is so, so true. After I told my parents, I couldn't drive for the rest of that day; I'm honestly surprised you were able to ride your bike home after. Talk about overachieving....

I remember that late last year, after you'd told your wife, you were mulling whether to tell your parents as well, feeling conflicted because you thought it would allow the perp to hurt 4 people instead of 2. But now I think you see it's the other way around - there's an extra 2 people who can help you heal, who can cheer you up and cheer you on.

So very, very glad you saw it through, my friend.

My story

"Don't think it hasn't been a little slice of Heaven just because it hasn't!" --Bugs Bunny

#431913 - 04/21/13 01:28 AM Re: Told Mom and Dad..feel better [Re: Suwanee]
DavoSwim Offline

Registered: 02/06/13
Posts: 381
Loc: Iowa, USA
I'm proud of you for following through with your decision to tell your parents. I'm happy that they were supportive and that you feel a weight off your chest. May good things continue to come your way and I hope your parents really show their love for you.


#431914 - 04/21/13 01:46 AM Re: Told Mom and Dad..feel better [Re: Suwanee]
ThisMan Offline

Registered: 01/22/13
Posts: 778
Loc: upper south
So happy for you, Will. Your dad and mom sound like wonderful, loving parents. The second conversation will certainly go as well as the first and as Matt said, "There's an extra 2 people who can help you heal, who can cheer you up and cheer you on." You go guy.
For now we see through a glass, darkly.

#431916 - 04/21/13 02:04 AM Re: Told Mom and Dad..feel better [Re: Suwanee]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3889
Loc: somewhere in Africa
Will -

i'm proud of you.
i applaud you.
i admire you.
i envy you.

"the scariest thing about abuse of any shape or form, is, in my opinion, not the abuse itself, but that if it continues it can begin to feel commonplace and eventually acceptable."
- Alan Cumming, "Not My Father's Son"

#431924 - 04/21/13 08:19 AM Re: Told Mom and Dad..feel better [Re: Suwanee]
csasurvivor1992 Offline

Registered: 03/25/13
Posts: 132
Loc: Texas
Congratulations Will. I admire you courage telling your parents and I am in awe of your perspective as you discussed how sometimes terrible things happen.

I hope you enjoy today. You deserve it.
May your past be the sound of your feet upon the ground, carry on. ~Fun.

#431926 - 04/21/13 08:58 AM Re: Told Mom and Dad..feel better [Re: Suwanee]
dumont Offline

Registered: 03/28/13
Posts: 34
Loc: No where
I am so touched by how brave and strong you are.
Thank you for sharing your story.
You make us stronger.

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