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#440560 - 07/10/13 11:45 AM Another Step In Healing Talked With Diocese
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1666
Today I took another step in healing. I have been carrying a note card in my wallet since November 5, 2012. I received it from the priest who said my Momís funeral at the cemetery. This priest was instrumental in my making it through the funeral, he was compassionate and understanding of my emotional state from my Momís passing and having to re-enter the church where the abuse took place.

I had looked at this note card many times and thought what should I do? Or could I do it. It contained the name of the person responsible for the Office of Safe Environment for the Diocese of Bridgeport. Several weeks ago I called and had a very generic discussion and provided sufficient detail but not my name. I had the impression they knew one day I would call because of the comments they made related to the priest who has been so supportive. Also at that time I contacted a law firm who has represented victims against the diocese. That discussion was extremely helpful and gave insight into my potential options. But with his advanced age I do not expect much. Today I called back the Office of Safe Environment at the Diocese and we had an hour discussion. They were understanding, did not push for information and were compassionate in understanding the lost time, fugues, and dissociation which we discussed for some time. They talked of the realities of what victims face and my lost time is not all that rare for children who suffer from CSA at the hand of an adult. She spoke of the impacts of trauma on the mind and the need to reprogram how we react to stressful situations because as a child we develop a pattern for surviving traumaósome use alcohol, drugs, suicide, re-enact the abuse, dissociative methods and other ways to numb the pain. She said something interesting the mind has been hijacked by the abuse and the trauma of the abuse and needs to be reprogrammed.

She also saw my dissociation and fugues as both crisis and opportunity. It seems I have moved from needing love of the abuse to seeking safety. So for me, I see the crisis is a way for me to heal.

She extended herself and offered any assistance I would need for counseling. She gave me the coordinator for the diocese in the area I live for additional support. We left exchanging cell numbers and some of my personal information including my name. She acknowledged that the abuse was real. This was monumental for me--because I thought the church was in total denial.

It was an emotional call with tears but one with an outcome I did not expect. I felt a level of trust despite my overall disdain toward the church. I believe we left with an open dialogue. I also feel better having talked directly of what happened to the organization that I so long despised. It was a respite from an evening the night before of being told I gay because I appear to have re-enacted the abuse over and over when in dissociative states, but today I have been told in my dissociative states I was looking for the love that I was told came from abuse only because I lacked love in my life. I have heard this from my therapist and doctors. I was subject to some pretty inhumane acts in the home and the professionals all say these are stressors and can trigger the episodes. Today I was asked for examples, she said those are not normal and sane acts and could trigger the episodes. This call confirmed what I was learning about myself in therapy and support and all I want in life is the love of a supportive woman and not the love priest told me I could only find from the acts he performed and made me performed. So it gives me a goal in life to find that happiness. I was amazed with how open I was with this stranger, but she is trained in trauma and knew what to ask and how or how not to respond.

I will be cautious as I move forward. I actually have a woman who has been in contact with me since we reconnected at my college reunion a few weeks ago. I will move slowly in any relationship. But this hope and opportunity to have a life I deserve makes me excited. I will also be open and honest about the abuse, the dissociation, therapy, support groups and roller coaster of my healing journey.

Now I have more decisions, how far do I pursue filing a complaint? I will be contacting the priest who stood by me at my Momís funeral and offered to be there with me if I pursued it through the church. I have some direction from the lawyers. I know I need to be strong enough to face scrutiny and being made to feel like the victim. I can only make the decision when it is right. But I feel at peace having talked openly with the Diocese, and not anonymously, about the abuse, it took a burden off my heart. It also reaffirms who I am and what I want in life.

For now, I will take some time to digest and decide how I move forward. I guess there is truly hope for all victims but I now understand the importance of finding the right people to be at your side. Unfortunately, having the wrong people can prevent or hamper the healing. Stay strong, seek support, learn who you truly are (you are not who the abuser made you to be)


Edited by KMCINVA (07/10/13 01:40 PM)

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#440563 - 07/10/13 12:31 PM Re: Another Step In Healing Talked With Diocese [Re: KMCINVA]
traveler Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 3420
Loc: somewhere in Africa
WOW, KMC!

i am in awe of your self-command and composure in taking these steps and writing about it. you seem to be doing really well in this stage of re-claiming control of your life and restoration. please keep us informed as (or if) you pursue these avenues that have opened up for you.

happy for you,
lee
_________________________
As my life goes on I believe somehow something's changed
Something deep inside...
I've been searchin so long to find an answer
Now I know my life has meaning
Now I see myself as I am, feeling very free...
When my tears have come to an end I will understand
What I left behind: a part of me. Chicago


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#440597 - 07/10/13 07:08 PM Re: Another Step In Healing Talked With Diocese [Re: KMCINVA]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1666
Thank you. I think I am finally beginning to accept I am a survivor and not a victim. I am also learning the power of self. From the day the priest gave me the contact information I knew someday I would need to call. Fear of how I would be treated or made to feel like it was my fault. I was wrong and realize only a few belittle the abuse and impact it had on me. I believe from the first abuse I was taught to fear telling because I would be taken away. This fear controlled me. Somehow I knew I had to free myself. Telling the diocese that one of their own ruined a life gave me a sense of freedom. They have enough information to know who is and confront him.

We all need to be free. The abuser takes our freedom and "hijacks" who we are meant to be. I thank everyone here for their support because it gave me the strength to dial the phone and confront the past once again.

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#440731 - 07/12/13 03:30 PM Re: Another Step In Healing Talked With Diocese [Re: KMCINVA]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1666
Today I continued on this journey of healing. I am in my hometown, visiting for a few days, and met with the priest who helped with my Mom's funeral and took me to the place of abuse. We talked extensively today. I also spoke with the diocese. It was helpful and they seem to be extending a helping hand in how to proceed. As I previously mentioned I had discussions with a law firm who has handled many cases against the Diocese. The discussion dealt with options for the three of us who experienced the abuse. Identities are not discussed, only referred to as Victim 1, etc. But we spoke and we each shared our story, history and how are lives have been lived. Being a small town we all probably have a sense of each others identity. But that is not important, I only hope they heal and can have a life they deserve. In Ct we are up against the statute of limitations unless perp is convicted of a Class A felony. The law firm has a cache of victims they have spoken with over the years and will review for common perpetrator who may not yet be out of the statute of limitations. The best and possibly only option would be if sufficient information is obtained and private settlements with non disclosure could be reached. The law firm was clear once we begin any action it will be a difficult journey because of the age of the case, law and the attacks that may come from the church and these can be emotionally and physically debilitating. Because of this many decide not to pursue. But it is early and I am not sure how far I want to go and for the other two, their lives have had more challenges than mine. So a hesitancy exists for all parties. It is an uphill battle but the legislature is trying to change the statute of limitations but it has been held up in committee.

However, in today's discussions with the priest and diocese they asked some poignant questions about the abuser and his career, not questions they expected a response because I did not have an answer to many. Clearly, from my age and the time frame I provided they have a very good idea of the priest's name. Neither asked for his name, they said it was my decision and only when I was ready (when I give his name I know it will confirm what they already know--they have access to the internal church records). They asked if I knew his parish assignments and duration of time at each assignment including my parish (which I have a sense--not all too long). So it gives me thought to explore this path and maybe find someone who falls under the magic age of 48 or can corroborate a continued history of abuse throughout his career. I am quite amazed on how compassionate the church has been. I hope it is not a false sense of security.

I am scared but also feel in control because it is I who can now decide on how I want to move forward and live and not him--his control over me is waning rapidly. If I decide to pursue I will do it with fervor and if I do not I will be resolved that it is the right decision for me. I never expected to be at this point of healing but I know I still face challenges and potential set backs. But to feel in control of myself is a feeling that eluded me forever until now.


Edited by KMCINVA (07/12/13 04:20 PM)

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#441646 - 07/21/13 09:52 PM Re: Another Step In Healing Talked With Diocese [Re: KMCINVA]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1666
Lee

I forgot, I had an interesting discussion this week. I mentioned I was surprised on the support from the diocese and I do not know if I mentioned they gave me a contact in my current diocese (I should say the diocese I live in because I no longer go to church). But that aside, I was told to speak with this person and some sort of support could be worked out. It seems,this is common when it is suspected the abuse did occur by the diocese. I am sure they did their own review of parish records and figured out the priest. Seeing I have come across two other victims in the parish there is probably many others and possibly several have reported the abuse. I was told by people actively involved in SNAP (Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests) that each diocese has records and can easily figure out the validity of abuse but they also know the law and statutes of limitations and other laws. But I was told many dioceses will do private settlements as the law firm indicated was a possibility by SNAP. But the diocese always tries to avoid this by offering assistance to the victim. I will be contacting the local diocese to see what they have to say and what support they will provide.

It just gives me some sense of validity that institutions realize the wrongs but I take some solace of the offer of help--so maybe their heart is in on place and their pocketbook in another.


Edited by KMCINVA (07/21/13 10:12 PM)

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#441653 - 07/21/13 10:08 PM Re: Another Step In Healing Talked With Diocese [Re: KMCINVA]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3350
Loc: O Kanada

you deserve a medal for the way you are dealing with the diocese and the death of your mother simultaneously, meanwhile facing your past and maintaining your courage and composure while moving through the complicated complaint process, getting results while running the risk of rejection or possible confrontation, conflict, and hopefully closure.

this is extreme.
you are really putting yourself out there!


please keep me updated.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#441660 - 07/21/13 10:55 PM Re: Another Step In Healing Talked With Diocese [Re: victor-victim]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1666
Thank you for your words of encouragement. Support is so helpful in the journey of healing. I continue to explore options but what my final course of action--I do not know. I will go to the point that I am comfortable and feel safe. But the steps I have taken have given me a sense of well being, knowing I am taking control and realizing the institution realizes the damage it has done to a child and one's life restores some faith in human kind. I am cautious and do not want to believe I am healed, because I have things that still need to be uncovered.

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#441681 - 07/22/13 12:33 AM Re: Another Step In Healing Talked With Diocese [Re: KMCINVA]
victor-victim Offline


Registered: 09/27/03
Posts: 3350
Loc: O Kanada
Originally Posted By: KMCINVA
the steps I have taken have given me a sense of well being, knowing I am taking control


this is the most important thing.

they are positive steps.

your actions may help the church prevent future abuse.

disclosure and exposure may bring you closure.

even if it does not bring the perpetrator to justice,
a formal investigation might bring other victims to therapy.

my heart goes with you.
_________________________
Victor|Victim

War
Love
Poetry

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#441715 - 07/22/13 08:07 AM Re: Another Step In Healing Talked With Diocese [Re: KMCINVA]
bodyguard8367 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/16/12
Posts: 1159
Loc: ""
""


Edited by bodyguard8367 (02/27/14 05:41 PM)

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#441720 - 07/22/13 08:54 AM Re: Another Step In Healing Talked With Diocese [Re: KMCINVA]
KMCINVA Offline
Greeter
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 1666
Thank you for the kind words. I am at a point where I feel comfortable and secure in myself. I can feel happiness, and ithis feeling has exuded me for so long. I am beginning a new chapter in my life away from people who were triggers through tantalizing and hurtful actions that made me feel like the trapped boy in the churc cellar. These actions resurrected the memories of the abuse and sent my life into a downward spiral of pain, lost time, confusion, hospitalizations and a loss of self. One piece of the journey to healing for me was to figure out the best way to let the diocese and parish know what they allowed to happen to me and others. They needed to understand it nearly destroyed me and others. To my surprise, they have been supportive and kind. The parish in my time of need, my Mom's passing. The parish and diocese now know what happened to me and their own internal review has most likely given them the answer to who. Now does he know others know? Maybe maybe not and is this so important to me to heal? I do not know if this will bring closure or more angst and heart ache. But I know I am in control of how it is played out but not the outcome-his punishment, financial settlement-except to know it was my decision. Maybe that is the most important element in healing, knowing he is not in control of me.


Edited by KMCINVA (07/22/13 07:08 PM)

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