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#7504 - 08/12/06 04:59 AM lashing out against my abuser
mphsrvivor Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/06
Posts: 33
Loc: Tennessee
This past March I called and confronted the ex-priest who abused me when I was a teenager. Another victim reported him to the church in 1992 and he admitted the abuse. He was sent away supposedly for treatment but he never was punished for what he did. He continued to work loosely with the church in St. Louis and then moved back to his parentsí town in Texarkana.

I wanted to tell him several things such asÖ.What he did was wrong. I did not want to be sexual with my priest. I know he admitted to sexually abusing 14 other kids.

Actually, I read to him a letter I had written him a couple of years ago. At first my plan was to show up at his work on some Tuesday afternoon to confront him out of the blue but I kept putting it off because I was scared Iíd end up hurting him out of anger. Well, I finally called him at his home this past March and read the letter to him. In the end, I was very pleased with the telephone call. I didnít budge on being in control and I didnít begin to be the scared little boy I was when Dan was in my life. I told him everything I wanted to tell him.

Even though I was able to tell him everything I wanted to, I still want to go after him. I donít have any chance of having criminal or civil charges made against him because of the statute of limitations but that doesnít keep me from wanting to hurt him in some other way. Now, I know I canít just drive to Texarkana and attack him. I know that would end up hurting me and that wouldnít help me in the end. And I know that wouldnít help me in my recovery but I still want to lash out at him. The urge is still there. It just really pisses me off that he hasnít received the punishment he deserves for what he did.

_________________________
---Patrick

"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#7505 - 08/12/06 11:59 AM Re: lashing out against my abuser
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

You have already done something very brave and powerful. So first and foremost, congratulations!

This is the way it usually goes with abuse by the clergy. They simply shuffle the offending priests around and try to dance away from the issues or cover them up.

Or ignore them. I was abused by a Scout leader who was also an elder in our church, and earlier this year I wrote a letter to the current pastor telling him what had happened in 1960 to 63 and advising him that I knew of five other boys who had been abused by this elder. I also told him this did directly involve the church. I myself was even abused at least once in the pastor's study.

The result? Nothing. Silence. I imagine the session was called in a panic and the letter discussed to prepare for a possible lawsuit, even though I told the pastor I did not blame the church and had no legal action in mind. I just wanted the church to acknowledge a need for vigilance and wanted to warn them that yes, "it can happen here". But as usual, the church is interested in its own reputation and pocketbook. If you follow a similar course I would not expect things to be different.

One thing you might want to do is see if the statute of limitations in Tennessee has also expired for a civil rather than criminal action. That time limit is sometimes longer.

Another perhaps more fruitful course would be to see if there is an action group against clergy abuse in your area. Sometimes these groups are helpful, and one thing you can do is to make a public accusation against the abuser. But be careful here and don't move in this direction without legal advice. There have been cases where a survivor has publicly accused the perp, and then has been slapped with a restraining order or even been sued for defamation!

Much love,
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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#7506 - 08/12/06 01:10 PM Re: lashing out against my abuser
James73 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/11/06
Posts: 10
Loc: UK
I always wanted to punish my abusers one way or another for what they did. One of them I know now is dead (from a freak car accident) the other I have no idea what happened to him. I doubt I will ever find him now or get justice for what he did to me and my best friend all the years ago \:\(


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#7507 - 08/12/06 02:26 PM Re: lashing out against my abuser
mphsrvivor Offline
Member

Registered: 07/02/06
Posts: 33
Loc: Tennessee
Yeah, I donít expect much from the church although they have paid for my independent counseling. And the have acknowledged, in writing, about Danís abuse and confession. He admitted to 15 people. But about a year ago, the communication broke down between us and now they are content to treat me with silence. I really donít turn to them for help but I havenít given up on letting them know how I feel about all of this.

My thing is that he, Dan, is still out there and living almost as though nothing has happened. His past has caught up with him a couple of times but there is no chance for legal action against him (either civil or criminal). As far as a public accusation against him, I am taking some steps toward this. Iíve posted my story along with his photo on a state support groupís website. Iíve also been trying to get my story in a newspaper local to him but nothing has come from this. Iím not worried about getting sued because of the writings between me and the church. They pretty much have all the evidence to back up what I say about him.

Part of me wonders how I would feel about all of this if he were dead already. I donít mean by any act of mine but just what if he had died naturally, or in an accident, sometime over the last 15 years. I have no intention of physically harming him in any way. Iím not that kind of person. Itís just that if he werenít still alive, then this would be a moot point for me. Iím not saying one situation is better than the other; just that it would be different for me. I think, for me, I could better accept his fate if he wasnít still out there living as if he did nothing wrong.

But he is still alive and livingÖand I still want to lash out at him from time to time. I know this is understandable but I am at a lost as to how to channel this so it helps me instead of hurts me. I havenít met with my T for a while but I do intend to resume our meetings to talk more about this so thereís a start.

One example of wanting to lash out is thisÖDan belongs to a local bicycle group in Texarkana and I want to email his story to others in that group. I know that would rock his world and raise awareness of him but I donít see how that would help me in my recovery. I only see that as lashing out in anger. Any input on this would be appreciated.

_________________________
---Patrick

"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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#7508 - 08/12/06 05:32 PM Re: lashing out against my abuser
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

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

Quote:
Part of me wonders how I would feel about all of this if he were dead already. I donít mean by any act of mine but just what if he had died naturally, or in an accident, sometime over the last 15 years. I have no intention of physically harming him in any way. Iím not that kind of person. Itís just that if he werenít still alive, then this would be a moot point for me.
The perp who abused me died 12 years ago, and my experience was that things weren't made any simpler because of that. At first I was relieved; I didn't have anything to fear from him anymore. Then, as I gained in confidence, I got pissed off that he wasn't within my reach; I would never be able to confront him or denounce him to his face.

The way it ended - if this is how it ends - was that I wrote a letter to him telling him what he did to be and what a bastard he had been. I told him I was determined to recover and he meant nothing to me anymore. He no longer had the slightest power over me. I burned the letter at my sister's house, then we went to the cemetery where he's buried and I scattered the ashes on his grave.

That gave me a sense of closure, but as I said, it was kind of complicated getting to that point.

Much love,
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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