My mom joined AA when I was 13, and about a year and a half later, my parents announced they were divorcing. Our life had been brutal, looking back, with abuse, etc., but it was familiar and breaking up the family hurt.

To get even, I set out to hurt my parents the best way I knew how. I started drinking heavily. After the divorce (funny how they got divorced anyway) I lived with my mom and sometimes went to AA meetings with her. I bragged about the drinking I did, until someone said, "Buddy, you have a problem."

I thought about that, and decided it was an invitation to join AA. I loved the feeling of family that they had, and today I love that feeling in Al Anon. I joined a group of younger members, most still 10+ years older than I was.

There was a guy who everybody knew, who got around to all the best anniversary celebrations in several counties, always had a wise ass remark ready. I looked up to him, and I asked him to be my sponsor. My mom was glad to see that I had an adult male in my life, I guess.

Enough intro, or I won't get this posted. My "sponsor" took me to his place where he raped me. I remember pieces of that first evening. It happened several more times before I just wouldn't be home when he came looking. I stopped going to AA, where I never really belonged. I went on my personal Odyssey for the next 25 years. If you went looking for this site, you know the themes I lived.

I have other memories, and "shards of memories" from the time at home, but the consuming shame I'm dealing with now comes from my interaction with that man.

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"Telemachos, your guest is no discredit to you. I wasted no time in stringing the bow, and I did not miss the mark. My strength is yet unbroken…"—The Odyssey, translated by W.H.D. Rouse