I have an ethical dilemma I am currently facing regarding my past and my family.
My dilemma is as follows:
I am a male in his 30s who was sexually abused as a young child by a neighbor and friend of my mother's. I never told my parents. In fact, I never told anyone except a close friend. My father is now very old and not in the best of health. I am concerned that he will die before I have the chance to tell him. I am also considering getting married and possibly having children. However, my past gives me anxiety about having children. I have not told my girlfriend and I feel it may only be fair to tell her as well, but perhaps only after I tell my parents.
I feel as though the truth needs to be told. I also would like to know why my mother trusted this family in this first place and how many times I was left alone with them. While I do remember being abused and that it happened more than once, I am unable to recall the exact year or number of occurrences. I also do not remember the last name of the family. Part of me wants to locate the abuser in the event that he may be working around children. I know that legally I have no recourse for my own case because of the time that has passed, but maybe I can help prevent future abuse.
Perhaps I am being selfish since telling my parents will undoubtedly hurt them because they may feel they were negligent in their care of me. I am also concerned that they may not believe me. Although they were at times differences between us, I never doubted my parents' love for me.
Is it best to continue to keep this dark secret to myself (and possibly a future spouse), and therefore not hurt my parents and damage my relationship with them? Or, is it better that the truth be revealed?
Secondly, do people really get over this? Of this something that must be dealt with for eternity like some incurable disease?