I was just having a sandwich with a guy I have known for about three months regularly, I help out building and repairing things around his vacation cabin. We were in this dive gas station/cafe/bait shop and he started talking about the pope. I asked how long the pope had been in office, he answered and began to talk about the difficulties the pope had to respond to during his papacy, the sexual abuse, as he put, some of the monasteries were "cisterns of sexual abuse". I told him yes of course I knew about those as I volunteered on a website for male sexual abuse victims and we covered not only that but the Catholic Church scandal, Sandusky and the BSA as well as thousands of individual cases as well. I told him to think about the numbers and meaning of 1 in 6, he was floored!
He shared with me about his own brush with sexual abuse, how he had been in a sleep over with a neighbor some 40 years ago. The boy had simply pulled his pants down, bent over and told anyone in the tent to put their penis in his hole(sic), that it would be fun. Later he told me about a time a teenager had told him to come to his "fort", that they would have a good time. Both times he simply left, removing himself from the situation. I applauded his quick thinking.
He asked how I came to be involved with this site, I told him I had been abused as a child. My sister was abused by a landlord when she was 4 or 5, and she abused her three siblings when we were four or five. This was my FIRST such disclosure in such a casual, self confident manner, it was so natural, as if I had been creating awareness my whole life! It took him a few minutes to find his composure, we are in the US South, and such things are just not bantered about over a BLT. He was supportive and kind, as if we had been to the battle lines and a brotherhood through suffering had been formed.
I share this in the hopes that some day you too can share your story with in a safe environment with the stability of affirming recovery and expand your local support.
Much success and stability to you,