SNAP: Stories for Living

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2008 Story #18 – I Am Proud of MY FAMILY

As I awoke this morning the mental depression was too much for me to make it through a day of work. I called out yet another day from the mental depression that I have to experience 24/7 from the crime that was committed against me thirty-four years ago.

I am sure families have experienced and seen first hand traumatic physical crimes of abuse and murder that negatively impacted their family. My family’s traumas might not be of that physical magnitude, but the mental aguish my family and I experience everyday is a full blown out war to hold our sanity together. It is only my children and I in this world and I are all that they have. Their addictive mother is on the streets from the disorders that she developed throughout our relationship, addictions that you could also argue were developed as an indirect result of my abuse. I have to fight the demons everyday from the three years of being raped by a catholic priest, subjected to massive amounts of inappropriate adult material, and alcohol when I was just ten years old. I have to fight everyday to hold my spirituality together seeing all the pain that my family has to endure because of my prior actions from my abuse which I relate as sins of the abused.

I am a tired man. I fought getting myself out of the depth of hell, physically, mentally, and financially. I fought the Catholic Church to only receive a third of what the damages were (speaking only of monetary debt) caused by one on their priests. I fought from being homeless in a psychiatric hospital to getting custody of my children and getting back on our feet with just the shirts on our back. I fought the creditors and agencies to be responsible and settle my debts, instead of seeking bankruptcy, with the little the Catholic Church gave me. I fought to get my daughter help for her depression from her own molestation when I was physically absent in her life and in a psychiatric hospital, seeking treatment from my illnesses developed from my abuse. I took her from a manic-depressive failing student, who couldn’t function in society, to recently honor status. I fought to get my son sober from the addictions he developed from self-medicating himself from the abusiveness that surrounded him in my absence. I supported him and turned him from a stoned high school drop out to a student with a part time job. I battled to get us a nice place to live, with nice things, only to have it robbed of all of its worthy contents. I struggled to get my career back after my mental breakdown from the decades of holding my abuse in. I am now in a senior level position, getting there by sweeping sidewalks, breaking up concrete, doing odd jobs, and starting off as a staff accountant with my current employer.

Even though the aforementioned appears to be a blessing, I have trouble appreciating it because of the exhaustion I had exert to get to where I am today and the tireless work I have to do to maintain my family’s daily sanity. We have worked so hard together battling the curse that sexual abuse bestows upon a family. However, we have conquered the mental disorders developed from the sins of the abused, and for that, I can hold my head high and be proud of MY family.

Note: this story is from 2008. View other 2008 stories and 2008 voting results. View current stories.