I am sitting in the big leather chairs in the break room. There’s some horrible daytime TV on, but I’m listening to Spotify, so at least I can’t hear it. There are no words for how empty I feel. The e-mail I sent where I completely laid bare what it would take for me to forgive her took a chunk out of me, and so did posting it on my web site… but there’s several reasons for it.

First, I want this story to be bigger than just me. I want my recovery process out there in the world, because I might never know how many kids I might help that are in my old shoes right now. Abuse doesn’t have to be physical for it to be devastating, and I am just now starting to figure out all the reasons why and how. It’s taken me some distance and time to be able to look at the game from the outside, because I could not see its negative impact from the inside.

Even when I figured it out, it still took me several years to get angry about it.

Second, because I didn’t figure out that I was abused until I was an adult, the statute of limitations has run out in terms of going to mediation in a courtroom, so I’m trying her in the press. It sounds mean, but I don’t think it is… my story is not about revenge, it is about redemption. If it was about revenge, not only would you know her real name, it would be cut into topiary hedges in front of my house. NOT saying her name is simply a kindness, and the only one I will give her until I get what I want in resolution. If I never get what I want, so be it. I haven’t gotten it so far, so I’m not missing anything… and definitely not holding my breath. It is REALLY hard to apologize for something if you’ve convinced yourself you didn’t do it.

I hope that I am writing this story in such a way that you know it is mine. I have no need to know what she thinks, and I am way past caring about it. I have to take care of myself, whereas before, I didn’t think I was worthy of it.

There are so many people around me that have been waiting for this moment a long time. 24 years is a long time to hold in a secret this big, and my friends could see that it was stopping all kinds of other growth. I only ask that people have patience with me, because 24 years of programming can’t be undone overnight. It’s just going to take as long as it takes, and one way or another…





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