Life as the son of a Child Molester: My story
Home › Forums › Inspiration / Mussar › Life as the son of a Child Molester: My story
- This topic has 158 replies, 60 voices, and was last updated 11 years, 7 months ago by MiddlePath.
August 28, 2011 5:55 am at 5:55 am #819691
I commend you Middlepath on your overcoming hardships you’ve been dealt in life. I am happy for you. And I am also sorry for what you suffered.
I too, have had not an easy life. I cannot share it in detail, but suffice it to say it was sad and hard from childhood in many ways, from which I am still healing.
One very nice approach/ technique called
I am still stuck at the acceptance part, as I find it hurtful to my personal self respect and dignity to “accept”. But I am working on it. THen I will be able to fully heal.August 28, 2011 7:25 pm at 7:25 pm #819692
always, thank you. And the RAH approach is interesting. For me, I was able to accept my situation. But it actually took me a while to recognize what the effects would be, as there are still many that come into play. But I think the healing process will be a life-long journey, and I accept that. G-d knows what He is doing, and I am obviously supposed to learn and grow from the effects of what happened for years to come, and I appreciate and look forward to that opportunity.August 29, 2011 1:27 am at 1:27 am #819693Kshmo Kein HuMember
I have been following this thread since you first posted and I just want to let you know that I cried for you. Don’t know if that helps any but I hope Hashem blesses you with a long happy and healthy future, where you should be able to be the pillar of support and role model you never had for others.August 29, 2011 2:07 am at 2:07 am #819694
Thanks, Kshmo. I’m really happy I was able to inspire so many people with my story.August 29, 2011 3:24 am at 3:24 am #819695am yisrael chaiParticipant
MP, have no doubt that you are inspiring many people.
What would you tell kids today who are dealing with shunning similar to what you experienced? And how can we as a community stop the shunning in your opinion?
I wonder how you did not let the shunning get you down when you seemed to be not accepted by many. That takes incredible strength and sense of self.August 29, 2011 1:15 pm at 1:15 pm #819696
ayc, thank you. To answer the first question, I would tell kids that are being shunned that many times, things look bad to us, we think there’s no end to our suffering, and we wonder “why me?”. But the truth is, we never know the full picture. Only G-d does. So we may be stuck on a few sharp puzzle pieces at the moment, but after a while, we see how the pieces fit together to create a beautiful scenic view. G-d gives us these challenges because He knows we, and not others, can deal with them, rise above them, and even become great because of them. We should consider ourselves lucky that G-d is giving us the opportunity early in our lives to show our loyalty to Him, to overcome obstacles, adversity, and evil. It is a path straight to G-d’s throne. Not everyone has that opportunity. Not everyone is given the chance to show loyalty to G-d so openly, so early in their lives, and so often. If we realize all this, then we can not only make it through the challenges we face, but even thrive on them. Be glad that we have such an amazing opportunity in our hands. That we are the lucky few that G-d chose to demonstrate to the Jewish nation, and to the world, how to live by, accept, and thrive on, G-d’s command. That we were chosen because we have something special in us, and G-d knows this, and He is giving us a way of using that special power so openly, it is almost as if He is talking to us, saying “Look at your potential! Here, I will now give an opportunity to reach that potential, to show others how to live!”
To answer the second question, I believe it is all about perception and sensitivity. Often, we get so caught up in our own personal lives, that we seem to think that we only need to care for ourselves and just make sure we “make it through” to the other side. But really, we, as Jews, have an inherent responsibility to our fellow Jews. We need to be more perceptive. We need to open our eyes to the situations of others. We need to realize that the best way to make it to G-d’s throne after 120 years is by spreading G-d’s glory to the “less fortunate” people of our nation. We have to learn how to be more sensitive to others’ needs, how to feel others’ pain. If we get to the point where we can feel others’ pain, we would WANT to help them. It would hurt us to see them still suffering. But we can’t see them suffering if we choose to ignore them. If we are shunning them, we are saying “I don’t want to lower myself to even NOTICE that this person is in pain. It will make me less comfortable, or less popular.” That is a terrible attitude. If we truly believe in G-d, we would RUN to help people in such situations. We would see that G-d it telling us “Look! See that person in pain! Here’s an amazing opportunity to be sensitive to him, to raise yourself to an even higher level!” But we have to see it that way, first. We have to be perceptive to such things. So, it is a process, it will take time to be on such a level, but it is so worth it.August 29, 2011 5:13 pm at 5:13 pm #819697
Just wanted to let you know that your post(s) have changed my outlook on life. It’s a really slow process for me, trying to learn how to deal with my own issues. I’ve been on a downward spiral these past few years due to what happened to me in the past. I’m only now beginning to realize and accept it, and am trying to work on myself. My issues are NOTHING compared to yours, and I still struggle with them every day. So thanks again.
Also, did you ever think about writing your story as a memoir or as a novel? It can be really inspiring for others to read/learn your entire story, from beginning to end. Just a thought.
I wish you the best.August 29, 2011 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #819698Abe CohenParticipant
MP: You had fine relationship with your father until what he did became public, and then you just cut off contact?August 29, 2011 8:54 pm at 8:54 pm #819699
Queen Bee, I’m so happy my story is helping you! Just internalize what I said in my above post, and hopefully things will begin to get easier. It’s definitely difficult, but it is worth all the hard work. I haven’t really ever thought about writing my story as a novel, but that’s an interesting idea! I’ll think about it. Thanks!
Abe, I haven’t fully cut off contact with him. I still call him every few weeks. I still feel an obligation to do kibbud av, no matter what he is. And I would say I’m on decent terms with him.August 29, 2011 9:22 pm at 9:22 pm #819700Abe CohenParticipant
MP: I truly admire your fortitude. Your (and your mothers) relationship with him was normal until it became public, and then it changed?August 29, 2011 9:31 pm at 9:31 pm #819701
Middlepath, I’ve been following this thread since you started it and pretty much told myself that I wouldn’t post anything because it hits so close to home for me and I thought that the pain would just become too much for me.
But now I just have to respond. I can’t not anymore.
You are such an inspiration to all Jews. I think you have made a huge impact on my life by showing that you can really continue on with life even with this history. My situation is a little different but I hope to one day be able to follow in your footsteps and also be able to get on with things and lead a good and healthy life.
Thanks for the inspiration!!August 29, 2011 9:33 pm at 9:33 pm #819702
Middlepath, would you mind if I asked you a few questions about this or you’d rather not? I don’t want to make you uncomfortable. I’m just wondering what happens through one of the stages of this situation.
Thank you again:)August 29, 2011 9:45 pm at 9:45 pm #819703
Abe, thank you, and yes, that’s pretty much what happened.
happiest, I only know a little of your situation (whatever you opened up to us), but I understand that it is a little similar to mine, and that you suffered just as much, if not more, than me. I am truly so happy and thankful to G-d that my story was able to make an impact on your life, and I really hope you rise above every challenge and show everyone, especially yourself, that you have the strength to make the most of what you were given, and that you truly reached your potential. You are one of the lucky people G-d chose to have His glory shine through, and you have an amazing opportunity to show Him you are worthy of that glory. Keep on living, stay positive (however difficult that might be), and show the world, and yourself, how strong, amazing, and special you are!
And I’d be happy to answer your questions!August 29, 2011 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm #819704
Thanks, MiddlePath. I’ll keep trying 🙂August 29, 2011 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm #819705onneaMember
Middlepath, I admire your fortitude and courage to post your story.
I was also pleasantly surprised and very impressed that you are choosing not to publicize your story further for, although on the one hand I do want everyone to see this and reconsider actions based on instinctual response, I think we’re all aware that stories like this can easily become only fodder for rabbi/jewish community bashing.
And that would be a terrible way to cheapen your pain.
You mentioned, though, that you think the Rabbis handled your father well. I’m glad, but do you have any ideas as to how your family could have been handled better?
Because the fact is, there are valid concerns. You seem healthy and sane, but many people from disturbing family situations do often come with tremendous baggage. While I would never espouse communal shunning as a response to anything out of the individual’s control, I wonder what else people should be expected to do.August 29, 2011 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm #819706s2021Member
Middlepath- u r xtremely admirable and impressive. I gained chizuk from ur outlook. Thanx 4 having the courage to publicize.August 29, 2011 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm #819707
onnea, thank you. In my opinion, the best way my family could have been handled better is if we at least saw sympathy, concern, and willingness to help out by members of the community. Even those things, we did not have. It was as if we suddenly became invisible when the story came out. Yes, we could have used help financially. But the main thing I felt we needed was simply CARE by our friends and neighbors. For example, when G-d forbid a friend’s family member dies, it is normal to not know what to say or do for your friend to comfort them. But of course, we at least go to their house during shivah, show how we are in pain with them, and at least say something to try and comfort them. I wish I just could have had that. That would have meant the world to me.
Thank you, s2021.August 29, 2011 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm #819708
Middlepath, amen to everything you said above!
Now for my question. How exactly did reporting your father work? What was the whole process like? I’m being pushed to do this but am terrified of the consequences. I’m also nervous because like you said, the community was not supportive. In fact they made the situation that much harder for you.
I’ve been told that people will support me etc as long as I have evidence but without evidence then for sure no one will since it’s such a crazy situation. It’s almost not believable.
I’m nervous that the community really will not be supportive and will ridicule my family and myself. I just don’t know if it’s worth putting e/o thru this right now.August 30, 2011 12:17 am at 12:17 am #819709
happiest, I will try to answer those questions openly. My father was reported by a few of the victims that were willing to come forward. I don’t know exactly who they told (aside from their parents, I guess), or exactly how it got to the authorities, so I’m sorry I can’t really help with that. Many victims did not admit they were abused at first, but later came out with it, after it was brought to the public. I was fairly young at the time, so I didn’t fully understand and see everything that was going on. After my father was arrested, he was advised to go through heavy therapy to see if he could change. My mother was willing to give him that chance. But he didn’t change, and my parents divorced shorty after. We, the children, were given all sorts of guidelines and rules to follow about how often, where, and when we can see our father. We were told he was never allowed to be in our house again. There were posters put up in every shul about him, warning the members to notify their Rabbi if he was spotted there. Everyone knew about it, but everyone also was very quite about it.
I don’t know if I should be the one to advise you what to do in your situation, but I feel that it is better to get the truth out and deal with the possibility of having little support, but long-term relief, rather than go on with it building up inside you, and hiding it. Again, I am not at all qualified to tell you what to do, but I think that is what I’d do, now that I know I can deal with the shunning and lack of support. Perhaps discuss it with someone you really trust and respect.
Whatever you choose to do, know that I admire and respect you for all you have gone through, and may G-d see to it to relieve you of your pain and replace it with happiness!August 30, 2011 12:19 am at 12:19 am #819710onneaMember
Happiest, I can not say much on this subject but I can say one thing.
Unless you believe that there are others currently and actively in harms way, you should NEVER feel “pushed” to do anything you do not feel comfortable doing, especially not in a public forum.
And there are many ways to, if you feel comfortable, report a situation with minimal personal exposure.
It is a terrible thing that shame follows exposure, but it being a reality, there are ways to circumvent publication whilst still getting the help all parties require.
Good luck, my friend.August 30, 2011 3:48 am at 3:48 am #819711
Sorry, happiest I missed out on what you shared with the CR on your past. May I ask you directly? Were you a victim of S..A? (molestation?) at the hands of a community authority?August 30, 2011 5:19 am at 5:19 am #819712yid4lifeMember
MP- you are an amazing person!!! Every time i read any of your posts I always learn so much from them and my respect for you keeps on growing. I am so happy the CR made it possible for me to “meet you” / learn from you. like other posters said- we are all here for you. letting it out must have been hard, but it’s really good to express your feelings and thoughts.
your wife is going to be one lucky girl.
chodesh tov everyone.August 30, 2011 4:10 pm at 4:10 pm #819713
Middlepath, I’m so sorry for asking questions that were probably so painful for you. I apologize!!
I’m sure you’re probably right about the reporting situation, I’m just terrified about it. I don’t want to be shunned or a/t.
onnea- I do not feel pressured from anyone in a public forum to report it. I don’t really feel pressured at all. I know the people that are urging me to report it are doing it for me own safety and for my own good.
always- I experienced s. abuse at the hands of a family member. I’m thinking it might be better that it wasn’t at the hands of a ‘community authority’ since I’m the only one that lost trust in this family member where as if it was a community person, many people would lose trust in him and it would be a big emb to the community.
I’m not sure I made any sense here and sorry in advance if I did not.August 30, 2011 4:16 pm at 4:16 pm #819714
happiest, I hope I was able to help you somewhat with your question. I really don’t feel qualified though to advise you what to do in your situation, but I’d love to help you further in any way I can, so let me know if anything else about this is bothering you!
yid4life, thanks so much, I really appreciate that. I’m so glad I was able to inspire people with this. Chodesh tov to you as well.August 30, 2011 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm #819715bombmaniacParticipant
does anyone else here REALLY like apple cherry pie?August 30, 2011 4:38 pm at 4:38 pm #819716s2021Member
R u makin sum?
And how did abuse and molestation remind u of apple cherry pie?August 30, 2011 4:39 pm at 4:39 pm #819717rfsMember
Its my all time favorite. Why?August 30, 2011 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #819718
bomb, I’m wondering the same thing s2021 asked.August 30, 2011 8:02 pm at 8:02 pm #819719babygooseParticipant
thanks for making me openminded to the factAugust 30, 2011 8:09 pm at 8:09 pm #819720bombmaniacParticipant
i was reading your thread…and i just happened to be hungry…and i just really like apple cherry pie 😛August 30, 2011 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #819721aries2756Participant
Happiest there are hotlines you can call that could probably help you with your questions and help you through the process either way according what you choose to do. You really have to do decide what is best for you and understand where the choices you make will lead and how you will handle the fall out of those choices. Do you have a support system that will be there for you throughout the processes? That is a very important piece of the puzzle. No one should have to go through a difficult situation without a support system. MP was a young child when all this was happening and the community as well as the mechanchim in his Yeshiva should have been there for him surrounding him with support. They didn’t and he had to fend for himself at a very young age.
You are at a crossroads. Whatever happened to you is in the past, probably also at a young age. Now you are at a point where you need to decide what to do with the information that you have. If I am understanding you correctly, you are trying to decide whether to keep it to yourself or go to the authorities or even just tell someone else with authority. Maybe the suggestion is coming from your therapist, maybe from a friend. It could be coming from any direction. Maybe it is just your own “ying” and “yang” that is pulling you in two different directions. It takes time and courage to make that final decision one way or another. But it is very difficult for a victim of abuse to heal until they face their abusers and stop them from abusing, if that is your particular situation. No one can “tell” you what to do. No one has the right to do so. That is also abuse. You have the right to choose for yourself. You own your choices and you are in control of your own choices. So if you are ready and you have the support you can find the help you need to do it.August 31, 2011 2:40 am at 2:40 am #819722
I feel happiest definately has an obligation warn anyone who may be a future victim of the abuser. In other words, if there is a chance this abuser may lure others into a vulnerable situation, or if an unknowing person gets involved with them, and is therefore vulnerable and at risk …Happiest ought to warn them.August 31, 2011 4:03 am at 4:03 am #819723
As always, I think aries’ advice is terrific. And happiest, if there is anything else you would like to know or just talk about with me, I am happy to discuss it with you. If it’s something I really am uncomfortable talking about, I will let you know, but otherwise, assume I am happy to do it.
always runs, I see it more as an opportunity for her than an obligation. Whatever she decides to do, we should show support, love, and care. (Things I wish I had.)August 31, 2011 6:50 am at 6:50 am #819724
Many people use their upbringing as an excuse to do whatever they want. You (amazingly) used your life circumstances as stepping stones instead of letting life just happen. You are really an example of a story gone right.
I’ll also second what Queen Bee mentioned above about writing a memoir.August 31, 2011 6:52 am at 6:52 am #819725August 31, 2011 8:31 am at 8:31 am #819726moi aussiMember
Hello everyone, I’m new in the coffee room, and this topic caught my eye instantly.
MiddlePath, I commend you for your courage and wish you continuous success.
‘happiest’, as long as your abuser is free, you will not have menuchas hanefesh. Discuss the matter with a therapist and/or rabbi and work out a strategy. Abusers must be stopped, it’s a question of dinei nefashos. Good luck.August 31, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am #819727600 Kilo BearMember
Maybe it is just your own “yikel” and “yukel” that is pulling you in two different directions.
The original oriental words that I changed are terms from avoida zoro.August 31, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm #819728popa_bar_abbaParticipant
Many people use their upbringing as an excuse to do whatever they want.
Kapusta, that is quite a cynical view of the people you are referring to. I wonder what makes you think that way.
When I see someone who had a difficult background who seems to be doing “whatever they want”, I don’t think that. The ones I know are not happy being OTD, they would much rather be like their siblings and friends. You have to wonder how much they are being pushed away if they would rather be ostracized by their community and often completely dysfunctional, than to remain in yeshiva being frum.August 31, 2011 4:28 pm at 4:28 pm #819729
Thanks everyone. I hope I’m able to answer each one of you to the best of my ability.
Aries- thank you. I am in touch with a therapist, dr and a close friend who are helping me along with this. I still am torn about what to do but eventually I guess I’ll come to a good decision.
always- I know this person will not be able to do it to anyone else so I’m not sure I have such an obligation.
middlepath- I don’t know how to thank you for e/t. For your support and for your kind words!! You’re an amazing role model!!
moi aussi- you may be right but I’m hoping there is a way for me to find menuchas hanefesh without reporting it, if that is my choice.
Thanks everyone here! You’re amazing!!!August 31, 2011 6:11 pm at 6:11 pm #819730everythingisforthebestMember
First of all, thank you MiddlePath for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you had to go through that experience and I apologize on behalf of everyone for not stepping up to the plate and treating you with the dignity and respect you so deserve.
Happiest-your posting made me sign up here. I am so sorry you had to go through that. Unfortunately, I had to too. As I’m writing this, I can’t believe it really does happen-to normal people. My experience happened a long time ago and I subconsciously forgot awhile until I was ready to begin the shidduch process. I knew I needed to speak to someone about it. For a while, I was totally not myself as all the memories were coming back. Luckily and B”H I have one family member that I’m very comfortable with and was able to open up to. I’ve been seeing a therapist who has really been helpful. She noticed that I blamed myself a lot for what happened, and for a while I thought if only…if only I would’ve stopped it…if only I would have told someone immediately etc things would have been different. She’s been training me to realize that I was NOT in control and it is NOT my fault-I was the victim. I’m trying so hard to internalize this.
Happiest-I’m not sure if this helps you in any way but please know that you are not alone.August 31, 2011 6:40 pm at 6:40 pm #819731aries2756Participant
For the Best, I advocate for victims and I can tell you that a victim CANNOT in any way control the situation. That is why the abuser picked you. If you were the type of person that could stand up for yourself or the type of person that would run and tell, you would NOT be a good candidate to be a victim. Abusers look for victims they can groom and those who are vulnerable in a way that they can control. Those that they can threaten and those that they can be sure will NOT tell and will NOT be able to fight back.
It was absolutely, positively NOT your fault, and there was NOTHING you could do at the time. YOU were not prepared, taught or trained HOW to protect yourself, what to do if you were approached by such a menuval, and how to behave in such a horrific situation. NOW that you are grown up you are in control of your own choices and NOW you can choose to no longer be a victim and be a survivor. YOU can choose to never be anyone’s victim ever again and YOU can choose whether you are ready at this time to press charges against him or if you still need more time before doing so. You may never be ready, I can’t know that, only you and your therapists will know. But the choice is yours.August 31, 2011 7:09 pm at 7:09 pm #819732
happiest, I’m so glad I’m able to help, and I think you are an amazing role model, as well!
forthebest, I’m so sorry to hear that you went through this, but I’m happy my thread was able to help you find the courage to bring it up here with us. Together, (along with happiest) we can help each other out, offer encouragement and discuss things that may be bothering us. I think what aries said to you is something you should take to heart, and realize it is not at all your fault. Hopefully, you’ll be able to internalize this and be able to move on. I know it’s easier said than done, but we should try our best. And know that we are always here for you, and that I (and happiest, too) would love to help out in any way we can.August 31, 2011 8:23 pm at 8:23 pm #819733Climbing mountainsMember
everythingisforthebest: You wrote the story of my life! So freaky, I could have written every word you wrote.August 31, 2011 8:45 pm at 8:45 pm #819734
Climbing mountains- I hope this thread has given you some inspiration. We see that this affects more people than we think. I hope we can all help each other out here, and I’m glad you had the courage to post here. I hope all of us can post questions we may have for each other about how to deal with certain things, and we may be able to get a better understanding and a better appreciation for life.
moi aussi, thank you, and welcome! Welcome to forthebest as well! And Climbing mountains, if you are also new, welcome to you too!August 31, 2011 9:29 pm at 9:29 pm #819735
(Hi, MP. The internet thread is closed, and I wanted to comment on your music. Really good! I love that type. It’s perfect to listen to as I play games. I love how it starts off slow then picks up. Really good!
Sorry this doesn’t belong here. That’s why I put it in parenthesis).
To all who are suffering: I hope you find the strength to push through 🙂August 31, 2011 9:51 pm at 9:51 pm #819736
Queen Bee, glad you liked it! 🙂 I have many more songs, too. Maybe I’ll put them up. A lot of people don’t really like my style, though. It is quite different, to be honest. But thanks!August 31, 2011 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm #819737everythingisforthebestMember
First of all, I must say Mi Kiamcha Yisrael! It is so nice to see how supportive, loving, and caring everyone here is for each other! Also, middlepath, I cannot thank you enough for opening up to us in this forum. I have never told anyone about my situation (besides one family member and a therapist) and I feel like this is a really good way for me to come to terms with myself.
Aries, thank you so much. It is so importatn for me to hear those words. I can hear them a million times and I won’t get sick of it. It’s also really nice to hear from an outside source. Thanks.
Middlepath-One of my main concerns now in the ‘parsha’ is when I’m going to tell this to the guy I feel like I’m going to marry (obviously when I know it’s becoming serious). I’m so nervous to tell him (whoever he is). From a guy’s standpoint, I wanted to ask your opinion-if you were to hear this from a girl, how/would you accept it?
Climbing mountains-wow i feel for you! I wish there is no one out there that had to experience what I did! All along, I’ve always thought I was alone. I only wish you much strength from this point onwards.September 1, 2011 12:24 am at 12:24 am #819738Climbing mountainsMember
everythingisforthebest, Amen. Do you find it hard that nobody aside from your family member and your therapist know what you’ve been through? I find that to be particularly difficult; I feel like I’m carrying around an elephant on my shoulders but have to pretend to be weightless…September 1, 2011 12:39 am at 12:39 am #819739
forthebest, thanks for the question. If I were to hear this from a girl I was dating, and the girl seems to be strong in her faith and has a positive attitude even with everything she’s gone through, I would be impressed, amazed, and feel incredibly lucky to be dating someone like that. Not only would I “accept” it, I would consider it a huge bonus. It means she has the ability to see everything positively, and use the tragedies in her life to make herself an even better person. And, I would be able to relate to her better than other people because of my own situation.
So, if you are dating someone seriously, and it is clear that he respects you, don’t be ashamed or scared to tell him. In all probability, he will respect you even more for it. He will see how lucky he is to potentially be marrying such an amazing girl.
I’m so happy you were able to open up to us here. Hopefully, we can all help each other, and may you find your match soon!September 1, 2011 12:51 am at 12:51 am #819740
Kapusta, that is quite a cynical view of the people you are referring to. I wonder what makes you think that way.
When I see someone who had a difficult background who seems to be doing “whatever they want”, I don’t think that. The ones I know are not happy being OTD, they would much rather be like their siblings and friends. You have to wonder how much they are being pushed away if they would rather be ostracized by their community and often completely dysfunctional, than to remain in yeshiva being frum.
I wasn’t referring to OTD specifically, I was talking about people (the rest of the world included) who have family issues, health issues etc. sometimes use that to fall back on. They focus on where they came from instead of where they’re going. I’m not blaming anyone, its a natural reaction. Just a shame.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.