Dear Amy: I am a 55-year-old man. My parents divorced before I can remember, and I lived with my narcissistic, alcoholic mother. When I was a child and a teen, I was sexually abused by her “companion.” I didn’t tell anyone because I knew my mother wouldn’t believe me, and I know that she would have chosen him over me.
It has taken me years to rebuild broken relationships with siblings and cousins — and these are relationships I cherish. But I have never been honest with them about the root cause of my troubles.
I went home last year for a funeral on my dad’s side, and the guy who abused me showed up.
I’ve avoided my hometown for decades because of this man, but this robs me of time with my siblings and my cousins — yet another thing he has taken from me.
I have no interest in any kind of disclosure. I don’t want that kind of drama.
Do you have any advice?
— Heartbroken in the Heartland
Dear Heartbroken: I don’t know if I can realistically guide you toward getting your home and your family back, because the man who abused you (and the mother who didn’t protect you) robbed you of these two things — at least in the most conventional sense.
You are a successful survivor, and even if you don’t want to disclose this to your family members, you could find continuing healing by connecting with others.