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Physical assault as a child

  • 22-06-2023 3:15pm
    Registered Users Posts: 8

    Hello everyone

    I don't know if this is the right forum to post this in but I thought maybe here is good. Moderators please move if you want.

    Anyway I experienced physical assault as a child when I was about 10 years old by an adult and I never told anyone. It happened more than once and at the time I was terrified to tell anyone including parents. This was the 1980s and if anyone was around then you know what it was like.

    Since I became an adult I told my mother but she's dismissed me, told me to keep quiet cos of social status etc. Thanks mum.

    I often thought of going to the guards now and in the past but I never did. Tbh it's eating at me now and I'm in two minds about going to the authorities about it.

    The perpetrator is still alive and still in his job-which if anyone guessed by now - are a priest.

    This man was the trendy/cool priest who butter wouldn't melt etc and everyone thinks is a saint etc.

    Turns out I'm not the only victim, several other boys now men were too but I've fallen out of touch with them and moved to another part of the country years ago.

    The more I think of it the more it makes me feel like sh1t etc how he literally got away with it.

    So any advice? I suppose go to the guards at least to get it out there.

    Either due to it etc my life is a mess. I bottled it up inside and sometimes forgot about it, I can't connect with others, have a relationship etc. I went to few therapists over the years about my mental health and I never brought this up. Sometimes I skirted around it and the therapist freaked out, wow so much for them "helping me".

    I don't know what to do now, trying to find closure, get over and through this but don't know where to go.

    Any help or advice please.


    Post edited by Hannibal_Smith on


  • Registered Users Posts: 8 NoWayOutNow

    Too much info

    Post edited by NoWayOutNow on

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,828 ✭✭✭Princess Calla

    I'm not sure any of us can help you really.

    Firstly I think go to the guards.

    Then look for a therapist that specialises in childhood abuse.

    There's probably online support groups for survivors of abuse too.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,980 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    You can of course go to the Gardai as a first step and there's nothing wrong with that. But before you do, maybe think about contacting either the Rape Crisis Centre or One in Four. Its a big step you're about to take that will bring up a lot and I think having someone there to guide you through it might help. They may even help with the simple practicalities of making the report to the Gardai.

    You did nothing wrong, there's nothing for you to feel sh*t about. There is no manual or guide in how to process something like this and you coped with it the best way you knew how.

    Some counsellors are awful and really can make things worse, that's not on you or your story. Contact one of the organisations above and find people who know how to help you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 NoWayOutNow

    Hello Hannibal thanks for the info. Yes I thought it would be daunting going to gards on my own and thanks for letting me know about these organisations, I'd never thought about them. Thanks

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 NoWayOutNow

    Thanks for answering but that's a bit lame all the same. I wasn't expecting you to help 100% but maybe some actual advice like Hannibal Smith.

    Sorry if I'm being harsh but if you don't know what to say, then don't say anything as it's a bit condescending.

    Thanks anyway

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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,719 ✭✭✭Xterminator

    Hi Op

    first of all, my sympathies. you have been dealt a **** card - no doubt about it, and im sure it had had a lasting impact on you. I now sometimes people might say things like 'get over it' - like mum. To be honest not everyone reacts the same way to abuse, and not everyone understands the depth of feeling you may have.

    That doesn't mean you need to oput up or shut up. their lack of empathy does not invalidate your feelings.

    theres a couple of things id suggest to you.

    1. dealing with the impact on you and learning to give the childhood incident less power over you in the future.
    2. justice/retribution/reparations

    id separate the 2 for now, in your head as they can both be pursued but maybe you dont have to take them both on at the same time, and not until you feel ready to do so.

    you absolutely should look into counselling, but with a counsellor who is qualified to help. one in 4 have support available. Contact them asap

    they can tell what what would happen if and when you decide to report this further. there are support groups of people who have had the same experiences as you who can understand and perhaps guide you on how to remove the power this has over you.

    when your good and ready choice 2 is open to you. My recommendation so to engage with one in 4 1st and arm yourself with good supports before reporting and engaging with the legal route. that way you will be better prepared. Understanding the system & processes will help you achieve your goals and being able to talk to someone who has experienced dealing with the guards, with the questions, with possibly a court case could be a valuable resource& help to you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 NoWayOutNow


    Thanks very much for your reply it's very practical and helpful.

    Yes I'm trying to figure out how to split up the issues created by this event and didn't know where to start. Thank you so much for identifying them so succinctly.

    Thanks too about the counsellors 1/in4 as I've contacted several over the years and when I bring up issues as a child I get short answers and told to find someone else but where is do I find them!

    That's great there's support group available and yes I did think these existed but I'd no idea how to find them stuck in my bubble.

    Thank you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,828 ✭✭✭Princess Calla

    The point I was trying to make is it's a rather niche area that the average poster , even if they are survivors themselves doesn't have the expertise to help as they could end up doing more harm than good.

    You said yourself the counselors you've engaged with won't advise as abuse isn't their chosen field.

    Another lame piece of advice...when OPs turn hostile on posters offering help in good faith, the thread usually dies.

    Best of luck.....there's also a sticky "information for distressed posters" that gives links to different organisations.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 NoWayOutNow


    Sorry I was a bit short with you. Yes it is a niche thread which is a bit too deep for a lot of people, tbh probably best for me to go elsewhere as it is a subject that's not for everyone, but I wanted some response from others that I'm not going mad and the experience I had was abnormal and beyond my control etc especially as a child and now an adult trying to get over it. I tried talking to family members and they shut me down about it and gaslight me on it and trying to talk about it amongst friends is literally a no go area.

    For what it's worth it seems macho men Ireland is alive and well, men's mental health is from my experience with other men is seen as a losers/weaklings who can't hack modern life attitude etc. So that's why I keep this to myself.

    In a way I'm shocked how I only heard last Friday that last week was Men's Mental health week, virtually nothing about it online or anything. That's Ireland now.

    Then again I met a few of my fellow victims over the years and literally the first thing we talked about was that perpetrator and what a freaky thing we went through. Then we parted ways, none of us wanting to go into it further.

    Just that trying to find therapists who deal with this type of thing are not common and others that I've met literally freaked out when I touched on the subject.

    Thanks I will have a lot at the thread with the named links. Cheers

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,549 ✭✭✭✭cj maxx

    OP , was this sexual in any way or physical . As in a teacher.?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 8 NoWayOutNow

    Cjmaxx this isn't a question and answer thread, I said it was physical so why you asking otherwise? You think physical abuse is lesser than sexual abuse? Or I'm hiding something from you? My experience isn't saucy enough for you? No it wasn't a teacher, it was a religious person outside of school.

    BTW Moderators you can lock this thread, I'm not interested in continuing it anymore or start answering several questions on and on for other posters curiosity. Hannibal Smith and Xterminator gave me very positive feedback and I'm satisfied with the information they gave. Thanks

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,906 ✭✭✭✭Strumms

    If there were no witnesses it's pointless..

    Without any witnesses, leads or evidence what can the Gardai do here ?

    This along with the passage of time...

    Might be cathartic to report it but I can't see what other benefits it will bring..

  • Registered Users Posts: 981 ✭✭✭Notmything

    Even without witnesses it's always worth reporting, awful attitude to have, why bother report abuse unless you have a witness?

    You can also make a retrospective disclosure to Tusla and they can forward it to the authorities.

    At the end of the day it's about getting closure and a sense of control back for yourself, do what you need to do and take any support offered.

    Fwiw the picture with men's mental health is not as dire as you seem to think. It's an area I've practical and professional experience of, and it can be a source of support provided you are able to make use of it.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,980 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    Thread closed at OPs request.

    All the best OP.


This discussion has been closed.