Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

February 7, 2014

Be a light in darkness

(Continued)

Loskarn’s letter reveals a blend of a “feeling of hopelessness and despair at his situation and a plea for forgiveness for what he has done,” Helen Smith, a forensic psychologist and author of “Men on Strike,” observes.

“It’s a terrible tragedy that he never sought professional help for dealing with the legacy of the abuse,” Ed Mechmann, who oversees the Safe Environment Program of the Archdiocese of New York, comments.

“Sadly, it is very common for people who were abused in childhood to keep their victimhood secret indefinitely,” Dawn Eden, author of “My Peace I Give You: Healing Sexual Wounds with the Help of the Saints,” reflects. “A recent study indicates that about one-third of children who were sexually abused by an adult never tell anyone. The same study reports that more than 80 percent of children abused by a peer likewise keep it a secret.”

“Speaking as a victim,” Eden says, “I do believe that an adult who is in denial about his or her abuse is more likely to be a danger, first, to himself, and, second, to others. But if he gets help, he can, over time, not only improve, but flourish, psychologically and spiritually in ways that did not seem possible. There are no quick fixes, but your life begins to get better the moment you begin the hard work of getting well.”

Loskarn’s death is tragic because there is help available. His death was a response to a lie that he was beyond help and redemption. It is cause for reflection on what we watch and read and say and cover. “The news coverage of my spectacular fall makes it impossible for me to crawl in a hole and disappear,” Loskarn wrote. “I’ve hurt every single human being I’ve ever known and the details of my shame are preserved on the Internet for all time. There is no escape.”

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