Help for clergy sexual abuse when I was 16

Hi my name is Bob.  I am raising money to help me and start a non profit if that’s what is needed. I believe that this is a problem and needs to be handled by going to the people and stand up and tell my story. That is the way the people Suffering in silence may identify and say well If this old fella Al can do it so can i  Heheh. Unfortunately all the other nonprofits not one does this they wait for your call. And that’s great they are there when we need Them and are compassionate and trained to help. But most of do not Make that call we need to be pushed. I know I did still 40 yrs of silence and close to death.  That’s not what we want for our youth.  So let’s get out there. Send a few bucks if you can and If not Thanx for visiting. If you need to talk I would be very grateful to help and do what I can.  

I am now a survivor because I was courageous enough to tell on my abuser after 40 yrs of pain and suffering today I am a new man. The biggest relief I have had is today I do not go to bed and pray not to wake up.   I hope to wake up and see if I can help another sick and suffering person see that our secrets are keeping us sick.  I 

I would like to share how my BIG SECRET kept me sick and almost killed me. I found out by experiencing a life or death situation and I was lucky enough to try one more Time. 


The  money that I raise will be used to support my new life, as well as help others with some cash to maybe make it through another day without trying to end their lives.I am doing my absolute best to create a non profit that goes directly to the problem.  As there are many sites that have resources and help. Some of them are quite nice. I believe that going into schools and colleges Also homeless shelters. Every one needs a chance to recover from sexual abuse. Not matter what age or profession or even poor people. You see it in the news’s more and more.   But we seriously need to go to the people that are hurting. Suffering in silence. Unfortunately most may Never tell on there abuser. But sometimes something happens when the victims hear a person’s story and how they were able to stand up and tell on there abuser is about 15 times more effective as just an add on tv. Most know where the help is they just need a little push to get there. And I now enjoy every single min of telling. My story   In the last. 6-9 months 2 people approached me after I spoke and told me they appreciate that i shared and are going to ask for help.  So 2.  That doesn’t sound like much. That is 2 people that may have gotten some help by listening to a guy share his story.   My self if I could save one life In my lifetime that wound make me the happiest guy in the world.  But we are going to achieve greatness.  One person at a time.  Even if some just need $2 or $300 bucks for what ever reason I will help that way and keep records.  One important thing to remember people of sexual assault  that do come forward the number of the ones who are telling the truth is quite high so if any one ever approaches us and Is able to trust you enough to tell you.  The chances of them telling the truth are amazingly high so please do not discourage them. There are so many people out there who tell some of the victims that there lying because they them self can’t handle the situation.  Just Atleast steer them to a site that can help. My contact information is on this page and i will take a call at 3. Am if some one calls I answer and I don’t try to cure any one. But I will talk to them until there in a safe place. 


Thank you all for your greatness and kindness.  Also my story was fully investigated for a year, after which the bishop in Albany.  Did 
apologized for this horrible act. We spent a hour on a zoom meeting.  As nice of an fella he is. I did realize that during our meeting that there did not seem to be any kind of monetary help that would be offered even though we talked about my last 5 yrs especially of being homeless many times and wanted to just give up.  As well as my current situation was. I was going to have to go through the eviction process again. Although the bishop did ask how he could make my life better I was quite shy about asking for financial  help as I had read so many others
Received for there pain and suffering. The answer was surprising to me that we could deal with that issue a few months later. He also asked me to write another letter of my story and how the abuse effected my life and send that and a list of the things I needed to be able to keep recovering from my abuse and addictions.  The thing that was truly a red flag was I already had done all that. And this was June of 2021 and at that time in N.Y. There was a deadline of august 14. To file a legal complaint against the Albany N.Y. Diocese and what he proposed that I write him and deal with my issues in the fall was well after the window closed to be able to hold my abuser responsible for the abuse and misery that caused me to not want to live and try to drink and take prescription pills to End my life. As much as I did i did not  want to believe that the Actual bishop would do what he could to have me not file a complaint. I truly do not know to this day if he would have helped me or not. It wasn’t a easy decision but i did my research and found that in most cases that facing the diocese alone there was not many great out comes.  So I did file and  i did find out months later that there would be no resolution to that civil suit for years. Of course it’s been a great deal of a fight just to get sober and get the courage to come forward and my financial situation does not look like It will change any time soon.  If at all one of the greatest parts of my story is That even though I suffer from.  PTSD. And a great deal of pain from a neck injury and depression as well as not having piece of mind of housing i do not have to take a drink of alcohol to help me get through the day and the pain also when i go to sleep at night i hope i wake up in the morning.   That’s a miracle in it self.  For that I am a very grateful guy. And besides struggling day after day to get by. That is not even close to wanting to end my life.  

I have created this page to ask for help after 40 years of silence of clergy sexual abuse. My support system has assured me that asking for help and helping others is the best way to recover from almost anything. It’s going to be a long process because I never had any social media pages and I’m told that is part of most people’s success here. 


Since the day I shared my secret, Oct. 7th 2020, I have had no desire to take a drink or figure out a plan of suicide. That’s a miracle for a guy like me who went to every length for all those years to keep my secret hidden. I would do almost anything except to share my secret and truly ask for help. My biggest fear ever was living, so dying became a natural thought.  


Today I openly and honestly share my story of hope and how working with other sick and suffering people is giving me another day of recovery. 


I’m 57 now and have lived a life of pain and suffering, so not very much can scare me now. I tried to get help for years with my sobriety and did everything except tell my secret.  Eventually, no matter how hard I tried, my secret would lead me back to alcohol because that was the only thing ever to take away the pain, even if only for one day.  


I am going to share my story here – what happened, what I was like, and what I am like now. It’s how it works for me today. I am taking full responsibility for my life now and also asking for help for donations to be able to live a life of hope. I could never let anyone really know me or help me ever before. Today I can ask for help. My ego and pride no longer stand in the way of living.  


People like me know there is help for them online and going through programs. I go places to speak and often see people whoare nearly hopeless. Most of the people who have gone through what I have are so far away from reality that a program is not going to help. Unfortunately, there are many that will not survive. 


Hearing my story can help, even if a person has already made a plan to commit suicide. They will hear that I was there and almost succeeded, and may ask how they could get help and take one more chance at life. That is worth anything to me, to be able to give back what was given to me by a power so much greater than I am. 


It’s truly amazing when I share my story with others and a person tells me afterwards that they have gone through the same kind of horror that has dominated their life and maybe the act of suicide is not the only answer. That is what keeps me going every day now. I do not know any other way to stay sober today and I tried everything I could think of. Our minds convince us that the only answer is death.


I was an impressionable young guy and very trusting. So when I met Father Romano, a very nice man, I had no reason not to trust him. He was always very helpful and I could talk to him about most anything. I thought that being able to talk to a priest about the things we did was really something. As I know now,that’s what is called grooming.  


One day he offered me an opportunity for some driving lessons,as I had just got my permit. I was happy for the chance because I had no other way of learning, and having a car to take my driving test would be very helpful. I had no idea this day would change my life for 40 years. After the lesson he offered to buy me lunch and I agreed. The best part was that he thought it was okay for me to drink as much alcohol as I wanted. That day was different as I drank a lot and got really drunker than usual.  We left and then the next thing I knew we were at his place, where he suggested I take a nap. Well, the rest is very obvious. I won’t speak of the whole act and what happened next. 


When I figured out what happened I had an absolute fit, said some nasty things and ran out the door. I told myself this did not happen and tried to block it out of my memory completely. Of course that didn’t work that great. 


If I drank enough alcohol I did not feel the pain as much and sodid my best even at 16 years old to drink as much and as often as I could. I found a way to get a job at a bar when I was 17 and learned how to be a bartender.  That was perfect for me as I could drink as much as I could and make money. I was drinking to live and living to drink. It was so awful, but I was locked into this way of life to protect me and my secret. 


I did have many legal issues, lots of fights and drunk driving. One incident that would turn out to save me, though I did not know it, lead to a choice between rehab or jail.  I went to the rehab and did learn about myself, but I would not tell my secret– and that would come back to hurt me over and over. A few years later my girlfriend had a baby girl and I had to get help tobe a father. 

I did go to rehab again, but could not tell my secret no matter what and that was a big mistake. So I did end up fighting my baby girl’s mother in court for visitation rights, and eventually we had weekends together. I stayed sober for a few years but the secret I had buried deep would come back to haunt me. Thank God this relapse did not last long as my daughter was still very young at the time. I needed to take care of her and be there for her. I did go back into rehab and I got more strength, followingevery suggestion.  I still had that secret deep down inside. This time I stayed sober for 12 years and my daughter, Molly, and I had a great relationship. I fought as hard as I could to stay sober and did everything right, all but tell my secret. I had many chances but just could not do it. 

Molly grew up and my pain got greater. Depression took over and I could not take the pain anymore as the thoughts of suicide were now daily.  But I could not do that to her. I eventually ended up drinking again, which this time was ten times worse. Molly had her life and although she noticed I was not the same Ijust lied all the time. Then a couple years later she decided to join the Air Force and left for Texas.  Now nothing could stop me and it wasn’t long before I lost everything, and I was homeless and still could not have the courage to tell my secret. I believed at that time that I would be better off dead. My thinking took total control of my life and led me to dark ugly days for years now. 


Molly came back to New York now and then and figured out that I was in really bad shape. She asked me to get help because she was afraid how far down I had gone and at this point she was aware that I was drinking daily and in and out of hospitals.It really hurt her to see me go from the dad she knew and loved to losing a business and nice place to live and now broke and homeless. I could not end my life and hurt her like that, so kept going and tried to figure out what next. How can I keep going. 


I’m not sure why but I chose Bennington, Vermont for a fresh start. I found a homeless shelter to stay and started going to the local recovery meetings and met some unbelievably beautiful caring people. This was different I felt I was going to make it there.  I made friends I got a sponsor named Mike who’ helped me so much. I met others there that were so supportive it was amazing.  I finally made the right choice. I found a new town and I loved it there. It was hard but I worked on my past as much as I could as it’s the most important part of any recovery is to get rid of the past and tell all the secrets that keep you sick, but I still could not tell my secret even though I had the right people around me who would be supportive and help me. 


After about a year I ended up drinking and taking a lot of (Tylenol), which should have been enough to end my life for sure. I must have made a call for help because a couple of my friends came by and took me to the hospital.  I was so tired and now I did it again I was just devastated and wanted to give up so bad, but still had that tiny bit of hope left.  I tried to get back to meetings but it wasn’t long before I would be back in darkness of depression I could not help myself I was completely exhausted and I had no idea how to get myself out of this one. 


One friend named Tom figured out that there was something I was not letting anyone know about and that was the only reason he could see me failing.  So I thought now I was exposed for what I really was, a liar. And he was exactly right, because I would claim to be doing everything I could to help myself and others would help me and I did not tell my big secret and that took me down again. But I let all my new friends down, so I had no other ideas but to run again.


I told my daughter that I relapsed again, but I didn’t lie. I could not even try to figure out a way to tell that kid any more lies. It was probably I did tell her the truth she knew it anyway. So I checked into another rehab. 


One thing had changed this time I was starting to actually tell the truth even at the rehab I just could not lie anymore I was out of ideas and finally just so tired and emotionally a wreck.  There was no choice but to be honest and whatever would happen I would have to deal with it. My ego and pride were completely shattered. At the time I thought that was the end of me. I thought that all of my life as long as I found a way to protect myself from telling my secret and keeping my pride and ego strong that was my survival skills. Well, as most sane people know, I was 100 percent wrong. Protecting my secret was killing me. 


After rehab I called a friend back home asked if I could stay with him until I could get a job and get a place, and he agreed to let me stay for a little bit. I did all the right things for as long as possible and my friend told me it was time to go soon. Now I’m in pretty bad shape physically as well as all my problems and I had been turned down for SSI a couple times over the years. I found a rooming house in Schenectady just before the pandemic hit. 


This all lasted until Oct. 2020 My pain was coming back maybe worse than ever and it was not going well. The pandemic was full blown there wasn’t anywhere to go as the country was in a lockdown, so when I could not pay my rent anymore I was able to keep my small room and not have the fear of being evicted.  Depression set in as it did so many times over 40 years and I convinced myself to get some liquor because I could just drink as much as I wanted and if I were to die maybe they could say it was Covid. 


So on my birthday in October 2020 I took a bunch of prescription pills and drank alcohol and the last thing I remember was crying so hard and drinking as much as I could as fast as I could.  I blacked out and I must have written Molly a goodbye letter, because somehow I woke up I have no idea how I survived that much alcohol and all those pills. That’s when I saw all these messages on my phone. Molly was trying to figure out where I was and I was not answering. She was probably just waiting for the call that I was found dead.  


This was the first time I ever sent a good bye message. How could I do such a horrible thing to her? I sat in the same spot for hours had no idea what I would do. This time was the absolute worst, and there would be no way to explain this one. So the first thing I did was to send Molly a message that I was ok. And she was not holding back any of what I did this time, and she was so upset I was just done.  I could not even pull off the suicide right. I sat for hours so sick I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. That’s when I believe I had a moment of sanity. It finally hit me that the only reasonable way out of this was to run away or tell my secret, and I knew it had to be now.  


I did what I should have and could have done so many years before. I looked up help for clergy sexual abuse and got the email address for the Albany bishop office and sent a letter and told my secret. I got a call a few hours later and it was anassistant for the bishop who handled these kinds of messages and asked me a bunch of questions and I told him how I held this my whole life and it’s ruined my life over and over.  He helped me figure out a place I could go the next morning to see a man who would talk to me and help me figure out a plan to get help. I needed to get through this. I went to see this man, Garry, and we met twice a week for months and talked through as much as I could reveal. He never pushed me 


There also was to be an investigation into what I said in my email with the bishops office. I had no idea why or how it would go, but I ended up having to tell my story a few times to strangers and it was the hardest thing I ever did. But I started feeling some relief after a short time. The fact that I told my secret to three people now was incredibly healing and I started having hope. I no longer had even the smallest desire to take a drink and I wanted to wake up every day. I was finally free of this secret that dominated my life for 40 years. It’s a spiritual awakening that the people in recovery talk about when they clean up their secrets and talk about all the things that kept themsick. The relief is unbelievable. I still have so much pain in my body and it’s hard to find work for 57-year-old guy who is in pain. And it’s okay. 


After almost a year of being investigated by the state and a third party investigator, I received a message from the bishop, whotold me how sorry he was and everything I had said happened was confirmed and the church would take responsibility for the pain and suffering over the years. That was a great deal because now I saw that I did not go through all of this and have them say that I was making up some stories. 


So now the bishop asked me to write my whole story the best I could and send it to him. I did not understand why but I did it. And afterwards he sent a message to join him live in a zoom meeting. I did not know what to do. I had done everything I was asked. But I was told by the guy I was going to see two times a week that the church has set up funds for guys like me who went through this as a kid. So I agreed. I was so nervous because it was the bishop of Albany I was going to be talking to. 


Well we connected and of course I was a wreck. I still wasn’t feeling comfortable taking to a member of the clergy because this is a big reason for my horrible life. But as we talked for an hour I was ok. And at that time I did realize that I didn’t have any resentments against him or anyone else to do with the church. Just the one who hurt me and after telling my secret it didn’t even seem so important to be angry with him any longer. That was the moment I knew I was free from everything. All the pain and suffering and self-destruction and suicidal thoughts and actions were over. What a moment of unbelievable serenity had come over me.  


So at the end of the call the bishop asked me what he could do to make my life better at the time. As he fully knew, I was living in a room and had had no income in some time. I asked if it was possible that I could have what the other people were entitled to,a reasonable settlement. So it was quite hard to even ask for anything, but I pushed myself because I know that at this point in my life, after all I had been through, I was not able to get any kind of work that I could handle with all the pains of just standing for an hour. I did not have a choice. 


He responded by telling me he would be on vacation for the next two months and if I would write a letter of my needs and see if it were possible when he returned in September 2021. By then I had found out that New York State was letting people that went through what I had been through to file a complaint.  And that deadline was in two weeks at that time. It was a long hard decision but I did not think that the bishop was leading me on I believe he may have helped me some when he was back in Albany.  But certainly not sure of anything. So I took some advice from the people that were helping and filled the complaint and it was hard. 


But I don’t know what may come of that now it turns out that 9,000 people filled a complaint in New York. That was quite a day, to see all those people went through what I had. And now to get a chance to be recognized was truly amazing. Now the lawyer tells me it could be years before anything may be done because the courts are so backed up. And there’s hope there of course that would help change my life right now. 


But I set out to get relief from my secret and find a way to live some reasonable good life. And I already achieved that.  I don’t have any regrets on any of it.  I didn’t know that there was money involved in any way by telling my story and I certainly did not do what I did for money, so whatever happens now is all ok.  


Ihave a life today that I never could have imagined or hoped for. And I do know that whatever happened before is over. All I have to do today is not take a drink and I will make it through anything.  So I do appreciate your reading my story and it’s very long but I’m here and if there is anything anyone wants to ask I am totally available for you. And thank you to all the donors to help me and my cause.  You’re all my heroes today.


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Robert Lescault 
Schenectady, NY