I lived with PTSD for 40 years, after molestation by a Catholic priest at age five. Read my story as I write it here through 2015.

This is a True Story

**See the R-Rated Version of This Story at CofA16**
Read ongoing coverage of pedophile priest crisis at CofA12
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Tuesday, May 17, 2016


After Lana almost burned down the building, I was about the only friend she had in the senior complex.  From the time the tenants gathered outside watching them fight the blaze, the ladies were whispering that Lana (not her real name) was at fault because she had been drunk at the time of the fire, drunk the entire week before, in fact. 
I wasn’t critical of Lana's drinking, I just wished I could keep up with her.  Now she sat on top of an unpacked box in my living room office admitting that because of the fire, she'd probably have to move.  She was worried about where she'd go, rents being so high in Los Angeles, even as far into the desert as we lived.   
Taking on the persona of friend, I said that even after her apartment was refurbished, if she continued to live there, the gossip would make her so uncomfortable she'd still want to move. I had barely been able to go to the mail room myself since word got out among the mainly fundamentalist Christian aparment dwellers that I'm a pedophile priest victim who wrote as a journalist on the topic. Now almost no one in the building spoke to me anymore except Lana.
I suggested: "You should move to a place where people won't mind that you like to drink," being my usual blunt self.
She shook a bit and said, Yes, I do like to drink.
I said, there must be a town in California where drinking and partying are part of the culture, someplace like Lake Tahoe. 
I was sitting at my desk at the time, as I always am, the laptop having become an extension of my hands that I'm attached to nearly twenty four hours a day, disconnecting only when I pry myself out into town.
So I said to her, you should move to Tahoe, and we turned to my laptop and went to Craigslist, where I discovered that apartments in Tahoe were about the same price as in Lancaster where we were living. 
I had said to her, You should move to Lake Tahoe. But after reading the Craigslist ads, I said, "Better yet, I should move to Tahoe."
And that was that- Lana started the fire in January, I was moved out in March. She still lives there, drinking enough to not notice the gossiping neighbors 
I've lived in South Lake Tahoe a little over a year now and lucky for me it's the kind of town where you can live in a state of serendipity, like the one I've been in all my life. I finish  work in this living room at the same desk as in Lancaster, walk out the door, catch the bus, and from there on it's Serendipity what I'll do with my day.
I've lived my whole life in a state of Serendipity.  For example when I found out in 1994 that there are others who were raped by priests as children, and somewhere in the Bay Area was a support group that does activism about the topic, what did I do? I packed up Lizzie and me from a wonderful two bedroom apartment in Eureka where we were almost putting down roots, and shipped us to San Francisco in search of SNAP. 
Chaos and anarchy replaced serenity from then on in my daughter's life and I am forever sorry for that.
However, I go to Lost Coast Outpost now and then to read the headlines, though, and do not miss living in Eureka at all.

South Lake Tahoe is a great place to live if you are, like me, a little old lady who wants to be in a metropolis, but does not like the way cities have developed in America. 
I go out every day- except when I'm too wiped out and exhausted which happens about twice a week- and because of my job, I never know what time of day I'm going to be able to get out the door.
Chaos and instability are written into my life. When I wake up around midnight every night, I go to my email. Often it is not until then that I know what my schedule is going to be the next day.
Now I've arranged it so I live less than a block from a bus stop near the boulevard.  I'm surrounded by trees and recreational vibes here in an apartment in South Lake Tahoe, but I can catch a city bus that goes up and down the boulevard a block from home and get anywhere in town. 
Of course the bus does end up in the traffic and boy is there a lot of traffic on Lake Tahoe Boulevard.  I may get a bike soon so I can even avoid the bus, take the back roads, even venture onto the trails.
Yes, a bike, I need to get a bike next.