This is the horrific, life-altering story of John Sweeney, a former US Army Green Beret and honor graduate of the Army’s Special Forces Qualification Course, Sweeney harbored a terrible, fateful secret for 43 years: at the age of 12 he was sexually abused and mentally tortured at Fessenden School, an elite New England academy for boys.
The consequences for many of these children from the “best families” who were preyed upon by a ring of pedophiles have been grim: their promising, privileged lives were forever scarred by self-hatred, guilt and depression, drug and alcohol addiction, academic failure, and the inability to connect with others. Few were able to form stable friendships and marriages, or establish working careers. In at least one documented instance, a boy who had been sexually abused committed suicide. In the case of Sweeney, who experienced many of the pathologies described above, the self-loathing and despair led him to blur the line between right and wrong, honesty and self-deception.
My story about the sexual abuse that occurred on the grounds of Fessenden by a ring of pedophiles was broken by CBS News correspondent Michelle Miller. A link to my story can be found on the links page. However, CBS News could only provide sound bites of my story. For my full story you can click on the Board of Directors letter by clicking on the link located at the top of the page.
I have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. I've suffered with PTSD for over 47 years because of the trauma that I received at the hand's of this cult of pedophiles. I have seen multiple therapist since my emotional breakdown after I had received the letter from Fessenden's headmaster Stettler. As a result of the trauma that I received at a very young age, one of the things I learned was how to disassociate from life, which is a coping mechanism that child sex abuse victims utilize to escape reality. My PTSD diagnosis has been corroborated by 3 different psychiatric professionals who all concur that my trauma was caused by my abuse at Fessenden.
John Sweeney's upcoming book.
This is the horrific, life - altering story of John Sweeney, a former US Army Green Barret and Honor Graduate of the Army's Special Qualifications Course, who as a child was raped, mentally tortured and starved by a ring of peoaphiles at the Fessenden School
Fessenden Sex Abuse Alumni
It was during my therapy sessions I learned several vital things that lead to a faster road to recovery. The first lesson I learned is that there are not enough child sex abuse trauma therapist in the medical field. I was on a waiting list for 6 months before I could receive treatment at the prestigious Trauma Center located in Brookline Massachusetts. Before I was admitted into the Trauma Center, I was seeing a psychiatrist located at a Brighton psychiatric clinic who did not have any experience with child sex abuse trauma. But just being able to talk with a professional was a bonus that reduced my anxiety, depression and nightmares. My personal health care physician took care of my prescription drugs that are frequently used to treat PTSD patients, but a well staffed Trauma Center should be up to speed with the latest drugs and treatment techniques to bring a patient back inside his " Window" which will allow them to absorb and understand what triggers episodes of PTSD.
The second thing I've learned about child sex abuse victims after talking to several children who were abused is that if the trauma therapist were sexually abused victim themselves, the young children would open up about the trauma that they received faster. This allows their healing to proceed at a more efficient rate.
PTSD victims from child sex abuse will never heal completely. We have to learn how to cope in life much like spinal cord injury patient has to learn to walk. The nonprofit Safe Haven Trauma Center or SHTC that I spoke about forming earlier, will have such therapists on their staff. We will accomplish this by raising money for victims of child sex abuse scholarships. Once the scholarship award winner graduates with the required diploma for trauma sex abuse / PTSD, they will be given a job at SHTC.
Safe Haven Trauma Center will be located in Florida and will consist of a 10 acre parcel of land. There will be 5 acres dedicated for a farm consisting of horses, goats and other various livestock for an animal therapy healing process. 1 acre will be devoted for growing vegetables and 4 acres will be devoted for therapy classes and hopefully bedrooms for housing child sex abuse victims who are in need of a place to feel safe from sexual abuse perpetrated by their fathers, uncles, brothers etc. If you are interested in making a donation once our nonprofit is formed please use the contact icon to send us an email with your contact information.