The stories of healing from these courageous men will inspire a range of emotions.
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The Bristlecone Project

Portraits and Biographies of Male Survivors

Scott Thompson

How do you recover from years of sadistic abuse at the hands of your own brother, and at the hands of a pedophile deliberately recruited by your own brother? For Scott Thompson, the answer lies in a profound, bone marrow-deep commitment to the healing process, including years of work at Ottawa’s Men’s Project. It also lies in taking power back from his abusers, a process that included reporting them to the police. In court, the pedophile admitted his crimes. It also lies in restoring his own voice, by speaking out publicly on behalf of himself and fellow survivors.

And it also lies in what might appear to be a paradox: forgiveness. For Scott, forgiveness means relinquishing his anger and hatred. In letting it go, Scott has freed himself, not his abusers.

The abuse that Scott suffered left many scars. He spent his childhood in a desperate search for safety. He found safety in “invisibility,” consciously camouflaging himself so that no one would notice him. Blessedly, Scott also found safety with his grandmother, a grandmother (see photo) who somehow knew what he needed, who allowed Scott to spend hours curled up beside her in bed.

The abuse left the adult Scott with a cauldron of anger to manage, anger that he often could not manage. His anger ruptured his relationships with his children, and with his father. Those relationships – the reconciliation and healing of those relationships – are now the focus of Scott’s life. He has spent hours talking with his father, caring for him, tending to the bonds that were sundered by the actions of his abusers. Having restored his power and his voice, Scott is now restoring those fundamental connections that make us human.