For more than a decade, a debilitating secret festered inside Mike Scott’s head. He tried to tuck it away into a dark corner of his brain, but it consumed his life, pushing him to drink excessively, smoke heavily and, on three occasions, try to kill himself.
“The last time, I was putting pressure on the trigger,” the 42-year-old airline baggage handler said.
Clad in jeans and a button-down flannel shirt, the 6-foot-plus Army veteran agreed to meet with “America Tonight” at a forest that borders the Rio Grande. It’s a place he frequently visits to quell his anxiety.
“I usually try to walk down to the river,” he said, as his feet swished through piles of leaves that covered the ground near the water’s edge. “And I start chain-smoking, as I always do,” he said with a laugh.
As his eyes darted from left to right and his leg nervously bounced up and down, Scott slowly mustered up the courage to make his secret public.
He said he had been sexually assaulted in the military in 1998.