The past several weeks there have been several things going on that one at a time would probably not have the same effect on me that they have had collectively. First has been news paper reports of a lawsuit brought about by a victim of clergy sexual abuse. The priest in question, (82 y.o. now), has admitted committing the abuse. Now the plaintiff is seeking damages from the parish because he claims at least one other priest at that parish knew what was happening. In his court testimony that appeared in the news paper he said the priest with the knowledge of what was going on told him he was at fault, that he was a temptation. Of course the priest denies it but since I have had my own dealings with lying priests I do not believe him.
Also in the news paper dealing with this same case the lawyer for the parish was quoted. Paraphrasing here she surmised that this lawsuit was only about money. (I’ve been screaming against that idea for what seems like forever.) I believe that it was her deliberate attempt to demonize the victim. The plaintiff’s response was consistent with a victim of abuse. He said that it’s not about the money he just wants his childhood back.
Now I really dislike that lawyer, who I never met, and this parish and its pastor. Intellectually I know that news papers often couch things in certain ways to sensationalize the news in order to sell more papers, and yet I still dislike the lawyer, parish and pastor. Many emotions are now churning inside of me and I can not identify them all. (A result, I think, of suppressing my feelings for so long as abuse victims are apt to do.)
The second thing that is really agitating me is Oprah, of all things. Just the mere mention of a show full of men, 200, who have been sexually abused and are finally admitting to it also stirred up all kinds of feelings, yucky feelings, in me. Once again I can not identify them I just recognize that I have them. That show was followed by a show later in the week of the 200 women in their lives discussing the abuse impact on their men. I did not view either show. I was of the mindset that since I have been there and done that so I probably could not glean any new insights. But I still felt & feel YUCK! My participation in the Grief to Grace healing retreat does not illicit the same intensity of feeling in me. I am attributing that to it being centered in God and around the suffering, death and resurrection of Christ.
I have come to realize that healing from abuse is ongoing and much to my surprise and chagrin I am not fully healed. Will those of us who have suffered abuse ever be fully healed? I don’t think so. Abuse and the lingering consequences in my life can be incorporated. All of this caca in our lives, if we keep working toward healing, can be endured. All of us will eventually be whole again but it is a different kind of whole. It is a whole that incorporates all of the many layers of our own abuse and our actions, reactions and behaviors influenced by that abuse. Actions, reactions and behaviors we were not even aware of all the time.