PTSD has chosen me

After all these years of thinking something was seriously wrong with me because I have great difficulty trusting people or wonder what there ulterior motives are when they are interacting with me I have an answer. Now I know that having trust in others is hard for abuse survivors but something that I recently learned gave me an aha moment. PTSD, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is not chosen by the people who have it. PTSD chooses them.

I do not think I shared this yet. There was a man in the congregation of a mass that I was offering who kinda, sorta looked like the priest who molested me. I KNEW it was not him…my intellect said it was not him…yet I had a visceral reaction, (I’m having a reaction just recollecting it.), yes PTSD has chosen me. Why would anyone want that kind of thing to happen to them? It came upon me without warning, it came without my wanting it and it came in spite of my intellect knowing that I was safe.

Being a diocesan priest, in a way working for my abuser, (lies and the cover-up and all), also keeps me from total healing. During my journey to priesthood I had many encounters with lying, conniving priests. It just reinforced not trusting people. As a priest I have run into the same thing, especially with the bishop. So is it any wonder when priests, bishops, cardinals and even the pope say erroneous things having nothing to do with the Catholic faith it pisses me off? If you don’t believe then GET OUT and stop promoting things that are contrary to the faith. This entire clergy sex scandal did not have to happen. If all involved; priests, bishops, cardinals et. al. had done the Catholic thing it never would have happened. And still it drags on…

Until total healing comes to me, and I pray it can and does, I get to live my life not knowing where or when the next thing is going to ‘trigger’ me. It is akin to emotional Russian Roulette…good times…

About follow1in3

I am a Roman Catholic priest ordained for the Diocese of Wilmington, DE who is also a victim of clergy sexual abuse. I am often angered by the insensitiviy and hostility of other clergy, the hierarchy and the so-called people-of-God. If clergy, bishops included, really and truly understood abuse, (any kind of abuse), I would not feel the need to blog on occasion. It is very frustraing.
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