I was brainwashed intensely. I believed the priest who abused me really cared. As much as I hated what he did, I didn’t want him out of my life. I just didn’t want to see him so he would have the opportunity to abuse again. There definitely is an element of emotional abuse that accompanies sexual abuse.
I never left. I never confronted him. I was too weak. When he died, I finally got relief.
This man nearly destroyed me. Once I began to face the abuse emotionally, I went into a horrible spiral of depression and pain. I soon discovered that the average person didn’t understand what “pain” is. They just know it exists.
But you know darn good and well what pain it. It can be crippling. That is what it was for me. The darkness was so dark that I had trouble carrying out everyday duties and often did not. I had to leave my job because I couldn’t function as a result of the anxiety I was experiencing. I spent time in a psyche ward because of suicidal tendencies. I felt very alone. I knew no other victims. I moved through that time with faith, knowing and believing that God would get me through, although I definitely felt forgotten at times! I was very angry with him for allowing this evil to be perpetrated on me.
Often over the past five years I have considered going to visit his grave. I never had the chance to confront him, and maybe that is what is drawing me. I have written him letters, telling him off. I have told him self-righteously that he is obliged to pray for me. I have told his superiors of the abuse. But something in me is not satisfied. I want justice, but he got his ultimate justice when he had to give an account for his life to God.
He gave me a teddy bear – a 24″ tall teddy bear – over 30 years ago. I’ve never gotten rid of it. I don’t know why. I fantasize about driving to that cemetery and leaving the bear on his grave with a spike driven through its chest. About leaving a letter in hopes that his family sees it. About screaming my little heart out. About sitting there quietly crying. What would it be like?
His birthday would have been in September. I’m contemplating making the 4 hour drive at that time. But I just don’t know. I don’t know if this is a healthy thing to do. Would it be closure or reopening of the wound?