Talking helps

I’m still seeing my therapist once a week even though I’ve been doing really well. Good thing, too because last week I spoke with someone who also went to see the same priest/monk/therapist that I did. It turns out that this other person only saw him once. It was difficult for me to bracket and not just wail – why didn’t I go to someone else too? Why didn’t I get a weird feeling too? Did I somehow want all that to happen? What’s wrooong with me?

Wailing is one of those things that I’m afraid I won’t be able to stop once I get started. Of course, it’s not true. You can cry and wail and no matter what, you cannot go on forever. Sooner or later you’re going to stop.

I did okay though. And yesterday, I talked with my (good) therapist about it. First of all, I’m grateful that I’m not obsessed about Fr. M. anymore. He was just like athlete’s foot of the brain. And I can see that this happened because he was a predator, because his abuse mirrored abuse I suffered as a child. I can see that I was vulnerable and that it wasn’t my fault.

Except that still feels like a lie. I feel like a fool that I didn’t see he was off somehow. I feel like everything that happened was my fault. I should have stopped things. I should have known better.

My current therapist is great. He’s very patient. He doesn’t mind listening to all this crap. He doesn’t mind telling me (again) that my view is skewed. He knows the whole sordid story and still thinks I’m a good person. But most importantly, he allows me to see his anger about everything that happened to me. I wish, wish, wish I’d gotten that reaction from someone when I was young. Like from my mother. Or father. And it would have been nice if the Church had been more caring. My parish priest was nice. He apologized for referring me to Fr. M. But the Church officials? They said it was my fault too. If I hadn’t had explicit emails — you should have seen the happy looks from the lawyer we consulted — I’d have taken the full blame.

We decided not to go with that lawyer. Can you imagine what hell that would have been for our children? Instead, my husband sat down with a friend who is a lawyer, and the Church’s lawyer and Fr. M.’s superior. I sat in the parking lot and cried. It was awful. But my husband was great. He’d make a wonderful lawyer.

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