Tell Ruth the Truth

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Abuse testimony--"It's a miserable existence."

Posted on Tuesday, March 05, 2019

1. I have PTSD symptoms frequently (once is enough!) and unexpectedly. I go into a zone of terror; it's a terror that paralyzes like a deer in headlights. I cannot think rationally and those around me are not truly present to me.

2. The public discussion of the clergy abuse makes me feel physically ill, and I mostly avoid reading about it. There is no way I could ever read the PA report.

3. Emotionally speaking, the cover-up feels like gas-lighting.

4. To Cardinal Mahony, I'd like to say, humble yourself, be honest about the past, and repent, both publicly and privately. Don't make things worse by speaking from a place of authority because you've lost the credibility necessary.

5. My age: starting at 11 to 15 from a friend of the family. And then at about 17 from my father.

 


 

I told my mother at about 15, and she believe me. I told my father, having somehow suppressed what he'd done, when I was in my late 20s about the friend of the family, but he became defensive and did not validate my pain. It was his best friend's oldest son. 

These two traumas have affected my life in a myriad of ways. First, I must say that I've healed from both tremendously over the last decade with the help of the Church, sacraments, and good therapy in person and books.

But there are profound effects that I still struggle with and need more therapy. I have trouble sleeping at night. I fear sexual perversion ALL the time ~ even among my own children. It's as if the internal sensor that would alert me of danger is broken, and I can't tell what is real or perceived. I'm uncomfortable around priests now and worry about my kids going to confession or alter serving. I worry that my husband of over 20 years will turn out to be a pervert and abuse our children. I was especially triggered by a friend whose husband went to jail for sexually abusing their only daughter. I'm inhibited sexually and feel ugly without clothes. Not always, but I still can't seem to relax. It's a miserable existence.

Submitted by "Laura."

 


 
 
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