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Feb 15, 2016
Ronald:
by: Darlene Barriere - Webmaster

There is always so much risk to those who decide they will seek justice for abuse. Be it with family or the church. There are countless who have tried and failed to bring awareness of clergy abuse to the forefront. It finally did happen. But not entirely. Survivors continue to face an uphill battle.

As for justice in any meaningful way, hardly. Even when justice seems to have occurred, not so much.

The Catholic Church is very powerful, and they protect their own. They always have. Even Pope Francis, who so many hold in high regard, A pope who has talked big about dealing with child abusers in the Church, has recently through the Vatican, decreed that priests are not required to report known or suspected abuse to police, That they are only required to deal with the issue internally. It screams more of the same.

So I'm not surprised you have faced this uphill climb, Ronald. We can never know exactly why your original attorney recused himself, but the pressure was on, perhaps not only politically, but also personally.

I understand your need to get what you're looking for, and I applaud your commitment. What I will also offer as a comment is to find balance. To find a way within your own control to allow happiness into your life. I've learned through personal experience that when I gave up my power to the expectation that something outside of my control could be different, I would never find peace. I learned I could not expect something outside of me to bring me the happiness I needed. I could still bring awareness and understanding to the masses. I could still work at bringing more healing into the world. But I could not expect my work, my purpose to be what governed my own joy. In short, I refused to allow my Self to continue to be controlled by my abusers. I refused to continue to give them power or domain over me.

Keep working at what is important to you, Ronald. Just don't lose your Self in the process. You are too valuable to lose. I send you love, light and healing energy. Thank you for sharing your story with my visitors and me.

From Victim to Victory, a memoir
Darlene Barriere
Webmaster: www.child-abuse-effects.com
author. speaker. survivor. coach
From Victim to Victory, a memoir

Feb 15, 2016
You Looked Away
by: Carol

Hi Ronald, I can't say I've been in the same position as you are with the Catholic Church as I'm not Catholic but I experienced sexual harassment and the very strong possibility of sexual abuse at the hands of a pastoral counselor at a mental health hospital. He was also a lay pastor at the church I attended (by his invitation). hmmmm.

Long story short, it came to a point where I felt I was losing it mentally/emotionally and needed to find a way to let go of the intensity of the aftermath of exposing him. The publicity, the speculation, the fear that maybe he'll be able to stay in his job and hurt more women (he already had) and the accusations that I was trying to destroy this man who was "so gentle, so kind, so generous" - rolly eyes - it was taking up too much time in my mind and my emotions.

I copied this from writing that I found helpful in the interim of waiting for this abuser to be dealt with (he was never arrested or put on trial):

In the process of three internal investigations (church/conference and hospital) and the media I started to feel quite undone, being in public and getting feedback was at times horrendous even though I had strong supports. Ultimately I still had to deal with the betrayal and humiliation of people who took his side and being in public at times was more than I could bear. I assumed that Christians would at least be respectful and would want to hear truth. That was a rude awakening. Some did and others well not so much. I learned they can also be threatening.

I had to find a way to deal, a way to not let this thing eat me alive. I made a mental image of a cardboard box and filled it with memories of his betrayal, what it had done to me emotionally and mentally, his denial, his enjoyment of humiliating me in church on Sunday mornings after the allegations became known, the shaming from others and anything else that related to what he did, my anger and frustration – all of it into the box. Then I drove as close, as what I felt was not imposing or legally stalking, to his house, on his street. There I saw they were moving (moving van in front of the house), the back of the truck was open. I stayed in my car and mentally put that box, full of his crap into the back of the truck. With that box, I left a mental message that said, "When you get to wherever it is you are going, you will find this box and you will deal with it. It will always be on your doorstep waiting for you. It is yours and I will no longer keep it for you. You cannot hurt me anymore." Then I drove away. There was an immediate sense of relief, of peace. At times I was tempted to take the box back but over time I realized I didn’t want it. Life is easier without it. It is one piece I don't have to carry with me any longer.

I still had to deal with aspects of that experience but it changed to feeling more confident and not feeling that I had to do all the work. I could remind myself he would deal and I didn't have to be the one any longer to make that happen. After this his life crumbled, he lost his pastoral license in the church and as a trainer for pastors in the province, he was defrocked in the church and conference, he went from pastoral care to depression/suicidal to looking for more work in that line unsuccessfully to a failed assistant pastor to gas attendant as his last job. He sent a letter saying I had told the truth, that he was sorry and hoped I could forgive him but had told my pastor that he didn't admit because he felt convicted - he just had nothing more to lose. The pastor said he didn't think I needed to respond to that letter. I never did respond but I had closure, I have peace about it. The abuser has since passed away from prostate cancer.

I don't know that there is anything you can take from this. If nothing else I hope you feel encouraged that you are not alone although I think you must feel that way at times. I'm glad you have your family to support you. I don't know how the Catholic church operates so can't give any ideas there. I just wonder about going to outside authorities and lawyers that are not involved in the Catholic Church? I'm assuming you've made a police report?



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