I was listening to two women who had been abused within the Catholic Church. They were on CNN, telling how horrible Pope Francis is because he did not do this, and did not address their complaints. They had a regular papal litany of demands. They wanted retribution. Sorry, but Christ did not teach retribution, he taught forgiveness.
You cannot recover from having been molested as a child, and nearly become one of those missing child stats by being bitter and demanding retribution, vengeance belongs to the Lord, not to us. You do not recover until you learn how to forgive. You cannot forgive if you demand retribution.
Forgiveness is many things. You don’t forgive the monster who destroyed your life for in order to help that monster, you forgive the monster to help yourself. We are told forgive us our sins…as we forgive. As Christians we must forgive in order to be forgiven. We don’t forgive to let that person off the hook, we forgive in order to start the process of allowing ourselves to heal.
When I first began the process of dealing with twenty-five years of horror, set aside, and ignored, I was an emotional disaster. I was suicidal. Crazy. One day my mother told me the only rational explanation she had for what had happened is that we must turn the evil into good by being there to help another person. She said someone will come up to me and tell me, “You don’t know how I feel”, and I will be able to say, oh yes, I do.
Maybe two years after the insanity began, this women came into my business, to talk. She had heard I would talk to women who were going through the horror of dealing with abuse. Hers was far worse than mine. I had been abused by my third grade principal. She was abused by her father. She told me she could no longer live with it. I told her to talk to her husband. She said he would leave her. She was going to take her life that night. I told her, if she was planning that, then she had nothing to lose. Talk to her husband.
She did. He and her brother beat the shit out of her father. He told her never to come near her again, or he would kill him. He took out a restraining order preventing her parents from going anywhere near their children. He went to therapy with her. When she returned, about a month later, to tell me what had happened, she wanted to know how to thank me. By that time I understood what my mother had been telling me. Because of the vile things that happened to me, I was able to help someone else, because I knew exactly how they felt. I told her to pass it on. When she did, she would understand why, and would begin to heal. I began finally healing the day I helped her. I began forgiving the monster that day.
A year or so later I saw her again. She told me she did not understand, the ‘I understand’, until she helped someone, telling them she understood how they felt. In helping them, she began to heal.
You don’t heal by submitting a list of demands, and forcing monetary settlements. I never received a cent. I never received an acknowledgement that the incident happened. I don’t need one. I now have a life. Being a victim is not part of it. Being a survivor is. You cannot be a survivor by wallowing in your victim status.
Listening to these two women, I realized they had become professional victims. Their mission now is to exact as much revenge, to destroy in order to somehow salve their fury. They don’t want to recover. The don’t want to forgive. In doing so, they would be required to give up their victim status and all the glorious accessories that go along with their professional status, including financial gain. They have yet to realize all the money in the world, and the destruction they have brought is not going to give them peace. The only thing that is going to give them peace is to forgive, and move on with their lives.
The only way you recover is get over it all ready yet, and get a life. The only way to get that life is to walk away from the hate and demands for revenge. By making demands, and holding on to anger all it does is turn a festering sore into a nasty, putrid, maggot and puss filled abscess. Wallowing in hate destroys. You forgive in order to heal yourself, both mentally and physically.
My advice is to get over it and yourselves. There are millions of other men and women who have been molested by authority figures and never have the opportunity to turn into drama queens and turn our hurt into financial blackmail.
Get over yourself. If I sound like I don’t have a lot of compassion for the professionally molested victim of pedophile priests, I don’t. Oh, I have a tremendous amount of compassion and hurt for anyone who went through what I did. What I have no compassion for are the constant demands, the blackmail, and the fact that they are wearing their status like some golden crown. That is NOT how you recover.