My Parents Give Testimony

My parents are in declining health and both in their 80’s,  but they both recently recorded testimony about their abuse by two catholic priests. My dad gave his testimony in front of a diocesan representative. The same two priests who abused my parents (my dad from his teens into his thirties) went on to abuse me and two of my siblings. These priests are both dead, so why did my parents bother?  Because my dad “wants to put it to rest” and my mother is still having nightmares and is hoping for some peace. I must admit that, while I hope they do get some relief, I really do,  I am also filled with anger. My mother knowingly sent me on outings  with the priest who had repeatedly assaulted and raped her. Maybe she did it to keep him away from her and thought I would be safe because I was a child and she knew from experience he liked adults. But parents are supposed to protect their children and keep them safe. He was a rapist. She sent me on outings with him and sent me over to his apartment to visit him. I can’t get my head around it. But still, she deserves some peace, now. I want him to stop visiting her in her nightmares; I want her to be able to retain the fact that he is long dead. From one conversation to the next, she asks again and again, “Is he dead? Oh, Thank God.” And a few minutes later, “I dreamt about him last night. Where is he now, is he dead, long dead? Oh, Thank God for that.”

And then I think, will I still be having nightmares in thirty years? Oh God, oh God, oh God.


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I am a wife and mother, a once-Catholic now UCC Christian, with a degree in Theology, a Masters in Religious Education, 27 years of theology teaching experience -- mainly High School, some College. I am now working as a Hospital Chaplain and feeling humbled and privileged every day. I love my family and I love to write; writing helps keep me sane. Published writing: • From Hurt To Healing, Publish America 2004, ebook on Amazon, 2011; •"Forgive and Forget," America Magazine, September 16, 2002; •"From Victim to Victimizer," Human Development Magazine, Summer 2005; • It's Just Not Fair, Introducing The Fairly-Good Mother, ebook at Amazon, 2011; • Traces of Hope: Surviving Grief and Loss, March 2015, St. Johann Press

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