Since Splendid High’s birthday, we have both been in a frenetic state. I know well enough by now that my burdens affect him. A lot is going on and he knows it.
I have a choice, I now realize. I can continue on with my Vocational Rehabilitation or slide back into the state of victimhood from whence there is no escape, nor hope of healing.
The Catholic Church does not want to hear from those of us who have been abused by their fallen priests. They do not want to address the issue because it is painful and they have no answers, seemingly. Either they do not have answers or they have them and are not applying them.
The fact that the diocese here is in bankruptcy because of fallen priests seems not to be of great concern. I was told that in the town I live, a woman who was asked about the now-deceased priest accused of sexually abusing a girl in this town, refused to hear of the girl’s plight and defended the priest, saying, “well he’s not here to defend himself.”
I see why those victims now want their day in court. I truly do. Maybe it would be a good thing for local Catholics to hear the testimonies given in a court of law under oath about what happened to the victims. If it will help the victims, I am all for it.
So, my case is even more inconvenient because the Archdiocese of San Francisco paid for 6 months of therapy for me and they would never have done it unless they knew my claim was valid.
I become quite triggered by anything Catholic these days–not the saints or the Lord or the rosary, but anything having to do with the Church hierarchy itself. So, out of compassion for the government which has helped me through my disability which began with the priest abuse when I was 17, I really owe it to become well and productive. One thing for sure is that if I go into an episode where I have to be hospitalized over this, the Catholic Church will certainly not pay. It will end up being the government who pays and how fair is that? It is not fair at all.
I got through college on scholarships and loans and grants. My parents paid for my books. The way I got through was when I had to be hospitalized, I would drop for the semester and restart the next semester. That works for school, but not for the world of work.
I had three years without an episode at the end of my undergraduate years and if I had not thought that would have continued, I would never have applied for grad school. When I received the full fellowship to Stanford in the Master’s program in print journalism, my father was stern with me, saying, “you better get your financial aid form in!” That was all he would say. I wasn’t asking him to pay. I had a full-ride fellowship. It was one of the greatest moments of my life–to receive that award. He was not happy though.
So, I went into an episode at the start of grad school–not because I was scared but because I was so elated and my mood escalated to the point of no-return and eventually I had to be hospitalized. I was asked to withdraw and reapply. If I had diabetes or was in a car accident, it would have been different, but it was not. So, I did not get back in, not surprisingly, because they’d seen me at my worst.
What I did was apply for the summer intensive Mass Media Institute which was supposed to be training for the field and was where Ted Koppel was trained. I finished that even though I had to go to the hospital after my interview with the mentor of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Joan Baez. In retrospect I can see that the one-on-one intimacy of an interview brought up issues from my past which I had not yet confronted and would not for years.
My first job after finishing there at Stanford was with the Millbrae Sun, a small weekly near the San Francisco Airport. I loved the job and they were very happy with my work. Then the sports editor started hitting on me. He was married and I was in no way interested but I still went into an episode and quit because I could not write when I was in that state. The publisher told me I would never work in the field again. I did not tell him about my illness. I just quit before I somehow made a spectacle of myself.
So, this is not an ideal field for me–or it was not. I did fine when working briefly for the Billings Outpost, with a few exceptions, but I bottomed out after 9-11 and watching the news non-stop of the planes flying into buildings and people jumping out of them too. I became so depressed that my speech was so slowed down that my doctor thought I was about ready to fall asleep. I told him, no, I am not at all tired. My brain is so slowed down from the depression that it looks like I am going to fall asleep. I said, that is why I cannot work as a reporter like this. If you think it looks like I am falling asleep, how effective can I be as a reporter? (I often interviewed doctors, as I was a health reporter.)
So, instead of trying to go back to a field where even the best reporters are being let go and the industry is in free-fall, my plan was to become a licensed addictions counselor because that is one field where having dual disorders of addictions and mental illness is an asset rather than a liability.
The reality is that people truly do not want me to tell them what to do about their addictions. They just do not. That is a fact. I am in the less than a fraction of 1% who have been obese and become normal weight and kept it off for some time but others are really not interested in learning what I do or how I do it. I honor that. I am not interested in forcing people to listen to me or be around me at all. I just am not.
Enter the Thoroughbreds, whose huge hearts are healing beyond compare…I have a chance to do some kind of work because of them–River Island aka Jack and now Splendid High aka Mel. I have been told to write and now maybe I can see a way to be a professional Mad Woman–not like the Mad Men who do corporate advertising but rather as a copywriter for a cause.
We’ll see, because my going nuts over the Vatican and the Church’s treatment of victims is not doing justice to this blessed government which has kept me alive over the years. The next hurdle for me is to heal from the brain injury from electroconvulsive treatments (shock treatments) but I am heartened that my computer decided to work today. My brain has a really tough time wrapping itself around learning computer functions, even though in college I interned at Classroom Computer Learning Magazine and did well there.
I have been in decent recovery from my dual disorder as evidenced by the fact I have not totally decompensated from my brother’s attempts to destroy everything positive in my life–including demanding that I sell Mel. So, it is just this next hurdle, and if I find a way to heal brain trauma, as I have found how to heal PTSD, then that ought to be very valuable to to U.S. Armed Forces. This is what I do: I live like a monk and study health and healing and apply what I have learned to heal. It takes many, many hours each day to be in recovery for me, but it is totally worth it.
I owe it to this country to stand down in my battle to get the Church to do what is right. If I can actually recover, then that may be the best thing I can do for other victims. Right now, it is just a really bad thing for my recovery to have much to do at all with the Catholic Church. It is just one giant trigger for my illness. I need to focus on finding people who have recovered from what these priests are addicted to and I have a lead on someone who has–in a book–but not from the Church.
Splendid High needs me not to be an “Al-Anon” with the Vatican–which has the highest per-capita consumption of wine of any country according to a report I read. I am not in the Al-Anon fellowship because they do not allow members to say the name of Jesus in meetings (or Buddha or any other name of any religious figure–and that is a worldwide stance). People who go crazy trying to control alcoholics can be far crazier than alcoholics–and far sicker, too. It is a spiritual sickness of trying to play God. I cannot go there. Fixing what’s broken at the Vatican will take the Lord Himself and that is way, way out of my league. I need to just back off. I can write some about it, but ought not to expect anyone will care. As my Vocational Rehabilitation counselor said, I ought to let go of all expectations.
I need to just focus on recovery not on the disaster that is the very real consequence of fallen priests. I would like to report on recovery as a charitable work. For a paying job, maybe copywriting is the way to go. Today I am grateful that my computer decided to work after having just a black screen for days with only the cursor showing. To me, this is a miracle because getting it fixed would have meant the Geek Squad making a trip for $100 just for the mileage to do the long-distance travel and then the time it would take to fix would add up to an extremely burdensome expense. Maybe I ought to take a cue from this computer. I shut it down completely for a few days, retrying it again just to see.
Maybe I need the down time away from the institution that still supports the predator who disabled me and another teenage girl, but feels no need to support our healing. That is alright. I forgive them because I was taught about forgiveness by Elizabeth Clare Prophet and she taught me to say the rosary and to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I will heal with the tools she taught me because I do know Him–because she cared to teach me and so many others. By God’s grace I will not lose faith in Him because of what is done in His Name and I will move on and have no expectations that the Vatican will do the right thing.
Thank You Lord, for helping me to move on towards recovery by striving to be a “stable nun” in the non-denominational Order of the Holy Child, seeking you in the manger of hearts. Thank You for training us, O Faithful and True, to “Run For God” during this time when I have not been fit to ride because my attitude stank and You worked through Mel to show me I needed to run again. Mel likes to trot next to me while at liberty when I run. He has been training me by being my running partner and I am grateful. Sometimes running away from what is abusive is the best thing for recovery. Thank You for that lesson O Lord! I will “run with patience the race that is set before us” out of abuse and onto the path of recovery, so help me, God!