I have a hard time going to confession. In that, I don’t trust that what I have to confess doesn’t have an effect on a priest. I am a new convert and come from a background of a very strange lifestyle to most. And I struggle still in overcoming the sin associated to this lifestyle. I think I need the help of a priest, but from where I come from, my old life, sexual type confessions are part of the lifestyle. Being that, confessions of this type enable the man to have sexual mastery/ownership over the woman.
I confessed once, and after that the priest wouldn’t look at me when I would see him at Mass. So I think this is an indication of what I confessed, did have an effect on him. That’s the other thing with that lifestyle, it tunes you into every aspect of communication. I can’t stop seeing the cues, body language, eye conact (or not), tone of voice, etc. in men in general, which of course, includes priests.
That, and the priest sounded angry and told me that I need to work harder at living a Christian life. Perhaps this isn’t all that unusual to a person who has led a normal Christian life, but that lifestyle I am trying to overcome and leave behind, these sort of chastisements are expected and wanted really, as part of the same mastery/ownership.
I know this is way messed up, and I pray a lot, but I can’t confess to a man. It is too much like the lifestyle I want to forget. And so I think there is no way for me to confess and that I’m most likely going to hell, but, I would like to be with God.
I don’t know anything about priests, really. During my conversion I wouldn’t talk to a priest because I didn’t trust men in positions of authority. And honestly, I don’t know what to do, in any way, emotionally or just plain conversationally, with a man who is celibate. It kind of freaks me out. The experience of my messed up life has me believing that all men see women as things to own and use. I don’t know that I believe there exists a man in this world who is not out to own women, even if they don’t know it themselves, I see it.
I try to see priests, and other men as well, as non-threatening, but the places I’ve been and seen, I’m quite sure that they all have the heart of that lustful animal. And would in fact harm me. It is in my experience, something I know. Some just hide it better than others. I know very well how sexual confessions have an effect on that lust, and that is the last thing in this world that I want or need. As soon as I see it, it triggers that warning in me that says avoid that person. And I saw it in the priest, and so I can’t go back.
Isn’t there any such thing as a female spiritual advisor? If so, how would I go about finding one who wouldn’t faint at the things I would need advise with? I need someone to explain to me how it is that a priest is different than any other man. And how do you know this? How do you know that you are safe?