Catholic sexual abuse survivors


#1

Why do i feel there is no where to go inside the church to find healing from sexual abuse? My veiws on sexuality and forgiveness as a catholic are the two things that help me get though this healing process. But I've come to a road block, i need a good cathoic support group or something and can't find one. Does anyone else feel like this? I think it is time for a new movement in the church, we need to reach out and help our brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone through the nightmare of sexual abuse.

P.S. I am talking about sexal abuse of any form not just people who have been abused by preists.


#2

My heart goes out to you. However, I don't think it is just the Catholic church that does not help. I think society has no where to really talk about it. Sure nowadays there is not the same stigma there use to be and people talk more. But the reality is, I have to wonder if the talk is just talk. The same person who screams for victim's rights for over 20 years has not healed. I have know a couple of people who were abused and they say they went to support groups but..... I see their insecurites and unhealthy behaviour. They still haven't healed

Somethings in life are so painful, not just abuse of any kind but death of a loved one etc that life can never be the same again. That is why we pray to God. We ask him to help us through. Bottom line is, God is the only one who can heal us. The best someone in the church can do for you is pray for you

God Bless
CM


#3

[quote="mamabear3, post:1, topic:194024"]
Why do i feel there is no where to go inside the church to find healing from sexual abuse? My veiws on sexuality and forgiveness as a catholic are the two things that help me get though this healing process. But I've come to a road block, i need a good cathoic support group or something and can't find one. Does anyone else feel like this? I think it is time for a new movement in the church, we need to reach out and help our brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone through the nightmare of sexual abuse.

P.S. I am talking about sexal abuse of any form not just people who have been abused by preists.

[/quote]

Been there.:sad_yes:

Each soul is unique and has unique needs. Personally, the support groups I attended were of no help in healing -- they were group wallowing and condemning parties. For me, the groups were places where the members blamed their abusers for all the problems in their lives and justified (even encouraged) one another in playing the victim in every area of their lives.

I also did therapy for many years -- and that was also a disaster. The woman was all about her own beliefs and agenda, which was to "free" people from the constraints of organized religion. In the most fragile time of my life, she ignored my real issues and convinced me I needed to uncover repressed "memories." The fallout from these bad experiences nearly caused me to lose my soul.

My point is that I do believe there is a real need for effective help for those who have experienced abuse. But this help cannot be something thrown together haphazardly, just for the sake of saying, "look we did something to help." Honestly, I don't think the Church is in a position to put together a psychologically sound network of support groups with the sort of spiritual leadership this would need.

So i see the gap, but i don't yet see the solution.

Gertie


#4

cms is right. My wife never told anyone what happened to her until I met her. She never told me really any depth until about 3 years ago during our Catholic conversion. She was a fundamentalist. Many of the men in that particular group at the congregation she grew up in acted like the women caused their own abuse and this was the price they payed. So she understandably kept it to herself. This is the reason she worked for a rape crisis center and got a degree in criminal justice, to figure out why people do such things.

So, respectfully, don’t back the Catholic Church into a corner for not having a support group, which is not true. We have one associated with our parish. So you could start one of your own as long as you do it correctly. Talk to your pastor. My wife started therapy many years ago after ging me an ultimatum. She wanted me to get on medication and I reversed it on her. Ironically, not only was my family driving me crazy but I could never talk to my own wife about any of these things in depth. It was quite isolating. She learned to block out feelings about certain things. Once I confided in her father about some pressing things and he basically told me to be a man… Men are expected not to speak about such things. So I found out why for the first time why she was the way she is today. She’s improved tremendously compared to where she’d been when I married her. I wanted to walk so many times but chose to stay for her sake, not mine. We didn’t have children and we were not married in the Church. I didn’t want to believe I made a mistake for my own reasons, but in fact I believed I did and couldn’t explain why I never stopped feeling called to the priesthood. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn’t. But I do know that I was called to marry her. I realized that I had made a major mistake leaving the Church but because of my own abuse I just couldn’t get past the anger at the bishops and priests…until I found our pastor, who explained to me what really was going on. The priest scandals actually helped bring me back home because for the first time people were talking about it, which brought healing. I, like my wife, lost trust in our church leaders.

This is truly a universal problem. Vatican Counsel II brought something out that most Catholics don’t seem to have caught. Read APOSTOLICAM ACTUOSITATEM%between%. The truth is that some people’s recovery is a life time burden. No one can fix you but you. Go start a group of your own.


#5

[quote="eucharisteo, post:4, topic:194024"]
cms is right. My wife never told anyone what happened to her until I met her. She never told me really any depth until about 3 years ago during our Catholic conversion. She was a fundamentalist. Many of the men in that particular group at the congregation she grew up in acted like the women caused their own abuse and this was the price they payed. So she understandably kept it to herself. This is the reason she worked for a rape crisis center and got a degree in criminal justice, to figure out why people do such things.

So, respectfully, don't back the Catholic Church into a corner for not having a support group, which is not true. We have one associated with our parish. So you could start one of your own as long as you do it correctly. Talk to your pastor. My wife started therapy many years ago after ging me an ultimatum. She wanted me to get on medication and I reversed it on her. Ironically, not only was my family driving me crazy but I could never talk to my own wife about any of these things in depth. It was quite isolating. She learned to block out feelings about certain things. Once I confided in her father about some pressing things and he basically told me to be a man... Men are expected not to speak about such things. So I found out why for the first time why she was the way she is today. She's improved tremendously compared to where she'd been when I married her. I wanted to walk so many times but chose to stay for her sake, not mine. We didn't have children and we were not married in the Church. I didn't want to believe I made a mistake for my own reasons, but in fact I believed I did and couldn't explain why I never stopped feeling called to the priesthood. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't. But I do know that I was called to marry her. I realized that I had made a major mistake leaving the Church but because of my own abuse I just couldn't get past the anger at the bishops and priests.........until I found our pastor, who explained to me what really was going on. The priest scandals actually helped bring me back home because for the first time people were talking about it, which brought healing. I, like my wife, lost trust in our church leaders.

This is truly a universal problem. Vatican Counsel II brought something out that most Catholics don't seem to have caught. Read APOSTOLICAM ACTUOSITATEM%between%. The truth is that some people's recovery is a life time burden. No one can fix you but you. Go start a group of your own.

[/quote]

This is an excellent and powerful post. Thank you for sharing from the heart. Healing truly is a lifetime process, but then so is the path to holiness.

Thanks also for the link to the document.

Gertie


#6

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