I need to get all of this off my chest tonight, while I still have at least a little bit of courage. I don't even really know if this is a very good idea. After all, I am a new member and I don't really know anyone on here as of yet. But what the hell...
I am 18 years old, and just out of high school, waiting to go off to college in just a couple of months. I get a call at work from my mom, and she says that she has had my little sister hospitalized in a psych ward. My sister has been messing with drugs, sleeping around, and becoming completely unmanageable. I am numb when I get the news. I have been (although there is not a name for it yet in my head) dealing with an ever-growing case of clinical depression for about 4 years, and had just that month begun to see a therapist for this depression, even though I don't realize yet at the moment just how sick I really am. I am an atheist, having abandoned the Lutheran faith in which I grew up as useless and full of pious platitudes about a God who is love.
Fast forward two months. I am told by mom that we have a "family meeting" at my sister's mental hospital, including my sister, my mom and step-dad, and the psychiatrist. During this meeting, the doctor plays a tape of a session in which he had given my sister truth serum. In this session, under the influence of this drug (I forget the name of it now), my sister admits to her doctor that she had been molested by my father while she was a little child. My mom had known nothing about it, as she worked nights, leaving my sister and me home alone with my dad. At last we know why my sister had been freaking out more and more these past few years. She had always remembered, but had never said anything to anyone, out of fear.
The doctor, at the end of this meeting, turns to me and says, "Were you ever abused yourself? Because usually a perpetrator will not stop at just one child if there are more victims available to him." I personally feel as if I have been hit with a ton of bricks. I have absolutely no memories of my dad ever being anything but a nice, silent, gentle sort of man, who had never lifted either his hand or his voice to me in anger. He had always been my hero, while my mom-on the other hand-had always been physically and emotionally abusive to me. I replied that I had no memories of such a thing happening to me.
I talk about this with my therapist. He begins to make some connections with my symptomology, and suggests that I undergo a truth serum session with my sister's psychiatrist. I agree, more out of curiosity than anything else. After all, my dad couldn't possibly have hurt me, right?
During the session (now I remember the name of the drug... sodium pentothol, I think), I recount to the doctor about an episode in which my father comes into my bedroom naked when I am five years old. At that point, I don't remember any details. The doctor is talking to me as if I am that little boy. He asks me how many times this happened, and I say that it happens more times than I can count.
He says to my mom that there is little doubt in his mind that I too was abused by my father. (to this day, this exact memory has never come back to me really).
And so, the "truth" about my life has been completely shattered. The mand who had always been my white knight has been revealed to be a horrible monster. My life plummets into a valley through which no light shines. The depression becomes more and more serious, though noone at this stage of the game calls it a mental illness. This will only come several years later. (Maybe in the early 80's clinical depression hadn't fully been diagnosed as a true malady?)
So the years of therapy begin. When I am about 23, after having stopped therapy for a couple of years, thinking (and not for the last time) that it was all over and in my past and that I was at last "normal", I start to have panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, and... memories. Physical and emotional sensations come rapidly...
1. Sensations of a huge penis being shoved in my little boy's mouth. It's too huge and it grates against my back teeth as he shoves it in
2. Sensations of my mouth full of cum and cum on my chest
3. A penis being rubbed against my chest
4. Me, alone and naked in my bed, in my dark bedroom, waiting night after night for my dad's arrival. He sends me to bed naked after my bath, so that I will be "ready" for him
5. The sound of my dad lubricating himself before raping me
6. I remember being hit violently in the face, to make me submit, because I fought against my dad, at least once.
These are the only real memories I have ever had, though I suspect that hundreds of others are still locked up in the safe in my head, maybe waiting till I feel safe enough to deal with them, or maybe I will have to wait until I get to heaven to see.
By this time, I have converted to the Catholic faith, thank God. If I didn't have faith and the help of the Church (human and broken as it is), I would be dead right now, of that I am 100 percent certain. I convert through the example of a friend of mine, the first person in my life to take the time to point out to me that God is truly good, that the world is beautiful, and then I read the little "poem" called Footprints, and God's grace comes to me, showing me that He has always been with me, even carried me in the darkest moments, even when I couldn't see His presence or recognize His help.
Anyway, as the memories and panic attacks come, I become more and more depressed. I re-start therapy and join a 12 step group, but it's not enough. I get so depressed one day when in group I have the realization that my whole life, I had never been anything but something to be used or humiliated, that I form the resolution to kill myself by drinking a bottle of bleach. I am going downstairs to the laundry room to drink it, when (and to this day I don't know WHY I did it) I call my therapist and tell her what I am about to do. She gets hold of a friend of mine, who takes me to a psych ward, where I check myself in. I spend a month there, trying to get myself out of the black hole I am in. I am there, finally, diagnosed with clinical depression and I start Prozac. After a month of hell in a psych ward (that is a whole other story in itself) I am released.
Flash forward again, to spare several years of escapades, therapy, Prozac, etc. I am now 42 years old, living in a monastery in France as I study for the priesthood, God willing. For the last two years, however, the old anguish has been coming back. It's like I have a constant two-edged sword in my heart. The images of my father's penis in my mouth haunt me constantly. I have recurring (and have had all my adult life)nightmares of serial killers or demons who chase me, trying to kill me, or make me watch them torture and kill someone I love. The anguish and loneliness that I feel are constant: even though I am in a monastery with about 60 other guys, I feel alone... incredibly alone. I am taking homeopathic remedies (I refuse to go back on Prozac)because they help things come out, they don't repress. That's great and good, but it means that I am now, at the age of 42, recalling and re-experiencing all that I have held bottled-up since I was 5.
It's not easy. In fact, it's freakin' hell most of the time. And yet the fact that I am still here, that I continue to battle is a witness to the incredible power of God's love and grace in my life, as well as the help of those who love me.
I don't believe that my life really matters, not even to God, not even to my friends. The wiring in my heart and in my head has been too frikking damaged. When I am in the midst of my anguish, I become paralyzed emotionally, and I have huge amounts of trouble reaching out to those who might be able to help me. It literally takes days before I say anything to anyone.
I honestly don't know if I will ever be fully healed, be able to put all this shit behind me. I doubt it. After all, even Christ resurrected still carries His wounds. However, I HOPE,I have to HOPE, cling to HOPE with all my heart and soul, that I will get better slowly, and that in Heaven we will all finally find peace.
I am sorry this is so long. I hope maybe it will help someone somehow not to feel all alone.
"Blessed are those who mourn, they shall be comforted"
St Matthew 5:5
Sometimes I think milk and cookies are the ultimate comfort food!Brother B+ Story