As many of you know I have been grappling with connecting "me" and the inner child. To connect and accept two parts who see the abuser in different ways. I have been trying to connect and my T recommend I write a letter to the abuser from the two parts of me--but I did not need to mail. I wrote him once but it was more of venting message vs. from the heart of me. I have done it and was told sharing with others may help me--I am sorry for being selfish and thinking of myself--but I need to share.

Dear Fr.______:

I must write to you to regain my life. I have written you in the past but never telling you the impact you had on my life. You were my Hannibal Lecter. For a lifetime my life has been under your spell. A spell you spun on a young child who thought of his own days of becoming a priest. I loved servicing the Church and being an altar boy was my dream, it brought happiness and made me feel closer to God. You were an inspiration to me. I remember your gentle smile and your words of encouragement, the additional weddings and funerals you let me serve to help me to earn some money. You made me feel special and loved. It was pure and innocent, a child and his priest. But one day my life began to change because of what was done. The big brown door still haunts me to this day. I see it open and the winding stairs to the place no child should enter. The uneven floors, the rock and dirt became our lair. When you first touched me it was a swift and gentle touch to my shoulders, you spoke I would be alright. I never expected what would follow.

I was an innocent and compliant child who loved life, loved my family and I believe I loved myself. But as your hands moved across my body like a wave gently rubbing a surfers body, my mind would wander to a place I do not know. I would hear the belt buckle hit the floor, I would feel the cold air on my butt and then I would be gone, looking down from above or not remembering what had been done. Had I died and now all I could see was the world below? Yes, I did die that day and every day you brought me to the cellar. My heart was hardened and I did not know what to do. I did not want the police to take me from my Mom and Dad and brothers as you said would be done. The words you so often spoke echo in my ears of what an ungrateful son I would be to tell of our little secret. You would whisper I was special and as you touched me and I was made to touch you, I would begin to fly away. I would travel to a place I do not know but I know I would never wish anyone to go. My mouth, body and private areas were touched and entered so many times by your bodily weapon, the cross or the holy water wand. You made me touch and hold parts of you. I would see myself cry, but I could not feel any emotion or pain. Why did my body react with what I learned years later was a sign of pleasure. I was just a child. But each time you told me how much you loved me and how special I was to you. I did not understand but you told me it was our secret and no one should ever know.

Why the other older boy? You brought him into our world. A world you said was ours and our secret would now be shared with him. I was sad and hurt but he would touch me like you touched me. I remember his curly dark hair and remember him saying, we have to do this so we can get out of here. He would use himself and the objects to touch and enter me. You would watch and tell us how beautiful it looked to watch us. Why did you have to bring another boy into our world? I cannot remember his name but I do remember years later he had died. I heard suicide and drug overdose. When I saw his face when I entered the church before I buried my Mom, I was able to see him in the cellar and, he was scared and trying to comfort me. I always thought he was the bad one and now I realize he was a pawn to your ways. We never exchanged eye contact when we passed each other on the outside. Now his life is gone and where has my life been all these years?

Where had I been all these times not to tell you I was hurt and did not want anymore. Where had I gone and why did I leave the child behind to bear all the pain and suffering that traveled so deep inside of me. I know I told you when you first began I was hurt and you said that if it was not I, it would be my younger brother. I said no I would be good. But today I wonder did you disregard our agreement and take his life? He had a troubled life and I cannot but believe you destroyed it. The rectory has been leveled to the ground, taking a part of me with it.

I thought after it was over my life would be the way it was before we began. But it was not, I was in pain and hurt. I would find myself praying to die in my sleep so I would not have to face another day. But each day I would see the sun rise. Where were you now? Sadly, you were deeply ingrained into my soul and inner being. I wanted to be free of you but I could not. A part of me felt special to you and you to me, why would I feel this way. It was my inner child you so violated as I traveled above and watched and sometimes to a place beyond as the two of you were engaged in your deeds. For years I was able to keep you buried into Pandora�s Box and keep it firmly bolted. But there were times when you would escape and wreak havoc on my life. I could always get you back into the Box. But as time marched on, I no longer had the will or strength and you would become what I thought was my nemesis. I begged for help, but those around did not hear, only adding to my stress with demands and words of how useless I was or creating an environment of being made to feel violated and trapped�like the child in the cellar. I was now gone, back to the place I wish no one would ever have to enter. It was a place with no identity or sense of place or purpose. I left my body behind to run aimlessly in this world, like I left the child in the cellar with you.

I was just a child and, I did not understand what you were doing to me. You made me believe it was right but it was wrong. I never had the childhood I deserved. You took so much from me. I have felt guilt and shame for a lifetime. I know I was a child but to me I should have done more to stop it�I should have told someone, I should have stood up to you sooner, I should never have come back for more, I should have screamed�but I did not. I believed it was my fault and I am now beginning to accept it was not my fault. Your evil and �grooming� ways enticed the child into a covert and perverse world of evil and shame. You stole a child�s life but I cannot let you destroy what time I have left.

You have controlled my life for decades. You imprinted your message of what love is to the child within me. But that life is not me. I know your words and acts are not love. But to the child within, the child I left behind and denied believes your words and actions are love. It was only a love that a child would believe and, a love which to me is perverse and immoral, a love that robbed a child of a childhood, a love that robbed me of being who I was meant to be, a love that made me distrust the world and myself, a love that let others hurt me because I was not worthy of anyone else�s love, a love that robbed me of living in the here and now that may have led to hurt of others. You taught me to be you. I treated my inner child the way you treated him, denying his humanity and right to know true love. I isolated him like you isolated me from the world as you made me believe what we did was right. I learned from you, to leave myself and travel to an unknown place. The part of me I left behind in the cellar and when my life began to unravel had to walk the world alone. He was not prepared or equipped to live in the world, he believed love was what you had done to him. But the child is learning your ways were the ways of the demon, he saw you in the cellar when we returned. He began to feel it was not love. Now it is up to me to embrace the child and tell him I love him and he is part of me. I need to acknowledge you were there and for him to recognize what true love is. No more I say will you control our life, we will become whole, the �me� and the child who has been stuck in time because of you and what you had done to me. I am here for the inner child, I love him and I will not leave him to bear the pains and hurts of others as I have done for a lifetime. I will hopefully never separately travel and leave the child behind, to the place I wish I had never visited for the first time so many decades ago. It is a place of darkness that holds no memories of what was done, it is an escape from a world a child�s life should never touch.

Once Your Victim But No Longer Your Victim,