I’m not going to lie. Quarantine is beginning to get to me. I consider myself lucky, though. If I look back over my life, now is probably the best time for this to happen. To be stuck inside, that is. I have no pressing things to get done at work, I am not a teenager wanting to escape being stuck with my parents, nor do I have teenagers blasting music and giving me sullen looks in passing. I have really no place I need to be and time to do the things I always said I’d do when I got the time.
Instead I find that I’m watching too much tv and moving slowly on my to-do list. Having trouble sleeping and then sleeping too much. Worrying about my mom who is by herself and unable to figure out her computer. Worrying about my little grandson who is too young to know that things are different outside of his little world. Worrying about my brother who is eating, drinking and smoking too much while he works from home. And worried about my grown sons who I have no control about taking care of at this point in their lives.
And it seems that life always comes back to changing what you can change and accepting the rest. And so I bring my mother food and call to make sure she is okay, and I keep in touch with my kids and I get them thermometers and stuff like that because they never think they will get sick, and I try to text and email and call friends when I can.
And I think about how this is affecting people who have been abused by priests. I wonder how they may be handling the isolation. Does it feel like a safe cocoon being home? Does it make feelings of being trapped arise and feel claustrophobic? Are they stuck in quarantine with and abusive person?
I do think about that. Who is everyone stuck with right now? Are they all alone? Or are they stuck with an alcoholic parent or partner….or perhaps struggling to remain sober themselves?
It kind of brings back some memories of childhood. The cheese stands alone. Musical chairs….sorry, you’re on your own. Pick a partner to Do-Si-Do and….FREEZE….suddenly life has stopped and wherever you are, there you will be and no takesy backsies for infinity and beyond.
Is it too naïve of me to hope that social distancing means that there is no more abuse happening between priests and adults and children because the churches are (mostly) closed? I truly hope so, but I am not naïve enough to believe that somewhere out there a priest is weighing the odds to see if they are in his favor when a family member is lost and comfort is needed, or someone is lonely, or there is a child receptive to love-bombing at this time.
But I am hoping that abuse from priests has dropped significantly at this time. I also hope that those who find themselves alone or stuck with a psychologically unhealthy person, or unable to leave a small apartment with kids who are getting on each other’s nerves….I hope they make it through each day….one at a time. And for those who were just hanging on before this happened and are now left alone with their thoughts….try to find one thing each day that brings you a little happiness. Or at least a break from your own thoughts.
I’ve said how I began to look towards spirituality for comfort, and everyone has their own beliefs and that is fine. I do think everyone has that voice inside their head….that running narrative throughout life….perhaps a bit of intuition or that conscience….whatever you want to call it. I believe in spirit guides myself.
There was a moment a couple of years ago, after my abuse when I found myself at a point of…..why do I even try? Why do these things happen to me? I don’t hurt anyone. And as I sat there, an answer came to me clearly as if it swept in through the window with the breeze.
“You asked for this”, it said.
I thought about that for a moment. “Sounds like something I would do,” I thought. First one to put my hand up in class. All full of ideas to save the world before I was born. It did put things in a different light for me. Kind of made me feel more in control and blaming others less. Made things less personal and more of a mission to change what I could.
I don’t have the answers. I don’t. We’ve all been through a lot in life. We search for answers. Then we get shut off from a source we believe has the answers. But we’re not, not really.
This is a really difficult time. And it is okay to stay in your pajamas and eat out the ice cream container and binge watch “Mr. Robot” (which is what I am watching now). It’s okay to cry, to grieve, to be afraid and to feel lonely.
Personally, I’d be fine if I could just visit family and a couple of friends here and there. And if someone said…..not to worry, all will be well, things will get better….we’ll come out of this in three months right as rain.
How is everyone doing? What are you doing to get through this right now? What are you watching on TV? Have your learned to knit? Bake? Began to draw again? Pulled out the puzzles and the board games?
Are you getting through one day at a time, or are you barely hanging on? Wishing everyone comfort and protection.
7 thoughts on “Give Me Shelter”
If it is any consolation to you. My daughter a teenager are yet abused mentally of bad memories of such abuse. Hang in there.
I actually would not mind being quarantined with my kids or my parents. People are the most precious commodity. That being said, I should really go for a walk….you hang in there as well.
What this time seems to be about to me:
I’m getting through better than some, even my wife, because as one systematically sexually & socially abused by priests I’ve lived my life being condemned into near total isolation by those who support such horrors… so this isn’t that bad & helps others to understand what people like me have gone through. But; it’s also a time of increasing predation through social networks which are using this government recommend self isolation to put further strain on relationships. Those with positions of institutional authority have been using this to further consolidate their positions between those who are either loyal or manipulatable such as to bring forth greater division when things do reopen. That’s problematic at best and likely more than concerning to those of us who already know what such social isolation is like. Yet this also makes this a significant opportunity for Adults Sexually Abused by Priests (whether as children or only in adulthood) to step forth as even greater avenues of change. Because every neighbor is desperate for that strength we’ve already learned, for that example which we already exemplify. Survivors of such abuse already know how to be alone & how to weather such internal storms in ways which will help our neighbors & friends get through & thrive a little better when this period is over. That’s when real work of rebuilding social networks will begin and those who have been kind & helped others through will be looked to as leaders in that time. The danger is in isolating until so hungry for contact that those institutional leaders will have even that to hold against us. So take a walk & talk to others if only at a distance. Being of help where can & demonstrating that faith of spirit which got us through the worst in our past can be our strength to rebuild with others as we all take a breath & witness what is truly important to us as individuals ❤
I found a winning formula that helped me over the cycle that seemingly had no end. I visited a therapist in Covington, LA , Leah Steele. She provided me a workbook for PTSD. I worked a chapter a week and we discussed the issues. The workbook was meant to be completed on your own time and it helped to drill down to exact cause of the issue or lingering feelings. Once I knew what the cause of the feelings were…that is I brought the culprit to light, identified it and then knew I was not the cause but innocent. That feeling disappeared. To top off this experience, I attended a Cursillo Retreat. This is a 3 day weekend retreat that uses advanced psychology methods and prayers to help the person – who is indeed – someone who has sustained trauma at the hands of another. When I left after the closing ceremony, I left all the baggage associated with the abuse I endured at the hands of my husband and my priest. The Cursillo retreat is offered by many different churches. Although the Catholic Church does have a wonderful one in South MS, you may attend a Methodist one. Please consider these two resources. I want everyone who has experienced similar trauma to mine to be free and happy. Prayerfully, P.
Thank you for sharing this experience with others. I’m so glad it helped you through some tough feelings.
What was the name of the workbook? I would be really interested in purchasing one for myself. More power to you. It’s takes a long time to work thru painful experiences.