Hello. My name is Matt Casey and I have a story to tell.
You see, while I was a kid attending an all-boys Catholic school, three words that should never go together, I was repetitively molested by a priest who had previously been identified by his superiors as a pedophile. Subsequently, he was assigned to a larger school where he had even more access to what he viewed as the fertile soil of the Catholic Church.
My story and by extension, this blog, is a homecoming of sorts. It shows that I get it, and my story/blog just may offer hope to those still suffering. My story sends the message to victims and professionals alike that I am for real and may have something to say; a resource where theory and application intersect on a continual basis in a real, live person. My story and this blog my even offer some kind or chance of healing for those tormented by unspeakable abuses they suffered at the hands of monsters. Abuses that stole childhoods from children. Abuses that forced children to survive in horrific environments of repetitive physical, mental and spiritual abuse. Abuses that cripple them despite their best efforts to recover. Abuses that will plague them for the rest of their lives. Abuses that frequently lead to destructive behaviors and too often significantly shortened lives. This blog is for those who were robbed of the full potential that they otherwise would’ve been able to achieve, save for the abuse.
My blog is for those who are striving to recover. The road is long and fraught with many bumps, potholes, black ice, fog and rain, people throwing rocks at you, bird shit and sometimes even mountains of debris. But this 54-year-old survivor can assure you that there is HOPE. The struggle is difficult. It is indeed about the journey and not the destination. There are many failures, too many to count. But there are also successes. Triumphant ones. There are scars that won’t heal. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of repetitive abuses are the learned dysfunctional coping skills that lead to so many damaged relationships, sometimes irreversibly so. Coping skills that once served to help us survive, but now have become a curse. The energy that victims have to put into recovery robs them of experiencing the many joys of life, the joys that other folks might take for granted. It robs them of intimacy. It robs them of the potential that their lives would have otherwise achieved.
If I could reach out to all victims that have suffered unimaginable abuses, if it’s okay with them, I would reach out and give them a hug and let them know it is okay to be mad. It’s okay to hurt. It’s okay to cry; that deep, powerful, freeing cry after coming fully face-to-face with the abuses they suffered. I would hug the victims as long as necessary and gently wipe away their tears. I would let them know that I am here for them and will do whatever I can to help them to recover. I would let them know that they are born to be loved, deserve to be loved, worthy to be loved, and can be loved. Allow me to repeat myself, they are worthy to be loved from their birthday and in fact worthy to be loved from the moment of their conception. I would do my best to take them by the hand and show them the path to continued recovery, whatever that looks like. I would strive to help them learn to laugh and be joyful again; or in the worst of cases help them to experience genuine, life loving joy for the very first!
This is my first blog ever, so, I really don’t know what I am doing. But I do feel driven, or called if you will, to reach to other victims in the hope that it can further our healing journey. I have no idea where this blog will ultimately lead, but I have to be true to myself and do this blog else I am afraid I may cease to exist. That is a bit of a hyperbole, but the point is that I want to share what I have learned with others and through connections made via this blog, we can experience a little more healing, a little more joy, and make this world a better place not just for us, but for those around us as well. Though I’ve been in and out of therapy for many years, I have no official training as a therapist. So, what does this qualify me to do? It qualifies me to talk about my experience. But as a result of accumulated years of therapy I am in a much better place than I’ve ever been and I’ve learned a lot that I think many others will find helpful. I pray it will help me to continue my healing journey as well.
So, here goes my blog. I look forward to meeting y’all!
Pope Francis, I appeal you to meet the needs of survivors of clergy sexual abuse by making reparations commensurate with the damage, emotional or otherwise, caused to survivors. I have ideas on how to do this. If you can’t do this, then I respectfully ask, on behalf of the Church, you to stop receiving communion until such time that the Church does. Because until the Church does, it will not be in communion with the saints. Sincere contrition is meaningless without reparations in kind. Demonstrate to the world that the Catholic Church is catholic; that is, the Church Jesus established with Peter as the rock, the first pope; that the Church practices what it preaches.
Thanks for reading.
Wishing you much love and peace,
“Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.” ― Mother Teresa
Consider sharing this blog with others. Victim/survivors of abuses, more often than not, carry this burden silently alone, not knowing how to deal with it or where to turn, but need hope. Loved ones and caregivers also need support. We never know who is or wants to reach out for help. This blog might be of help to caregivers and loved ones of abuse. Silence is deadly and if together we are able to help or save just one life, isn’t that worth it?
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ALL CONTENTS COPYRIGHTED 2019-2021 © by H. Matthew Casey, @Journey from Abused to Joy, https://fromabusedtojoy.com/gallery, firstname.lastname@example.org. All rights reserved. No part of any entry/blog may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the name of the author – H. Matthew Casey, number1advocate, @Journey from Abused to Joy – and a clear link back to this blog: https://fromabusedtojoy.com
An excerpt from the blog The Effects of Sexual Abuse Never Go Away” – “ A child is likely to be left with strong feelings of anger, fear, shame, hurt and disappointment”. That’s some of the reasons why 45 years later I’ve never told my story. Yes, it’s hidden and yes it affects me to … Continue reading Anonymous
Thank you for posting…Sharing intimate details is scary. Thank you for being so brave and for reaching out to others through this blog. I know much of your heart in this blog. Your openness and honesty is quiet beautiful. Thank you for sharing.
‘You make the reality of what you and other victims have suffered so very clear, but we all need to know that it happened. People want to help, we want to speak up and reassure, but sometimes, we just don’t know how. We are learning, hopefully. God bless you and your journey to complete peace.’