Identity Crisis!

I have a problem: am I a victim or am I a survivor? If you’ve been following my blog at all you may have noticed that up to this point I’ve been using the word “victim” a lot and “survivor” seldom. There’s a reason for this but I’m not sure how well I can explain it, but I’ll give it a go.

In short, being victimized has everything to do with the perpetrator. Being a survivor has everything to do with me. My concern is that when using the word survivor, there’s some inference that the crime of victimization is in the past and non-victims might be tempted to want to leave it there. The problem with that is that though the crime happened long ago, victims are often dealing with the consequences for a very long time. Sometimes for the rest of their lives. I would argue, others would disagree, through no fault of their own.

The point that I’m trying to make is that as a victim I have been violated and there are consequences that I’m having to deal with on a continual basis. So being a victim is something done to me and the perpetrator is accountable for the damage caused. On the other hand, in this context, I see being a survivor as something I choose to do in response to being victimized; even if that something doesn’t seem to be enough.

To be clear, I don’t believe it’s healthy to get stuck in the victim mentality. But it is necessary to acknowledge the damage done by the crime that led to one being victimized. It is also appropriate to recognize the challenging and difficult work of recovery that often lasts for the rest of our lives: triggers, flashbacks, trust issues, anger issues, relationship issues, etc.

For me the fallout has been extraordinary, even unbearable at times, and recovery is proving to be an ongoing struggle that I’m not sure I’m winning. This statement is very vague and I am sorry for that, but to try to explain it seems that would take an awful lot of words and I’m not even sure I could do a good job explaining it if I were to try. Not even sure I understand myself. LOL. But there is one aspect that I can try to explain and that is the overwhelming sense of shame that I feel and can’t seem to shake. I live in constant shame. It’s not that I want to or that I even think about it all. But the shame is so deep rooted that it casts a dark color on so many different aspects of my life and there doesn’t seem to be any escaping it for me.

It feels like I should explain how the shame impacts my life but I’m going to hold that discussion for later. For the moment let it suffice to say that the effects of the shame are like a heavy lead weight upon my shoulders and living with it is tiring. It is wearing me out, draining me of my energy. I am becoming exhausted. Again.

Do you or have you felt that way? Let me know. It’s my hope that by sharing my experience it may help us to connect in some way. It’s important for others to know they are not alone.

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,

Matt

“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?

Not signed up? Please do. Look for the “Follow” link and complete the information requested. 

Sig – Pope – b4 signature

ALL CONTENTS COPYRIGHTED 2019-2021 © by H. Matthew Casey, @Journey from Abused to Joy, https://fromabusedtojoy.com/gallery, journeyfromabusedtojoy@gmail.com. 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

TESTIMONIALS:

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

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.

UK

‘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.’

spatula3

2 thoughts on “Identity Crisis!

  1. Shame. Yes, I get it. Especially as I am writing my memoir, reliving certain memories brings all kinds of awful feelings. I find that prayer helps a lot, when I feel that way. I pray the way the Lord Jesus taught His disciples to pray, when He taught them what is commonly called the Lord’s prayer. No prayer beads or rosaries, no prayers to ‘saints’ or to Mary, just a simple prayer to Father God.

    I respect your right to believe as you do. However, I could never be a Catholic, for so many reasons.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s