As my performance art student, I am asking you to write and then eventually perform your life crisis, your personal trauma, your inner suffering. Of course I demand that you have a private therapist working with me at this time and all 3 of us will come together to discuss your process and progress for the sake of safety and good ethical art/life/psychologial health and practice.
After I read your art-letter which you must cc to your therapist as well, we will set up a time to meet.
Here is my letter and it is cc'd to my therapist as well.
Can we meet next week all 3 of us?
LETTER FROM MY STUDENT SHANE TO HIS LOCAL BISHOP
Thank you for representing clergy abuse survivors at the Rome meeting, FEB 2012.
As a former altar boy and male survivor who is not a member of SNAP or asking for money or doing any other public disclosure, I would like to offer some discerned insights from my perspective.
Some of us survivors are confessionally secretive, forgiven, but never "out of the stench of pain" so to speak. Our battlegrounds are our memories.
What do we want? What do we need? Everyone would have a different answer, here are some of mine:
1.THERAPY PROVIDED BY THE CHURCH.......
WITHOUT HAVING TO DISCLOSE NAMES AND NUMBERS OF OUR PERPETRATORS(I HAD 4 DIFFERENT ONES)..THE WAY IT IS NOW, U CAN GO TO A DIOCESAN CONTACT FOR CLERGY ABUSE COUNSELING BUT THE NAMES OF THE PERPETRATORS ARE TAKEN..... IT DOES NOT FEEL SAFE OR PRIVATE. ANY OTHER WAY THIS COULD BE DONE? INTERNET? YOUR FINDINGS WOULD BE APPRECIATED.
2.A YEARLY STREAMED MASS OF "HEALING" FOR ALL ABUSED SURVIVORS THAT IS STREAMED SO THOSE STILL IN "HIDING" CAN ATTEND???????
OTHERS WHO ARE PUBLIC AND THEIR FRIENDS CAN BE THERE IN PERSON. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT A DAY EVERY YEAR AT A FIXED DATE, HAPPENS IN EVERY PARISH INTERNATIONALLY.
3. THIS IS A MUST........................
3.A COMPASSIONATE , CARING EXORCIST IN EVERY DIOCESE WHO IS CONVERSANT WITH WORKING PRIVATELY WITH ABUSE SURVIVORS WHO OFTEN NEED DELIVERANCES FOR YEARS!!!!!!
N.B I AM NOT SAYING THEY ARE FULLY IN NEED OF AN EXORCISM BUT THEY ARE DEFINATELY IN NEED OF DELIVERANCE FROM A TRAINED EXORCIST.
4. A SUPPORTED CHARISMATIC RENEWAL PROGRAM IN EVERY PARISH SO THAT A WEEKLY LAYING ON OF SAFE , YES SAFE HANDS CAN BE EXPERIENCED IN A CHURCH SETTING WHICH IS LIKE A MINE FIELD FOR US SURVIVORS....
THE CHURCH, ROMAN COLLAR, INCENSE ETC ARE ALL TRIGGERS FOR MANY OF US......THINK HOW WONDERFUL IT WOULD BE IF LAY AND CLERGY WERE ABLE TO TOUCH AND BE TOUCHED AS JESUS DID BY LAYING ON OF HANDS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
5. AN ADMITTANCE THAT WE CLERGY ABUSE SURVIVORS SUFFER FROM PTSD...AND ARE OFTEN SEVERLY FOOD PHOBIC(CASE IN POINT I WENT FROM 130LBS TO 80 IN A FEW MONTHS AFTER ABUSE )....
AND THAT WE NEED TO BE TREATED BY TRAINED SPECIALISTS FOR PTSD IN A SAFE, PRIVATE, FINANCIALLY SUPPORTED ENVIRONMNET. I HAVE BEEN IN LIFETIME THERAPY, ALL PAID BY ME, BECAUSE I DO NOT WISH TO BE PUBLIC WITH THE PERPETRATORS NAMES.
6. A PLACE, RETREAT HOUSE , WHERE SURVIVORS CAN BE GIVEN SCHOLARSHIPS TO BE WITH OTHERS IN A HEALING WAY, EVERY YEAR, FOR THE NEXT 50 YEARS.........
7.IN CONCLUSION: PRAY FOR US WHILE U R THERE, BISHOP CONLON, DONT JUST TALK ABOUT US AND THE NEW "POSSIBLE ABUSED" AND DONT JUST TALK RULES OR WAYS TO PROTECT CHURCH COFFERS. REACH INTO YOUR HEARTS AND FEEL YOUR PAIN ABOUT THESE COMPLEXITIES AND FEEL OUR STORIES. MAYBE A NEW HEALING WILL COME????
WE DO THIS SO WE CAN BRING FRESH AIR TO THE COMPLEXITIES OF THE OLD SCRIPT BECAUSE NOW:
WE SURVIVORS OF CLERGY ABUSE:
A. ARE OFTEN SUICIDAL;
B.WE ARE TRIGGERED BY CATHOLICISM EVEN WHEN WE HAVE RETURNED TO THE PRACTICE OF OUR EARLY FAITH;
C.WE WANT TO SHOUT THE HURTS FROM THE ROOFTOPS BUT WE SOMETIMES TAKE ALL OF THIS MESS TO PRAYER INSTEAD;
WE HAVE EATING DISORDERS;
WE CUT OURSELVES;
H.WE DIE OF SUPRESSED EMOTIONAL SCREAMS;
WE DRINK AND DRUG;
WE WANT TO BE TOUCHED IN HEALTHY WAYS BUT WE CANT KEEP OUR MARRIAGES TOGETHER BECAUSE WE ARE REPELLED BY TOUCH;
WE ARE WALKING TRIGGER-REACTORS;
WE ARE WAITING FOR/HOPING THE CHURCH, THE ORIGINAL BETRAYER OF OUR INNOCENCE AND TRUST, CAN HELP US HEAL INTO A NEW LIFE .
AND YOU PRIESTS AND NUNS? YOU CRINGE AT THE THOUGHT OF US AND OF WHAT YOUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS HAVE DONE TO US...I KNOW, I'VE SEEN IT.
YOU DONT WANT US TO ENUMERATE THE WAYS FATHER/SISTER ______ DID THIS OR THAT. WHO WOULD WANT TO HEAR ALL OF THIS?
BUT IT SEEMS TO BE TAKING US YEARS TO PURGE AND PURIFY OUR HEARTS OF THESE CONFUSED VOICES, AND TELLING THE STORIES OVER AND OVER TAKES TIME UNTIL THE STORIES ARE MEMORY FREE.
YOU SHOO US OUT OF CONFESSION AND COUNSELING WITH A "SAY AN OUR FATHER,"....IT HAS HAPPENED TO ME...I DONT BLAME YOU, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
THIS TRUTH TELLING TIME IS TOUGH FOR EVERYONE AND TOTALLY NECESSARY.
DO NOT BE AFRAID.
PRAY FOR US AS WE MUST BEGIN TO PRAY FOR ALL OF YOU NOW........IT IS A 2 WAY STREET.
PEACE BE WITH YOU AND DO GOOD LOVING WORK,
Name withheld at advice of my lawyer
FEBRUARY 5, 2012
Linda here is my letter. What do you think? Im so glad you are my teacher and mentor, see you soon, Shane