Give Me Shelter

This blog was written by Adults Sexually Abused by Priests (ASAP)

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 an 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.

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