This blog was written by Adults Sexually Abused by Priests (ASAP)
I read something last week from a reader who said that the abuse we have been through in our lives and the subsequent pain, isolation, loneliness and emotional fallout we experienced as a result of that has given us in a sense, more strength or experience than perhaps the average person going through this lockdown due to the Corona virus. And that experience may allow us to be able to help others having a difficult time right now.
That’s an interesting thought. Another way of thinking about it is, in a sense, the world as a whole is being forced to experience the loneliness and isolation from others that many who have been abused have felt. And there is a collective consciousness of “we are all in this together”, kind of like when we attend a local SNAP meeting or on an even bigger scale when we attend the annual SNAP meeting. We don’t feel like we are the only ones feeling the way we do. We enter the meeting with a part of our outter core shed and a bit of vulnerability showing so that we feel an emotional closeness.
So, yes, I believe that the world is kind of connected in our mass isolation. And for those of us who have felt alone and separated from the world at some point in our lives, we can probably understand better than many people how some of those in isolation at this time may not be handling this well emotionally. And we care. Because we don’t want anyone else to feel the depths of darkness that can creep in under the door when for whatever reason we are alone with nothing but our thoughts. Some people have nothing but the TV for company and that can be pretty depressing these days.
My friend and I were out in the car the other day when I had to run an errand. (with masks and gloves, of course) Standing on the corner by a busy intersection was a woman holding a sign. I couldn’t read the sign. It was a brisk, windy day and she had a scarf over her mouth and a hood from her jacket covering her head. On her hands, she wore winter gloves. This was nothing new. We have all seen people standing with signs asking for money or have been approached for money in order to “get home”, which seems like a popular ploy in larger cities. I, like most people who don’t want to fall for scams, don’t hand out our money.
But there was something about this woman that made me want to help her. I told my friend that and he said…no, don’t open the window and give her any money. And indeed these days, it is a risk to open your window for someone. Maybe someone who just wants a bottle of vodka.
I panhandled myself when I was a teenager needing change for something forbidden and thinking that any unknown adult was fair game to help as long as my parents didn’t find out. Well, I asked for a dime to make a phone call back when 40 cents would buy a pack of cigarettes….but I digress. Please don’t judge. I was 15 with a teenager’s brain.
But I just knew I needed to help this woman. She could be a mom out of work and needing to feed her kids. You know, she could even be a hooker falling on hard times due to the virus needing a place to sleep. Does it matter? We are all human beings just hanging on these days. So I opened my window and she ran over and grabbed money from my glove to hers and I truly hope I helped someone a little.
Maybe it is because we have all been there….where we needed help and someone helped us. And the world has slowed down enough so that when we do see each other, we see a connection to each other we didn’t see before. We all…all of us…have something in common.
But….we do still need to be careful. Always be careful. As victims of clergy abuse, we saw good in someone because that is what they wanted us to see. So, don’t let your compassion blind you to anyone who is willing to take advantage of that. Unfortunately, true colors are being shown at this time by many people. The good want to help. The not so good want to take advantage of the good.
My creative home ventures this week included painting my kitchen and making salmon bisque…..which is easy and inexpensive. Canned salmon, canned tomatoes, flour, milk, butter….anyone else try anything new?
I also read an article on how to marry yourself. That’s right. Basically it was about how to put yourself first and not think of it as being selfish or narcissistic. And to not look for your happiness from someone else. This is a good time to think about what is right in your life and what is not working. We all need people but not at the expense of our mental, physical or financial health. And despite being kind-hearted, we can only do so much for other people.
Okay, people…stay well and try to be good to yourself. Don’t forget, next Sunday is the meeting for those Abused as Adults. 7pm-9pm E.S.T.
Read more at Adults Abused By Priests.