Wednesday, June 22, 2011
When it comes to forgiveness, we are told to forgive 70 x 7. It's a number lost in translation.
But how many times will our hearts be broken? How many times can a heart bear breaking? Do I even need to put up one link? Do I need to append a bibliography of sadism, sexual abuse, misuse of power, cover-ups, denial, pretense of piety by predators? Castigate me if you will, but I simply cannot bear to do so! Already this blog has more than enough posts recounting my own prior efforts to understand, put into prose or verse, the suffering I've sought to heal, lift up, to bear, transcend.
My heart is breaking yet again. Yet again this stormy morning - for young men abused in Tanzania and in Britain and in Kansas (City) – where “somewhere over the rainbow” never came.
My heart is breaking because I cannot even mention these latest horrors (or the church) in my own home. For I live in a household with elderly Mr. TheraP whose physical abuse by two priests in a small European village, over 60 years ago, leaves him still so emotionally raw, so troubled at each further revelation, he cannot hear more, strives to avoid. It's the under-reporting, not just the reporting. Self-censorship. For how many times can a broken heart break?
My heart is breaking because of all the stories and the people I've tried to help over the years. Those abused by priests, by therapists, by parents, siblings, neighbors, school crossing-guards. Children turned into prostitutes or photo shoots by parents, by any predator who got ahold of them. Ferried around at night to God knows where for the child knew not. Ferried in trunks of cars. Left in corners awaiting the unknown. Mentally trying to escape into other selves, feeling themselves shrinking into nothingness, disappearing into walls or objects.
My heart is breaking because of adults preyed upon by clergy. By the fall-out for parishioners when they learn the trusted pastor has harmed someone – and it might have been them. When that means their child who needed guidance has been “guided” by a predator. When all harmed feel doubly harmed when a legal process seeks to lay bare the life and soul of anyone whose heart has already been broken too many times.
My heart is breaking at the failure of shepherds. The self-protection of partners in power, Ecclesiastical Bullies. At the failure of law enforcement, of legislatures, of nations torturing their own citizens.
Dear God, has it no end? T.S. Eliot said it better than I: “Where is the end of it, the soundless wailing...?”
My heart is breaking because these tortured souls' unbearable emotions end up exposing even their therapists to a kind of torture, a mental suffering, vicariously traumatizing even the strongest, most caring among us. Yes, we willingly undergo something like a crucifixion on their behalf. And the Love of God pours through our suffering hearts. Hopefully into theirs. Into their broken hearts devoid of trust. Even for those who suffer on their behalf.
Dear God, the ground of our beseeching is breaking beneath us. As we pray from a place of utter extremity.
Posted by TheraP at Wednesday, June 22, 2011