Some time ago I began this blog on stigma as I felt guided by divine direction. That same divine direction accessed through a novena had urged me to become a Catholic, at long last. Why, would become apparent to me.
I often wondered why after that because mostly I have had a very difficult time being in a Catholic Church. That was not always the case. They used to be places of great peace for me.
All that changed when I became clear that my psychiatric disability began in earnest after being sexually abused by Father Miles Riley in Mission Dolores in 1976 when I was 17 years old. I had not faced that before nor the import of that reality. And then things got exquisitely worse when the new wave of sex abuse crisis in the Church flared up once again and only became more infernal as the inferno raged last summer and beyond into the present.
I have said to numerous psychiatrists and therapists over the years that my real diagnosis was an Electra Complex for God. So how did that all begin? Of course, with the abuse by the priest.
I really was searching for love from a Divine Father. I recently realized the sex and love addiction I have been in recovery from for some time really could only be healed by a Holy Spirit, the true Comforter. I did not want an unholy father’s lust and the only way to cure myself of that memory was to find a Power far greater than myself.
Enter the Our Father and cue the Hail Mary for an holy Mother who could love me instead of an ill mother I had an incestuous relationship with when as a young child. This made the Catholic Church even more toxic to me because I was not going to stand for another sick mother abusing me sexually. I just was not and it was not healthy to remain in it. I just exited.
The holy rosary remains my touchstone of something holy in my life. I can surrender all my strange desires and weird longings and they just can go away. They just can and they can be transformed.
I become non-functional after attending a Catholic Church now and have for some time. I shut down and can hardly get even the most basic daily living tasks completed and my equine service animal cared for properly, who is also a treasured friend, heaven sent. My place is still a horrible mess, although not as bad as it was.
Why do I keep wanting to go back? Because I am a muckraker and that is the biggest mess on the planet by far. It just is. And I have no way to fix it because I have my own personal Hell of a mess which defies my attempts to order it.
So, today is a very significant day in the Church and for me also. It is day of consecration (and for me a reconsecration to the Blessed Mother) I do not know what the Lord has planned for me in the future but I can honestly say that for right now, this moment I know I am still called to be a reporter in some capacity.
I can report that I remain a handicapped reporter, unable to handle the war zone because I still have shrapnel embedded in my brain and am on life support. No one sees it that way but it takes everything I have to just minimally function and my functioning is not up to par because if the inspection were to happen today, I would fail.
I am determined to get myself out of the mess I am in. The Catholic Church is but one mess. The main one is the violation of my trust by the trustee and it handicaps me in a far worse way. I have become a source of income and a “mark” for the trustee, my brother, and his wife. I had tried everything I could to force them to do the right thing and obey the law and it did not work and it infuriated me to no end.
My psychiatrist said that the trustee’s machinations have only made my recovery stronger. I realized that I had to be able to live with him and anyone doing unspeakably awful things and trying to destroy every aspect of my recovery, steal from me and my trust and still be alright. And I got to that point. I realized it was my codependency that made me think I could make others do the right thing if only I did–whatever. I cannot.
Same with the Catholic Church and ditto for everything and everyone. I admit to my powerlessness over others.
And now I find I want to start writing my blog on stigma about being a Muslim reporter who is handicapped and a recovering addict with psychiatric illness and a brain injury. It’s true. I may be the worst combination of attributes of any reporter on the planet. Who wants this mess as a muckraker?
I’d like to show up at Mass in a burka and at a lot of Christian churches and see just what they’d do. I do not know if I have the guts because I really do not want to be lynched and I could easily be. I have often thought that the Lord Christ might in His Second Coming come as a Saudi prince and see how He is received by the so-called Christians. It would definitely test their discernment. I am not sure many would pass that kind of test. I could be wrong.
How about covering the White House and getting a press pass with that set of qualities? The truth is, I have been a Muslim since High School, just not really a practicing one. It was the first religion I believed in. My first elective in public high school was Muslim-Hindu Worlds (then called Moslem-Hindu Worlds) and our teacher was definitely not a Muslim and just taught us the facts of the religions. She said that if you can say and believe “there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is His Prophet” you are a Muslim. I said to myself, well I must be a Muslim because I believe that and so it was and remains.
After that I started to draw designs that looked like the ones in Mosques in ceramics and on paper. It was not so much a faith as an aesthetic. I did not do the practices that are called upon. In my last year of high school when I attended Sacred Heart High School and took a Comparative Religions course and we studied all the major source-books of the major religions, I read a bit of the Holy Quran. At that point I had come to believe in Jesus Christ and loved reading about Catholic saints, but I wanted to join an ashram and be a renunciant. Saints of all religions were honored there.
I do not know that anyone has expressed more beautifully his knowledge of the Christ than in these lines:
“I am a hole in a flute/which the Christ’s breath flows through/ listen to this music”
Thank you Hafiz, Muslim Sufi mystical poet for the most beautiful tribute to the Messiah I have ever encountered.