Death to a Catholic Altar Boy

Posted by on Aug 16, 2010 in Blog | Comments Off on Death to a Catholic Altar Boy

New to blogging but I am going to try to post something at least weekly, maybe more often. I am treating it as a living diary style. You never know what I will post, it will be up to the muse of the day. If anyone has questions or comments or ideas and questions about the spirit world, that is why I am here. to open the doorways of understanding and exploring my world with anyone wishing to explore with me.
This was written a few months ago and may explain many things some of you have been wondering over the past few months. It's a huge process I am in the middle of. I felt like sharing from the beginning of the process as it has unfolded. I will post more about this and many other things.

Death of a catholic Altar boy April 5th, 2010
At 36, just weeks shy of my 37th birthday, I find myself on an emotional rollercoaster over something which happened some 25 plus years ago. Being raised Catholic, was a huge part of whom I am and how I am drawn today. I was an altar boy from as early as I can remember. My mother would always encourage me to be there incase someone didn’t show up. I was the ever-faithful fill in when those other boys stopped serving as altar servers. It was what God wanted me to do right? Serve the church, and what better way then by helping out the priest, the holy man. The priest was a mystical being almost, one whom could do no harm. One you went to when your faith was shaken, when moral questions arose, when you did things you needed to confess for all the wrong doing which you as a human would inevitably do. I always found the guilty plea a weird thing, it never felt right. Why did I have to tell someone about what I did, why couldn’t it just be between God and I? I still to this day question that approach by the church. I realized a long time ago, that 2 people can keep a secret if one of them is dead. We are humans, things will come out when we least expect it. I guess even with Father Reiss dead, the story still needs to surface and be released.
So at the age of 8 or so, I cannot even remember, I was signed up to become a altar boy, asked to serve God side by side with the priest. It was an honor to do and be asked. The awkward boy in me was finally picked! I had something that made me feel special, something that made me stand out above the rest. Being a altar boy was no small task. It meant knowing exactly when to do what in the service. It was a job. God had chosen me, asked me to be one of his own. I remember thinking that I would someday be a priest and this was just the beginning. As time went on, I was asked to do so many special things by the priest. He would ask me to stay after mass and help him clean up. He would tell my parents he would bring me home after a bit. They said I should stay and help and it was the right thing to do. Little did I understand at that time just what would unfold next and I would bury away for some many years to come.
During those times of helping out the priest after mass, I remember things getting strange but again, it was all for God right. There were times when he would take us back to his house right by the church and have us help him around the house. I have shattered memories of his bedroom as well and the things that went on in there. Maybe it was the hand on my thigh and groin or the rubbing he did of his penis with my hand, I don’t really know but for some reason, I felt like it was what I was suppose to do, that only the special ones got to do this. I think about now how he loved to hug front to front embracing the child to his waist. Only now can I see the twisted body language. Father was wonderful about giving us special treats as well as the years went on. I remember drinking small slugs of alcohol and he even allowed the older boys to smoke. He said it was part of growing up. It wasn’t until one night, when in a car back to my house that he reached down into my lap and I realized that this was not to be happening. I urinated my pants in that moment, in the front seat of his car, with his hand on my groin, a completely wet hand he got this time for grabbing me. I felt my heart race as to what he would do next. He played it off like nothing had happened. I remember him patting my leg telling me it was ok and then we arrived home. I snuck into the house so no one could see my wet pants and ran into the back laundry room where I new there would be a clean pair of pants. I knew no one would really notice. I changed and came back out into the living room and like I said, no one noticed a thing. I was able to cover up the change and I remember nothing ever being said by Father Reiss or myself after that.
I remember as the years went on, I asked my parents many times if I could stop being a altar boy, if I could be normal. My mother being so religious said absolutely not. She said it was a honor and that I should be happy that God has asked me to do that. What she didn’t know was the confused boy whom had now been in appropriately touched for how many years now. How many times had Father Reiss asked me to stay after, how many times was I fondled and made to do things which were of “service to God”.
I know, it was not the church who did this to me, but it was the church that didn’t hold him accountable till may years later. I believe Father Reiss actually died from being beaten to death some years later and no one knows why. I do, someone finally snapped. Someone said enough already and gave him what was coming. Did he deserve that? I don’t know, its not for me to judge but I know I didn’t deserve what it has done for me in my entire life and now some years later, haunts my every thought. I have had to find ways to push it out as to not affect or infect my thoughts.
I have dealt with abuse from others, releasing the pain and the trauma of the past. I have let so much go and tried to regroup my life so that I would never repeat those horrible things that happened to me. It has taken 18 years of being out of my parents home to forgive so much of what went on as a child. Things they never saw, things they may have had a clue about and things that they ultimately did to scar my memories.
I love them, they did what they knew, the best they knew, but what does that have to do with me today? Why does it all come raging out today so many years later? I guess it is true, they say truth will set you free. The truth will release you from the pains of the past. I am enraged now, so many years later but finally am able to process through this final abuse. I never wanted to mention it so I didn’t ruin my mother’s faith. I wanted to protect her. So loaded, this entire thing is.
Something said it was time, time to tell my story, to report the abuse. I spoke with a friend of mine whom has been allowing me to sofa surf at his house for a few months now. He has been trying to get me motivated and out of my funk. This all come up around the Vatican with holding information about sexual abuse in the church for years. He was right. The time had come, the time to release this once and for all. To let everyone know that it was not ok and that something needs to be done.
I do wonder about many things I have chosen in my life through all of this. Gee, all of this in the name of God. No wonder people run screaming from religion and holy people. Is that the reason I have searched my entire life for something more, a God or source that provided healing and abundance to life?
Is this the reason I cannot have a filling relationship? Is it the reason I don’t allow people in to close? Is this why I push those I love further away, to not be hurt by them? Will I ever find someone to share this time with, the dance of life, nothing more then passing the time and enjoying each other for what we are now, not what we were? I guess that’s why they call it the journey, to allow it to unfold and know we will be right where we need to be when the time is right. I don’t know, I am pretty much over it if you ask me. Do I disown my parents or love them more for their humanness? Do I walk away from everything I know and say to hell with it and realize that only I can create my happiness, nothing else, past present, future can effect me. How does one own something like this? Stay tuned I guess.