Month: September 2016

The Man Behind the Mask

Sometimes I chastise myself for the times when I believed the façade. That he cared for me, that he was a man in pain who needed my help. He was a completely different person when he was in church; he was charismatic, he was strong, he was passionate. But sometimes when we were alone he collapsed, he was weak, he cried, he felt alone – except for when I was there. I believed for a time that I was the only one who could help him, because that was what he told me. I was taken in by the façade because I so desperately craved a father in my life, and to begin with that is what he was. In time his perfectly formed mask began to crack and glimmers of lust for me and for power came through. I clung to the façade as I clung to who I thought he was, someone who cared for me. A couple of years later I finally realised the truth. It’s been two and a half years, and the investigation is still ongoing. His public façade continues, but I see the true man behind the mask.

In response to The Daily Prompt Façade.

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Why Pretend?

One of the questions I am most often asked is why I didn’t say anything at the time. Why did I pretend that I was ok? Why did I pretend that nothing was wrong? There are many answers to that question. I felt ashamed. I was afraid of losing all my friends at church, because I thought that if I spoke out about the priest that abused me that they would call me a liar, or wish I’d just kept it quiet. I was afraid of hurting the people who thought they knew him. I was afraid of having to recount what happened to the police and to others. I was afraid of being asked what I wore, and if I misled him. I was afraid that if I tried to ask for help that the priest would hurt me more than he already had.

I stopped pretending, and almost all of my fears came true. But I know that I have helped protect others who could have been hurt by him. I know now who my real friends are. I know that I don’t need to pretend anymore.

 

In response to The Daily Prompt Pretend