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