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July 8, 2009

People, especially sexual abusers, can be slippery.   It’s a myth that they are monsters jumping out from behind a bush.   They look like most people, and most likely someone loves them.   One big difference is they hide what they do, tell lies, and create a life with a lot of deceit.

Two years after I was sexually assaulted, the Jesuit perp called me totally out of the blue.   There was no internet then, and my name wasn’t in a phone book.   I was a volunteer in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in a small town in Oregon.  (He got my number from the Jesuit college I went to.)   He sounded like he was falling apart, weeping, and he told me he was evil, that I was good and that good attracts evil, and that I should never try to forgive him because I would never know all the terrible things he did to me.  He kept saying he was evil, weeping.

I remember thinking he must be in a 12-step program, and he was on the step where he apologizes.   Not a good idea.   I spent the next three days in a chair, not talking, not doing anything, not eating, and then life went on, because one of the weird things about life sometimes is it just goes on, even when it feels like there’s something wrong with that.  (Shouldn’t life stop?)

Well, the Jesuit is being slippery again, knowing he is under a spotlight, and still trying to breach the agreement (like he’s been doing for at least the past three years).   But even now, now, he is still trying.

This morning I got to wondering about people who call themselves evil.   See, I’m the smart daughter of two smart people who were/are into the Catholic Charismatic approach to life.   Growing up with all that, I went another way, consciously choosing over and over again that this was not for me.   I did not ever want to be thinking I knew so much about someone else and God.  I did not want to be “special” or have a “special gift”.   I am a public school kid, and well, God better have a vocation for me in the marketplace, in the public place, because I do not want a place with hocus pocus and “thinking I know”.

It’s good to get older.  I have a new name for it.  It’s called “wait and see”.    It’s called taking your time if it doesn’t hurt anyone to wait.   It’s seeing what the evidence shows, and if shows itself again.   It’s called trusting people who prove themselves to be trustworthy, and walking away from people who are not trustworthy.

I had thought if I ever had to sue the Missouri Jesuits that maybe I should do it on the next provincial’s first day — so it takes care of the next 6 years.   Then I realized I ought to do it no later than July 30, because this is all about McMahon.   And then I laughed, and realized whenever it is the right time, if it ever is right, I can say it is about McMahon then, and the papers will say it too.

It’s good to get older.   It’s good to have a base, an outlook, a way that works.   I did not expect when I made an agreement with the Missouri Jesuits six years ago that I would have to take on the job of catching them, and deciding what to do about it.   I want to make sure I make the choices that seem right for the situation, whatever else is going on.

I didn’t expect any of this.

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