For 2015: The Comboni Missionaries to admit that sexual abuse of children took place at Mirfield.
Two years ago – it was just before Christmas, I was in my local Sainsbury store and I began to cry. I was on my own, which, in some ways, was a good thing. I carried on shopping, going through my list, and the tears carried on streaming down my face.
I did not know why I was crying. All I remember is feeling very sad, feeling very alone, feeling empty and thinking why am I like this. It was not the first time it had happened – it had happened before.
However, this was the first time I felt completely alone in the world. I sat down. It was like I was in a bubble or a vacuum.
I could not communicate with anyone. And the people I saw outside could not communicate with me. I remember, looking at people – all different kinds of people: children, families out together, old people, teenagers, and the more I looked, the more I thought about their lives. And the more I thought about their lives the more I cried. The more I looked at them, the more I thought about their existence.
The more I looked, the more I thought about their joys, their sorrows and their futures. Looking back – and I have discussed this with my psychologist – it was my life through them that I was looking at. I was experiencing depression at its bleakest.
Abuse by Comboni Missionaries
I have said in my previous post that I can now look at the abuse that happened to me at Mirfield and have come to terms with it. For many years I have been unable to do that. When I tried it became too difficult and I retreated back – maybe into the bubble, I am not sure – to a secure place.
As the American theologian Rienhold Niebuhr, wrote in his Serenity Prayer: ” God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
There is still a lot that has to change. People, may say, it was all in the past. Move on. Forget about it. It is all historical. It is not historical.
The abuse carries on. In the case of the Mirfield 12, the inaction of the Comboni Missionaries compounds the historical sexual abuse to the present day psychological abuse. And therefore the Mirfield abuse carries on.
I hope 2015 will be a year in which the Comboni Missionaries have the courage to state that sexual abuse happened at Mirfield.