Mirfield…..it was the place I lost me, the person I was, the person I would have become. By Boy X
I must admit I haven’t given much thought to the Comboni missionaries failure to acknowledge what happened in Mirfield. I suppose I have been totally absorbed with my own attempts to come to terms with what happened, trying to find a place in my mind where I can find some way of moving forward. I think I have done that to some extent.
I suppose I’ve been caught up with the over-riding need that I know can never be satisfied. But knowing that, won’t make the need disappear. That need being a sincere apology from my abuser. It’s said that the eyes are the mirror of the soul. I’ve dreamed about it, seeing in my dreams the sincerity in his eyes just as clearly as I saw that look of desire in his eyes when he first put his hands on me. A look I saw in the eyes of many others after leaving Mirfield. I recognised it straight away.
But those eyes are now dead, so I wonder where that leaves me. At the moment, it leaves me where I have always been, Mirfield. I have been able after a lot of thinking and prompting to offset, to some extent, the bad things, by remembering that there were some good things too in Mirfield. I especially remember now those feelings that were special. They had nothing to do with people, not Fr. Pinkman nor Ceresoli not even my friends. Those feeling were about why I was there in Mirfield. I knew why I was there. Those feelings were only short lived but it does bring some solace remembering them. It’s good to remember that I was once in a place in my life that was so different to what the rest of my life became. Of course, it then just becomes a confusion of thoughts. If things had been different I may have ended up having a very comfortable life on the other side of the fence. Maybe a life that would have been too comfortable to give up. Maybe I would have become one of those who are willing to turn their backs on the abused, One of those who give refuge to evil. What an awful place that would have been to end up in.
I suppose finding some release from the things that destroyed my life might only be temporary, I don’t know. The bad things are eternal but maybe in a strange way, looking to Mirfield to gain some release may be fitting. It was the place I lost me, the person I was, the person I would have become. That’s all I will say about that.
When it comes to the question of the Comboni missionaries failure to acknowledge what happened at Mirfield, the answers come easier. Their failures make them apologists for child abuse. Their inaction makes them complicit in what took place and that inaction is ensuring that the horrors of the past will continue and that there will always be a refuge for the perpetrators of evil. There will always be a ‘safe house’ for them.
I feel quite helpless in a way. But I suppose that is only to be expected seeing as. like I said at the beginning, I haven’t given the whole thing much thought. Maybe it’s time for me think outside myself. I’ll see where it takes me. Maybe the Comboni missionaries can apologise to me vicariously on Fr. Pinkman behalf but maybe they have enough on their plates with their own evil deeds never mind anyone else’s. But of course it’s all part of the same thing. I know I could do a lot more myself if only I could overcome the hurdle of the need to still remain anonymous. I suppose the shame and guilt still has it’s grip on me. No amount of rational thought seems to diminish that.
Thanks for that insight Boy X. Your articles are always worth reading and many of us feel an empathy with what you have felt and are feeling. As I said before after one of your other articles, when something bad happens to you when you are 11 or 12 you shut down those parts of your personality affected. Whilst your body and other parts of your personality are growing up into an adult those parts of your personality remain stuck as an 11 or 12 year old. It has hapened to all of us and it seems clear to me that this is likely to be what has happened to you.
So, what do you do to unlock those doors and allow those parts of you to finally grow up and blossom into a fully functional and mature adult?
The monster, Father Pinkman, has died. He’ll never make that apology. During his life he never apoligized for any of the abuse he perpetrated on dozens of young boys. So, you can’t get any doors opened there. Also, the Evil Empire, the Comboni Missionaries, who conspired to keep the abuse secret, have not made a single apology to a single boy to whom they had a duty of care and whom they failed to protect. Certainly in the near future you won’t be able to unlock any areas of your personality closed off for 50 years via the Comboni Missionaries.
So, what will help you to ‘grow up’ fully and throw off those chains shackling your personality?
There’s two things you need to do:-
1. Go to Mirfield – where it all happened. Go to St Peter Claver College – now called Hollybank School. Go there and visit all the old haunts. Go here and visit Pinkman’s room where your abuse took place. It is still there. It’s a little office now. When we had reunions in Mirfield we were given a tour of the place by the present incumbents. I made sure that we didn’t pass by Pinkman’s room and asked our guide to open it up and let us in. I remember two guys, on different occasions, in particular who had many of their demons exorcised by going back to the scene of their abuse. Both were not keen to go in till I told them “Your’e here now. When will you ever get an opportunity to do it again? Go for it now”
They plucked up their courage and went in. One said after looking round the room “this is where it all happened. There was a desk there. The bed was there” and then a silence as he took it all in and presumably remembered memories from the past”. Finally he shrugged his shoulders and said “it’s just a room” and walked out. The room was dismissed, the abuse was compartmentalised and left behind. The door was closed.
2. Join our group. We have all found it very useful to be able to talk to other people who went through the same, or similar things. There is a bond between us that those on the outside can’t, and don’t understand. It gives us all strength. While many of them haven’t even told their family or firends what happened to them they speak freely wih the other ‘boys’. Some still won’t say exactly what happened to them, and some can, but we don’t need to know the precise details.
By contacting us and telling us what happened anonymously I’m sure that you have been able to get succour form it. Imagine how much more you can get if you converse with others who had the same thing happen to them many of them with the same evil priests.
Ronald Reagan once said “Mr. Gorbachev, Teardown these walls”. I say to you “Boy X. Open up those doors”. It’s time!
Have a think on that!
The place I lost me. That’s what happened exactly I go with that statement 100%. It changed me forever. It stole me. I came out a very different person and stayed that way. A life robbed by their actions and in actions. Thank you for the post Boy X.. Take good care of yourself, you deserve peace in your soul..