Every time I ran from Him, I ended up at the front door, to only open it – and see Him standing in my doorway. I could never escape Him.

(continued from last nights blog)… I slept eyes wide open, but the mattress was too kind and after soaking half of my pillow with tears and flipping it to the other side, I must have drifted off because I woke up to the sun blaring in my eyes. Thinking what a bad nights sleep that was, I then instantly remembered. I remembered picking up the phone, so happy, no more than 24 hours ago, that summers afternoon, just getting home from work and taking a fresh shower and slipping into a sundress – I had just finished spritzing on my perfume, when I picked up the phone – and Joey told me that he wasn’t coming home – that he needed a break.

Sitting up and looking over at the clock, 6:25 AM. I had slept for less than three hours. My pillow was still wet and then I realized that what I thought had been a bad nights sleep, was reality. It was my reality. I had fallen asleep in my sundress. I didn’t want get out of bed and so I laid back down, feeling dizzy. I turned to the right and I grabbed the pillow that Joey would have been sleeping on and I embraced it so tightly. I was curled in a fetal position on my bed. I had just turned 30 years old and I knew that I had been through the ringer too many times. At that point, in that moment, I was damaged goods and I knew it. I knew that I was two steps away from selling my soul to the devil to get rid of the pain that I was feeling in that moment or that I was going to be on my way to sainthood by trying to get through this – because I could no longer take what God was dealing to me in my life. I couldn’t do it anymore and every time I would say I couldn’t do it – I knew that I was going to keep moving forward – but this time – this time – I was a different kind of tired. I thought about my kids and I thought about how I really probably wasn’t being the best kind of mother that I could’ve been because in reality, sometimes I felt like that little girl standing in front of my bed when I was seven trying to change the channel in my head to make everything stop. To make the screaming and yelling of my parents stop. To stop the sounds of the things being thrown in the kitchen, to wanting to hear and praying for tornadoes to go through because there was a cyclone in my life every day and there was never a time of peace and here I was 23 years later, I still had no peace. I was still struggling. I was still suffering. I was still waiting on that promise that God showed me when I was 17 years old. I wanted to call out to God in that moment, “Where are You? Are You really real? Have I been taken for? Are You a fantasy God? Are You someone that just makes people feel better, to get through a bad day like my bad day right now?” I wanted to ask Him all of those questions, but I didn’t want Him to answer me because I didn’t want to hear the truth. Because every time that I did pray for an answer, I got it and He was always right and I knew what He would tell me to do in that moment and I didn’t want to do it. I reasoned with myself that He lied to me again. He let me down again. I’m here again crouched, crying again God. Will it never stop God? It will never stop, right God? When is it ever going to stop? Because how much more God? How much more?! I was so angry with God. I was so angry with Him! I was alone again. I was alone. I was alone because I wanted to be alone and I cried so badly because the pain was too much. I could smell his aftershave on the pillow and I embraced it because I was so confused because I didn’t understand what was going on. The man that had just made love to me that morning and as we kissed each other goodbye he said that he would see me that afternoon for a dinner that we had planned while his mother was going to take the kids for us.

For 13 years, I awoke and fell asleep next to my husband. But this morning, this morning I was waking up to a new reality I did not think I would ever experience. When Joey and I first met, we spoke about our lives. He told me about his life and I told him very little about mine. The only thing I told him was about my father and mother, explaining to him that my fathers extramarital affair did irreversible damage to my mother, when what I wanted to really tell him was that while it did irreversible damage to her, it’s damage to me was beyond my own comprehension.

I would’ve rather my mother been suffocating me again, causing me to die than to have lived through an affair. You see I was that woman who just would make everything work. It didn’t matter what it was – give me a challenge and watch me rise to the top. I was the woman that would wear white gloves while putting Ketchup on a burger. I would just make it work, and I was truly flawless every time. As a child, when your innocence is taken away from you, again, and again, and again, in every kind of abuse that a child can endure, you learn construction in destruction, you learn to build your foundations out of tungsten. But this time, this morning, I didn’t have the welts from my mothers beating from the night before. No. I didn’t have anything to feel and that was the scariest thing to me in the world because I was left with my rawness. I was left with the truth that I gave a man 13 years of my life and during those 13 years of our life, there was more chaos than there was peace. Our first date did not work out as Joey had to work late that evening and no call to tell me that he could not make it. Our second date would not be because his parents had taken away his car from him and he wasn’t allowed out – no call and the third date, I believe that he knew that he was about to lose me and I believe I learned something about myself that day as well too.

I had just turned 17 years old. We were working together for several weeks but never spoke to each other. One of his friends came up to me one day and told me that there was a guy who was interested in me and was wondering if I was dating anyone.

I wanted to laugh and tell him to tell Joey that I was only steps away from entering into a Convent, but I didn’t say that, because I remembered sitting in that first pew and talking to God and understanding that I was going to marry and that I was going to have children and that I was not going to have what I wanted but I was going to have what He needed me to have. I also understood that the choice would be mine to either decide to walk with God or to go down my own path and while the rebellion in me walked away from God – it seems – 1000 times – down my own path …He would never leave me. I tried to run from Him. Every time I ran from Him, I ended up at the front door, to only open it – and to see Him standing in my doorway. I could never escape God. He was always Present. Always right there. I always felt His Presence. I could shun Him and He just would not leave me and I felt angry in that moment, lying in that bed, I felt angry that He was there because I didn’t understand how can you love someone so much and see them go through so much hurt and not try to stop it. It was nonsensical. God knows that I am His feisty daughter and He knows that I fight Him on everything and then He knows I love Him like anything and He knows I would go to each corner of the earth and slay every demon for Him, and we have always had that kind of a relationship. The broken girl in love with Jesus. The Love of her life, hanging on a Crucifix, just as bloodied and broken as she was. My Bloodied King with The Crown of Jewels, shining so brightly, reflecting what is to come, cover me, complete me.

Jesus is the only Man that can break me and hurt me so badly with a clear understanding that pain is part of breaking myself of my own will – to conform to His.

I got out of bed and went into the bathroom. Looking at myself in the mirror, the eyes that were in the mirror were reflecting a woman’s soul that was nonexistent.

I started having flashbacks when I was in high school and being judged by girls who didn’t even know me. I was being judged because of the way that I looked. Because of the way that God made me. I never understood that. How can another woman judge another woman by the way that she looks and they don’t even know who she is? Because she put some make up on and she dresses nice? When was that ever a crime? And so I suffered in every area of my life because when I tried to have friends all was well until their boyfriend would meet me and I was always respectful. I wasn’t stupid, I knew what I was dealing with. I grew up with a mother that lived it and dealt with the same exact thing but she took it to the extreme wrong while I took it to the other extreme trying to avoid any of my friends boyfriends and sometimes it would work out, and sometimes it would not. And when it would work out it would be great and when it was bad, it was bad. I was in high school one day, walking with my friend and I hear coming from behind me “You’re a disease, Brian.” I turned around to look and this girl was making a scene because her boyfriend was staring at me with his friends and he turned around and told her, “and she’s my cure.” So even though I did nothing to provoke – I couldn’t have friends because even that was tainted by who people thought I was.

At the age of 13, a man who was 21 took my innocence away while he held a butcher knife to my neck and I have to wonder if it was part of a generational curse because the same exact thing happened to my mother at the same age but she ended up pregnant and having a child and then giving the child up for adoption. I did not become pregnant, but what would follow for years to come would be difficult.  The person who did this to me was brought to justice.

My mother taught me about being a lady, but she never taught me how to protect myself, how to look out for certain signs and my father did not either. I was left alone to figure those things out on my own. I trusted too easily. This man who did this would tell me that he didn’t believe that I was that young because I was too beautiful to be only 13, but I was only 13 and I was always told since I was young that I looked older than I was as a teenager and as I’m older – looking younger than I am as an adult. The same thing that my mother dealt with. I couldn’t escape anything in life it seemed because I looked like my mother, I was abused by my mother, I was abused by my mother up until the day that she passed away. My mother taught me without telling me how a young girl was really supposed to be. And I learned it by watching every single thing that she did and I made sure to do the opposite of that. I was 11 years old, in the McDonald’s parking lot with my mother. We had just finished playing with the balls inside of the McDonald’s little gym area. I was so happy to have my happy meal cheeseburger and my favorite thing in the meal that day was A little pony and I knew I was going to be adding that pony to the corral with the rest of my other pony’s.

All of my Chapstick was taken off by my cheeseburger happy meal. And so before I got into the car with my mother, I took out my cherry Chapstick and my strawberry shortcake mirror and I began to put my Chapstick on as I was looking in the mirror. As I was done, I looked up and I saw my mother looking at me and she was smiling. I wasn’t too much shorter than my mother but she was still taller than me so she was looking into my eyes and smiling. And I knew that smile because that was an admiration smile that I would only see once in a while and that was when she was looking at something that she was happy with. “Honey, look over there. “Mom said. I raised my eyes to see what Mom was looking at and mom was looking at two men that were outside of a truck. I looked and they looked like my dad’s age. I looked back at my mom and was quizzical and she said, “Honey, they are looking at you because you’re putting on your Chapstick, they like that.” I was 11 and I knew that what she was saying was not right because those men looked the age of my dad and I looked at my mother with caring eyes because I was already in the stage of protecting her, as I had seen her go through several bipolar episodes and I understood at the age of 11 to not take account of what it is that she was saying.

From that moment on, something in me changed to be sure that I would always dress as conservatively as I could. I was in the fifth grade, Mrs. Netos class and I used to get to school early so I could help the teacher get the class work assignments ready. I absolutely loved being in the classroom and being with my teacher and helping her to get everything prepped for the day. And she was so kind to me and she had so much patience for me. And I remember the people in my life that had patience for me. I remember when times got hard with my mother she was one of the teachers that I was able to confide in and I remember she was the only teacher that I was able to cry in front of. For me to cry in front of somebody, it was a vulnerability to me and I either crucified myself afterwards for being vulnerable or I thanked God that He allowed me to be vulnerable in that moment but it was always black-and-white, there was no gray area. I either trusted or I didn’t.

As the students walked into the classroom, my back was turned and I was standing in front of the taupe tall steel cabinet. I was sorting the paperwork to get them stapled and I heard one of my friends say, “Is that a substitute teacher?” I was not a substitute teacher but they thought I was because of the way that I dressed. After that incident happened with my mother I made decisions to do everything to not be anything like her -especially when I knew that what she was doing was wrong. When I heard my friends say that, in my heart, I had already known that I wanted to be a teacher from a young age. To be able to teach somebody something they never knew before, whether that be a skill, or a poem, or if somebody just needed to know their worth, I was there, because I had a storehouse of love to give and I had a shipyards storage for everybody’s grievances so I would give and then take. I would give and then I would take and I would walk away always taking something from them and carrying it with me to lighten their load.

I could never lighten my own load in life. And I was faced with this reality.

I walked back into the bedroom and opened up Joey’s bureau drawer and under his socks I found a card for a divorce lawyer.

…. to be continued.

The Numbed Soul

… (continued from prior blog) The Summer of 2005 would come and go. Mom went back to Milford and I stayed on Cape Cod. That Summer would be the year that my life would forever change as I knew it. My marriage was changing, I knew it, my husband knew it. Our children were beginning to feel things, to hear things. My sons would walk past me and glance a little longer in my eyes and I was making extra trips to the drugstore to buy eyedrops to take away the red from sleepless nights and repressed tears.

I was in a glass house. I was in a glass house where there was no transparency. A sublime state between sanctity and insanity. I was living life by just purely existing. I could not escape my reality. I could not change what was happening. I could not run from the truth. I wanted to unzip my soul from my body and give it back to God before I unintentionally would hurt Him because I no longer cared anymore. I was the good girl my whole life, always following by the rules, no drinking, no drugging, the girl who would give her shirt off of her back to the person that was sticking the knife in her side.  The good girl who always dressed sweet, the good girl that would bake cupcakes and cookies for everybody because she loved to see people happy and smile. The neighborhood Mom who the neighborhood kids would come over and was known as the candy lady because she always gave candy and snacks and sweet treats – and I did all of these things because nobody would do them for me – and I gave, and I gave, and I gave so much to the point that when I looked behind me I couldn’t find me anymore. I was distributed among different people. People who in reality, would have never given me a moment of their time – but I always gave a moment of my time because I knew what it was to be alone. So I filled all those empty spots in my life with kindness and love – to give away, only to have the recipients take, and take, and take. I wanted to be reckless. What my heart did not want to accept was something that my soul already knew. I had reached a point where I knew that something broke in me. I had to escape my own skin because to be in it one moment longer was unbearable.

I met Joey when I was 17 years old. I was working two jobs. Not having a car, I had to walk everywhere and so I would walk miles and miles a day in the morning after weekday Mass to get to my first job which was cleaning a high end resort on Cape Cod. After my job was done at 3:00 PM, I would walk to my second job which was in retail. When that job ended at 9:00 PM I would walk home. I had only known hard work my entire life, so working two jobs was something that made me happy. I enjoyed being independent and making my own money. I relied on no one as I had my entire life. When I needed groceries, I would go food shopping and I would have to carry them home and walk miles just to get home. When my laundry had to be washed I walked my laundry down to the laundromat and then walk it back home. I never once felt bad for myself because this was normalcy to me. Independence became my drug. I craved it. I needed it for control, because everything else in my life was out of control, my independence grew in my DNA and in the end it would overtake my being. For me to rely on someone was weakness and in my early 30s, God had had quite enough of my ways.

September 2005, the kids went back to school. Ryan began the seventh grade and Andrew was in the first grade. A new beginning for the children as Ryan was starting junior high and Andrew was a first grader. It was an exciting time for the kids and to see their joy carried me a lot that Autumn going into the Winter.

Six weeks prior to the beginning of school that September, I would get a phone call from Joey. “I need some time.” , he said. Thinking that he was being funny, I asked him over the receiver, “What are you saying? “ ”I’m not coming home tonight.”, Joey said. “Excuse me?”, I asked, my mind racing and my heart beating out of my chest. Silence on the other end of the line. “Joey?”, I said in a hostile voice, “what is going on?”  I began thinking to myself that this was not really happening. I must have walked in on someone else’s life in that moment because as I was standing in my bedroom, holding the cordless phone in my hand, I was completely nauseated. The biggest fear of my life was happening in that moment. The reality that I was feeling for almost a year, every sign that I had seen, every late work day, every call sent to voicemail too quickly, hit me like a Cyclone and I had nothing to hold onto in that moment. I was completely alone. I was completely alone because I was insistent on being completely alone. I looked to the Crucifix on my wall and I looked into the Eyes of Jesus Christ. I raised my eyes to the ceiling and I bit my bottom lip wanting to taste my own blood as hot tears streamed down my eyes and there was nothing in me. I was not human in that moment. I was nonexistent. My life had never been. I was being sucked into this black despair and I didn’t care. I wanted to take the hand of darkness, I wanted to feel what It felt like to be every single person that hurt me, how do you become like that? I wanted to know, I needed to know, because I need to become that person. I wanted to take the Devil’s hand and to tell him OK this time you can have me because Heaven cannot be worth this much pain. 

”Do what you have to do Joey.”, I said and hung up the phone. Grabbing my Marlboro Lights and going out to the deck I lit a cigarette and by the time I was done with that cigarette I was going onto my second one. I didn’t remember smoking the first one, only going in for the second one. I looked over to the fence in my yard, a weathered Cape Cod gray. I looked over to the right, beautiful gazebo. I looked to the lush florals that Joey and I had planted as a couple, the flowers that would bloom every year, the plants that we purchased together for our anniversaries. The dreams, the promises, the lies, the deceit. Me thinking that if I was just the perfect wife. I thought that I was the perfect wife because people would tell me that I was. The wife who would cook meals for her family every night, who worked a full-time job and took care of her children. A home that was always clean, children that always had ironed clothes and good mannerisms. I was two steps away from a Stepford Wife.

I walked back into the house and I made dinner for Ryan and Andrew. Not a tear fell. Smiles that were truly genuine when I looked at my children. I was being held up by angels when I look back because that night would not turn out to be the worst night of my marriage. That night would come on December 31 of 2005.

“Hey Mom, do you have a second? “, I spoke into the receiver. “Of course baby girl, what’s going on? “, Mom asked. The kids were sleeping in bed and I walked back outside on my deck, lighting another cigarette. “Mom “he’s not coming home tonight. “, I said trying to maintain a steel demeanor. I was desperate for someone to tell me that I was not a bad person, that I was a good wife, that I was a good mother, that I was just a good person. I needed to know that I was human. I needed to know that I was visible. I wanted to know if I was worth fighting for. I was desperate to know if I was worth living. I didn’t understand, perhaps there was a sign on me that was invisible – that I was not aware of – that kept on saying, “hurt me, hurt me, because I will always come back.” And I knew that that was the truth – that was my reality. I wanted to know if I was worth fighting for. Was there anything good about me?

“Melissa, what? “, Mom asked. Sipping on Bacardi and Coke and lighting another Marlboro light, I put my palm to my head and rested my elbow on my knee. I heard the mosquitoes around me and they were so loud, the crickets seem to have been singing this insane instrumental orchestra. Everything was so loud in that moment. All the sewing back of myself that I had done, was coming unloose. I felt the breeze going through me and I pictured the wind opening up the seams of the sewed back broken girl. And I was okay with that. I no longer was the woman that I was earlier that afternoon. I was in a moment of surrealities. My husband was in the arms of another woman. I was sitting on my deck, selling myself for an emotional need as I was settling for the woman that I know would give me the worst advice in the world. I understood that I was signing a disclosure the moment that I decided to pick up my phone and dial her number. I didn’t care. Why not go back to the root of the problem? Why not believe all of the lies that she had said when I was a child because my husband was not seeing me as any better than my mother was supposed to and the two people who were supposed to love me the most, well, if I was bad in their eyes, then my reality was was that I was truly nothing and I accepted that nothingness in that moment. I was defeated. I was tired. I was lost in that moment. I didn’t ask for God in any of those moments that day.  I didn’t care. I didn’t want to be loved anymore. Love came at too high of a price, my entire life. That price tag became too much to hold on to. My whole life, I was trying to live for everybody else but myself. I felt disintegrated. I was dandelions in the wind. I was absence in presence. I was arriving to only depart. I wanted to become carefully careless. I was dying every day of my life to only live in a hellish reality of wanting to enter into an exit. There was nothing left of me in that moment. The pain was so deep and the feeling was too painful.  

Opening the slider door, walking inside and looking around my living room, I saw the photos of the happy faces hanging in frames. My eyes went to a photo of Joey and I. I sat there in that moment and stared at that photo from the slider. Remembering that afternoon that we smiled so much in the photo and believing that love was real. Believing that God had really kept His Promise to me, after so many years of a painful life. After me deciding to not enter a Convent to become His Bride. I had a flashback to when I was 17 years old, sitting in the first pew at my Church and telling God, “Yes God, if You choose for me to get married and have children, I want only what you want and may Your Will be done in my life.”

I walked through my home and turned off all the lights and walked up the stairs to my bedroom. As I walked into the bedroom I looked at our bed. I looked at the bed that had conceived our children. I looked at the bed that I shared with the man that God had chosen for me. I looked at Joey’s clothes that I had gotten ready for him and were sitting at the end of the bed in a nice neat pile as they always were for him. I walked over to the clothes and put them away. I went over to my bureau drawer and grabbed my clothes for a shower. As I was closing my draw I looked up and my eyes met the Crucifix. I stood in front of Jesus Christ completely still in my body and I looked at His Broken Body and then I felt my own brokenness and I felt nothing. There was nothing there. No emotion When I looked at the Crucifix. I then looked to my reflection in the mirror. Nothing. I felt nothing and I was okay with that. 

I went in for a shower and then got dressed. I walked to the side of my bed and looked at the made bed, knowing that my husband should be in that bed, but understanding that that night – he was in the bed of another woman. I knelt down by the side of my bed and only got halfway down and then I stood back up and got into bed. I did not want to talk to God that night and it would be many weeks until I would speak to Him again.

(my husband and I discussed this part of the blog and the publishing of it. ”It is part of your journey, you need to write it.”,Was his response.)

… to be continued

Communism in the Roman Catholic Priesthood

“In the 1930s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within.” – Bella Dodd, Communist.

With today being the start of a months long reflection on the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Jesus being the First Priest, I would like to discuss the participating parties that had a high hand in the Corruption of the Roman Catholic Priesthood. I have been researching this subject for 10 years. My passion began when I was confronted several times by not only friends and colleagues – but also my family as to how can I be Roman Catholic with all the corruption in the Church. I needed an answer to their why, and so my research began to understand how did the Priesthood get to the point it was at in the late 90’s.

I was not looking to protect the predators, the ones who came into the Roman Catholic Priesthood with ill intensions from the beginning. I was looking to protect the good names of the Priests that are truly Holy men and took their Ordination as seriously as Jesus Christ did that afternoon as He walked to Calvary with His Cross.

I truly believe what my Patron Saint, Saint Teresa of Avila said; Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours, Yours are the eyes with which He looks Compassion on this world,

Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good, Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world.

Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,

Yours are the eyes, you are his body.

Christ has no body now but yours,

No hands, no feet on earth but yours,

Yours are the eyes with which he looks

compassion on this world.

Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

…. If not me, then who? Then who is going to defend our Ladies Priesthood because the Roman Catholic Priesthood belongs to Our Blessed Mother Mary and She works so adamantly, all of the time to protect the Priesthood as Her Son was the First Priest. Why would She not to do this? And so my heart was set ablaze to protect Her and Her Priests.

And with each passing year, each new conversation, each question that somebody would have for me, each time that I would get a dirty look for defending the Roman Catholic Priesthood – this drove me even more to defend the good Holy Priests that serve Our Savior.

The reality is, is that there was a lot of corruption in the Priesthood – but it also did not seem right – that there was something else behind this and so calling on the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit already knowing what was in my soul, I began to research – to find out the best that I could -what happened? How did this begin and when did it become this bad?

In the world, we have over 4,300 different religions. A staggering number. When we look back into the history of the Church, which Church do we see is at the beginning of the timeline? We look back to to the Cenacle. The first Church to exist was the Roman Catholic Church, which was initiated by Our Lord Himself.

When we look at all Christian religions, we see that in the news, we traditionally hear more about the Roman Catholic Church, compared to Protestant, Methodist, Jehovah, Baptist etc. This got me to thinking – why? Why is it you only hear about the Roman Catholic Church and you rarely hear about any other religions – even though there are stories of sexual molestation in so many different religions. And with an insight from Our Blessed Mother Mary, with spiritual guidance from the Holy Spirit, I began to see – my intellect was enlightened. I was made to understand through Our Lady – because it is the Holy Roman Catholic Church that loves Our Blessed Mother Mary more than any other religion and Satan hated Her first – Satan hated Her first because She gave Her Fiat to God.

We need to all stop and think about this and internalize this – especially people who are not Roman Catholic and they don’t believe in giving Our Blessed Mother Mary all of the love that She deserves – the Love that Jesus wants us to give to Her. Some people say that She’s just a mother, she’s just a woman who gave birth to Jesus? She’s not just a mother.

She is The Mother.

When we take the Holy Eucharist – we need to remember Our Lady, because our Blessed Mother gave Her Fiat to carry Jesus and so we need to think about all of these things. We need to put this all into a bigger picture and not just look at the Priests that have done the corruption, we need to see that Satan infiltrated the entire Roman Catholic Church. Why not the Protestant churches, why not the Methodist churches? Have you ever seen a statue of the Blessed Mother Mary in any of those churches? Are those churches being attacked by the devil as much as the Roman Catholic Church has been? No. Think about it, contemplate on this. Because there are stories of sexual abuse that are absolutely horrific in the Protestant churches, and the Methodist churches, in the Jehovah witnesses, Baptists. Do research and find out these stories- but why is it – that the Roman Catholic Church is in neon lights with corruption?

Since the early 80’s, news began to circulate about sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church and by the 90’s cases began to receive significant attention. In the early 2000’s, the Boston Globe began an investigation into the sexual abuse cases. From 2001 to 2010, the Holy See examined abuse cases involving 3,000 Priests, some of which dated back fifty years.

When the timeline is looked at, we now need to discuss Communism and when Communism was at its peak in the United States of America. The first person I would like to speak about is Bella Dodd.

Bella Dodd who served as legal counsel to the Communist Party in the United States in the 1950’s, years before Vatican II stated that: “Right now they are in the highest places. In the 1930s we put eleven hundred men into the priesthood in order to destroy the Church from within.”

The communist party in the United States of America was working to bring about change in order to weaken the Church’s effectiveness against Communism.” Bella Dodd said that these changes would be so drastic that “you will not recognise the Catholic Church.”

Bella Dodd gave testimony on the Communist Infiltration of Church and state before the House UnAmerican Activities Committee in the 1950s. In a lecture at Fordham University Bella Dodd unveiled what would seem to be a prophecy of future chaos in the Church. The lecture was attended by a monk whose account of the talk is presented in Christian Order:

“I listened to that woman for four hours and she had my hair standing on end. Everything she said has been fulfilled to the letter. You would think she was the world’s greatest prophet, but she was no prophet. She was merely exposing the step-by-step battle plan of Communist subversion of the Catholic Church. She explained that of all the world’s religions, the Catholic Church was the only one feared by the Communists, for it was its only effective opponent. The whole idea was to destroy, not the institution of the Church, but rather the Faith of the people, and even use the institution of the Church, if possible, to destroy the Faith through the promotion of a pseudo-religion: something that resembled Catholicism but was not the real thing. Once the Faith was destroyed, she explained that there would be a guilt complex introduced into the Church…. to label the ‘Church of the past’ as being oppressive, authoritarian, full of prejudices, arrogant in claiming to be the sole possessor of truth, and responsible for the divisions of religious bodies throughout the centuries. This would be necessary in order to shame Church leaders into an ‘openness to the world,’ and to a more flexible attitude toward all religions and philosophies. The Communists would then exploit this openness in order to undermine the Church.

I will continue to write on this matter weekly. With every new generation, stories like this go under the rug and we don’t hear about them and we need to. We must protect the future of the Most Holy Roman Catholic Church, because it began by God, who so loved this world that He gave us His only begotten Son- but it was not just God, it was Our Blessed Mother Mary who gave Her only Son and so I will continue to protect Our Blessed Mother Mary’s Priesthood and to uncover the scandalous truths that still to this day taint the Church even though so much has changed. The Devil will never stop with the Roman Catholic Church as it is the Church that Our Lord founded, our Lord and Savior who the devil absolutely hates and despises, but above Jesus – the devil despises Our Blessed Mother even more.

Shadows The Beginning Of The Ending Part V

The way that the shadows played under the door, I could see that my favorite tree was gracefully dancing in the wind. The sunlight shot like a laser beam into the closet. “Hey, let’s play shadow puppets.” I whispered to my little brother. “Okay,” he said.

This time, his lips only turned a small shade of blue. My brother faced his head towards me and I made myself look into his eyes, holding my own grief so I could contain his. I remember looking at my mother and wondering if this time was it, would she kill him? She would always stop -before she would suffocate him.

Mom had bad days. Her children were the face of every single person that day that had hurt her, that had let her down, a family member, an argument with my Dad. My brother and I never knew when our turn was going to be for mom to release her anger. I always wondered when it would begin. Would we be able to have the comfort of the closet, would we be able to see the closet this time around? That was always my hope. Mom would always begin with me. I would lay down on the sofa and she would put a pillow over my face. She would then sit on top of me and she proceeded to suffocate me. I always turned my head to the wall facing away because I knew that my little brother was there in the hallway. I never wanted him to see my face. I never wanted him to see the fear and sometimes even the hope – that maybe I would die.

I remember times I would stop breathing and a comfort would come over me, it was this silence but there was also a comfort and when that comfort would come, all of a sudden my mother would get off of me and I would have to stand in the hallway as my little brother would walk past me with tears in his eyes. That was one thing about my brothers and I; if we cried, we would never make noise, tears would just come from our eyes and that’s how we learned how to cry – we learned to cry by making no noise – we knew as children that if there was ever a noise to escape us, the stakes were higher.

When the abuse would be over mom would make my brother and I go sit inside of the closet in the same room that the couch was. She would lock the closet door. Maybe she was afraid we would tell on her. I wondered if my brother was experiencing the same comfort that I had when I would see him begin to lose consciousness – that comforting peace when his lips would turn a different color. I wondered if maybe he would be able to leave this life and be safe away from her.

For the first few times, my brother and I would cry a little bit in the closet, but then, I wanted to make it a happier environment for him. I thought of some games that we liked to play and having just the light from underneath the door, it was enough light to be able to play shadow puppets. We never knew how much time had passed by. I would try and tell the time by the way that the shadows of the sun off of the leaves changed their position on the rug. I was learning about the sun in science and I had learned that during certain times of the day, the sun moves. There were a few times when we would meet dusk as Mom would unlock the closet door. Mom wouldn’t talk to us for a day after and my brother and I never once discussed it. Perhaps because we had so much time in the closet that we didn’t really have to speak and to speak would be an acknowledgment of each others reality.

Years of abuse would happen before the above incidents and after the above incidents.

Being the only female out of four brothers, looking back, I was naturally inclined to be a mother like protector over my brothers. From a young age, cooking, cleaning, taking care of my brothers when my mom was not able to, became important to me. I wanted them to have some kind of normalcy, the normalcy I would see at my friends house when the mom and the daughter would be playing with the baby in the kitchen, when the brother and the sister were being silly and fighting, when the mom and the dad would just hug the kids because. Our parents weren’t able to give us what they didn’t have themselves. My dad was an alcoholic and my mother had major depression, severe Bipolarism, and severe PTSD . We were all living daily, playing Russian roulette with each other, knowing that my mother and my dad were the ones that held the guns and we never knew when the barrel would face us.

Being able to maintain a clean home, a cooked meal, laundry that was folded and an ear for them to listen to became my goal. I knew how to keep a clean home, cook, keep up with my studies and try to function the best that I possibly could.  I learned how to live life without feeling. I learned that as long as I could make everyone around me happy, I would have peace, and that was a terribly disoriented survival method that I learned when I was a child. If I could just please my mom, maybe she would not hold the dinner away from my brothers and I that I made. If I could just make my dad happy, maybe he would not stay out at the bar and he would come home and be with us so maybe mom would be happier.

My brothers and I never spoke about the abuse in our family to each other.

I knew the way that she was treating us was not right, and at the same time, I knew that she had to be ill in her mind to do what it is that she was doing to us and so I decided to protect her, instead of turning her in – and in protecting her over time, I was able to get my brothers away from my mother.

The earliest childhood memory that I have of protecting my mother would be when I was six. I remember seeing her rocking back and forth with her arms wrapped around her legs. I stopped as I was walking into her bedroom and looked at her from the side of the closet that our towels were in. I looked at her small face, mom was always tiny, she suffered from Anorexia Nervosa since she was brutally raped at the age of thirteen by her adopted mothers boyfriend (her perpetrator served 40+ years in prison as he was drunk and left mom on the side of the highway naked and killed her dog. She sustained a very serious head injury that would end up leaving her having a major seizure disorder her entire life.)

A jogger found mom naked on the side of the road. She gave birth to her son in a home for Catholic School girls in the Boston area (mom attended all Catholic schools as a child up until her freshman year as the school only went up to the eighth grade.) The child would be given up for adoption. Mom thought she was keeping her baby. She was given a paper to sign one day back in the early 60’s and unbeknownst to her, she signed over her baby to a couple that was awaiting a newborn. This would go on to play a major role in her PTSD.

Not many people ever understood my love for mom. Many said I was sick for taking care of her and walking away was my best choice. When I was six years old and I saw mom that day rocking back and forth, not understanding and mom not telling me about the rape until I was in my late teens, in that moment, I knew there was something wrong with her. My being just knew. I would go onto view mom doing this rocking back and forth thing several times which I came to understand was a result of her PTSD. Mom had a hard life. She would go onto have several major crisis in her life. But for me, for me, I couldn’t just walk away. I knew my entire life that she was mentally ill, but I also knew her past. I could not walk away from her. She was my mother. The mother who God chose for me.

When mom would finally end up hospitalized with no chance of her ever coming back home, I pleaded with God to just let me please be released from the responsibility of taking care of her. The abuse, even as an adult, was too much. “God, please, I would do anything for You, but please, not this, not seeing her dying, I had to see her suffer her entire life. Please release me from this.”, was my prayer, my plea. I knew she was bad this time. I also knew I would be the only person to help her in the family. I can’t blame my family for walking away. Mom was vicious.

“I will never make you do this My daughter,” was God’s Answer to me, “but My daughter, I want all My Children back Home with me.”

In that moment, nothing else mattered to me. To know my Lord would cry, would be sad, I couldn’t do it. “Okay God, You and I have been through some stuff, huh?” was my response to God, “Okay, send me extra Angels God. I love her too. I will fight for Your daughter, thank You for always fighting for me and never giving up on me. Let’s do this.”

My life, my everything is for God. My love for Jesus, Our Lady, the Saints, the Angels, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, my life is a walking sacrifice for Yahweh.

part V

Baby Girl The Beginning Of The Ending Part II

…her eyes had not changed. Time had not made her better. The fantasy I was having as I was driving hour after hour to reach her was gone as quick as I saw the ten- thousand words she was not saying to me with the fury of her green eyes.

“Mom, can I have this purse?”It was a gorgeous suede purse that was black with a blue liner. It was three dollars. It was the Spring of 1983. She was in a good mood that day. The sun was shining when she walked into my bedroom that morning. I was playing with my ponies on the floor. I had just finished brushing their manes. All silky pink, white and golden. Wow, they really looked amazing I thought as the sun shined on the golden yellow pony with the golden mane. Cotton Candy was up next. “Which one is your favorite baby girl?” mom asked. I didn’t have a favorite. I had to love them all equally. I couldn’t tell her that. I needed an affirmative answer for her. I looked at Butterscotch. I was holding her. “Butterscotch,”I said. I looked at my other ponies, hoping they didn’t feel betrayed, hoping they knew I loved them.

“Want to go to the thrift shop today?” Mom asked cheerfully. I put Butterscotch in the beige plastic pony circle next to the white plastic water trough and a bale of hay that looked more like a cube of cheddar cheese than a bale of hay to me.

It didn’t matter whether I wanted to go and she knew it. I knew it. “Sure Mom,” I said. I looked at Minty and Blossom. Picked up the small brush belonging to each one of them and accordingly began to brush them again before they joined Butterscotch.  I took two more plastic bales of hay and placed them next to each pony and figured they could share the two water troughs. I petted each one of them and fixed a few stray hairs on their manes that were out of place. Perfect. They were perfect.

I made my way down the stairs. The steps creaking in the old house below my feet gave no one the opportunity to escape. I looked outside to see my favorite tree. The sun was hitting it from the east I said. I thought, I hoped I was right because I had a test coming up in school on Monday.

Mom was smiling from what I could see in the side mirror of the car, her long blonde hair blowing out the window in the April breeze. I jumped in the front seat nearly missing the pine tree air-freshner with my left knee. Mom lit her Marlboro Light and put on a Barbara Streisand cassette. Woman In Love played from the car speakers. I watched as the swirl from the cigarette artistically danced towards me. It drunkingly passed by me like my dad did the night before. “Hey Dad,” I said as I looked into his eyes. Maybe he could talk tonight. I wanted to tell him so badly that she was abusing us, all of us and he didn’t know. I wanted him to pick me up and look into my eyes and just know that I was in pain. I wanted him to hug me and to just know. Nobody ever knew. Maybe he was too tired to talk I rationalized. Maybe he was drunk or slightly buzzed. I chose the better of the three, he was tired even though I smelled the booze on his mustache.

The sun was shining off of this golden disco like belt that was hanging with a crotched plant hanger that was five cents in the thrift store corner near a neatly folded pile of fitted bedsheets. Spiderman, a sheet with cats and dogs was peeking from under a Rainbow Brite sheet. How do they get the ends to fold neatly like Mom did? The cheap five cent plant hanger shined more beautifully than that disco belt and I felt sad for the plant hanger.

Mom was in front of the jeans. Size 3-4 was my job to look for her. She was getting thinner. I put her size 5-6 jeans on her bed when I found them in my clothes a few weeks ago. Mom was always in amazing shape. She was serious about good eating. Shopping trips to the market were enjoyable for me because Mom had patience to teach me about what was good to put in your body and why certain chemicals in my most wanted Boo-berry cereal was bad. The older I got, the more I realized that she was right about good eating and vitamins. See that was the thing about Mom, she was good too. She was fire and ice. She was sadistic and sweet. She was rage and peace. She was the sacred and the profane. She was a giver of pain recycled. She injected the medicine with the venom. She was the night and the day. She gave the shirt off her back as she made mental reminders for emotional IOU’s. She was everything I wanted to be and nothing I wanted.

“God, let me cash in on the emotional IOU’s,” I demanded in my interior as I stood there looking into her eyes in her cream colored room. I needed a lifeline. I needed something to make her smile. Twenty people were outside the room I said to myself. If she tries to attack me I am safe.

I wanted my Cabbage Patch Kid Doll with the minty green summer suit with forest green delicate flowers that I took so well care of. My babygirl who I never abused. She was on a feeding schedule and I changed her clothes three times a day. She was my everything. I was the mom that I always wanted and I was a good mom.  I was good at taking care of people and things. It made me feel alive. It was pure joy as a child to even water a plant. To sustain life, to help a soul who needed something, anything. It was a need, a want, it was air to breathe. There was an invisible tattoo on my head that read… ‘let me help you because I am hurting so much inside that I can’t but not help anything or anyone who has a mustard seed of despair, want, a sad glance, give it to me. Let me harbor it in my ship yard.’

The shipyard was almost abandoned. I was healing from her abuse over years. God was in me and I was in Him. I united my wounds with Jesus Wounds and He bled my mothers venom from my veins with His and He gave me His Life. My True and Real Mother, My Lady. My Queen. My Rosa Mystica. My Salve Regina. My Blessed Mother. She was there with me. I could be weak in front of Her. She took my brokeness, just like she did for Her Son and She held me as a Mother should hold their child. I was no longer motherless. I never was. She was always there. She is always here.

I heard the nurses outside walking back and forth, caring for residents. It was just her and I. Where was her roommate?  In fear and old habit, I looked back down to the floor. I wished the floor was not so clean in that moment so I could focus on something. I looked at her. Her hair was just below her ears. Her face was sunken in. My eyes went to her lips. Still pursed. The same kind of look when she was trying to not lose control in the store over a fellow shopper who was in her way. I wanted to yell to the shopper, “She’s a thrower of things. Watch out,” but I reasoned that a can of biscuits is less painful than what she would deal to me so I was quite.

“I haven’t seen you in awhile babygirl,” she said with a lemon lime voice. “Hey Mom, I’m sorry,” I said.

What did I just say? “No,” I cried a little inside, “why Melissa? You promised yourself you wouldn’t say the word ‘sorry’ to her.” Failure. Failed. One for her I said. I was keeping count this time. I had fought so hard to get back up from her grip of emotional and mental games. “Work and life has just been so busy,” I said looking back down at the floor. I was a liar.

I screamed out in my interior as I looked out the window keeping my head tilted back just a little, “Hey Mom, let me tell you why I have been gone for a year and a half. Because, do you remember when you promised me you were going to stop calling my phone, Joeys phone, the kids phones Mom, do you remember? Remember all the non stop calls to all our phones all in one day because I wouldn’t answer because I just couldn’t. I needed a break. Well guess what? We were all right there, watching as one phone rang – then the next phone rang -and then the home phone rang – and it was like this freakish orchestra that I would hear as I was trying to sleep at night and I couldn’t so I had to drown out the mental insanity by sleeping with a fan on as I have had to my entire life Mom because my mind wouldn’t stop! And guess what? Your grandkids think your crazy and Joey does too! I told you I needed some time Mom! I told you life was becoming too heavy for me and I needed some time.What did you say to me Mom?! Do you remember??!!! What did you always say when I couldn’t talk on the phone because I had just walked into the house from a twelve hour day? What did you say Mom?!!

I wanted to scream at her, ANSWER ME! ANSWER ME NOW BECAUSE I HAVE NOTHING LEFT!! You have bled me to death mom. I have nothing left mom. Let me tell you what you said to me Mom. You left messages after messages telling me to not forget the insurance policy that was in my name when you died. Do you remember the last call? “Hey babygirl, I added accidental insurance to the policy. Do you remember that?” I do Mom. Let me tell you what was happening to me as I stood over the answering machine and tears splashed on the black cover as I heard your voice. I felt nothing mom. I felt nothing because I was dead inside. Do you remember all the times you would call Joey to relay to me the messages about how your funeral will be taken care of and paid for when I refused to come to the phone? Do you know what that did to my mind Mom?! TELL ME!!!

I wanted to shake these damn demons that took over her life out of her life! I would have sold my soul to the devil to make her healthy again. I wasn’t living anyways. I was in her numbing world of Maureen. Another suicide attempt on the horizon. The pills didn’t work this time, huh mom? The moving train that you jumped in front of didn’t work and then the cops are at the door. I was seventeen and pregnant with both families first grandchild and you knew it! … this will be your sixth attempt, right? Right?! Yep. I wish you had died Mom! I wish this wasn’t my life! I wish I wasn’t here! I wish I didn’t feel this small again. …. But I didn’t say any of those words to her. I kept them in my fear box, put the bow back on it and stored it away and asked her if she wanted to go for a small stroll to the sitting room.

“ I knew you would come baby girl,” she said. “Yeah, I knew too Mom,” I said. I looked down at the white, clean, shiny floor as we walked to the sitting room.

part 2

  • This story of my childhood abuse is taking something out of me. I broke down three times while writing this entry and I walked away twice. I wish I could write more in a day but some memories and flashbacks are a little heavy. This is my third attempt at trying to write about my mothers abuse since she has died in 2016. I have never gotten this far.

The Beginning Of The Ending Part 1.

Walking down the hallway I looked at the tips of my sneakers, one foot forward, the next foot forward, striking black sneakers against the white laminated flooring. I was admiring how shiny, how truly clean the floor was. A sense of cleanliness came over me. I forgot about the daughter who I had become, the daughter who ran away for good this time at the age of 36. The sound of a buzzer going off in the distance took my attention away from the floor. It was a break from my own thoughts in that moment. I looked to see a doctor coming through the locked unit.

I had become the woman, the person I said I never would become and perhaps this was my punishment.

Looking back down, I saw the nurses shoes and heard the squeaks of the shoes against the white, clean, shiny floor. “God, forgive me, a sinner. How good You are to me and yet look what I have done.” I prayed internally with a low disgust.

The hard truth was that if I had cared, how could I have left her for over a year without trying to even contact her?

Not wanting to raise my eyes to look at anyone, afraid of the severe shame that I had in my eyes, would they see it? Would they know that I was that daughter that you would hear about? The daughter who picked up and left when life got too hard?

I told her I would never leave her. I promised her I would always be her Simon and she was left to drag her cross alone, without her only daughter, the child who promised out of her five that would never leave, that would never forsake her. I was no different than the Apostles who betrayed Jesus. My flesh and blood, the woman who carried me, the woman that God chose for me, His daughter, I left her.

The smell from the applesauce and jello and what appeared to be roasted chicken laying on the cart in the hallway mixed with the smell of cleaning supplies from an accident that housekeeping was cleaning up in a room ahead of me, mixed with the reality that my mother was in a nursing home five hours away from me, caused waves of nausea to overtake my being. I was walking down this hallway that felt like a hundred miles long and I wanted Hell to open up below me and to absorb me.

God could have condemned me to hell, and in that moment I would have held my head down and never tried to fight for my soul. Any good act as a daughter that I held onto disappeared. I wanted to find something, but in that moment, I didn’t want to remember anything good. I wanted to only know that I failed her. I failed her. I wanted to feel pain. I wanted to hurt for hurting her.

I asked for no Grace from God as I approached her room door. I looked at the nameplate on the outside wall. I focused on the gold part that the name slipped into. Wooding. I stared at that nameplate. I don’t know for how long. Was this real? It was. It was real. My 63 year old mother was behind that half closed door, in that room. I began to shake. My entire being began to shake.

Never allowing anyone to see my despair, I put on the mask of strength as I always have had to with mom and I gathered myself together. I looked at only the floor as I was walking in to her room. I wanted her room to be a hundred miles long just as the hallway felt so I could be in the unknown for another minute. I didn’t want to see the reality of who my mother had become.

Would she be awaiting for me with a smile? Would she want to hug me? Would she look okay? Would she scream at me and tell me that I left her? Would she tell me that I failed her? Would she just look at me with shame in her eyes? Would she try to hurt me as much as she was hurting?

Entering into the half opened door, I saw the grey sky with raindrops rolling down the window. “Take my tears from me God. Mix them with the rain,” I begged God as the hot tears threatened to escape my lower eyelids. I tilted my head up and back and reprimanded myself in my interior, ”Get it together, dammit Melissa!”

A method I learned to sustain peace at home. Not a tear fell. I prided myself in that moment for a small victory. I still had it.

No tears meant strength in my home. Crying was a weakness in my family. Perhaps it is because all men were being raised in my family. I was the only female and I was treated as a male, but not when the requirements for a clean home and meals were to be made, then I was the female of the home when Mom was having a bad day which was every day.

I was a little girl living in a mans world. I learned to cook and clean on my own.  I was the chef, housemaid, friend and psychiatrist to mom by the age of seven.

I became receptive to the needs of others and I grew to love to take care of my brothers and a home and it was never a chore. But my greatest gift, my greatest most treasured accomplishment was protecting my brothers from her – from our mother- from our DNA – from the women that gave us birth – from the woman that was never supposed to hurt us – from the pain -to the feelings of nothingness – to the long showers because only then could I cry into the palms of my hands and cool down my stinging eyes from the thousands of tears I had to comfort all day so as to not unveil the excruciating pain that was so deep in me that my flesh had to purge itself of its self to maintain self sanity.

When I would get out of the shower the answer to my Mothers question, “Why are your eyes red Melissa?” Me, “Oh Mom, nothing, just shampoo in my eyes,” I said with a firm smile on my face. I was a machine in human flesh. I stopped caring about my emotional needs. I took care of everyone else and I preferred it that way. I was fulfilled and I knew that if I would live to see tomorrow, I had another day to protect my brothers from her.

The second bed was hers. A yellow curtain was drawn around her bed. I saw no legs. Was she there? This was all a bad nightmare. I am sleeping. But I wasn’t. I was still trying to get the cramp out of my leg from the four hour drive from Massachusetts to the Berkshires. “Why are you putting her this far out from where she lives in MA? “I asked that day on the phone a week earlier when the hospital contacted me to tell me Mom was tearing down metal doors at a local hospital and had been in a locked unit for three weeks by the time I got the call that day in CVS in the shampoo aisle. “There are no other beds in any other facilities. We need your permission Melissa,” said the social worker, whose reality I wanted in that moment.

I put my hand on the yellow thinned out curtain that had been overwashed. I heard the metal curtain clips slide along the ceiling to open the curtain. I stopped and felt the curtain for a moment. Anything to make time stop. My hand began to shake and my legs were going to give out below me. A thousand memories flooded my mind in a split second. I was that little girl afraid to come home from school in that moment, in front of the huge wooden front door, but that front door was a yellow curtain and I was thirty seven years old. My abuser, my fear, my weakness, my mother was on the other side of that curtain.

My eyes began to go from the floor to the metal bed. The black wheels were all facing different ways. My eyes went to the radiator where a saltine wrapper lay.  I saw a thin wire with a remote control attached to it wrapped around one of the bed posts. My eyes wouldn’t go up. I looked at the blue mattress that was showing through the white sheet. When would I look up? I couldn’t.  The edge of the white thin blanket was hanging below the blue mattress off of the bed. “Get with it Melissa,”I wearfully said inside. I could either run out of that room and drive four hours south back to the ocean waters of Cape Cod or I could raise my eyes just as My Lord did that day on Calvary crying out to God. Here Jesus and I were, both naked, both broken, both bruised from the carelessness of another soul. I saw His Broken Face and then I immediately looked to the body in the bed facing towards the wall. They made a mistake. This was not her. It was a shell of a person. The white blanket covered a skeleton. Where was her beautiful hair? Where was her body? I didn’t believe it. In a renewed courage – knowing it was not her, I put my hand on the bone thin shoulder. “Mom?” I asked. The body began to shift and the blanket began to wrinkle with the movement of the body. The right shoulder began to lay down. The only light that was in the room was from a window in the room by the end of her bed. “Melissa?” I heard the voice say.

“No, no, no. No. NO God. I can’t, I can’t do this. I can’t, Please take me away from here,” was my inner cry to God. God did not answer me. I was alone. He left me like when I was a child. He abandoned me. What the hell was happening to my rock firm faith in that moment?  I was a daughter of God and yet there I was questioning His Existence in a split second. I was in a battle with self, the devil and God all in the middle of a nursing home room, all within a moment’s time. I could still leave. She hadn’t seen me yet. There was the Bloodied Face of Jesus. “Yes Jesus,” I said in my soul.

“Hey Mom, yeah, its me,” I said with an uplifted tone underlined with a repression of tears. I made myself look at her face. I was done. I couldn’t do it. I regretted answering my phone a week earlier. This helpless woman who was so frail and little was my mother. Was this real? I didn’t believe it again. It was like I was there but not there. I didn’t want this reality. I didn’t want this woman to be my mother. I wanted to have a normal mom. I wanted the mom that I would see my friends have to go shopping with, not the one who was ruthless and careless and the woman that stole my innocence. The woman that would put a hot iron to my face if I didn’t do what she told me to do. The same woman who taught me how to walk like a lady with a book on my head just as she was taught as a child. The woman who told me I was the reason for my parents divorce and I believed it. The woman who chose to have me and then hated me for having me.

I felt more helpless than she looked laying in that bed in that moment. And then she turned around and began to sit up.

I was a mother looking at her sick child. That was my fear. What I didn’t want to see. Roles reversed when I was in my twenties. I became her mother and she was okay with that and she became my daughter and I had to be okay with that because God gave her to me to care for and in my state of caring for everyone, she was my third child. The daughter I never was blessed to have and the ‘child’ that would break my heart. She had nothing in that moment. She was alone. She was what I felt.

She was left alone in her maddening world of mental illness, a world that I carried every day of my life for her. I became her antidepressants. I was her therapist. I was her best friend. I was her batting cage. I was her release. I was her fixer. I was the problem. I was the reason. I was the excuse. I was every wrong and every right in my mothers life.

I was. I was all of these things because I allowed myself to be all of these things. It was a drunken world of me being the bottom of the bottle for her emotional dumps on my reality. Of me trying to be her savior, trying to save her life while my soul was dying. I no longer was an individual. Her world of psychosis moments became opportunities for me to see where I could repair myself to be a better person for her. I was her yes girl. I was her drug dealer for emotional and mental support, dealing her everything that enabled her.

I was her dealer and as long as I got my form of payment which was her not taking her own life, than I justified the behavior because I was an addict too, you see, I had become so conditioned to being my mother’s enabler, her happiness, that when I could no longer mentally handle the weight of her cross, I left her. I had no more to give to even my kids and to hide their nanas ways was hard.

“Baby girl, your here …” she said. She wasn’t that sick I said to myself. That familiar burn in her eyes met mine.

(Part 1.)

The Communist Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church

The Communist Infiltration of the Roman Catholic Church

There is a third reason why Our Lord’s Revelations to Carmelite Sister Saint- Pierre seem to have a special application to our time. In 1847, Our Lord mentioned by name the Communists as “the enemies of the Church and of her Christ.” He also said that He would punish the world not through the elements, but rather through “the malice of revolutionary men.”

Over a hundred years later, we now live in a period when the malicious actions of these “revolutionary men” have a direct influence on the disfigurement of the Catholic religion, which is represented in the tortured Face of Christ.

Dr. Bella V. Dodd was a high-ranking Communist in the United States. She was Attorney General Designate of the Communist Party. Eventually, she returned to the Catholic Faith she had abandoned earlier in life. In the 1950s, however, after her conversion, she delivered numerous lectures about the successful Communist infiltration of religious institutions, and of the Catholic Church in particular.

She explained that in the 1930s and 40s, orders came from Communist headquarters to send radicals into the seminaries to subvert the Church from within. Communist agents started doing this all over the Western world. Bella Dodd said that she personally recruited over 1,000 young radicals to enter Catholic seminaries. And she was only one Communist.

Another ex-Communist, Mr. Manning Johnson, gave similar testimony. In 1953, to the House Un-American Activities Committee, he said:

“Once the tactic of infiltration of religious organizations was set by the Kremlin … The Communists discovered that the destruction of religion could proceed much faster through the infiltration of the Church by Communists operating within the Church itself.”

He then stated, “This policy of infiltrating seminaries was successful beyond even our Communist expectations.”

It is probably no coincidence that at the same time Mr. Johnson gave this testimony, the French Dominicans had become so Communistic in their orientation that in 1953, the Order barely escaped dissolution by command of Pope Pius XII.

Speaking of the infiltration of religious institutions in general, Manning Johnson explained: “… the major plot to take over religious organizations was really hatched during that particular period [1935], and the fact that the Communists in headlines in the Daily Worker can boast of 2,300 Protestant Ministers supporting them is the result of this plot that began in the thirties when I was a member of the Communist party.”

More testimony from Bella Dodd came from an eyewitness, an acquaintance of mine, now deceased, who actually heard Bella Dodd speak in the early 1950s.

Bella Dodd said that the Communists, at that point (1950s), had their men in the highest places in the Catholic Church. These men were working to bring about change so that the Church would no longer be effective against Communism. In the early 1950s, describing the changes that would take place in the future, Bella Dodd predicted “in 10 or 15 years, you will not recognize the Catholic Church.”

She explained that the tactic was to destroy not the institution of the Church, but rather the Faith of the people, and even to use the institution of the Church, if possible, to destroy the Faith through the promotion of a pseudo religion – something that resembles Catholicism, but is not quite the real thing.

Mrs. Dodd also claimed that the Communists were a driving force for the United Nations, and that the Communists owned the World Council of Churches “lock, stock and barrel.” This is especially noteworthy, since the World Council of Churches was a pioneer in “dialogue” and ecumenism. The WCC boasts that it is “the most nearly comprehensive instrument in the ecumenical movement in the world today.”

The time span indicated by Bella Dodd for the violent upheaval in the Church (“10 or 15 years” from the early 1950s) coincides precisely with the Vatican-Moscow Agreement.

On the eve of Vatican II, our Church leaders promised that they would not condemn Communism, in exchange for Russian Orthodox observers to attend the Council.

This Agreement also forms the basis for the Church’s Ostpolitik with Communist China and is also part of the new Vatican II approach of alleged “openness to the world,” rather than that of boldly confronting grave evils.

The result is what Bella Dodd predicted. The Catholic Church is no longer effective, or not nearly as effective, against Communism and other anti- Christ programs.

Bella Dodd’s prediction also coincides with the violent wave that hit the Church in the 1960s, due to the progressivism and ecumenism of the Second Vatican Council, which continues to disfigure our religion to this hour.

For these and other reasons, I think we may consider Our Lord’s revelations on Reparation to the Holy Face as a veiled prophecy of the present crisis of Faith. And practicing this devotion, I believe, is a special means of making reparation to Our Lord for the outrages He suffers in our time. It might, perhaps, even give us special graces to be faithful unto death to the traditional teaching and practice in the Church during this period of – in the words of Fatima’s Sister Lucy – “diabolic disorientation” of the upper hierarchy.

And even if this devotion does not give us these graces automatically, we can certainly ask for them in our prayers to the Holy Face. Our Lord has given us great hope in one of the Nine Promises:

“Nothing that you ask in making this offering [of His Holy Face] will be refused to you.”

To cap off this section on the present crisis in the Church, there is one last quotation from Our Lord of special relevance.

On February 13, 1848, in one of the final messages given to Sister Saint-Pierre, Our Lord made the urgent plea:

“The Church is threatened by a fearful tempest, pray, pray!”

The writers at the time interpreted this as a prediction of the suffering the Church underwent during the 19th Century revolutions in France and Italy. But in light of the above considerations, this prediction seems to apply even more to the ongoing crisis of Faith since the Second Vatican Council. Because indeed, the Church is now going through a “fearful tempest.” Even Pope Paul VI had to admit in 1972 that “the smoke of satan has entered the Church of God.”

Tragically, everything in the Church has become even more disfigured since Paul VI uttered these terrifying words.

From the book: The Revelations Of The Holy Face Of Jesus by John Vennari

The Sound Of God

Definition of failure

1a: omission of occurrence or performancespecifically : a failing to perform a duty or expected action

A Failure of a relationship

From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary

 

A failure of a relationship. When I first read that, I thought, ‘At this moment in my life, where do I have a failure of a relationship?’

After applying that question to myself, “Where do I have a failure of a relationship?” I saw myself flash in my mind. What a funny thought,’ I reflected – and then rejected.

Busying myself with house chores, I thought about playing an audiobook or listening to the news.

There came a point in my life when having just a little bit of noise, even if that was an instrumental song playing, was just too loud in that moment.

At the same time, God’s Gentle Nod, asking me to please take some time in silence, to learn the in-disposable wealth of silence.


“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Saint Teresa of Calcutta

 

I remember feeling how overwhelmingly overwhelming that was going to be not having to listen to something. I thought, ‘What a waste of time this will be, being in silence.’

I remember the first few times, being in complete silence. I remember hearing things that I had never really heard before.

Hearing the way that the pipes sound as heat is distributed through them. The hum of the dishwasher and refrigerator.

I really heard my dogs breathing when they were sleeping. 

In time, silence has become my best friend. While the flesh always wants to be constantly entertained at all times, consistently wanting to bring streams of all pleasure to keep us on moving through the secular world, there is a calling for each one of us in the spiritual interior that God has called us all to. Perhaps you could call it the great banquet between you and the Holy Trinity. 

“I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.” – John 16:12-13

When we are invited to a friends home for dinner, that friend has taken time to think about the menu, shopping and then the execution of it. To picking flowers for the table, down to choosing the time that everyone will sit down to eat. Cleaning of the house and taking the time to get dressed and to serve, entertain and then clean. This all takes great effort … and why do we do this? We do this because we appreciate the people that we will be breaking bread with us around our table.

We must then believe that God created us to communicate with Him. There is a reason why silence is so beautiful, but yet so overwhelming at the same time. 

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: “By waiting and by calm you shall be saved, in quiet and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15. 

The most difficult thing about silence to me was just getting used to wanting to try and be in silence. And so I set apart three days a week where the radio, videos, TV, music, etc. was off. This was not an easy task to do because my flesh rebelled but it’s that feeling of rebellion that we need to work out of our lives.

In silence is where God and the intellect meet. Where contemplation deepens. It is where God is the easiest to listen to. We wonder where is He in times of crisis? How come we can’t hear Him? How come we can’t see Him in the events that are taking place in the world?

He is everywhere and in everything at all times – ever Omnipresent.

Silence starts with the will and want. Pray today to become closer to God in Silence.

Crayons To Pens

In prayer life, we all reach a point of spiritual dryness. Spiritual dryness will come and go throughout our walk with God. You will know when you are in spiritual dryness when you feel stagnant. Does this mean that you are growing away from God? No. Spiritual dryness is a sign of elevation within the Trinity. Like children, who color with crayons, they eventually will start to find an interest in markers and then the need for pen and pencil comes in – it is a continuous elevation of being with God in different ways. If we continuously write with crayons and markers, can you imagine that in the business world? People making out checks, signing contracts with crayons and markers? St. Paul writes, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.” (109 1 Cor. 13:11)

On our journey with Jesus, we are to be continuously moving forward in our spiritual life, a continuous growth as we walk with God, daily. If you are in a state of spiritual dryness, keep going with it, knowing that God is seeing something more in you and He wants to elevate you in a spiritual way. The Holy Trinity is seeing something in you and wants to work in your life – within your intellect.

St. Philip Neri advises, “As a rule, people who aim at a spiritual life begin with the sweet and afterward pass on to the bitter. So now, away with all tepidity, off with that mask of yours, carry your cross, don’t leave it to carry you.”

Be grateful, celebrate, give Thanksgiving to our Lord for giving you spiritual dryness. For Jesus seeing something in you that He knows is ready to be pruned. Allow Jesus to prune you this Easter season let Him take off what is no longer good, what no longer works, what is now stagnant. Make room for Him to work in you.

Shadow Puppets

The way that the shadows played under the door, I could see that my favorite tree was gracefully dancing in the wind. The sunlight shot like a laser beam into the closet. “Hey, let’s play shadow puppets.” I whispered to my little brother. “Okay,” he said.

This time, his lips only turned a small shade of blue. My brother faced his head towards me and I made myself look into his eyes, holding my own grief so I could contain his. I remember looking at my mother and wondering if this time was it, would she kill him? She would always stop -before she would suffocate him.

Mom had bad days. Her children were the face of every single person that day that had hurt her, that had let her down, a family member, an argument with my Dad. My brother and I never knew when our turn was going to be for mom to release her anger. I always wondered when it would begin. Would we be able to have the comfort of the closet, would we be able to see the closet this time around? That was always my hope. Mom would always begin with me. I would lay down on the sofa and she would put a pillow over my face. She would then sit on top of me and she proceeded to suffocate me. I always turned my head to the wall facing away because I knew that my little brother was there in the hallway. I never wanted him to see my face. I never wanted him to see the fear and sometimes even the hope – that maybe I would die.

I remember times I would stop breathing and a comfort would come over me, it was this silence but there was also a comfort and when that comfort would come, all of a sudden my mother would get off of me and I would have to stand in the hallway as my little brother would walk past me with tears in his eyes. That was one thing about my brothers and I; if we cried, we would never make noise, tears would just come from our eyes and that’s how we learned how to cry – we learned to cry by making no noise – we knew as children that if there was ever a noise to escape us, the stakes were higher.

When the abuse would be over mom would make my brother and I go sit inside of the closet in the same room that the couch was. She would lock the closet door. Maybe she was afraid we would tell on her. I wondered if my brother was experiencing the same comfort that I had when I would see him begin to lose consciousness – that comforting peace when his lips would turn a different color. I wondered if maybe he would be able to leave this life and be safe away from her.

For the first few times, my brother and I would cry a little bit in the closet, but then, I wanted to make it a happier environment for him. I thought of some games that we liked to play and having just the light from underneath the door, it was enough light to be able to play shadow puppets. We never knew how much time had passed by. I would try and tell the time by the way that the shadows of the sun off of the leaves changed their position on the rug. I was learning about the sun in science and I had learned that during certain times of the day, the sun moves. There were a few times when we would meet dusk as Mom would unlock the closet door. Mom wouldn’t talk to us for a day after and my brother and I never once discussed it. Perhaps because we had so much time in the closet that we didn’t really have to speak and to speak would be an acknowledgment of each others reality. 

Years of abuse would happen before the above incidents and after the above incidents.

Being the only female out of four brothers, looking back, I was naturally inclined to be a mother like protector over my brothers. From a young age, cooking, cleaning, taking care of my brothers when my mom was not able to, became important to me. I wanted them to have some kind of normalcy, the normalcy I would see at my friends house when the mom and the daughter would be playing with the baby in the kitchen, when the brother and the sister were being silly and fighting, when the mom and the dad would just hug the kids because. Our parents weren’t able to give us what they didn’t have themselves. My dad was an alcoholic and my mother had major depression, severe Bipolarism, and severe PTSD . We were all living daily, playing Russian roulette with each other, knowing that my mother and my dad were the ones that held the guns and we never knew when the barrel would face us.

Being able to maintain a clean home, a cooked meal, laundry that was folded and an ear for them to listen to became my goal. I knew how to keep a clean home, cook, keep up with my studies and try to function the best that I possibly could.  I learned how to live life without feeling. I learned that as long as I could make everyone around me happy, I would have peace, and that was a terribly disoriented survival method that I learned when I was a child. If I could just please my mom, maybe she would not hold the dinner away from my brothers and I that I made. If I could just make my dad happy, maybe he would not stay out at the bar and he would come home and be with us so maybe mom would be happier.

My brothers and I never spoke about the abuse in our family to each other.

I knew the way that she was treating us was not right, and at the same time, I knew that she had to be ill in her mind to do what it is that she was doing to us and so I decided to protect her, instead of turning her in – and in protecting her over time, I was able to get my brothers away from my mother.

This is the first time ink has touched paper about this time in my life.

Writing this has been difficult because I have never confronted this time in my life as I have in this blog. I never come back to this place, but when God knocks on your door and He tells you that it’s time and you still wait years, I had to ask myself why. I want to be obedient to God, He is so good to me, why was I struggling so much for? In prayer, I met my mother, not in a physical way, but in a spiritual way, she told me that it was okay to share what happened and to walk in Faith as I have my entire life, even as a child. And I wanted her blessing to move forward – to speak about my childhood.

I feel that I need to end this blog by asking you to please not hate my mother. Because I love her. Living with an alcoholic for a father and a mother who had severe mental illness has made me a very empathetic person towards people. Because I know that God never planned His child’s life to go the way that my mothers life went. And I know that God never wanted me to almost meet my death several times by the woman He chose to be my mother. And so behind every person that is angry, behind every person that struggles in life, I see God in them even more and I want to be closer for them to see the beauty that God sees in them when they cannot see it in themselves.

My blog is named Reality Meets Faith because when your reality meets Faith, there is nothing that cannot be done. There is nothing that cannot be turned around. I am a living witness that you can go through hell and back several times and still come out standing by God’s side, knowing that He was there with you all along.