Really? You really want to hear about Catholic School and the whole pope thing? I feel so…legitimate! You're sure you don't want to hear about me falling down or something stupid I did? You REALLY want me to go there? Well, okay, I guess, let's all hop on the train to hell and get started.
ANYWAY, the thing about Catholic School was the unending guilt. OH THE GUILT. The nuns, beeshes that they were, prided themselves on making us feel as craptacular as possible, about EVERYTHING, from wearing our skirts too short to not doing well on a Geometry test (I still hate you, Sr. Dolores.) So for me, in the throes of undiagnosed bipolar, and for a number of other girls, who, in adulthood and the time of Facebook, have reached out to me and told me that they had similar stories, life was pretty miserable. I hated school. I hated how stupid it made me feel. I was, and always have been, an excellent student (with minimal effort, which also makes me a bitch, according to my mom) but I had no idea whatsoever that I was a good student until college. Catholic school made me feel stupid. There was no encouragement, no compliments, hell, the "guidance counselor" didn't even know my name.
NOW. This was not true for everyone! No! The Golden Few were lavished upon, but they weren't rebellious and crazy as a bedbug, so they wouldn't bring THE SHAME upon the school, like me. So they were fawned over by the guidance counselor Mrs O, which is what everyone called her, so yes, I'm fucking outing her on the blog, Mrs. O'Sullivan, because you hated me, and I never knew why, and yes I AM still bitter, now that you ask. They knew, the nuns and Mrs. O and the nurse, they KNEW something was wrong with me, and they DID NOTHING. Click here for the story of how I found out about that, 17 years after the fact
So when I heard about the Pope being involved in YET ANOTHER scandal involving priests and young boys, I couldn't help but reach inside to that fragile little girl in that stupid uniform and say, as smugly as possible, GOOD. I'm GLAD the church is in hot water, I'm THRILLED that the pope is getting calls to resign, I DO THE SNOOPY DANCE that the institution that caused me so much grief is in the spotlight in a bad way. Of course, I am then wracked with residual guilt because I have freaking PTSD from Catholic school and every time I talk or write about how much hate I have for it, I look for lightning bolts and am terrified God will punish me by hurting someone in my family or a friend.
I seethe when I think about all those boys (and girls, have you ever SEEN "The Magdalene Sisters?" RENT IT,) who were physically and sexually abused by these "people of God." it makes the bile rise. Sure, I was neglected terribly, and emotionally abused, but there was no Father Bad Touch taking me behind the vestibule. It could have been worlds and worlds worse. I was a young, confused, sick kid who was nothing but a nuisance to these "people of God," I wasn't violated by them.
So yes, I am GLAD that this travesty, this unbelievable crime that has been going on forEVER is in the headlines. I hope the pope resigns. I hope the whole church implodes. I hope there's a Great Schism and the Catholics see what a sham their religion is.
And at the same time, I think of my parents. My good, Catholic parents. I think of the mother of a classmate, who was tragically killed our first year of college. Her mother became a nun after that. She would never hurt anyone. I think of the (teeny tiny) handful of nuns who didn't hate me or dismiss me as an undesirable. And the guilt, and shame, is palpable. I think of my father reading this, as I bash his religion that he holds dear to his heart with a baseball bat and I get tears in my eyes. And somewhere, in the back of my mind, a little 12 year old me whispers "We're going to hell. And everyone you love will be punished for this." I think of that and I don't know if it's the bipolar or Catholic guilt or a combination of both, but it terrifies me.
A quick story, I know this is getting long: In the midst of a horrible downturn a few months ago, when I sat, weeping, for days for no reason other than my mind wouldn't stop screaming about how much of a waste I was, Amber said on IM (and I'm paraphrasing) "I hate your God. Your God punishes and hurts. If I believed in God, it would never be your God. Your God is a bastard."
That's what Catholicism did to me. It made me believe, and believe to this day, even though I rejected the Church a LOOOOOOONG time ago, that there is a wrathful, punishing God, who strikes down people like me. A God of love is not something I was taught. And I hate Catholicism and Catholic school for that. For never, ever, making me feel that God loved me.
So I hope the Pope is shamed and booted from his position. I hope there is a massive revolution in the Church. I hope that their homophobic, women-hating, anti-choice, child abusing asses are taken to the cleaners. REVOLUTION!!!!!!
And I hope that little Catholic kids are someday taught that there is a God of love. Because I sure as hell never was.