OMG I did not see it the first time
By Kay Ebeling
City of Angels
April 16, 2014
|We entered, I was ushered into room with oval window|
|Bricked up window, I remember it from 1955|
I looked at the photos at bottom of this post and said, Oh my God, I didn't see it before. That is the room, that is the window, covered over with bricks, that is the room.
In early 1955 I was taken to the Cardinal's Mansion near downtown Chicago so that the bishop could get it through my head, “Stop babbling about Father Horne." Because for the past two years I would not stop talking about the molestation. At five-seven years old, I didn't see it as molestation, I saw it as this wonderful thing that made me feel wonderful and I wanted to tell everyone about it.
In that year or so period I had been a sexual predator myself, at six years old. On one occasion, I took my two male cousins under the covers in a bedroom during a family party, another time it was several kids in a Bartlett neighborhood in a tree house. I was showing them the wonderful thing Father Horne had showed me, just pull down your pants and put your finger there, see?
I was already a scandal at age six.
Apparently my parents turned to the Catholic Church for help.
So on that day in 1955 Samuel Alphonsus Cardinal Stritch stood over me and penetrated my skull with his eyes. “Stop babbling about Father Horne,” he said, and it worked. I suppressed the memory. I never remembered anything in my life from before age six again, from then on, I swear it, until 1994 when I recovered the memory and everything in my life reconciled, everything finally made sense. Before 1994, I did not remember anything from before age six. A psychiatrist I saw in the 1980s was the first to tell me that no memory from before age six is not normal.
In 1955 the bishop probably set up the location specifically for its impact, a dark room with stained glass windows like a church. As a little girl I must have felt some fear being there.
In recent years the memory has played over over and over in my head.
The room was dark, with glimmers of light but still dark. Then a very white face emerged in the dark, all you could see was his face because of his priestly black clothes. It was round and cherubic, and his smile at first was pleasant and inviting. But then as I entered the smile it turned menacing, his greeting turned quickly into a warning.
“You have to stop babbling about what Father Horne did to you," he said. "You have to stop talking about Father Horne.”
I might have piped in with a “But-“ as I was truly my father’s child, but the menace in his voice increased and he leaned closer.
“You have to stop babbling about Father Horne.”
My seven year old mind froze until it could find a way to stop talking about Father Horne: Forget everything from before that moment. I was probably beginning to figure out, from the way everyone was reacting, that what Father Horne did to me was not a good thing, no matter how much I liked it.
But no matter how deep I stuffed it, what the priest did to me made me different for the rest of my life.
Then they tried to kill me
. Or maybe they tried to kill me before that. The episode where they tried to kill me is in that same time period. Maybe that's why I couldn't remember anything from before age six, being dumped out of a dump truck onto the ground so hard.
Last night on the phone I told a fellow pedophile priest victim friend that I’d finally started an R-rated version of this blog
because sex is part of this story, like it or not. Before I even finished the sentence, he laughed and said “Yeah” because he felt the same way. “The sex," he said. "My whole life, it was never right.”
It was never the way it should be.
So after talking to my friend I opened my picture file and looked at shots I’d taken of the Cardinal’s mansion when I was there in April 2012. One image popped up and I went-
Oh my god. I didn't notice that before.
I always remembered a stained glass window rounded at the top but in 2012 I didn't see the window or what could have been the room. When I took the pictures, I did not look close enough.
Now I see it there on the side at the old entrance on North street. Of course, back then you probably entered here. They must have ushered me into that room on the right, close to the front door, and it was dark and had a stained glass window with a rounded top.
I saw the images below just now in my pictures file and also said out loud,
"I have to go back there."
I'm writing now with no idea at all if there’s a way to document what kind of window was in that space that is now bricked over. I'm betting it was stained glass and if I go back there, I can ask, I can find out, there’s a way to find out, old photos, something.
As I'm looking at these pictures I'm shooting myself, because when I was there in 2012, I should have knocked on the door and asked them to let me come in and look around. I have to go back there.
keeping on keeping on in the meantime
(CUT: I need to write this. It's what wakes me up at four in the morning, it's what runs through my head all day. I'm beating myself up for not finishing “Chapter Two” while I walk around whispering a whole different version of the story, to myself, with no one listening. I should write it as it runs through my head, I have to stop trying to craft chapters. This isn't a book it's a blog.)
(And I need PayPal clicks, please)
I thought about getting more graphic and writing about the incidents with my cousins and in the tree house at CofA 16 but there is no genuine nudge to do that. I only respond to genuine nudges...