OD OFIARY DO OCALONEGO – HISTORIA NASZEGO LIDERA, STANISŁAWA / FROM VICTIM TO SURVIVOR — THE STORY OF STANISŁAW, OUR LEADER
Nazywam się Stanisław Rychowiecki i pragnę podzielić się z wami moją historią przechodzenia z ze stanu ofiary molestowania do pozycji OCALONEGO.
Abyście zrozumieli przez co musiałem przejść muszę zacząć od początku.
Urodziłem się w Warszawie w roku 1979. Moje dzieciństwo w niczym nie odbiegało od normy normalnych dzieciaków. Rodzina normalna, chodząca do kościoła. Po Pierwszej Komunii Świętej postanowiłem zostać ministrantem w swojej parafii. Tam poznałem największy swój autorytet ówczesnego proboszcza ks. Tadeusza. W ciągu 26 lat naszej znajomości był dla mnie kimś więcej niż dziadek czy nawet ojciec. Zawsze mogłem na niego liczyć. Skromny, mądry, wymagający od innych ale przede wszystkim od siebie. Bardzo lubiłem słuchać, kiedy opowiadał o swoim życiu, o swoim powołaniu. Wrócę jeszcze do momentu Pierwszej Komunii. Po kazaniu proboszcza już wtedy (mając 9 lat) postanowiłem zostać księdzem. I z tą myślą zgłosiłem się do parafii zapisując się do grona ministrantów. Moje postanowienie dojrzewało wraz ze mną. Ogromną rolę odegrał także Ojciec Święty Jan Paweł II. Jego nauczanie, życie wywarło na mnie ogromne wrażenie. Dla mnie osobiście te dwie osoby był filarami mojego powołania. Na początku lat 90 do parafii jako wikariusz został skierowany ks. Mateusz.
Proboszcz przydzielił mu funkcję opieki nad ministrantami. Już na pierwszej zbiórce można było odczuć że jest znawcą historii liturgii. Wiele można było się od niego nauczyć. Niestety, w roku 1993 doszło do pewnego wydarzenia, które dało o sobie znać ponad 20 lat później. Bardzo często bywałem na plebanii. Jako zaufany ministrant, księża prosili mnie żebym szedł opłacać rachunki na poczcie czy ewentualnie robić jakieś zakupy. Kiedy po mszy wieczornej Ks. Mateusz zaprosił mnie do siebie, myślałem, że będzie trzeba iść do sklepu. Niestety, cel wizyty był inny. Ks. Mateusz chciał mi pokazać jak radzić sobie z popędem seksualnym. Nie chcę wdawać się w szczegóły — chodzi o masturbację. …
My name is Stanisław Rychowiecki and I would like to share my story of transformation from a victim of clergy sexual abuse to a survivor.
To help you realize what I have been through, I need you to learn this story from its very beginning.
I was born in 1979 in Warsaw. My childhood was no different from other kids’ who lived in ‘normal’ families. By normal family I mean a family that goes to church. After the First Communion, I decided that I wanted to become an altar server. This is where I met my greatest authority of that time – father Tadeusz. During 26 years of our acquaintanceship he was more than a grandfather or a father to me. I could count on him. Modest, wise, demanding from others, but most of all, from himself. I would love to listen to him speaking about his life and his calling. Coming back to my First Communion. After hearing the sermon of our rector, even though I was only 9 years old, I decided that one day I would become a priest. This is why I joined the group of altar boys. My decision was growing with me. Another decisive factor was the figure of John Paul II. I was greatly influenced by his words and the testimony of his life. These two figures were two pillars of my own calling. Back in the 90s, a new vicar joined our parish; his name was father Mateusz.
Our rector assigned him to take care over altar boys. At the very first meeting you could sense that he is specialized in the history of liturgy. You could have learned a lot from him. Unfortunately, back in 1993 he allowed an event which returned to me 20 years later. I used to come to a manse very often. As a trusted altar boy, I was asked by priests to help them with daily issues e.g. paying their bills at the post office or helping with groceries. When after the evening mass I was invited over by father Mateusz, I thought he needed my help with shopping. Unfortunately, the aim of this visit was different. Father Mateusz wanted to show me how to deal with sex drive. I don’t want to get into details. It was all about masturbation.
I was shocked when I was walking back home. The only thing I knew was that it shouldn’t have happened, but I wasn’t even able to call what “it” was. I decided to keep it quiet and try to forget it. And so I did. I graduated from a primary school, high school and I was bothered by flashbacks from time to time, but I managed to silence them. When I joined the seminary, I made a decision that I would not let that past event abuse my life and my decision. I tried very hard not to dwell on that subject, but my thoughts became more and more persistent. The only way was to stifle them. I would go to the seaside on my motorbike to watch the sunset or I would go to the mountains to buy some cheese. Physical exhaustion and nature admiration would calm me down. I didn’t even notice when such an attitude became my own way of dealing with problems.
My problems were not connected with my thoughts, but with my painful disillusionment with the Church. The institutuon which I perceived as ideal when I was a child turned out to be suffused in hipocrisy. I would repeat to myself over and over again that I became a priest to serve other people. But then, more and more clergy sexual abuse scandals were revealed. When victims in America won their battles and received compensations from parished it all appeared distant. I told myself: it is way too far away and it does not concern you. Denial was a way to cope. More victims have become survivors, but I was protecting myself from coming back to this subject. My happiness was a delusion.
In fall 2013 Tarachomin case was revealed. (Tarachomin is a district of Warsaw, and a part of my diocese of Warszawa-Praga). It was overwhelming. I felt was being ripped on the inside. My wound started to bleed, my eyes could not stop crying. My escaping was over. I remember my thougts at that time: If you cannot be a priest anymore, you should end this miserable life. What else can you live for? I cried like a child on that night. In the morning, I would wake up and try to pick myself up. It took days, but finally I began to think: Stachu, you were hurt, but this is not the end of the world. You need to be stronger than your pain. I began my research on how to cope with trauma. This is when I heard about a therapy for the first time. At the beginning of 2014, I decided that I need to start my healing. I have reached this point of mandess when I associated a cassock not with God, but with a pedophile. How ironic is that taking into consideration that I was wearing a cassock myself? I needed to take it off and put it on a “hanger of time”.
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