Educating To End Abuse

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2007 Educating To End Abuse Shows
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Kansas Legislation + Cost of Abuse
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Published with permission June 7, 2009

adult survivor of abuse by catholic nun
How do I Begin?  
Perceptions crystal clear
Magician seemed so wise
he created an illusion before your eyes
reeling you in
to his spinning web of sin
loving gestures were his selfish lies.
How do I begin
to learn to trust again?
Wisdom that I gained
was in deception stained
How can I believe in faith
when I must grieve
the loss of innocence through implicit gain?!
How do I survive this searing pain.
Innocence is lost
a price beyond all cost
stained glass broken into shards...
Tried to look beyond
 but bitterness formed ice
trusting him, I paid a terrible price.
How do I begin
to learn to trust again?
Wisdom that I gained
was in deception stained
How can I believe in faith
when I must grieve
the loss of innocence through implicit gain?!
How do I survive this searing pain.
Silent church not near...
 is it anger or their fear?
Resentment heaped upon my painfilled soul.
Silence without sound
lack of charity abounds
within the silence of our mother church.
How do I begin
to learn to trust again?
Wisdom that I gained
was in deception stained
How can I believe in faith
when I must grieve
the loss of innocence through implicit gain?!
How do I survive this searing pain.
How do I begin
to learn to trust again?
Wisdom that I gained
was in deception stained
How can I believe in faith
when I must grieve
the loss of innocence through implicit gain?!
How do I survive this searing pain?

Published with permission May 3, 2009 by Lillian

"I felt that I needed to write this story, and I want to give it to you, to tell you to hang in there, to keep doing what you are doing and to thank you Peggy, for being a dove. Because at the heart of what you are doing is the quest which is a peace for the hurting, the peace of great price.  I have spoken to you on the phone. You are a kind person who has been deeply, deeply hurt by the Catholic Church.
Your website. Sound in the silence. Thanks for all your hard work.  Someday, there will be no more rocks, and the hurting will be nurtured to health in a healing environment. It may not happen in our lifetime. It may never happen. I still believe in heaven and I have found out that in the silent treatment the church gives, I can still sing. I can create sound.
Thanks for your website. This story is dedicated to your efforts. It's below."

Penelope's Song by Lillian

She was nothing much to look at.  Penelope was a bird. God only knows what kind of bird she was.  Some people called her an ugly bird. Few knew her real value.

Penelope loved the sunrise.  Each morning, she would sit on a branch and as the sun rose into the sky, she would call into the air a gentle thanks to God for creating the day.  The thing about sunrises is that they are so beautiful, solemn and joyous celebrations of overcoming. 

As the dark faded to grey then to warm golden tones, Penelope watched the sunrise usher in a blue eyed day.  She sent another call into the air. She loved to sing. 

One day, while quietly sitting on a branch in a tree, a group of kids came along on the their way to school and threw rocks at Penelope.  What they were doing was wrong.  Like most wrong things humanity does, they are not punished. They are defended and then life moves on leaving injury uncared for.  

"It's just a stupid bird"

"The bird flew into my face so I attacked her!"

One could create a thousand excuses. Yet the truth remains that the kids threw the rock, and the rocks hit this beautifully plain bird.  With a mournful wail, she fell to the ground, left for dead as the kids moved past to catch the school bus.

Little Madeline wandered out from her house that morning and saw Penelope on the ground. Madeline was 4 years old and not quite ready to go to school yet, but with her chubby, caring, soft hands she scooped up the injured bird and ran to her mother, crying.

"Mommy, the bird is hurting, can you fix it?" said Madeline.

Madeline's mom looked sadly at the bird. She didn't know what to do. She knew of a special place one could take birds to, a kind vet whose office was not too far away.   Carefully, the bird was placed into a special box and taken to the vet.   The vet carefully diagnosed a broken wing and taped the wing.    She looked at Madeline's tearful eyes and said "don't worry, I will help this little bird free of charge."

Madeline's mom asked the vet, "what type of bird is this?"

The vet responded, "it's a dove". 

So Penelope lived in the vet hospital for three weeks til she was well enough to fly again.   Carefully the vet set her free to the air and whispered "don't give up!"

Penelope watched the sunrise the next morning.  There was a tiny scar on her wing, but she survived the attack.   As the sun rose up into the sky, she sent out a beautiful coo coo coo....

Another blue eyed day. A Saturday in fact.   Penelope flew into the park and there were the same group of kids, celebrating a birthday party. One of them picked up a rock, but quickly, a parent's hand came and calmly grasped the boy's fist encircling the rock and said "no!"

I am reminded of a verse from the Bible that has continued to be my favorite through these past 8 years of healing.  "In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, for I have overcome the world."

Penelope was a survivor. She overcame the attack.  Will you take a rock and strike her? Will you chastise her for hurting when she was hit with that rock? Would you be like the vet who helped carefully love her back to health?  Was it Penelope's fault that the rock hit her?  Is she truly a stupid bird?

Kids grow up into adults and yet, we have a lot to learn.  Silence is golden except when it is intentional and judgementalism can corner someone who is hurting to a place deep within self.  Many survivors do not attend churches.  They feel judged and blamed.

Jesus walked to the cross for all of that, you say.  Why then, the anger? Why then, the silence? Will you throw a rock at a survivor?  

Amazing. For being such a stupid bird, Penelope was the symbol of something that needs to embrace the hearts of humanity and that is peace.  You can't do it by judging the hurting. You can't do this by blaming those wronged. You can't have peace unless you come to terms that it was YOUR HAND that held that rock. Each time you verbalized complaints against someone who is overcoming, each time you used the silent treatment to octracize that survivor, you held the rock, you nailed the nail, His hand into the cross.

Morning dawned the next day and Penelope continued to sing, for the very God you pray to never forgot His precious Penelope the Peaceful Mourning Dove, even though you did.

This story was especially written for those who have been writing in to the website to complain about Peggy and her work. I wanted to share with you in a way that you can understand.  You cannot throw the rock and then welcome the person to go to church with you. There are wounded doves.  What are you going to do to care for them? If you are true to your faith, you will step up to that task.

What happened to the boys?  The ones that were not held accountable, went on to throw many more stones, and kill many more birds. The boy whose parent admonished his actions grew up into a thoughtfilled young man and one day, he travelled the world in search of this bird. He never found her til the day he died, when Jesus greeted him at door to heaven and on His shoulder, there was Penelope.  He never went silent on her, nor blamed her for the attack and finally, she was in heaven.  The scar on her wing was gone.  Amazing Grace.

Published 4-5-2009 with permission by Lillian N.
Silence is sound turned inside out
Joy  to sorrow
Hope to despair
Pursed lips do not speak, judging and bleak.
Turn out the light.
To the shunned, do not speak.
Finding my way in the darkness of night
Silence blocks faithfilled light
Faith to repair
In the heart of selfishness true faith, jaggered, fights
To repair, to renew despite the simple fact.
Silence does not care.
Bad Silence does not share God's love.
Bad Silence does not care about healing.
Bad Silence does not care about forgiveness.
Bad Silence is very unfeeling.
Beyond humanity
Beyond utmost failings
Beyond silence selective
Defines the audience of One
Who never goes silent on us.
Listen carefully, if you think God has been silent.
Only humans are selfishly silent. Listen....for God does not use bad silence.
He turns his golden respectful silence to a musical sound
In bubbling brooks laughing
Sorrow to healing joy
Despair to fragile yet strengthening hope
God does not block us. He does not shun us.
His sound thunders through silence
In a way overcoming
Sunrise, turn on the light.
Pursed lips remain silent
He tries to reach them still
The wall of refusal
Of an obstinate will.
Love in the passion
Breaks anger iced over
Hidden in silence
His love is the thaw.
Silence is sound turned inside out
By the human.
God is silence only in our weakness
For beyond that, He is silenced turned inside out.
For it was for silence He suffered.
It was for silence He died
It was for our obstinate anger
That he opened His arms...and died.
I will not lie and say nothing happened.
It was almost my undoing, but in death, there is birth.
My growing sound is silence turned inside out
Choosing hope to be apart
Choosing faith to heal my heart
Hoping for joy to bring me happiness
Overflowing, so much so, that I could give it away
To the person who hurt me. Someday.
Til then, I must courageously fight the good fight
Fending off unkindness to find
John 16:33 is mine.

My Mistakes

by Peggy Warren 3/07

I made the mistake of trusting my priest

I made the mistake of letting my priest into my home

I made the mistake of believing that celibacy was a "gift from God"

I made the mistake of believing my priest was "called by God"

I made the mistake of falling for everything the RCC ever told me - hook, line and sinker

The Bishop
by Peggy Warren 4/06

It has been a year since I met him
It has been a year since I almost lost my baby at 7 months pregnant because of him
It has been a year since he told me that I went against my marriage vows after being sexually assaulted by a celibate priest
It has been a year since he told my husband if he were in his shoes he would have punched the priest that assaulted his wife
It has been a year since he told me he could not give me money for therapy because he was afraid I would run off to Las Vegas
It has been a year since he told me I was a charity case
It has been a year since he told me my assailant was just a man that sinned and that is what the church has confession for
It has been a year since he promoted a sexual predator to pastor
It has been a year since I pulled my children out of Catholic School
It has been a year since I stopped going to mass
It has been a year since I started questioning if Jesus Christ was really divine
It has been a year since I met yet another wolf in sheep's clothing

Hang Tough Sweet Survivor
By Vinnie Nauheimer
Copyright 2007, All rights reserved

Hang tough sweet survivor
Justice's going to mend your soul
Hang tough sweet survivor
Justice's going to make you whole.

When I was a child I was abused
Justice's going to mend my soul
They preyed on me; I'm so confused
Justice's going to make me whole.

Hang tough sweet survivor
Justice's going to mend your soul
Hang tough sweet survivor
Justice's going to make you whole.

I looked at the Bishop and what did I see
Coming for to abuse me more
A flock of lawyers coming after me
Coming for to abuse me more

Hang tough sweet survivor
Justice's going to mend your soul
Hang tough sweet survivor
Justice's going to make you whole.

I'll never forget what that priest did to me
Justice's going to mend my soul
Now the whole damn community's blaming me
Justice's going to make me whole.

Hang tough sweet survivor
Justice's going to mend your soul
Hang tough sweet survivor
Justice's going to make you whole.

If this is Christianity, it ain't for me
Justice's going to mend my soul
For years I was blind, but now I can see
Justice's going to make me whole.

No Leash on the Collar
By Vinnie Nauheimer
Copyright 2003, All rights reserved

He was a dog in heat
I, an unfortunate piece of meat
Biting, tearing chunks of my soul
The pit-bull tore a gaping hole

I'd have given my last dollar
To put a leash on his collar

Lips pulled back tightly
Snarling teeth glaring whitely
What to do? No escaping fate
The bastard beast was twice my weight

His tongue was wagging
As I lay there gagging
On my face saliva dripping
While flesh and soul were ripping.

Couldn't anyone hear me holler?
"God put a leash on this collar!"

His breath was coming in spurts
While inflicting untold hurts.
It wasn't me, I'm not to blame
Yet all my life I'll live in shame.

At last the movements came and went;
The savage cur on top of me spent.
I pray God deliver me from this beast;
This my God is your parish priest.

I'd have given my last dollar
To put a choker on his collar.


The TightRope - copyright by Lillian N. July,2007

The carnival was in town. It was a place my parents took me to that made

me smile, and even to this day, I can recall the clowns honking their noses,

running around with super huge shoes. It was a wonder they didn't trip all

over themselves. I still remember the taste of caramel popcorn and that

super sugary cotton candy. I recall the warm summer breeze and feeling

sleepy from all the noise, leaning against my dad, nodding off, but then

waking up. Don't go to sleep just yet!

She walked out on the tightrope, perfectly posed, and tiptoed all the way

across it, perfectly. The crowd clapped with enthusiasm and cheered. The

circus set loose a plethora of clowns to run around and shake everyone's


That night, I dreamt of the circus. I dreamt that I was the tightrope

walker. No matter how many times I begin to walk out on the tightrope, I

would stumble and fall. I felt like a failure. I couldn't walk the

tightrope. Couldn't get across and I would not get the audience's applause

for me.

The next part of my dream was not in a circus setting. It was in a field of

flowers. Simple flowers, not those elegant kinds of flowers that cost a

whole lot of money. These were simple sunflowers. I was sitting in this

field and talking to God.

He told me "You will become focused if you try". I replied that I couldn't

even walk across a tightrope. How could I be agile? I was a clutz.

God told me, "I didn't put the tightrope there. Man did. You do not prove

yourself by walking on the tightropes of this life to audience applause, to

look good. You only keep trying. That is all I expect."

"God, you created the circus and the tightrope so that was your idea." I


He said to me" I did not put the tightrope there. I will not make you walk

the tightrope, dear."

Instead, I walked with God across an open field. As far as I could see,

there were beautiful flowers. There was no tightrope to walk on. I did

not lose my balance. God did not give me a tightrope. He gave me a field of


Thank you God, for second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh chances.

Thank you for loving me even though I am not adept enough to walk a tight

rope. You are right. You didn't make them, and I don't need to perform, to

win your love.