Half Truths, Empty Promises, Premature Commitment, Emotional Repression & Cruelty
My experience with Regnum Christi Consecrated Women
I was a Regnum Christi Consecrated Woman for four years of my life, beginning when I was 18 years old. My time spent was both happy and sad.
The first communications began with half truths and empty promises. I was told I would study in Rome, my innocent friendships could continue (specifically with men) and that I had a vocation more obvious than they had every seen. So, to me, it seemed like the perfect fit.
Upon entering the candidacy, everything was overly perfect. I guess I should have been more critical, but any sign of questioning or challenging would only be seen as being weak and selfish. (If I had only known that it would get much worse). After 6 weeks of unnatural delight and euphoria, the candidacy was over and I was ready to go home and say goodbye to my family and friends. But, days before I was to leave, they told us that we would only be able to call our family 6 times that year and then once a month after that. As far as seeing them, I would not be able to see them for a full year and after that it would be only 2 days yearly. My father (who is an agnostic) was on a business trip after the candidacy, so I never got the chance to explain this to him, let alone say goodbye. This hurt him deeply and turned him away from God even more. The pain I felt was overbearing. Neither my friends nor my family understood, but the RC women “helped” me to realize that Jesus was drawing me to himself. So, I got consecrated.
During those four years, I believe I was brainwashed a bit. My own opinions and feelings were constantly pushed aside because they had practically given us a recipe for how and what to feel, do, think and say. Pretty sly. I could never have a friend because that meant you were selfish. Boy oh boy, does that mess with your psyche!!! I was always lonely and felt depressed. I didn’t know it at the time because I was too busy trying to figure out what I was supposed to feel and not just feel it.
There are some specific incidents which I would like to share. The first was about the sudden death of my friend. He and I knew each other for a long time, we went to prom together and were very innocent friends. I got a call from my best friend and she told me he had been killed in a drunk driving accident. I didn’t know what to do so I went to my directress. She was very stoic, to the point, and told me that I couldn’t dwell on this and try to forget about it. This was my first year to I was eager to please and tried to follow her orders. I was never able to deal with it, let alone even send his family a card!!! It didn’t feel right.
The next incident was during the same year. My directress called me into her office to inform me that my grandmother had been in an accident. She told me she was alright and that I shouldn’t let this “distract me”. ???? I was allowed to call my mom and found out it was more than a mere accident. While driving, grandmother had a stroke and passed out at the wheel. She was just about to merge onto the highway, her car proceeded to go and it was struck at 80 miles an hour by a Mack Truck!!! She was just destroyed and barely survived only to find out the cause of her stoke was undiagnosed cancer that had reached her brain. I went to my directress, informed her and her attitude was the same. Be strong, don’t think about it and focus on your studies!!!??? Wow, how can you say you have the heart of Jesus when you can’t even feel any emotions whatsoever! I had to push all of these thoughts out of my head because I was programmed to.
The next incident involved my spiritual guide. After we had to do a meditation on purity and I felt that I needed to share something very painful with my guide. So I decided to tell her that I was sexually molested at age 8 by my babysitter. She began to cross-examine me and I started to feel like she didn’t even believe me. She also showed disgust on her face and after that, she could never look at me without that same look ever again. She was the second person I had shared that with and I vowed it would be the last. You can’t imagine the pain and betrayal I felt. It wasn’t like I was trying to get her attention or sympathy! I just didn’t know if she needed to know this for my spiritual growth.
Finally, the last incident involves how I left. After 4 years I had never, ever thought about leaving. I wanted more than anything to please God and serve him. One day, I got a little note in my box from my spiritual guide (a different one) asking me to think about whether or not I truly had a vocation. I made a beeline to her office, only to find that she was gone for the day. I was in hysterics! But of course, I couldn’t tell anyone, or even let on to the fact that I was upset. Why would she leave me a note and not even have the guts to tell me in person! That was just downright low and disrespectful. To her it was just a simple duty but for me it was my WHOLE LIFE!!! So, right before night prayers I saw her. I was sobbing and asking her why she had asked me that. She was very aloof and almost annoyed, telling me that now wasn’t the time to talk about it. I needed to talk to Jesus. She made me feel stupid and childish. After three of the longest days of my life and after 2 cancellations, I was finally graced with and appointment with her to talk about it. I proceeded to tell her why I had a vocation and she proceeded to tell me that I didn’t. Her reasons were vague and general. It wasn’t like I had stolen something or disobeyed. I just didn’t have what it takes. It wasn’t a conversation, but more like an order. ‘You don’t have a vocation so there!’ This was the hardest thing that I have ever had to go through. For four years, I could think of nothing other than serving God, forever. And then to have somebody rip that away from you in one moment and not even feel like you had a say in it. Sound familiar? Well, that was how I ended up there! Someone TELLING me that I had a vocation. And now someone is telling me that I didn’t. How can they do that? Anyway, it took 2 days for me to get on a plane and return “home”. The only advice my spiritual guide had given me was “not to fall into Mortal Sin”. Now, that’s a bit twisted, don’t you think?! When I got home I felt like I had been dropped off of the face of the earth. No one from RC was there to transition me, I had no contacts, couldn’t call anyone from RC and couldn’t even say goodbye to anyone!!!! I felt even more alone than ever.
‘OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND!’
It’s been about 4 1/2 years since I was asked to leave. The only thing that they were right about was the fact that I didn’t have a religious vocation. I have been married for 2 1/2 years and we are expecting our first child next month. I am thankful that I got out while I could. I never thought I could be so happy and content. Looking back and comparing how I feel now, versus how I felt then, it seems like night and day. I am glad that I had those 4 years to grow in my love and knowledge of God but I can’t help but feel bitter about the whole thing. I had a pretty hard transition from RC to the real world and felt abandoned by RC. It was like they had no use for me, so they could care less about me after I left. I have never been contacted by them, except to ask for money. A while ago, I did contact one of my old companions asking about some married woman’s retreats. She was “so excited” to talk to me. She then said she would send me out information. Two months later, I received a letter from Fr. Bannon (the man that consecrated me). It was a letter telling me about the movement, the history, etc. This was a letter you send to someone that has never heard about RC, not a previous, consecrated woman who dedicated 4 years of her life to the movement. To me it was a slap in the face and I will never try to contact them again.
So, that’s a little piece of my story. There are so many more things I could share with you but I don’t have the time to write them all down. I just keep them tucked away. I have happily gone on with my life and am so blessed by God. I feel I did the right thing and pleased him during those 4 years. That is the only thing that gives me peace about the situation.
[Editor’s note: verbatim text with slight edits, highlights and titles.]