A Wounded Legionary Veteran Breaks His Silence after 15 Years
Today is my 15th year to the day of my exit from the Legionaries of Christ. It has been fifteen years of healing, coping and surviving. I have built a safe and secure surrounding to protect my life. I have a loving family, close and chosen friends, a stressful yet fulfilling job and fifteen years of memories that all help mask my previous life in the Legion. The Legionaries, good bad or other, made me into the person I am today. I pity those still in the Legion, I pity the followers and the blind. Like them, I too allowed and enabled the legion to mold and warp my life.
Below are my thoughts, unedited or re-read, these are the thoughts running through my head at 4:00 – 5:45AM on July 5th, 2010. I do not know where these will go or what if any purpose or life they will have outside of my head. Wherever these end up, I hope that the result is positive.
Why Did I Enter?
I was a kid that wanted to be different. I was 12 years old when I went in. I saw the excitement of leaving home, traveling on my own, having others think of me as
someone. I was 12 years old, just a kid who wanted to be different, a kid who wanted to be special.
Is there such a thing? Is this just another thing my delusional mind created. Maybe I give the Legion too much credit.
Then again, maybe I was an innocent yet to be molded child. How could a religion order allow and condone abuse? How could they allow and encourage self abuse? The Legion created an environment for abuse and they enabled me to be cultivated. I contributed to the abuse of myself and others. I did not know it was wrong. Can someone have so much control over you that you actually start abusing your own mind and body? Is that even possible? Can an abuser be so crafty that the can make the abused take on the role of the abuser? It might sound crazy, but I believe that is what happened.
My Early After-Life
A life of sex, drugs and lies: I am still struggling with my life in the Legion. The Legion took such a deep grasp of my being. They not only knew my deepest thoughts, but helped warp and dement them. I became so demented that I did not know where they ended and where I began. They were who I was, they became who I am.
My Life Today
Remarkably, I have salvaged a good life. I mask my life with my family, friends and work. I still have my vices, but now in a controlled and reserved environment. I do not know what tomorrow will bring.
I no longer have faith. I no longer believe in religion or church. I have seen the effects of blind faith. My
faithis now the undeniable belief that religion, church and man are all either naive or evil.
I don’t know where those who were with me are in their lives. I do not know if I am the only one who still has not resolved this period of his life. I know my life in the Legion was not experienced alone. Those with me have either conquered and moved on from that portion of their lives, are masking the pain with drugs, alcohol, sex or other coping mechanisms or, even worse, are still involved with the Legion in some way. I know I hurt others and I know others were hurt.
Corrupt and Evil
The Legion was built on lies and twisted motives. Good people entered the Legion, but only hurt and damaged people have left. I do not believe that bad people went into the Legion. Bad people were grown in the Legion. The founder has since been punished by the Vatican. He has been exposed for having multiple wives and children and outed as being a child molester and sexual deviant.
I Was The Legion
I, like everyone in the Legion made it what it became. I was being groomed and molded in their ways. I believed everything they told me unconditionally. Every piece of my being was created and molded by the Legion They touched the farthest and deepest ends of my existence and mind. I became the Legion, everything I did, said, and thought was crafted and molded by the Legion.
How Is This Possible?
How can a group of religious priest have so much negative influence and control? I trusted and believed unconditionally that their way was the right way. As hard as this sounds, I never questioned anything they did. I am not sure if other people can even relate to what I am writing. Do others give up complete control as I did? Where did this go wrong? Where did I go wrong?
Where Am I Today?
Fifteen years later I am still
recovering. I honestly do not know if I will ever be at a point where the Legion is no longer a part of my being. I have accepted that they will probably always be a part of me. I have done everything possible to mask, cover and cope with my time in the Legion.
I now have a safe and secure surrounding where their thoughts and existence are so minimal in my life. But they will never be entirely gone. At this point in my life, it is about what I can do to forget, what I can do to ignore. Fifteen years later and I still lose sleep with thoughts and nightmares.
What a joke. I actually have nightmares about this. This is sick. I am sick fifteen years later and I still do not know where they end in my head and where I begin. Fifteen years later and they are still a part of me as they were fifteen years ago. Throughout the years, I have just gotten better at covering up my past.
I helped start and spearhead ReGAIN not exactly knowing why or to what end. Even today I do not know where it will go or what my involvement will ever be. This was just another attempt at coping with my life. At the time this was purely a selfish endeavor to find a release.
I am happy that it has gotten to where it is and even more so without me. I hope that others have been helped and saved by its creation. I am sorry to everyone in ReGAIN that I have shut out of my life. Someday I hope the Legion will make up for the pain they have inflicted. I hope that they will pay for the recovery of all those who are worse off than I. Those that gave many more years than I.
I will wake up tomorrow, go back to work, continue to live my life trying to dilute and cope with the thoughts of the Legion. I will be grateful for the positive things that I have found in fifteen years. I’ll tell my wife I love her. And then I’ll do it all over again.