the Hope of Survivors

Prison of Lies (The Ultimate Betrayal) by C.D.

I, truly, believed he was my friend.
Often, we laughed, we teased, we talked.
It was relieving to have a friend
After all the pain we had felt, some of it, together.

He felt abandoned, rejected, and unloved by many.
I knew this, and understood, making my heart tender toward him.
He saw my true caring and it made him smile
And more... but I was unaware.

I needed arms, myself.  I knew I did.
But, I chose to go without them,
Except for when he seemed to need them, desperately.
So, for him, I accepted arms, arms that he knew I needed.

If I had known...?  If I had understood…?
I could have, would have done without those arms.
I needed them, but I knew how to be okay without them.
He didn ’t seem to.

The danger was real, but I was unaware.
I trusted this man, this man of God, who chose to be my friend,
And let me be his.
And, I was grateful for that …

But, the day came that I saw what he had hidden.
It frightened me and he knew it as I cried painful tears.
He was surprised, remorseful, repentant...
Or was he?  

He refused the word “no.”
He refused the truth and chose his fantasy.
And, nothing I would say or do, would convince him
That “this” wasn’t real, nor what I wanted.

He took what I didn’t want to give,
Many, many more times than once.
His ears were filled with his own words
So, that he could not hear the truth as I would try to speak it.

For years, I was silently shattered,
Imprisoned within a secret,
Crying only when alone, and in the dark.
Which, was always.

And, he knew it, but ignored it.
For him to acknowledge it, would then make it true.
So, he sealed his eyes to my tears, and his ears to my painful cries.
Though, he didn ’t miss them.

Today, for me it’s finally over.
I still remember. I don ’t forget.
But, I look away from it, most of the time
And the pain, and memories, no longer haunt me as they did.

My pieces have come back together
I am finding who I am, once again,
And the things that were taken, and even given away,
God is, lovingly, restoring.

Sadly, for others it is not over.
For, still he compiles sermons,
And stands to preach
What he does not live, himself.

But, maybe more than my betrayal,
Or even another’s,
His ultimate betrayal, is truly,
His, very own.

May God protect those who are unsuspectingly near him.
And, may he, himself, find freedom from his own prison of lies.


If you are a survivor of clergy sexual abuse, we would love to hear your story and possibly make it available on this web site for others to read and renew their hope. You can use a pseudonym if you choose and rest assured that all personal information will be kept private and strictly confidential. Please contact us.

Please note: We do not necessarily agree with or endorse all the information contained in the survivor’s stories. We do, however, feel they have some valuable information that could be useful to you in your recovery. It helps to know you’re not alone, that others have shared your pain and have healed, by the grace of God, in their own time and way.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18