Dating man sexually abused child
While Ray busied himself in the kitchen, Donna turned on The Oprah Show and found several young men talking about having been abused by their priests.She stood in stunned silence when she recognized one of the offenders: Father James Hanley—the same priest who had performed their marriage and two years later baptized their first child."Then I heard this tiny voice coming from the kitchen," she says.David France talks to a few brave men—and the women who married them—who have shattered their silence, faced their traumas, and taken their first steps toward healing.Donna Mertrud fell for Ray Skettini when she was only 17.It took another few days before Ray told her what had happened when he was 12, how Hanley had pretended to give him an education in sex, demonstrating each lesson on the boy's body. Both the Skettinis became activists and members of the national Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).Ray joined nearly two dozen of Hanley's other victims to demand that the priest be defrocked, and lent his name to a civil lawsuit filed to learn what the church had known about Hanley's crimes and how it had dealt with that information. You baptized our daughter." "Yes, I did," he said, "and Ray knows I'm goddamned sorry for what I did to him too; right, Ray?"When we got married, we really explored each other. "Getting to know each other, forming as a married couple and as a family, we bonded closer.But as weird as this sounds, the more we did that, the more he pulled away, emotionally and physically." Slowly their sex life dwindled.
Some rationalizations include: I was a difficult kid to raise; I never used to listen to my parents; I didn’t try to stop them; it was just normal punishment; I was a dumb kid; I never told anyone; my parents had it rough; we were poor; I was seductive; I would dress improperly; my body developed too early; I enjoyed it etc. Try and imagine a young child you know who is the same age as you were when you were abused; realize how small you must have appeared to your abuser – it was not your fault.
"I started realizing, 'Oh my God, there are names for the things I've been going through!
'" Poring over her textbooks, she came to believe that her husband had been sexually abused. Confirmation, however, didn't come until one afternoon that spring.
Sometimes she had merely to touch his shoulder when he'd freeze and draw back. Mostly, though, she just felt rejected, and this broke her heart."I knew he loved me.
There are so many ways to show love other than sex—endearing things he would do," she says.
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It was Ray, barely in a whisper: "I guess I'm not the only one." The shock was so great it capsized Donna, and she dropped to her knees in the living room.