In the recent discussion on abuse at Daramalan Mick1965 made a lengthy post about his own experience.
I thought it deserved a wider readership than being buried in the comments, so here it is.
(Warning, not for the faint hearted)
- In Primary School (St Thomas Moore’s the St John Vianney’s) I was considered by many to be a child genius. I was miles ahead in language, maths and music and nobody understood how I learned…I just did and I blitzed everyone.
I moved to Marist in Year 4 where I was exposed to the madness of Miss Nunn (an ex-nunn) who would make us (as punishment for putting our hands in our pockets) take off our pants in fromt of the classroom, turn them inside out and put them back on, then stand in a garbage bin for a whole day at times.
In Year 6 I was beaten by Brother Jerome who actually broke my fingers a few times. Regardless, I maintained a standard sufficient to receive an Excellence in Study Award at the end of the year.
When I hit year 7, it all changed. I started being called into Kostka’s office regularly, where he abused me. I was vulnerable, and lonely at the time. This was the turning point of my life. This was the difference between a confident, well adjusted leader with a genius IQ and a pathetic bastard who turned to drugs and alcohol to forget and supress. My grades went from straight A+ to straight Fs. I became self abusive and angry, not trusting anyone (and this developed, at times, into full blown paranoia).
I left Marist in year 8 and went to AME School where I was told I needed a “challenge” and teachers who really wanted me to learn gave me that challenge. I completed my Year 12 certificate requirements by the end of year 9.
I took samples of my work to Darra and I was accepted into Year 11 in 1981, without having done a day of year 10 (ie I skipped a year of schooling).
Of course I had really done all the work before at Darra so I could afford to be stoned and/or pissed for that two years, and still get a pretty good ASAT….but nothing like I could have had! I struggled with authority and the clergy at Darra and never connected why – but it’s clear now I was still badly damaged by Kostka (not just him but the others who stood by and allowed it to happen). At Darra I still showed some leadership and was Captain of the 3rd 15 Rugby team.
I went on to Signadou – my inspiration was to be the super-guardian of all kids and assure nobody ever had to suffer injustice. I did manage to maintain good results academically, and I went on to be SRC President in my final year. I had such a problem with authority that I went ahead and had the Nunn who was chief administrator at Signadou replaced, knowing full well she would see to it I would never teach as a consequence of this. She gave me an additional going away persent too! The trearurer had resigned at half term and left me with the cheque book. Of course I wrote quite a few liberal cheques (strippers for a 21st, cases of booze etc) and of course the good sisters had me charged with imbezzlement.
I ruined a perfectly good relationship with my soulmate – who I left so devastated that she hasn’t spoken to me for 20 years. She was pregnant with my first child whom she never allowed me to meet.
I spent the following 10 years trying to kill myself with drugs and booze.
Sure, there were other factors, but I believe I would have had a far better life if Kostka had not molested me in Year 7.
The contrast between me before this happened, and after this happened is phenomenal and if I do manage to get financial compensation then it will only be the difference between what I could have been and what that monster turned me into.
Right now I am still a walking irony. I am a GAA (class of 01) who is still struggling in the public service at the lower end of the scale and the two reasons I am struggling are:
(1) authority issues;
Why the hell wouldn’t I be entitled to some financial compensation? Hopefully just enough to get a good shrink and not have the additional stress of all this going on and having to turn up to work every day.