Patrick, I am very impressed with the courageous and articulate story in this woman’s letter. It is so similar a story to mine. As you know I was also in the Hansel and Gretel play; I was Gretel in the third act of the play, sharing the role with my twin sister.
I am now living in NW Massachusetts and am an artist residing in a live/work loft building dedicated to practicing artists. I have grown much stronger since the time we first communicated with each other when I still identified mostly as a mentally ill patient and my life revolved around very intense and distressing therapy. I had moved to Philadelphia following a hospitalization precipitated by suicide attempts, and I worked for 8 hours a week for 7 years with a psychiatrist who specialized in treating severe child sexual abuse victims.
Both of my parents have now passed away and so I have little to lose by telling my story publicly and attaching my real name – which would be very recognizable to many readers. My mother was very much involved with the prep school, as were my many siblings who attended the school, and I think that adding my real name to the victim list would be an especially important part of not just my own ‘coming out,’ but that it might help others to tell their story as well. I am not afraid anymore.
Let me know how I can help. Also, please send my deepest gratitude to this woman who courageously come forward with her truth in a world of lies and coverup. You are welcome to forward this email to her.
You are doing a great service for countless fearful victims, and I am heartened to see that you do not give up on this quest. I check out your website every month or so, and coincidentally, I had visited the site earlier today, before I got your email message.
Thank you so much for letting me know about this new development toward exposing truth in the face of discomfort and secrecy and coverup; and also let me know if I can contribute anything else to your fight against deceit and denial. It’s very important to me to battle against the forces of coverup and shame, and the ‘don’t-say-anything-and-it-will-go-away’ thinking or the ‘priests-don’t-do-that’ disbelief that is so harming. I had a childhood filled with double-think. Much of my adulthood has been lost to unraveling the lies and unfounded shame.
Now I am a tenacious fighter and I’m somewhat amazed that I have survived this long after all the betrayals and consequent losses mostly stemming from these early childhood abuses.
Thank you for your dedication and perseverance.
Louise LaFond[Webmaster’s Note: Louise suggested that I post her letter to the web site. She is one of three women who have come forward with allegations of misconduct by Father Othmar Hohmann, OSB. Father Hohmann was pastor at St. Joseph Parish from 1961 to 1966.]