Fistula is a problem that affects many women around the world.  Usually due to difficult, prolonged labor and childbirth at a very young age, women are left incontinent after damage to their bladders and rectums.  Then they are shunned by their families and villages.  A small hut is built outside the village where the woman must live.  She is not allowed back into the village because she smells and leaks.  No one visits.  She is alone.

After praying, “How can I be sure, in a world that’s constantly changing, where I stand with you?”, I turned the channel and found a Nova special on PBS about women in Ethiopia who receive surgery for fistula problems and are usually but not always cured.   Sometimes when the problem is “fixed”, woman refuse to go home, saying there is no one there for them.  The Nova special covered that too and what the hospital community does to help.

They had me from the beginning, with this story of brave and shunned women.   Holy Cross has shunned me, retaliating in many ways, and I have to stay outside the gates.  They must think I am contagious or smell or don’t belong.   It has become a sacred place.  Many other women and men know this story too.   Using your voice is costly.  Using your intelligence is dangerous.   But in my life I have not yet encountered a problem that cannot be fixed, and for some reason this problem has called my name.  I belong in this place.

And then the college started focusing on my bathroom breaks, when I leave my signs, the signs that are so dangerous and frightening.   It really is a sacred place, that place outside the gates.   When I set up the Loveable Loo,  and poop and pee outside the gate, my heart will be with women who endure much worse, who light the way for me.

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One Response to Fistula

  1. Barbra says:


    Nelson Mendela just died, leaving me such inspiration, for like him, I suffered in prison for being a clergy abuse victim while Dolan forced his upper body completely inside my car window, with his both hands at my throat, just after he learned I was a clergy abuse victim. “I”was put in prison for being a clergy abuse victim, for being “”HATED”” by power hungry Catholics, for being targeted by violent haters of truth, for being honest and truthful regarding the Jesuit clergy abuse.

    Many times, the Catholic haters of truth and necessary justice, targeted me. Landlords who were organists in a church; teachers who were fragile and power hungry and jealous; security people whose Catholicism influenced them to attempt to erase me from society; Jesuits who had me run down by tormenting policemen in a sanctuary during Easter, while I was praying on my knees while at the same time the Jesuit was standing on the altar , “”pointing at me”” with the two policemen behind him, as he denied the truth in the very House of a God.

    I was threatened constantly by haters of truth; I was stripped naked by hospital workers as they laughed, as they had just learned I was a clergy abuse victim, as they then TRIED to cart me through the hospital hallways refusing to cover me with any garment or sheet;

    Being denied schooling/housing/education/work/dignity due to the fact I was a clergy Jesuit sexual abuse victim; being jailed for speaking the truth; being destroyed and stripped by my own country of ever being able to hold a job again (just as the recent Catholic Woman speaker on television stated the church would do, to any and every clergy abuse victim the Catholic Church could ruin;
    Being in shock and in a comatose state for over 14 years from the clergy abuse and from the Catholic hate crimes against humanity.

    Yes, I too, know what it is like to be in prison for every day that one lives, starting from the very day of the horrifying abuse by a Roman Catholic Jesuit clergy.

    Yes, I understand the imprisonment of which injustice does, the imprisonment of an entire world’s system that is/was being USED AND ABUSED by Catholic Power and Oppression.

    I think Nelson Mendela truly knew exactly what I was going through, and I know he knew the oppressiveness and hate crimes of power abusers.

    My knowledge now of the Roman Catholic Church’s history, is now anything but that ignorance , and to this I give thanks this Thanksgiving and always. To the millions of people who have been oppressed by Catholicism’s hate crimes against humanity, I understand, and I truly believe that Nelson Mendela’s spirit is with us also, in his understanding and desire that there be ROOM IN THIS SOCIETY FOR “”ALL”” peoples, and not just that of the OPPRESSORS and ABUSERS.

    GOD BLESS YOU, NELSON. THANK YOU. There is ROOM everywhere on earth and beyond , for victims of clergy abuse too. I would like my life back, my right to LIFE, FEEDOM & HAPPINESS.

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