Sister I Have Sinned


Counsellor –      Come in and sit down Sister – How have you been since our last session? I know it was a difficult anniversary for you.

Sister                    Yes it would have been her 33rd Birthday. I brought her a present, as I always do. I keep it in my secret place. I think she would have liked it a pink scarf. I had been saving up and I bought it in Brown Thomas.

Counsellor:        Have you thoughts anymore about making contact with your daughter. You seemed to want to do that at our last session.

Sister                    I was having a particularly low day. Each year I find the anniversaries very hard to cope with. I decided on her birthday not to contact her. It is best to leave well alone. She will never find me. Mother Agatha made sure of that. How can I tell her that her mother is a nun and her father is a priest?

Counsellor          Do you think that the circumstances of your pregnancy are also stopping you?

Sister                    It does have an impact. She doesn’t need to carry the shame of my rape. Mother Agatha is probably right no child should carry that shame.  You see I was deemed the sinner and I had to atone for those sins.

Counsellor          But – What about your pain?

Sister                    Yes I know, if I found her it would be the happiest day of my life.  People like that Priest they leave their stain on you. His lack of integrity and failings as a priest has meant that I have had to carry this burden for 33 years. You have seen how hard I have worked to overcome these feelings but it is like that trauma is superglued to me. The only joy was when Katie was born and I looked down at her beautiful fingers and toes. She was so perfect and I didn’t feel any horrible memories of the rape when I held her. It was like that incident hadn’t tainted her and I am so grateful for that.

Counsellor          It is a very difficult situation and I am just want to make sure that you do honour your own feelings

Sister                    My daughter has taught me the power of unconditional love. I was given the opportunity to love her unconditionally regardless of how she was conceived and although I was only allowed to hold her for 15 minutes. Her imprint is in my heart. It did help me last week to go to a mother and baby meeting down in Cork. I sat in a group with other women who had also suffered. Although I didn’t speak I could share their feelings and pain because I feel the same emotions. I can’t talk openly in a group about my experiences but it helped me to listen to the other women who had to give up their children.

Counsellor          I do worry Sister that your pain is immense and you can never get closure.

Sister                    It does help me coming here to be free to talk about Katie it is the only place that I can be honest about her and in my conversations with God and Our Lady. I can talk about my dreams and aspirations for her. I hope she met a lovely man and is married. I know she went to America and I am sure that an amazing family were found for her. I will see her again in heaven when it is time for us to both meet and can learn about her life then. Until then I have her baby blanket and I never forget how she smelt. That will keep me going until then. I also have my spiritual work and I help other women who have been raped. So really I know I had a bad week last week but I have prayed hard for strength and my prayers have been answered.

Counsellor          Okay sister we will finish now and I will see you next week.

Eileen McMahon

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