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Child abuse victim offers a guide to survival

AS a survivor of child abuse which I outlined in my recent book, Holy Terrors (reviewed by Ryle Dwyer, Irish Examiner, December 5), I am now pondering the way forward in light of our vindication in the pages of the Ryan and Murphy reports.

Now that we have won the war to be believed, the “psychic healing” must begin for all survivors before it is too late. Refuse to see yourselves as victims.

Do not allow the bitterness, anger and the desire for revenge disguised as a call for justice become your weapons to re-fight the battles of yesteryear. Now is the time to step out into the sunlight, to soak up the sun’s rays, to ease old bones now aching with the ravages of age. Don’t wait for death to come to bring “peace of mind”. Rest your minds. Allow the misery to melt away. Replace the sadness of all your yesterdays with the heroic act of forgiveness, as I have. Discard the misery clothes of childhood. Throw off the comfort blanket of sorrows. Let go willingly, as picked scabs never heal.

That, my fellow-survivors, is the only way to heal. That is the key to victory over a brutal system that will otherwise cry out its horrid sneer when the time comes to say goodbye to the world.

Victims eventually succumb. Survivors move on with dignity. Which one are you?

Michael Clemenger


Co Meath


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