Probably the most healing moment after leaving the legion came about a year ago when I was watching a movie. But to put this all in perspective, I would like to touch on some of the things that I have read on blogs of ex lc and rc, and the experience that I have had.
A girl who identifies herself as Kitty on life-after-rc.com recently posted this comment:
I was in for 14 years and have been out for 3. I still have my spiritual journal that I kept during that time, but I haven't wanted to re-read it. I feel ashamed of myself, and embarrassed for having wanted so badly to belong, and to fit in, and for having handed over EVERYTHING I had and was.
Not long ago I was talking on the phone with my sister. It was shortly after Thomas Williams revealed he has a child, and the topic turned to the legion. At one point she asked me why I didn’t leave sooner. I was silent. I couldn’t answer at the moment. And to tell the truth it is really hard to put into words the guilt and sense of betrayal you feel when you pose the possibility of leaving.
After that conversation, thoughts came to mind like, why did I even enter? Why did I stay so long? Why didn’t I listen to my conscience telling me I should get out, and other questions along that line? It is a complex thing to explain. Like many, for the first nine years, I was in it to stay until the superiors told me otherwise. But when that “otherwise” finally came, something like self-preservation kicked in, and I started questioning their reason (or lack thereof) for leaving. And since they would not give me a reason, I made it a point to make a statement. I’m not going until you give me a good reason, or as Canon Law says, a “grave cause”. I didn’t have one and they weren’t giving me one.
Regardless of those reasons, guilt followed me out of the legion. I felt guilty for the things I did, the lies I told to protect the legion, the people I hurt in the name of the legion, the time I wasted in the legion, and everything about having been associated with the legion. On facebook I never accepted friend requests for present or past legionaries – even the ones I have fond memories of. I began repressing any memories of the legion, even good ones.
Then came the movie. I mentioned before, I am pretty sentimental. I end up with wet cheeks at the sentimental parts of movies, and I don’t care. I was watching Good Will Hunting. And when, toward the end, Sean Maguire (Robin Williams) says over and over to Will Hunting (Matt Damon), “It’s not your fault. It’s not your fault. Will, it’s not your fault,” I lost it all. Will felt guilty that he had been abused. But it was not his fault. I too felt guilty that I had been abused by the Legion, but it was not my fault.
I went into the legion with the purest intention of following a vocation God was calling me to well before I knew about the Legion. I did what any legionary was supposed to do, even the harmful stuff, with the good intention of following that vocation. I left the legion to follow that very same God given vocation. AND NONE OF WHAT HAPPENED WAS MY FAULT. I was deceived, abused and mislead, not of my own doing, but it happened.
That was a turning point for me. From that point on, every time I remembered the legion and felt guilty about it, instead of suppressing it all, I just repeat; “It’s not my fault”.
Good Will Hunting "It's not your fault" clip on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtkST5-ZFHw