If you need further enlightenment on these horrific crimes against humanity I thought to bring to light my own narrow escape story that I still grapple with emotionally. I'm trying to set my story all down and come to terms with it, but it still festers in my heart, it is still so difficult to speak of. And I don't. Because I cry. Writing is what I do best.
And in case you're wondering, everyone knew about these institutions. We girls lived in fear of them and pitied the poor creatures within them when we would visit - as privileged private school girls - to entertain them. But never speak to them. Contamination, you see. and looking back, us girls must have been obliviously rubbing further salt into their scalded souls.
And yes I've had the therapy and tried to establish an understanding of my past with the male members of my birth family, to no avail.
For seriously, how can any Irish man, no matter the age, understand the Ireland of 1966 when a frightened, pregnant young woman, not more than a girl, together with her young husband, made life changing decisions to protect themselves and their families from the cult that was the RC church in Ireland? And make no mistake, it was (and still is) a patriarchal, hypocritical cult, steeped in misogyny, condemning so-called "unmarried mothers" to a life time of slavery, their babies stolen and sold, or killed or starved. Or horrifically raped by the parish priests who had unlimited access to these vulnerable girls and children.
I was secretly five months pregnant at my wedding. A very tight girdle.
A wedding ring away from a workhouse, a lifetime of indentured slavery.
A wedding ring away from a child kidnapped and sold.
A papal blessing away from tribal condemnation on a secret side altar of the parish church.
An emigration away from family disgrace and pursed lip judgement
A lonely birthing away from family joy and support, among strangers in a strange land
A frightened young couple away from all they knew dear, alone and terrified.
A baby born away, questioning the whys and wheres and hows of the banishment of her parents.
A lifetime away in a country which beckoned when Ireland closed its doors.