Church is another factor in influencing children. I’ve been told many times our Catholic church was not the normal church environment, but I’ve heard too many stories about abuses from both priests and nuns.
I was nine years old when Sister Mary Margaret slapped my boyfriend Eddie across the face. I was shocked and angry.
I jumped up and said “God wouldn’t want you to slap him!”
She angrily marched across to the girl’s side of the pews and hauled off to slap me as well.
Before she could connect I put my hand on my hip and looked her straight in the eyes and said “He’ll like you even less if you hit me too!”
I spent the rest of the day with my nose against the wall outside. She would sneak around from the back to where I was standing and slap the back of my head with a rolled up paper if it wasn’t.
That was my first step away from Catholicism. But I’ve often wondered, did I stand up for Eddie because no one stood up for me at home? How did I have the courage to stand up to the nun when we were taught to revere, respect and even fear the priests and nuns?
One thing was clear; it was the beginning of my independence.