Some books should not have to be written, simply because their subject matter should not exist. Such is the case with I Missed Me After the Terror, During the Years of Unbearable Sorrow, further subtitled “Trafficking the Holy Spirit,” and “A plea to Angela Merkel, Oprah Winfrey, Michele Obama, Nancy Pelosi, and Alessandra Mussolini to Legislatively Make Civil and Criminal Statutes of Limitation for Sexual Assault against a Child to Be the Lifetime of the Child.”
I Missed Me is a thick volume that incorporates a political agenda (justice for children sexually abused by Catholic priests and nuns), transcripts of hearings, and recollections of abuse survivors. It is a potent plea on behalf of all the children who were abused and dismissed. If readers think that an open-ended statute of limitations is not fair, they are reminded that the effects of sexual abuse are with a person for their entire lives. They influence every choice the victim makes, and the memories are indelible.
Shocking stories of priests and nuns who abused hundreds of children, and the fear and degradation with which the victims live, do not become any less appalling when they are detailed in case after case. I Missed Me is a horror story of the extreme because it is true.
Were it not enough that the abuse happened and continues, author Alan Allen suggests a number of premises that are disturbing yet logical. For example, he reports that the reason more priests aren’t murdered by their victims is because the victims commit suicide. He alleges that in a few cases rapist priests murdered their victims, and that nuns have murdered children in their care. He, like many others, claims that the Church works to protect predators, not to help victims, and goes on to tell of female victims impregnated by priests who had abortions which the priests funded.
If you prefer escapist fare, I Missed Me is not the book for you. There are many victims, worldwide, who tell their stories within its pages. Readers are educated to the emotional and mental effects sexual abuse has on children. Allen has an axe to grind with actions taken by the Catholic Church from centuries ago when it was decided that priests should be celibate to modern times when offending priests get a slap on the wrist and a transfer to new hunting grounds.
Overall, I Missed Me is heartbreakingly sad. No one should suffer the abuse and indignities these children have experienced, and no one should get away with committing such atrocities. I Missed Me confronts these issues, educates its readers, and suggests redress.
Are the leaders of the Catholic Church guilty of a conspiracy that actually encourages abuses to continue? That’s an issue for the reader, who should do some independent research, to decide. The information presented is controversial, but as long as abuse continues, so must controversial — even inflammatory — exposés.