I was abused physically and mentally by my father from the age of 3 and a half to 16 and a half when I left home.

The toughest thing to comprehend about him though is the fact that he was an extraordinary minister at the catholic church that we went to.

Every Sunday I was forced to go to church even though I didn't want to. It was not a choice. I was yelled at and screemed at that I WOULD GO!

For a little while I was an altar boy and of course my father was the head of the altar boys and held practice every Saturday. If I did the slightest thing wrong he would crap on me and tell me that I did not deserve to serve God on the altar. A few times he would give me a clip around the earhole on the altar infront of all the other altar boys. And I never managed to go up the ranks as he banned me from being an altar boy after that.

At church he was a reveared man that was respected and thought of as a good father and husband. He was a member of almost every single association that the church had to offer. Catenians, CMS, Parish Council, Extraordinary Minister, etc etc etc.

HOwever when we went home he would continuously crap on me, lash out with a hand or a foot, and constantly degrade me to the point that I tried suicide, ran away from home, ran away from bording school and simply dispized him.

When I would have a "chat" with the parish priest about my father and what he continuously did to me he would then talk to my father about it and he would tell him that I needed disiplining and that I was "naughty". God I hate and detest that word. It has been used towards me so many times that it is a major trigger word now. They always thought afterwards that I was always lying.

He still goes to church and everyone still looks up to him as an achieved godly person. BULLSHIT!

Since I left home I have not gone to church regularly and only go sometimes for things such as Midnight mass, Good Friday or Easter Sunday. I do not feel Catholic any more and do not want anything more to do with the church because of what was shoved down my throught (sp).

I went to a church outreach program for teenagers called YES. After learning how wonderful the hug can be and after hugging all my new friends there I went home and asked him for a hug and he replied "Why? Are you gay or something?"

I was completely devestated, hurt, angry, infact I cannot even describe how I felt.

I am gay now and am in a wonderful relationship with my partner for almost 7 wonderful years. A few years back I told my Mom that I was gay and she said that she had known for quite some time. She then told my father and a few months later when I went to visit my mom (I lived 500 kilometres from my moms house) and he said that she had told him about my partner and I. I was waiting for the blow and it came - "Listen sunshine, you know what the bible tells about that sort of thing. I don't agree with it and never will but if that's what you want to do then that's what you must do. However don't expect to go to holy communion when you go to mass."

Since then I have not gone to church. I went to Rome about a month ago and it was just a sight seeing excursion. I didn't genuflect or bless my self at all while I was there and have no intention of doing so ever again.

I now have to go but I have managed to get some things off my chest that only my partner, my mom, him and I know about and somehow I feel a whole lot better having gotten this stuff out. If anyone has similar experiences please share them with me as I really do feel alone in this very big wide world, especially on a topic such as this.

I hurt, I have nightmares, flash backs (really nasty ones) and body memories. I have still yet to go to a therapist without being forced to go to one and I don't trust them because I was always called a lier. Please share with me.

Ingwa