October 27, 2020

Redemption | Society | THE COUNTRY

Redemption | Society | THE COUNTRY


Manuel Vilas when I was little.
Manuel Vilas when I was little.

It must have happened in 1972 and that priest is already dead. I've thought a lot about what happened, about that man in black cassock and white collar. The cassock dominated the scene. A child does not understand the reason why they touch him, that they fondle him, that they rub him, that they stroke his hair and face. Think, in your innocence, that you are being rewarded for something you have done well, or very well. I tried to find out what my merit was. I could not find it. A math or language or science exam: no, I was the heap. Sports: even more absurd, it was one of the worst, I soon got tired. The choir of the church: even worse, I did not know how to sing, I did not distinguish the notes. There was no merit in which to find a reason for him to be chosen. And even so, that man played with me and touched me and made me think that I was special. I was dedicating your time. He chose me from among the 30 guys that were in that class. There were 29 who did not receive the call. He chose me. "I sent for you," he said. "You stay when everyone is gone." "You are special". Children do not even know the existence of sexuality. They have no names, no adjectives, no verbs to name what is happening to them.

The pedophiles chose their victims well. They selected those children who were vulnerable, those who could not defend themselves, those children who were withdrawn, quiet, shy, who did not enjoy popularity in the classroom. They chose the most sensitive, the most introverted, shy, frightened, those who would not have the courage to say it. That is why he chose me, because it was evident that he would not know how to defend me and because I liked him physically. I've thought a lot about this, I have written a novel called Ordesa where the protagonist says the following: "The problem of Evil is that it makes you guilty if it touches you". That child of 1972 came to that conclusion instinctively. And he was absolutely right. Everything that that child was going to learn throughout 46 years of life would not detract from that discovery of his innocent intelligence. That's why everyone is silent, or shut up. Also the protagonist of Ordesa says something very important: "Victims are always irredeemable."

I know that my brain protected itself from what was happening. Our ability to survive is one of the great mysteries of both life and the human species. Our body executes very complex mental operations to save us from destruction and terror. My brain ordered silence. He denied what had happened. I did not say anything to anyone, until I published Ordesa. It took me 46 years to tell it. I have maintained that silence for 46 years. My father and mother died without knowing it. I had planned to die myself without telling myself. The child of 1972 told me at last "it happened, you can say, you must do it". I know it was a terrible time, full of ignorance. But it happened.

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