I’m Abigail. I feel sick as I read all the comments on the blog. How did I get into this mess? Never did I imagine this would happen to me. My story began six years ago with this priest – let’s call him Fr. X. Myself and this Catholic Father instantly connected over common interests. Serving on various committees solidified our bond. I’m 15 years older, married and have several kids. My marriage is on the brink of divorce due to my husband’s alcoholism and abusiveness. Our marriage was going downhill before I met Fr. X.
Things seriously deteriorated after the deaths of several family members and friends. At first, I deluded myself into thinking he was my dear brother in Christ. He’s very endearing, socially awkward, crazy, intelligent and very human, all qualities I found appealing. My husband detected more of an attachment on my part and gave me constant grief about it. I became close to Fr. X’s family and helped them with a family crisis, further strengthening our relationship. Nothing romantic or sexual occurred, just lots of affirmation and attentiveness. He mentioned that I was his best friend and others in his circle have confirmed that.
Our relationship went to another level after he was transferred and became pastor. The hot/cold behavior I’ve read about here seemed to be more apparent. I attributed that to his wanting to make a good impression and having more responsibilities. He’s super busy as am I, so I strove not to appear needy. Then, something happened this spring that had me reach out to him more. He didn’t respond as I had hoped, so I detached. Thus started a huge game of cat and mouse this summer. He practically ran after me one time when I walked by during an event we attended. I told him I didn’t want to take him away from his adoring fans to which he responded: “But you’re my biggest fan.”
That comment right there should’ve told me that something else was happening, but I chose selfishly to bask in the compliment instead of backing far away. Then, an incident recently rocked my world. I should’ve known something big was brewing. About a month ago, Fr. X texted me asking me out to dinner to celebrate my birthday, something he’s never done. We’ve always eaten breakfast or lunch; if we ate dinner together, it was with a group related to ministry work or with his family and my family. Never alone for dinner. Stupidly, I chose to ignore the warning bells going off in my head and agreed to meet him. Then, when he arrived, he gave me a warm hug and a birthday card. He’s never given me a card either; he usually texts me a greeting or calls. The card wasn’t anything mushy. After dessert, he mentioned how noisy the place was getting and wondered if we could go somewhere to talk. I suggested the library; he mentioned a bookstore and then asked suddenly if I’d mind going to his place.
Again, the alarm bells sounded but I ignored them and went to his place. I was there for several hours as a witness to a train wreck of a conversation. He was very jumpy, fidgeting and leaving to go to the bathroom several times. I asked if he was ok and he said he was. At one point, he hinted about me going upstairs because he was using the bathroom up there so much, which I didn’t take seriously as I thought he was joking. He sat in a separate recliner and then next to me on the couch.
At one point, he playfully tapped my foot with a pillow. He commented on how dark I was (I recently went to the beach). He picked up my shoe and commented on how small my feet were. He asked if I was ticklish and when I said yes and asked if he was too, he said: “Yes, but you don’t want to know where I’m ticklish.” We got on the subject of celibacy and he outright asked me if I had sexual urges! I was shocked and said that I didn’t, that sex actually is a big turn-off because of what’s happened to me. Then he said that he has strong urges and the instinct to procreate is strong, adding that it would be helpful if women dressed more conservatively.
Just when I thought this couldn’t get any weirder, he mentioned again about going upstairs to see his books. He is a voracious reader as am I. Again, alarm bells. But, I did go upstairs and saw that he had a beautiful book collection. However, the books were in his private suite and his bedroom door was wide open. He cracked open a joke book and started to read aloud from it while I looked at his shelves. He made some comment about his mattress being hard and asking me to test it to see if it was. I ignored that. Then, the kicker. It was getting late and I knew I had to go home. He said immediately that I could stay in the guest room! I was shocked – I think my mouth was wide open. I quickly said that wouldn’t be a good idea and left.
The next morning he texted me. I didn’t reply at first because I was so upset and flabbergasted. Since that time, he has texted me a few more times and he has greeted me warmly at church. When I asked him again about his behavior that night, he said he was in a weird mood and I shouldn’t dwell on it. After more attention, the cold behavior began like talking really formally to me on the phone after he called me first and left a message. When I finally called him back, he made it crystal clear he didn’t want to talk to me because his parents were there and he had to call another priest.
Then why did he call me if it wasn’t convenient? Anyway, I apologize that this is so long but I felt the need to explain everything. I’ve told bits and pieces to my sister who thinks he has definite feelings for me but is struggling. She actually said that his hot/cold behavior was a big clue to her. I guess I need confirmation that this really happened to me. I just can’t believe that after all this time, he would do something so risky. And I just feel so incredibly stupid and naive. I’ve never been with anyone else except my husband, so when it comes to flirting, etc. I am clueless. I know I need to pull back, which will be tricky as we’re involved in so many things together. I know I need to leave him alone, and believe me, I’ve tried.
He keeps contacting me when I detach. I’ve prayed and gone to confession about it and it just seems like this, along with my other issues, is my cross. I love him, but I don’t want to take him away from his vocation. I’ve gotten a lot of insight from this blog. I pray I can take the comments to heart and do what I need to do for my own sake and his.
So readers this is where you play a vital role: just give in your feedback. Please remember not to judge but our experience may help Abigail to see the hidden side of this story.