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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

I am still trying to figure out what happened

Somewhere between Chicago Archdiocese attorneys threatening me with lawsuits in April and me getting shanghaied and abandoned in West Virginia in May, City of Angels Blog and I got beaten down for most of the last year.

I know I have a story to write and even though circumstances of the last year got me disconnected from any source of support or networking, I know I still have a story to write.

When I was at the offices of the Chicago Archbishop's lawyers April 2011, strange things happened.

It's easier when you get a year or two away from something to start to figure it out. Basically City of Angels Blog in January 2007 came out of left field. Even with the carefully crafted PR effort the Catholic Church put together in 1985 to stop the flow of information about pedophile priests, they had no structure in place to even deal with the internet at first.

When City of Angels appeared, by me, a survivor who happens to also be a journalist, blogging in L.A., the Church PR machine was flabbergasted as to how to react to me.

I pursued the reporting with a pendemonium of energy, as I was reeling in PTSD from being a pedophile priest victim myself. I had destroyed a career as a journalist with my sexual behavior, so I decided to use skills from one of the jobs I destroyed, the one at NASA Public Affairs, and produce a Space News Roundup so to speak, writing about the clergy abuse crisis as it broke first in L.A. in 2007, then later writing about pedophile priest crimes in cities across the country.

Having come out of left field, the first year or two of CofA Blog, I was pretty much able to function obstruction free. A couple times individuals appeared in my life who seemed to be picking my brain a little too much, but for the most part, the blog was able to grow unblocked by the Church, and limited only by the amount of energy I gave it. And I was manic, finding new stories daily, tracking down victims who were enthusiastic to talk to me. I published documents about pedophile priests that had not been seen or even mentioned anywhere else before. I copy and pasted the outrageous arguments put forward by church attorneys in pretrial motions in the L.A. Clergy Cases at hearings in 2007-2008 where I was the only reporter present.

The Catholic Church and its PR flacks were taken by surprise by City of Angels Blog, written by this little old lady working out of a slum in East Hollywood.

While I was at the offices of the Chicago Archbishop, a strange thing happened.

One incident that keeps playing over and over in my memory, now as I get a year away from it, took place when I was summoned to the Chicago Archdiocese lawyers' offices in April 2011, when they dangled the possiblity of a settlement in front of me but it turned out all they wanted to do was intimidate me into not blogging anymore (which they somehow managed to do).

I sat with my two lawyers in the conference room for a good eight hours. At one point this little man in shirtsleeves who worked in the law offices wandered in, looked at me sardonically, and said, "You're Kay Ebeling, aren't you, with City of Angels?" I nodded.

He said, "You make it easy for us."

Turns out I made it easy for them to find a way to deplete me, by pouring my heart out on this blog. They knew exactly what to say to me after I traveled to Chicago in a frenzy last April, and then with two lawyers on my side sat in their offices for seven hours experiencing a dive in blood sugar and hope.

Towards the end of the afternoon, the little man walked in.

"You make it easy for us," he said, and the archdiocese attorneys rushed up and slammed him out of the room so he could say no more.

God, I wish I could find the passion that got me writing this blog back in 2007 to begin with.

The Archdiocese pulled my plug last April when I went to their offices thinking I was going to a mediation for a settlement and instead being put through this weird afternoon by corporate lawyers working for the Catholic Church playing games with me. They whispered things in my ear that to this day defeat me and keep me from wanting to continue to write.

Amazing how they're able to do that, isn't it.

The Archdiocese created doubt in my own head. Now I need to corroborate my own story.

I Made It Easy for Them

Around mid-2008 the obstructions created to stop City of Angels Blog began.

They first got to me just before the SNAP conference, trying to keep me from going by getting my bank account closed and all my cash seized a week before my flight. I still managed to get to Chicago for the annual event for survivors that year, but then "they" started a full frontal atack on me, beginning right there at the SNAP conference at one of the Saturday night breakaway sessions, a confusing experience for me, an effort to demean me and destroy that very confidence I was just beginning to develop.

Also from that weekend on, I was unable to run Google ads on this site. Something was apparently done to the blog on my laptop in my hotel room while I was downstairs at SNAP conference events there in Chicago in 2008. That was just the beginning.

Beforehand, I'd told everybody I was going to the SNAP conference summer 2008, even raised my travel money to get there through this blog's PayPal account.

So they knew how to get to me. I made it easy for them.

After summer 2008, the attacks on me and the blog became systematic. By mid-2009 after many efforts to develop stories, not one person would phone me back. Rumors got back to me of whisper campaigns about me. In a matter of months, by early 2010, I was becoming unable to develop any stories. Someone always found out what I was working on and stepped in and squelched it.

I have second guessed myself into obscurity trying to figure that one out in public here at the blog and, yes, SNAP seemed to always be in the middle of the interference and obstruction.

But again, I'm second guessing.

I make it easy for them. I think I've fallen into a lot of traps that were designed for me to end me up exactly where I am, isolated and disconnected.

I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what happened.

Another thing that keeps popping up is how lonely and hurt I was from 2009 onward, when the blog went from extremely popular and thriving, to having doors slammed shut on it, and so on me, one after the other, person after person first talking to me with enthusiasm, then weeks later, refusing to take my call.

Also on this blog, I'd written about a pattern that happeend numerous times in my life since age 5, the age of the molestation by Father Horne. My sexual behavior would get me fired, or thrown out of things, even though I'd never know what it was I was doing that was getting me thrown out because I didn't realize how sick my sexual behavior was.

That weird rejection of the blog in 2009-2010 brought about the same results as the pedophile priest sex abuse in my life, just as I had written about in detail at City of Angels 2.

I made it easy for them.


Meanwhile I've spent the last year stranded in a strange place, no transit, not even a taxi, not even sidewalks. I can't even get to a grocery store, let alone a doctor appointment. Everything could have fallen apart here, where I got weirdly stranded late April 2011.

But my little transcription job kept a roof over my head and now, in June, I'll be able to take a next step.

I hope.

Stay tuned. They did not beat me down permanently, just set me back a bit.

I wish I was one of those persons who got stronger in the face of adversary, but I'm not. I joined the "survivor movement" to be part of something, to be surrounded by like people. Instead I wound up more isolated than I'd been in decades.

Oh well, the one source of groceries in town, a little Natural Foods store with a small expensive but nourishing selection of food, got me through this dilemma.

The period of being stranded in Appalachia is almost over, I wish I could say I mellowed out being here, but I'm actually just internalizing the anger better.

But I do have a whole new way of eating now, so things could be worse.

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