A Letter to Someone Who Witch Hunted Me

by | Aug 25, 2021 | Letters | 0 comments

Letter 7: A letter to someone who witch-hunted me.

I was fifteen when you asked me out. I remember you were a little younger, but with your older sister and single mum, and my repression and trauma, you were miles ahead of me in so many ways.

I’d met you in the death throws of fourteen, working my way out of abuse. Do you remember your friend who introduced us? He was the first boy I was too intimate with, too fast. The first of what would become an Everest expedition of attempts to erase agony with religions, drinks, suicide attempts, partners and more. To find a way to cleanse the shame, filth and confusion that water could never quite wash off.

When you asked me out, you weren’t seeking intimacy. You saw something of what lay ahead, and you wanted to save me. You were inviting me to church.

Church immediately hit me like a drug. A fire to burn my stains and sins away, a river to wash them away, a temple to pray them away, a fortress to hide them away. Before long I was attending ten times a week, participating in every activity from caring for the youngest to visiting the most elderly. Singing with the praise band, attending local mission with the missionaries, making sets for church performances, teaching what faith means to other teens my age. I was baptised with holy water and great intentions. I believed it would heal me. I was wrong.

I only wish I’d known it was all unravelling sooner, but I didn’t understand who you were. Who any of you were. Not really. Whilst you were watching me closely, I wasn’t watching you at all. My head was bowed in prayer or wandering the heavens. When the crack between us finally opened up into a wound, I was oblivious to it. Unlike the many others who were caught in sin with their pants down and their cock out, only for it to be swept under the rug, my fall was all in the divine feminine. A failure of faith. It had to be nothing short of public, and brutal, and bloody to save face.

The wind was already changing under my nose when the visiting minister took up residence. He questioned me relentlessly on how I could reconcile living with a life-threatening medical condition and having faith. It made no sense to me: how could one possibly negate the other? He took great interest in any tell tale sign of my psychic and healing abilities, but where else could they come from, but Creation?

I should have realised when I was teaching sessions to other teens, talking about Mary Magdalene and aromatherapy, and the history of the Bible as a collection of works compiled and multiple-translated over centuries, that I was walking a very dangerous tightrope. But I didn’t.

To me, the fall came all at once. One day, when I thought we were meeting for singing practice I was pushed off the mountain. I walked into that busy room noticing there were too many people. Sensing that the atmosphere felt dangerous. Mistrusting the fact that the last person through the door locked us all in. I stood uncertain, where the microphone should be, looking for the guitars.

And then you took the floor.

“We’ve called you here for an intervention, Morgana. We’re worried about you. You’ve been getting involved in dangerous ideas and practices, and it has to stop.”

My vision shuttered. My heart beat too loud. Words stretched out too long, only to hit all at once like a celestial thunderclap. I heard people – I especially remember F and R – share stories of how I’d perverted them with my dangerous ideas and complex sexuality. I witnessed the insidious influence they’d gathered, whilst I was challenging denial and radically accepting people.

You called me a witch.

Somebody – in my near-frozen state, it seems I couldn’t form a memory of who –  gave me a choice: leave forever, and never return; or submit to be exorcised. Was it really our minister? The one whose eldest son I foolishly called my best friend, his youngest, my brother’s? My body still refuses to call that dread a memory… still wants it to be a fabrication. My mind glides off it and refuses it.

The deacon indicated to the small, side room door. And only then did it sink in that this choice was happening now. I was at least as damned if I stayed as I would be if I walked out. Part of me wanted to give it real consideration: my family for the first time ever were gathering around me. Until just a moment before, I’d believed myself well-loved, with many wonderful friendships. But it all stripped away. Ripped away. Was gut-wrenchingly scythed away, just the brittle old chaff of another unworthy soul.

Your words poured over me like ice water: the witch in me didn’t melt. That was the moment she germinated; she who would raise her sword to stand beside the priestess within me. A matched pair destined to fight side-by-side.

It was many, many years before she grew strong. Practice let me seal all of it – every feeling, connection, meaningful interaction, into a vault that was almost an oblivion. All gone, I hoped forever, just like everything else.  

I’m sorry I forgot you invited me to the church – that went into the vault too. I’m sorry I turned out to be that awful guest at the party, who arrives with one date, only to leave in the arms of another.

I’m sorry I never invited you to leave with me, seeing as I do now, what staying cost you. I understand why you were the first to throw stones: your own gay house of cards was ever under threat. I know just a few years later, you contracted AIDs from a love you would then later lose to it, and that you will live in its long shadow for the rest of your life. The church cast you out, just as much as it did me. I grieve for what you lost, and celebrate for what you gained. I’d like to hope now, that you can do the same for me.

It was years before the cacophony of abandonments, shames and betrayals that haunted the dark corners of my mind, began to finally break loose and hunt me. Years before the numbness ended and the pain finally riddled through.

I grieved then for what I lost too. It was a whole life, every part of it. An entire version of me, entwined with others from their cradles to their graves, devoting every minute and hour and day to a shared love and faith that meant everything to me. That I meant nothing to. That was too small and conditional to love me.

And I celebrate what I gained: one real friend whose path traces and retraces the same spiral as mine. A stronger, truer, deeper, more compassionate, more experienced, more awakened me. A light to understand the patriarchal control of faith and a glorious connection to a universe I find greater meaning in every day.

I once believed you betrayed me. Now I’m truly grateful for your place in my life. If I had never met you, I have no idea who I would be. Falling, it turns out, is a portal into flight.

Thank you.

Read Letter 8: A Letter to Someone I Lied To

Dr. Morgana McCabe Allan


There’s always more to LEARN

And here’s just a few starting points…

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Elena Saxton

Coach for Artisans

Morgana McCabe Allan is incredibly wise yet personable, revolutionary yet relational, and I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to be coached through mindset calls with her. I will be hearing her words in my head for years to come!

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Host of Failing Motherhood Podcast

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