The Pope’s visit: the “invisible” want to be seen

Let’s see, maybe it’s too early for Yvette Michel. All her life, this 75-year-old woman has been striving to be invisible to protect yourself

At about the age of seven, her sisters dressed her in a beautiful dress, ribbons, and plaited her hair, and then went to big building. She entered a boarding school and has been there ever since frozen and left with many more questions.

The words follow one another, interspersed with tears. The pain is still very sharp. Without explaining anything to me and why, I was told to stay there!

The first day at the boarding school and until the end I am a robot. »

Quote from Yvette Michel

She does not understand why she is the only one in the family forced to stay in the boarding school, why her mother will send her only a quarter and a box of cookies for several years, why on the other hand [dans la communauté]it was her home, why… She closes her eyes, remembering every moment.

It was like a gap, a gap in love, in trust, in life between my parents and me. I felt like an orphan. I didn’t exist! »

Quote from Yvette Michel, former resident

Yvette Michel clarifies that she was protected in the boarding school, one of her sisters sewed, the other worked in the kitchen. However, with her friends, they were always looking for a place chatbut above all to hide because she was afraid.

If his life is one continuation of depression in depressionwhich began the day she entered boarding school, the psychologist explained to her, she claims to have done quite well.

Yvette Michel wants the Church to open its archives more transparently, so that all secrets are revealedPhoto: Radio-Canada / Marie-Laure Josselin

If two priests tried, and that she will never forget, says that she never experienced aggression in the boarding school. However, she says, the impact is huge. It is almost impossible to find a good life after boarding school. […] You never, ever have peace in your heart.

Because Yvette did not live the life she dreamed of. Why didn’t they give us a chance to live like in the world?

At the age of 16, she was raped several times… by former boarding school residents who themselves had been raped at the boarding school. They did not know that they were seriously illshe whispers.

She is not the only one like that. Jean-Guy Pinette was also subjected to these attacks by several former residents who were only re-enacting what they had experienced. Collateral damage…slips Jean-Guy.

So, Yvette Michel says she was lost in life, booze, sex, substances that served as her refuge. She has not knew how to educate in love her children who live with this intergenerational trauma.

Then she rebelled against everything spiritual, Catholic, Baptist… We’re looking, but we can’t find anything.

Thank you for attention, she breathes. She continues: How am I going to tell Dad all this? Bursts of laughter erupted around the table, a flash of light in the heavy atmosphere.

Yvette Michel does not yet know whether she will go to the Pope. She already knows that she does not want to listen to excuses, but wants to confess what happened in the four walls of the boarding school, but also later.


As she passes in front of Mani-Utenam Church, Jeannette Vollan happens to remember the time the priest asked her if she and her friends wanted to go for a walk in the woods.Photo: Radio-Canada / Marie-Laure Josselin

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