Religion Helped my Abusers

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Growing up in my father’s house, church, religion, and private school were the norm.  Ever Sunday in the morning and in the evening, my family was in attendance at the Southern Baptist church a few miles away.  Every Wednesday night we were at night service.  My younger brother and I attended the christian school the same church ran.  On Saturdays, I was usually on the church campus for choir practice, ensemble practice, or sports. In all actuality, that church campus was my safe haven for many years.

When I was on my church campus, I was out of my father’s reach.  I knew at least while I was involved at school or church, he could not molest or beat me.  That being said, I was so confused by the constant conflicting messages coming at me.  Being that I had been molested since the age of 5, I really didn’t know that the things happening in my home were not happening in every child’s home.  I didn’t know it was wrong that my father came into my room every night at midnight and violated my body, then made me get up and go to the bathroom with him afterward, where he cleaned me up and gave me a douche. I did know I did not like it and it humiliated me. I had read through the bible or heard scriptures almost everyday for several years. These conflicting messages made me feel powerless for being a child and a female.

Ephesians 6: 1-4

Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.” Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

Colossians 3:20

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

Exodus 20:12

“Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Proverbs 1:8-9

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head and pendants for your neck……………..

Those scriptures were preached not only at church and school, but by my father as he would open the bible up in our home and preach the same messages.  Every sermon in church talked about obeying in some way.  Women to obey their husbands.  Children obey your parents. Obey god.  Obey the words in the bible. Children obey your elders. Trust in god.  God is all knowing, is peace, is love.  Yet, in our home I would watch and listen to my step-mother being punched, kicked and blooded by my father.  I would listen and watch my brothers being punched, kicked and thrown across the room.  Of course, the horrific things happening to me by my father were even more conflicting to me.

1 Corinthians 7:36

If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin.

1 Corinthians 7:1-40

Now concerning the matters about which you wrote: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband. For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another, except perhaps by agreement for a limited time, that you may devote yourselves to prayer; but then come together again, so that Satan may not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

1 Timothy 2:15

But women will be saved through childbearing – if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.

1 Timothy 2:11

A woman should learn in quietness and full submission

1 Timothy 2:12

I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she must be silent.

Leviticus 12:2b-5

…a woman who becomes pregnant and gives birth to a son will be ceremonially unclean for seven days, just as she is unclean during her monthly period. On the eighth day the boy is to be circumcised. Then the woman must wait thirty-three days to be purified from her bleeding. She must not touch anything sacred or go to the sanctuary until the days of her purification are over. If she gives birth to a daughter, for two weeks the woman will be unclean, as during her period. Then she must wait sixty-six days to be purified from her bleeding.

1 Corinthians 14:33b-34

As in all the congregations of the saints, women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the Law says.

Genesis 19:4-8

Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom – both young and old – surrounded the house. They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

Titus 2:3-5

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

1 Corinthians 14:35

If they want to inquire about something, they should ask their own husbands at home; for it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.

Ephesians 5:22-24

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything……………….

These were the messages being drilled into my young head almost 7 days a week. Children were to be seen not heard.  In my home, being seen was a detriment.  We were the outlet to the whims of the adults in the home.  My step-mother was jealous of me, as she knew the molestation was happening.  Her way of dealing with it was to treat me as an extra-marital affair, and my little brother suffered at her doing many times I believe because of her jealousy over me.  There was no safe place in our home.  Security only was present to me when I rode my bike or skateboard to the local beach.  I would sit on the jetty for hours dreaming of a life where I had a voice and choice over what happened to my body.

Deuteronomy 22:21

If, however, the charge is true and no proof of the girl’s virginity can be found, she shall be brought to the door of her father’s house and there the men of her town shall stone her to death. She has done a disgraceful thing in Israel by being promiscuous while still in her father’s house. You must purge the evil from among you.

Proverbs 11:16

A gracious woman gets honor, and violent men get riches.

Matthew 7:12

So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

Deuteronomy 21:10-14

When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and lament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her………………..

Our church had many special services and events that brought hundreds to hear the word and repent.  I can recall one service as we all sang Just As I Am………. At 12 years old the feeling of confusion filled every inch of my being.  The sermon among other topics, was geared towards the sin of sex before marriage.  Even at this age I really did not completely understand what sex was, but I did know that I was unclean because of what my father did to me nightly.  Several weeks before this sermon something different had occured in my home.  My father one weekend afternoon told me to come into the bathroom and take a bath with him.  After he cleaned my area, he began to do unspeakable things and as I stood in the tub with him under me, I cried out in my head!  I was so confused, embarrassed and now violated in a new way.  This was the first time I wanted to die.  I felt death, even in hell, was better than what I was living through in life. Of course, I felt I would go to hell, because I was clearly a sinful disobedient child.

The service ending song filled up the gigantic church and I felt a welling up inside to heed the song and request of the man speaking from the pulpit.  Then my body moved from my pew and into the walkway.  As I walked towards the steps under where my pastor stood, I heard the words “Thank you Jesus, for touching the heart of this child.  Lord, forgive her for her sins and make her a vessel for your service.”  As a female elder came to me and prayed with me, the pain and confusion became more entwined.  I was 100% convinced that everything I was going through was my fault, due to my sins….not doing homework, not making my bed, cheating on school tests, not obeying adults, wearing shorts or a top that showed to much skin, and talking back.  After the service, I got into my families van knowing that I was bad. I was 12 years old.

Judges 19:22-29

While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him.”

The owner of the house went outside and said to them, “No, my friends, don’t be so vile. Since this man is my guest, don’t do this disgraceful thing. Look, here is my virgin daughter, and his concubine. I will bring them out to you now, and you can use them and do to them whatever you wish. But to this man, don’t do such a disgraceful thing.”

But the men would not listen to him. So the man took his concubine and sent her outside to them, and they raped her and abused her throughout the night, and at dawn they let her go. At daybreak the woman went back to the house where her master was staying, fell down at the door and lay there until daylight.

When her master got up in the morning and opened the door of the house and stepped out to continue on his way, there lay his concubine, fallen in the doorway of the house, with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, “Get up; let’s go.” But there was no answer. Then the man put her on his donkey and set out for home.

When he reached home, he took a knife and cut up his concubine, limb by limb, into twelve parts and sent them into all the areas of Israel………………..

Before my 13th birthday, I was home alone with my younger siblings.  It was normal for me to be put in charge of their care for hours at a time.  As I switched through the channels on our t.v. one of my siblings began to cry.  I went to provide care and returned to the t.v.  When I returned to the t.v. to continue looking for a cartoon for my siblings to watch, the subject of conversation on the channel the t.v. was tuned to caught my attention.  I sat on the floor in front of the cabinet t.v. and listened.  To this day I don’t remember if the show was The Phil Donahue or The Merv Griffin show, but I know it was one of them…….what caught my attention was the guest’s story.  The female guest was describing the inappropriate relationship her father had with her when she was a child. For the first time in my 12 years I heard the word molestation.  My heart began to beat so loudly in my body that I could hear it inside of my head.  The entire room seemed to close in around me and began to spin.  Embarrassment, disgust, shame, anger, and the feeling of wanting to die filled the space.  I couldn’t catch my breath.  For the first time I had confirmation on the years of feeling what was happening in my home was wrong.  Tears flowing down my face, every possible solution for ending my life began to move through my mind, like a fast forwarding movie.

Several days later, I got the bravery to tell a women in my church. I idealized her. She had hired me a few times to do dishes and clean her home for money I was earning to go to summer camp. I had never met a woman who was so soft spoken, beautiful and kind. At night service I pulled her aside and broke down, telling her that my father was doing things to me that were meant for mommies. She comforted me and for the first time I felt a huge weight had been lifted. My pastor’s wife was brought over and I repeated the story. I went home that night with my family and did not say a word about what I had done. The next day my father was called in to speak with the pastor. When he got home, I suffered greatly. He was angered by my telling, but also because he was fired as the sunday school bus driver.  My soul was crushed. I was so hopeless. The molestation stopped for a short while and my father put a slide lock on the inside of my bedroom door.  The beatings were kicked into high gear to compensate.

The night before my father was to ship out for his next Navy tour, I was abruptly awakened by the sound of a loud bang.  Still groggy, I could tell that my father had used his 250lb body to force my bedroom door open.  He did not come in at first.  As the slide lock laid of the floor, he stood outside the door.  The door was only open enough to see the light from the hallway and the shadow of my father’s large body could barely be seen.  The only sounds that I could hear were the sounds of my father begging and whining.  Like a child, he begged me to let him come in. “Just one more time, please, please.”  “I will buy you a new bike.”  “I will give you money.”  I said nothing.  Frozen stiff in my bed.  It seemed like hours went by and then I must have fallen asleep.  For the first time in all the years of molestation, I came out of my mental comatose state. (A defense mechanism my little brain took on early was to go somewhere else when it was happening).  This time I woke up to find my father’s naked body on top of me.  A superhuman strength took over my body and I was able to throw his huge body off of me.  He flew up and over onto my 3 leveled bedside table.  He hit the table back first then fell on all fours to the floor.  Whining in pain he crawled out of my room like an injured dog.  That was the last night I lived in the same home as my father…………………………..

More about my story, how I got out of that home, and came to be an atheist in future postings.

My goal is to help others by sharing my healing journey and mindset. I am all about total health and happiness.  Please follow me on your favorite social media site @menopausemedic Thx

The blase’ Attitude Surrounding Sexual Assault

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It has been awhile since my last posting. Sharing my story has turned out to be much harder than I thought it would be. I have decided today to talk about the issue surrounding the attitudes that still seem to be present today regarding sexual assault, sexual abuse, and molestation. If you have read my posting, you know I am not a “writer”. I am a survivor of molestation, sexual assault, rape and alike. My voice was ignored when I was younger. Due to some of the same ridiculous attitudes that seem to be present TODAY!!!

What fired me up today was a news article about Hania Aguilar detailing some findings in her autopsy report and the fact that two Robeson deputies were suspended for allowing a backlog of rape information and evidence just sit, which could have jailed her killer before she was attacked.

The fact that perpetrators seem to have more rights and are defended by just about all authorities more than the victim, just angers me to no end. The fact that victims regularly get no justice based on “lack” of evidence puts a light on the fact that the victims come second. As a child that was molested for 8 years by my father, told authorities after I ran away, then stood on the witness stand against my father, my self-worth was shattered when the judge dismissed the case stating I had no evidence. All those years of pain, fear and rape went unpunished. Not to mention my father raped others after me.

IT IS TIME TO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY! According to hrf (healthreasearchfunding.org):

  1. The number of registered sex offenders in the US is 747,000
  2. 33% are currently under correctional supervision
  3. The average age of a rapist is 31 and 52.2% are white males
  4. An estimated 24% of those serving time for rape and 19% of those serving for sexual assault had been on probation or parole at the time of a repeat assault
  5. Only 2% of the Catholic clergy sexual abusers ever served time, despite over 10,000 victims and over 4,300 victims
  6. Offenders with a previous sex offense conviction have 37% reoffense rate
  7. Rapists repeat at upto 35% rate
  8. Second offenses occur while the offender is living in a supervised community is 60%
  9. It costs $22,000 per year to house a sex offender
  10. 30% of children sexually abused with become offenders as adults
  11. Around 47% of victims are revictimized by their family and or extended family
  12. Only 10% of all sex crimes actually result in criminal conviction
  13. Only 33% of the sex offenses that occur to children between ages 12-19 are ever reported.Only 30% of rapes are ever reported.

That is just a small portion of the information, and it just makes me sick. It seems day after day there are cases where a rape, kidnapping, or sexual assault is perpetrated by someone that has a record or has been accused in the past. The mentality that it happened years ago, such as with people in powerful positions, is a disgrace. The idea that they have accomplished a great deal and are pillars in the community so therefore their word must be taken over the victim, is convenient for the unjust attitude towards victims.

Are there people that are evil and will make false claims…..um yes! That sickens me even more. That is a very small percentage, and those that have been traumatized and victimized are left with the unjust pain. There has to be a change in the way sexual assault and abuse is viewed in the justice system.  I applaud the #metoo movement and #timesup for shining a light on the epidemic, but there is still so much that must be changed.

Medical and psychological technologies have come along way since my case back in 1980. I am certain that psychological testing, and deeper investigations could be done to provide validity to victims accounts. In addition determine the psyche of the accused. I think about Jaycee Dugard and her rapist/kidnapper. He had a record and was under a judicial eye. For the victims that are lucky enough to see justice, why isn’t the punishment more severe? I think of Steven Stayner. His rapist/kidnapper only received 7 years . The same amount of years that poor boy was held captive and repeatedly raped. Just ridiculous!!! The courts should allow and take into account any and all previous convictions or reports of rape, molestation, or sexual assault. That information should NEVER be inadmissible. Changes in the justice system must change now!

In my case, the judge stated that I needed something in writing or a recording of the molestation. WHAT? It was all I could do to run away with the clothes on my back when I was 13 years old. I can’t even imagine the amount of children my father raped and molested over the years, I’m positive it was hundreds. The only time he was convicted (that I know of) was around the time I was 18 years old. A 13 year old friend of my younger brother started to write the sexual encounters in her diary and her mother came across the information. Even with the proof in writing and her testimony, my father served 1 year in Chino (a work prison where he made a paycheck).

The photo above is one of my little brothers and me. I was already being molested at the time. Of course, I had NO idea that what was happening to me was not normal. I lived in a “Christian” home. The bible was shoved down our throats and as good “Christian” children we were told to obey our elders, not speak up or question. My father for a time used the molestation as a punishment. Just image being 7 years old and you forget to put your toys away, so you get raped for it. There is so much more to my story that I will continue to share in following postings. Today I just felt the need to vent. #victimsmatter

No Justice

Well it has been a long while……….Living 5 1/2 months of the year in a cabin with no ability to have wifi, makes having and keeping a online presence difficult. I guess I should have looked at my last post before starting this one, but hell, I live off the cuff…so lets do this!

The LIVE televised hearings brought out SOOOOOO many emotions up from within me. A change needs to happen in the US and the segregated views present that many males seem to still have regarding females.

The comments rolling in during the hearings broke my heart. The idea that something that happened while in a person’s teens should be forgiven or forgotten 39 years later, boggles my sense of humanity.

To be perfectly honest, I have had 0 faith/trust (elders) in the justice system since age 5 and I’m 51 currently. The justice system has failed several of my siblings, other victims of my abusers, and me. Retrospectively, there were several opportunities when adults and or authorities could have saved me from more years of abuse, but they failed.

At the age of 8, I alerted a social worker that my 5 year old brother had been forced to live in a crawl space for months. given only bread a water once a day and having to relieve himself in a bucket. Police arrived at our home in Imperial Beach, California in what seemed like seconds. The whole thing must have just been a whirl wind for me, as I have only pieces of memory. Ms Katz was her name, the social worker. She was not even at the house to look in on me or my brother. My two new step-brothers had been abused by their birth father and Ms. Katz was on an unannounced visit that day.

My father was on a Navy ship tour in the Philippines and my step-mother had left the house only 30 minutes prior for some grocery shopping. As per usual I was charged with sibling care. At that time their were 5 children in the home, of course I was the eldest. The youngest was my little JoJo, only a few months old. The door bell rang and I prepared the scripted response beaten into my head by my father. Opening the door with my foot placed strategically to stop the door if pushed from the other side, I gazed at the well put together women in front of me.

I explained that my step-mom had gone down to the local store and would be back in moments. That of course was not the case. She had gone to the base to purchase food from the commissary and that would mean she would be gone for several hours. Ms. Katz had beautiful dark brown hair, that shined like glass. Behind her on the street curb sat her parked car. I imagined it was a fast car, because it was small with a sunroof (or moon roof) and the paint color was black or very dark blue.

At some point during our brief conversation the words she was speaking began to sound like the adults in the peanut’s cartoons. The only clear sounds I heard were the pounding of my heart and something telling me to show her Mikey. Fear of death or torture at my father’s hands, filled my mind. Before I could stop them the words spilled over my tongue, ” can I show you something?” I asked. The police arrived and took all my younger siblings away.

As I sat in the front seat of her car on the way to my first visit to the San Diego Children’s Receiving Home in HillCrest California. I felt like I was in a space ship, not a car. The seat was so deep, I could barely see out the window. So many controls and buttons. I had no idea what I was getting ready to endure, just as I thought I was safe………To Be Continued………..cjc

 

My goal is to help others by sharing my healing journey and mindset. I am all about total health and happiness. Please follow me on your favorite social media site @menopausemedic Thx

Point of No Return

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A point of no return occurs when turning back or changing your mind is no longer an option.  I believe everyone has had a heart-throbbing-what-am-I-doing moment or two in life.  For me, the second I released my grip from the C-182 airplane wing and the moment I ran away from my father’s house were just two times in my life.

Running away from home and skydiving for the first time, may not seem to have much in common;  they both are examples of reaching a point of no return.  Although stress, fear, and danger were present during both events, the catalysts that led me to both points were very, very different.

 

“Where the hell is the smiley face?”  Those were the first words I yelled as I released my grip from the wing of the plane.  I was on a first date and neither of us had ever been skydiving.  We arrived at the jump school before the sun rose and spent the entire morning going through the steps of a static line parachute jump.  Over and over again we practiced each step of the process under the watchful eye of the instructor.  By early afternoon,  I found myself 3,500 feet above the Earth, with my feet dangling beneath me as I held onto a bar underneath the wing in a clinched death grip.  Like clockwork,  I went through the final step we had practiced on a grounded practice plane.  Looking up at the underside of the wing above me,  I arched my body into a backwards C position just as I released my death grip.

On the practice plane,  there was a bright yellow happy face sticker.  As I looked at the wing during my jump, there was no such sticker, and panic sunk in.  Counting in my head, “One thousand one,  one thousand two,  one thousand three.”  The cord connected to the plane and my parachute pulled ,  causing my parachute to open with a violent jolt.  My life flashed before my eyes like a movie on fast forward.  I momentarily felt suffocated within my fear,  as I realized that I had passed the point of no return.  My heart,  still pounding in my chest,  was the only sound I could hear as I floated down to the Earth below.  “I love my life,  I love my family!” I screamed out into the open air.  Suddenly,  I was hit by emotion as I glanced down below and noticed the interstate.  My mind flashed back to another moment in my life when I was still a child.

At five years of age,  I believed that my daddy spun the Earth,  as I’m sure most little girls do.  Days away from my sixth birthday,  my father’s voice woke me from my sleep.  “Pumpkin,  wake up”,  he said.  I could tell that it was still dark outside and all the lights in the house were off.  “Was something wrong with my mommy and the new baby at the hospital?”  I thought to myself.  As my father carried me into the hallway,  I heard his deep voice whisper.  “Mommy is not here and daddy is so lonely.”  “It’s alright daddy, don’t be scared”,  I replied as he carried me into my parent’s bedroom.

Before 1980, I had never heard the word molestation.  As I sat on the beige, shag carpet, watching the Phil Donoghue show, the word flew out of the T.V. and crushed my twelve year old soul.  As the guest described the same life that I had lived for almost eight years of my life,  a cold blackness enveloped my world.  I was home with my younger siblings without parents, as my father was overseas and my step-mother was out shopping.  For a moment,  I was suffocated in anger,  disgust,  and embarrassment.  Thoughts of killing myself flooded my young mind, as I began to scream.  “I hate my life,  I hate my family!”  As the words left my mouth, my infant brother began to cry.  His cry saved my life.

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Several hours later, my step-mother walked into the house.  Fists clenched,  I yelled in her direction with all the volume I could muster.  “I know what is going on in this house and I’m calling the police!”  Without hesitation, my step-mother barked back.  “You’re going to hell, young lady!”  Suddenly the sting of her hand struck the left-side of my face with such force;  it caused my head to turn towards the kitchen.  As my eyes filled up with tears,  I spotted the bright yellow phone hanging on the kitchen wall.  My body took control, as I ran toward the phone on the wall.  As I picked up the receiver, it was abruptly pulled off the wall and out of my hand.  My step-mother ran through the kitchen and out of the house, with the only phone in the house tucked safely under her arm. This was way before cell phones.  As she ran to our neighbors home,  the pounding of my heart was the only sound I heard.  I realized that I had passed the point of no return.  If I didn’t start running away from my home, I knew my father would kill me, bury me in the backyard and tell everyone my estranged mother took me.  No one would question.  My pace was swift as I walked down our street towards the interstate.  One step after the other,  knowing that I could never return to the only home I had known.  Frightened and unsure of what would happen or where I would go,  I continued walking alongside the interstate in the dead of night.

Although, both of these moments in my life were so very different, some of the emotions were the same.  I was the one who chose to go skydiving and put myself in a possible life or death situation.  I did not have a master jumper strapped to my back to save me if I panicked or made a mistake.  I was on my own and my actions would dictate the outcome.  In my childhood, I did not choose to be abused and taken advantage of by the adults in my life.  I did however, choose to save my own life by jumping into the unknown without assistance from anyone.