Child Sex Abuse: So You Think They Should Get Over It? One Man’s Moving Testimony, Decades Later.

“I love to help children's souls shine.” ― Bracha Goetz link

I am doing something that is a *no no* in the blogging world. I am going to post a link to a video and that is going to be my post for today. I really hate it when the news media force me to watch a video to understand the story. I like a synopsis in writing and then I move on.

However, I watched this video that Todd Wilhelm tweeted out other day. For those of you who know people that say "Get over it, already!" this is your go to video. Here is a synopsis of it from Channel 4 News in England.

Two and a half years ago, a pensioner walked into a police station and handed in a piece of paper. It revealed a horrific secret he’d kept hidden for most of his life – a litany of sexual abuse he’d suffered at a private school in Devon in the 1950s and 60s. His abuser went on to have a successful career as a children’s TV presenter and author. But now – the truth has finally emerged.

Please understand that this man is now around 70 years old. He is recounting things that happened 60 years ago! Remember this as you watch the video! This happened 60 years ago and he still bears the scars. 

Recently, there were some members of Covenant Life Church (formerly run by CJ Mahaney and now run by PJ Smyth whose dad allegedly did something similar to this man's abuser) who spoke against a proposal to extend of the statute of limitations for child sex abuse in Maryland. They claimed that memories are faulty after all that time. Of course, they knew that if such an extension passed, their church might be on the receiving end of some threatened litigation. I hope that they watch this video but I suspect they don't have the guts to do so. I think you will see why extending the statute is vital after watching this man's testimony.

Watch the mans eyes as he talks. See how he recounts having had difficulty coping in his life and why he hid this secret for so many years. Think about the little boy in a boarding school and how he changed from a outgoing, happy child to being secretive and sad. I hope you won't forget it. 

I cannot embed this video into the post since the news station did not provide the code. So, I am going to ask you all to go to this link and watch it ASAP in case the link goes dead. It will be worth your time.

https://www.channel4.com/news/victim-of-john-earles-abuse-speaks-out

Comments

Child Sex Abuse: So You Think They Should Get Over It? One Man’s Moving Testimony, Decades Later. — 171 Comments

  1. Yes, this is a good reminder that there are consequences, even beyond conprehension. Thank you.

  2. It’s also a good reminders that some abusers have been abused themselves. That is never an excuse for anyone to be an abuser, but the behavior is sometimes learned from another. Reporting and getting help for those who have been abused can be important steps to breaking a sad cycle.

  3. An abused child, the victim of someone they trusted, carries the scar for a lifetime. That’s why Jesus talked about millstones. There is no worse crime than those committed against children.

  4. Whenever people move for a certain law to be passed or not passed, I look at their motives. The motive to not extend the statute of limitations on something as horrible as child abuse can only be to protect abusers, not to protect or support the abused.

    I’ve heard from a couple of people over the past few weeks that honored men from CLC are “needlessly” smeared by “vindictive haters”, but after years and years of hearing about PDI/SGM and CLC in many different contexts, I can honestly say that I’ve heard hundreds of stories about how abusive they are, and the horrible abuses they overlooked in the name of standing for their buddies, and not a single one about how they are standing for Christ and for love.

    Churches like that shouldn’t exist, and leaders like that should never be allowed in ministry again.

  5. ishy wrote:

    The motive to not extend the statute of limitations on something as horrible as child abuse can only be to protect abusers, not to protect or support the abused.

    I do think some have those motives. Perhaps others are concerned that people will be wrongly charged/convicted, though. I’m not saying that that is likely, but I can see it as legitimate. Physical evidence will be gone after a certain point, and we’re left with testimony.

    I think there is a perception that people are being falsely accused and with no physical evidence they will be thrown in jail based on ‘lies’. In reality, traumatized children do not make great witnesses so they are at a disadvantage testifying at a young age.

    But this mostly applies to casual opinion holders. I think the people actively attempting to get these bills thrown out tend to have agendas, and they are as much about money (which is why institutions get involved in lobbying) as anything.

  6. Lea wrote:

    Physical evidence will be gone after a certain point, and we’re left with testimony.

    There is rarely physical evidence in child sex abuse situations. Most are reported long after the fact. It is usually a he said/she said

  7. Child Sex Abuse: So You Think They Should Get Over It? One Man’s Moving Testimony, Decades Later.

    And anyone who comes on board with “Secret Sin”, “He Should Have Had More Faith”, and/or “If He Were A New Creature In Christ…” gets punched in the junk.

  8. Recently, a former client, who’s in his 70’s, ran into me at the grocery store. After a time of talking he broke down, and told me of how his sister and he were sexually abused by a parent. And when going into the military he thought there was something wrong with him compared to the other men.

    It was palpable how, even after these many decades removed, the hurt still abounds.

  9. Lea wrote:

    I think there is a perception that people are being falsely accused and with no physical evidence they will be thrown in jail based on ‘lies’. In reality, traumatized children do not make great witnesses so they are at a disadvantage testifying at a young age.

    This perception dates back to a couple cases of “Recovered Memory Therapy” by True Believer Activist/Therapists during the 1980s Satanic Panic, before anyone knew of False Memory Syndrome (and how false memories are implanted). Happened just often enough to poison the well for all the real victims.

  10. It was palpable how, even after these many decades removed, the hurt still abounds.

    I was never sexually abused, but I understand first-hand how “the hurt still abounds”.
    I can only imagine how sexual abuse supercharges that level of abounding hurt.

  11. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    P.S. I am currently 61 years old but my emotions are often still stuck in High School Hell.
    The flashback cascade triggers get fewer and farther between over the years, but they never completely go away.
    And when they trigger, the cascade can still hit at full emotional intensity.
    (Note: I have not had that happen in several years.)
    More common is a low-grade background “noise” of neurotic tension and undercurrent or fearful numbing.

  12. To the victim, sexual molestation is like losing a spiritual limb: It never grows back; it never heals. Yes, it may get “better” over time, but it never heals. Please remember that.

  13. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    This perception dates back to a couple cases of “Recovered Memory Therapy” by True Believer Activist/Therapists during the 1980s Satanic Panic, before anyone knew of False Memory Syndrome (and how false memories are implanted). Happened just often enough to poison the well for all the real victims.

    Indeed. I think for this particular subset of people education is needed.

    dee wrote:

    There is rarely physical evidence in child sex abuse situations. Most are reported long after the fact. It is usually a he said/she said

    I’m sure that is true. And many types of molestation cases with very young children would not leave physical evidence.

  14. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    I am currently 61 years old but my emotions are often still stuck in High School Hell.
    The flashback cascade triggers get fewer and farther between over the years, but they never completely go away.
    And when they trigger, the cascade can still hit at full emotional intensity.
    (Note: I have not had that happen in several years.)
    More common is a low-grade background “noise” of neurotic tension and undercurrent or fearful numbing.

    Thank you for writing this. Reading it helped me. My history differs from yours, but my reactions are similar.

    Only in recent years have I learned how to limit the force and duration of the cascade. It helps to keep an eye out for triggers, and then work through everything on a list of strategies to restore calm: take deep breaths 5-10 minutes, pray/meditate, eat something nutritious, listen to comforting music, start a task that diverts my attention from bad thoughts. In these moments I also avoid anything that stimulates even slight anxiety.

    This might sound tedious, but it works for me. Have you found any techniques that help you?

  15. Velour wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    but my emotions are often still stuck in High School Hell.
    I suggest going to a really good therapist to help you move beyond this emotional
    stuck position.

    Good idea, Velour, as long as it is not one of those unbiblical, godless, ACBC “certified” clowns.

  16. dee wrote:

    There is rarely physical evidence in child sex abuse situations. Most are reported long after the fact. It is usually a he said/she said

    When I was teaching, two of my 7th grade students were abused.
    1) a girl ….. The mother let her boyfriend’s bffs do whatever they wanted to her.
    2) a boy …… abused by a much older half-brother, the parents knew and did nothing, older brother was the favorite son

    All of the neighbor’s knew. …. all of the friends knew …… but no physical evidence meant everybody’s hands were tied. We could all see the destruction in those kids lives, and could legally do NOTHING! This girl and boy were very troubled – they had behavior problems that stemmed from the abuse, the boy especially. But, if I could have scooped them up and taken them home with me, I would have. The year the boy was in my class (2002-2003) on the last day of school he told the principal that, “If Mrs. *Nancy2* was my momma, I’d never get in trouble”. I think about those kids often ….. What the boy said breaks my heart to this day.

  17. Nancy2 wrote:

    The year the boy was in my class (2002-2003) on the last day of school he told the principal that, “If Mrs. *Nancy2* was my momma, I’d never get in trouble”.

    Trust me on this: You were that child’s lifeline, and the mother in his God-given imagining. Even today he rises up and calls you blessed.

  18. @ Nancy2:
    Just a thought-mandatory reporting procedures have been in place since I began teaching in the early 80s. The authorities have to investigate, usually within 36-72 hours. No one ever reported what everyone supposedly knew????

    I had a student back in ’85 who was acting strangely. I sent her to the nurse, who acted on a hunch and called CPS. It turned out that she and a sister were both being abused by an adult babysitter, and the sister had contracted an STD (she was a first grader). We would not have known, and the perpetrator would not have been arrested, if we had not followed up on our suspicions. You can even report anonymously. I have filed half a dozen reports in my career, most for abuse or neglect, and in all cases intervention was necessary.

  19. Linn wrote:

    @ Nancy2:
    Just a thought-mandatory reporting procedures have been in place since I began teaching in the early 80s. The authorities have to investigate, usually within 36-72 hours. No one ever reported what everyone supposedly knew????
    I had a student back in ’85 who was acting strangely. I sent her to the nurse, who acted on a hunch and called CPS. It turned out that she and a sister were both being abused by an adult babysitter, and the sister had contracted an STD (she was a first grader). We would not have known, and the perpetrator would not have been arrested, if we had not followed up on our suspicions. You can even report anonymously. I have filed half a dozen reports in my career, most for abuse or neglect, and in all cases intervention was necessary.

    Teachers and neighbor’s reported repeatedly. Nothing was ever done, at least to my knowledge.

  20. Velour wrote:

    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    but my emotions are often still stuck in High School Hell.
    I suggest going to a really good therapist to help you move beyond this emotional
    stuck position.

    I hear you totally—I’m in similar circumstances emotionally…..

    And—I would NEVER presume to give you advice or even presume that you ‘can move past it with a really good therapist” as another commenter wrote.

    That’s exactly what this article is about—in some senses we never move past it.

    And that’s ok. Ok for you and OK for me.

  21. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    P.S. I am currently 61 years old but my emotions are often still stuck in High School Hell.
    The flashback cascade triggers get fewer and farther between over the years, but they never completely go away.
    And when they trigger, the cascade can still hit at full emotional intensity.
    (Note: I have not had that happen in several years.)
    More common is a low-grade background “noise” of neurotic tension and undercurrent or fearful numbing.

    My comment above was for HUG—I messed up selecting the quote but it is for you HUG 🙂

  22. Molly245 wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:
    but my emotions are often still stuck in High School Hell.
    I suggest going to a really good therapist to help you move beyond this emotional
    stuck position.
    I hear you totally—I’m in similar circumstances emotionally…..
    And—I would NEVER presume to give you advice or even presume that you ‘can move past it with a really good therapist” as another commenter wrote.
    That’s exactly what this article is about—in some senses we never move past it.
    And that’s ok. Ok for you and OK for me.

    Hi Molly245,

    We’re like a big family here. And H.U.G. has written candidly on other threads that he also has a problem with women that developed when he was in high school. (And his mom said weird things about women too.)

    If someone had a tooth ache you’d recommend that they go in for dental care. When someone has another kind of pain, suggesting that they see a good therapist to help them move beyond the issues that were planted in them a long, long time ago can help set them free to make the most of their life.

    I speak from experience.

    (H.U.G. wasn’t sexually abused either as he has noted in his comments.)

  23. Molly245 wrote:

    That’s exactly what this article is about—in some senses we never move past it.

    I agree. We are the sum total of all of life’s experiences. Experiences, both good and bad are forever entrenched in our very being. How they affect us with the passage of time is a different story, however, and the length of that timeframe is different for each individual.

  24. Victorious wrote:

    Molly245 wrote:
    That’s exactly what this article is about—in some senses we never move past it.
    I agree. We are the sum total of all of life’s experiences. Experiences, both good and bad are forever entrenched in our very being. How they affect us with the passage of time is a different story, however, and the length of that timeframe is different for each individual.

    Perhaps you aren’t aware that there a very good forms of therapy to help people with trauma and that it doesn’t have to be “entrenched” as a part of them…forever. Much more is known about its treatment than in the past.

  25. a heart-breaking video of someone who was targeted as an innocent child and who has suffered terribly all these years as a result

    I can’t imagine why this video would be taken down, and I hope they won’t do it.

    There will justice and healing in the ‘world to come’ as the Jewish people call the age that follows our own.

    When you see something like this video, you understand just how important the work of people who WARN and EDUCATE and are VIGILANT is against those who not only abuse themselves, but seek the company of powerful ‘friends’ who will protect them and offer them more opportunities to abuse the innocent.

    So sad, this video. And so powerful. And honest. If it does not help ‘critics’ of those who seek to prevent abusers from getting back into positions of ‘acceptance’ in Churches,
    then nothing will.

    I am convinced that those ‘enablers’ are on the same moral level as the abusers, and in some cases worse. I call them abusers-by-proxy. They are to be feared and exposed. No hiding places for these monsters, no.

  26. Christiane wrote:

    I am convinced that those ‘enablers’ are on the same moral level as the abusers, and in some cases worse. I call them abusers-by-proxy.

    Agreed.

    As attorney/author/child sex crimes victims’ advocate Andrew Vachss has written about
    these enablers, “They aren’t just sick, but sickening.”

  27. Velour wrote:

    Perhaps you aren’t aware that there a very good forms of therapy to help people with trauma and that it doesn’t have to be “entrenched” as a part of them…forever.

    Velour, over the past 2-3 yrs. that I’ve been reading here at TWW, many have shared experiences from the past. Some were good; some not. But all were shared because something by another and it brought up a memory of the past. Memories themselves aren’t good or bad….they just are. Some memories are naturally associated with happy times and others with sad/traumatic times or events. That doesn’t mean they are affecting the entire life of the one who was abused, beaten, rapes, etc. negatively.

    Many a powerful ministry was born out of tragedy. The ability to listen without passing judgement, offering advice, and just being there for others demonstrates compassion without words.

  28. Victorious wrote:

    The ability to listen without passing judgement, offering advice, and just being there for others demonstrates compassion without words.

    Hi Victorious,

    I agree. However when someone has repeatedly admitted to a struggle that they haven’t been able to resolve, it is ok to suggest the kinds of help that are available that they should consider. Letting people flail isn’t a kindness.

    In fact, it’s how I got help. The people around me suggesting it when I said that I had some personal issues that I hadn’t been able to resolve. I had to hear it from enough people to finally say, “OK, I’ll do that.”

  29. Velour wrote:

    However when someone has repeatedly admitted to a struggle that they haven’t been able to resolve, it is ok to suggest the kinds of help that are available that they should consider.

    That’s why I said above ” Experiences, both good and bad are forever entrenched in our very being. How they affect us with the passage of time is a different story, however, and the length of that timeframe is different for each individual.

    In my opinion, it’s not up to us to determine the timeframe for another. Shoulds, have-to’s, ought to’s, are appropriate if they are requested. Otherwise, not always always welcome. I heard my share of “time to move on(s)” when it wasn’t time to move on and how, after all, could another person possibly know? Again, advice is fine if it’s requested….that’s how I see it.

  30. Velour wrote:

    Victorious wrote:
    Molly245 wrote:
    That’s exactly what this article is about—in some senses we never move past it.
    I agree. We are the sum total of all of life’s experiences. Experiences, both good and bad are forever entrenched in our very being. How they affect us with the passage of time is a different story, however, and the length of that timeframe is different for each individual.
    Perhaps you aren’t aware that there a very good forms of therapy to help people with trauma and that it doesn’t have to be “entrenched” as a part of them…forever. Much more is known about its treatment than in the past.

    OH i am most aware thank you. I’ve been helped tremendously by many of them including the latest treatments for PTSD.

    But, my point is—-we cannot decide for anyone else what a “proper” timeline might be for recovery. With the best care in the world, one cannot decide when or if to move past it….sometimes as with physical healing, it takes longer…..or a different path.

    Much like the grief process after a death, recovery is highly individualized in both length of time and in what that ‘recovery’ looks like, especially from the outside.

    Just saying, like sanctification, this is a process….which is seldom helped by simplistic, generalized or patronizing suggestions such as ‘find a good counselor”.

    It’s like saying’get a good oncologist’….and then measuring one patients recovery by your timetable..

    Recovery takes time.

    Don’t assume one doesn’t know of the available resources if their recovery isn’t complete enough for you….

    Victims don’t need another ‘helper’ giving them a time line…..

  31. Victorious wrote:

    In my opinion, it’s not up to us to determine the timeframe for another. Shoulds, have-to’s, ought to’s, are appropriate if they are requested. Otherwise, not always always welcome. I heard my share of “time to move on(s)” when it wasn’t time to move on and how, after all, could another person possibly know? Again, advice is fine if it’s requested….that’s how I see it.

    I am sorry that people didn’t empathize with what you were going through, Victorious, and gave trite replies. I agree with you that those things should not be said to people.

    I part company with you, however, in the edict to never tell people to get help. That’s not a kindness. I got help because people in my life noticed my particular struggle and encouraged me to get help. I am glad they did. In fact, I felt like I was set free from a prison once I got help. I have gone back to every single person who encouraged me in that particular matter to seek help…and thanked them!

    On a much more somber note, there was a woman I knew who needed outside professional help. I knew it from the moment I met her. I thought that her high-powered law firm and its human resources would intercede to get her help. I thought a college where she taught part-time would intercede and its director. No one did. So what happened from everyone passing the buck and saying nothing to her? The woman murdered her husband and committed suicide. Their three sons have no parents.

    So yes, I will always recommend that people get help because I never know whose life will be made better by speaking up. And that doesn’t come from a place of judgment, but from a place of love.

  32. Velour wrote:

    So yes, I will always recommend that people get help because I never know whose life will be made better by speaking up. And that doesn’t come from a place of judgment, but from a place of love

    So how do you know that the person hasn’t gotten help….how much info do you request from people…..How the heck is this your call to make even if one has shared a bit of their struggle…..

    The sharing that occurs on this site (which I have read religiously for 7 years) is certainly not license for this.

    This is a cop out to call it “Not a judgement” because it most certainly is….

    We earn a right to interfere in another’s life….and in very select circumstances….

    I bet you are keen on cold call evangelism too—too often done to people who already have a relationship to God….

  33. @ Molly245:

    Yes. Therapy can give you a chance to talk things out and some tools for redirecting your thoughts, perspective, etc. medication can help with brain chemistry. I’m sure HUG is aware of these things. People share on this site deep pain and it’s a wonderful thing that there is an outlet. Generally I would not *tell* someone to get help unless I felt they were suicidal and in crisis (psa: if anyone is please do get help or call the suicide hotline!).

    It’s not a magic bullet and it won’t change the experiences of your life. They will still be with you and sometimes things will still hurt. Because we are human.

  34. While watching that video, I couldn’t help noticing the shaking hands, the trembling voice, the pained expressions when speaking about his abuse. And yet I rejoice that in the end, the abuser has been exposed, and the victim goes on to live his life. That he can say, “Life is extremely good,” and that he can enjoy his grandchildren, rock climbing and love relationship is an encouragement to me. I wish him peace and contentment. As for the abuser, may he be tormented by his wicked deeds until, perhaps, he can repent.

  35. I was sexually abused as a boy by an older neighborhood boy when I was nine several times and then by a male friend of the family over about a span of about four years. I’ll see if I’m up to telling a bit of my experience tomorrow.

  36. Lea wrote:

    @ Molly245:
    Yes. Therapy can give you a chance to talk things out and some tools for redirecting your thoughts, perspective, etc. medication can help with brain chemistry. I’m sure HUG is aware of these things. People share on this site deep pain and it’s a wonderful thing that there is an outlet. Generally I would not *tell* someone to get help unless I felt they were suicidal and in crisis (psa: if anyone is please do get help or call the suicide hotline!).
    It’s not a magic bullet and it won’t change the experiences of your life. They will still be with you and sometimes things will still hurt. Because we are human.

    My point exactly.

  37. anon wrote:

    I’ll see if I’m up to telling a bit of my experience tomorrow.

    I am so sorry for the pain that you had to endure. If you are able, we want to hear your story,

  38. Molly245 wrote:

    But, my point is—-we cannot decide for anyone else what a “proper” timeline might be for recovery.

    Hi Molly245,

    I agree with you.

    Are you are that most people will never seek professional help? So it’s important to say to someone who appears to be struggling, “Have you thought about seeing a professional therapist [etc.]?” This is considered to be a best practices in today’s mental health world.

  39. Velour wrote:

    We’re like a big family here. And H.U.G. has written candidly on other threads that he also has a problem with women that developed when he was in high school. (And his mom said weird things about women too.)

    (Actually, it was my mother and (after her death) my stepmother; not only “weird things” but OPPOSITE weird things. Very confusing; like having two contradictory “truths” in your head at the same time.)

    I was looking through the archives a few days ago searching for something and came across a comment that someone made about me; that they thought from my postings that I was around 30 or so instead of 60. Tell you why that is.

    There’s a “conservation of neurological energy” with kid geniuses; as their IQ runs ahead of their age, the rest of their personality development lags behind. And (for various reasons) I ended up with a severe case of this. I AM 30 in my emotional development and personality.

  40. @ anon:
    If you feel up to it, you might want to contact Deb & Dee directly and become a guest post like Dash.

  41. Molly245 wrote:

    This is a cop out to call it “Not a judgement” because it most certainly is….

    Hi Molly245,

    Actually referring people to get professional help is a ‘best practices’ in today’s mental health treatment. Why? Because the majority of people will never ask for help directly.

    As I stated up the thread in my story, I had people in my life who suggested to me that I get help, including on blogs, for a particular issue that I couldn’t resolve. I am very grateful for their support. I got help and I felt like I had been set free from a prison.
    I have contacted each person who suggested I seek outside help…and thanked them.

  42. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    There’s a “conservation of neurological energy” with kid geniuses; as their IQ runs ahead of their age, the rest of their personality development lags behind.

    Is that what you are?

    I had a kid genius in my college Latin class. He was a third-grader getting a college degree in Biology. We were frequently paired up to work on Latin translations together.

  43. Victorious wrote:

    Many a powerful ministry was born out of tragedy. The ability to listen without passing judgement, offering advice, and just being there for others demonstrates compassion without words.

    “The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born in pain.”
    — J Michael Straczynski, Babylon-5

  44. Velour wrote:

    Actually referring people to get professional help is a ‘best practices’ in today’s mental health treatment. Why? Because the majority of people will never ask for help directly.

    Just my opinion, but we might want to trust that assuming the victim is an adult, they are aware there is help available. What Molly and I seem to be advocating is trust that the individual knows what is needed and when it is needed and if not, knows enough to ask for suggestions. Perhaps the best way to help is to simply say, “Please let me know if there’s anything you need or any way I can be of help.”

    That way we’re not underestimating the intelligence of the victim nor over-emphasizing our importance and knowledge. Some may disagree and that’s just fine. There are obviously no easy, one-size-fits-all answers for someone else’s pain.

  45. Speaking of child sex abuse perverts, Tony Alamo died today. He was 82 and a guest of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for a 175 year sentence on Mann Act violations.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/disgraced-preacher-child-sex-abuser-tony-alamo-dies/2017/05/03/88c03aa4-303c-11e7-a335-fa0ae1940305_story.html

    He took girls as young as eight over state lines for purposes of sex. He was convicted in 2009.

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2009/07/tony_alamo_pastor_convicted_on.html

    I knew of Alamo from law school coursework, because of the case Tony & Susan Alamo Foundation v. U.S. Department of Labor (1985). Alamo had a number of followers, who were “volunteers” paid with room and board to make up expensive ($600 in the 1980s) bling-covered jackets sold to celebrities. The Dept. of Labor found the Foundation in violation of federal wage and hour requirements and the Supreme Court upheld.

    (link to Supreme Court case) http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-supreme-court/471/290.html

    This case is still good law; a federal judge cited it when upholding the $388,000 fine against televangelist Ernest Angley’s “Cathedral Buffet” two months ago for using unpaid “volunteer” help: http://www.cleveland.com/court-justice/index.ssf/2017/03/televangelist_ernest_angley_or.html

    (Oh, and this wasn’t the first go-round for Angley; he’d been caught doing the same thing in 1999.)

    I know we’re not supposed to think ill of the dead, so I’ll just be glad that he ran his wage and hour case all the way to the Supreme Court so that we have a long-standing precedent.

  46. Christiane wrote:

    There will justice and healing in the ‘world to come’ as the Jewish people call the age that follows our own.

    Some kind of inheritance in Olam Ha-Ba (world or worlds to come in Jewish thought) is way more appealing to me than ‘Christianese Heaven’.

  47. Velour wrote:

    Molly245 wrote:
    This is a cop out to call it “Not a judgement” because it most certainly is….
    Hi Molly245,
    Actually referring people to get professional help is a ‘best practices’ in today’s mental health treatment. Why? Because the majority of people will never ask for help directly.
    As I stated up the thread in my story, I had people in my life who suggested to me that I get help, including on blogs, for a particular issue that I couldn’t resolve. I am very grateful for their support. I got help and I felt like I had been set free from a prison.
    I have contacted each person who suggested I seek outside help…and thanked them.

    FWIW, I concur with this. The first time I went to counseling was when I was in college, and I was dealing with childhood sexual abuse. The campus minister of the fellowship I was involved in had watched me struggle with depression and an eating disorder and finally intervened and told me that I didn’t have a choice–he wasn’t going to let me destroy myself, and he would do whatever it took to get me into counseling. He mailed the intake forms in for me, because I wouldn’t have done it of my own volition. I started seeing a therapist the following week. To this day, I consider it the *kindest* thing anyone has ever done for me. That said, it’s sensitive, and I wouldn’t have been receptive to this from just anybody. He’d earned the right to do that.

  48. A loved one was abused by a family member when he was younger. He has repressed most of his childhood memories, but they still affect him on a daily basis in his interactions with others. A lot of anxiety, depression, and OCD. He is aware of therapy and has gone before, but there is a stigma attached to therapy for him. He doesn’t want anyone to think he’s “crazy.” Having people who love and respect him advise him to see someone helps take the stigma away. He also carries a lot of shame as though it’s his fault and he doesn’t want to people to know and judge him for it. I don’t think it’s insulting anyone’s intelligence to suggest therapy, I think it’s the opposite of telling them “to get over it.” It’s saying, “what you experienced was traumatic and real and not your fault and you shouldn’t have to walk through it alone.”

  49. @ Nancy2:
    So sorry…the system doesn’t always work (I know about that, too). I have, however, encountered situations where “everyone knew! but no one ever did anything. 🙁

  50. I’m so sorry what a terrible thing to happen and repeatedly in your life. I hope you have someone in your life who supported you after that. Thank you for sharing this. anon wrote:

    I was sexually abused as a boy by an older neighborhood boy when I was nine several times and then by a male friend of the family over about a span of about four years. I’ll see if I’m up to telling a bit of my experience tomorrow.

  51. Kathi wrote:

    Thank you so much for sharing this. What a powerful story.

    Yes, what a powerful story. And it’s so powerful that he talked about healing, a loving relationship, and his love of his family and his grandchildren. So awesome!

  52. I think you both make a good point. Velour is very helpful I think she is coming from a good place. I also believe you and molly have a different perspective which got me to see this differently so thank you for that Victorious wrote:

    Velour wrote:

    Actually referring people to get professional help is a ‘best practices’ in today’s mental health treatment. Why? Because the majority of people will never ask for help directly.

    Just my opinion, but we might want to trust that assuming the victim is an adult, they are aware there is help available. What Molly and I seem to be advocating is trust that the individual knows what is needed and when it is needed and if not, knows enough to ask for suggestions. Perhaps the best way to help is to simply say, “Please let me know if there’s anything you need or any way I can be of help.”

    That way we’re not underestimating the intelligence of the victim nor over-emphasizing our importance and knowledge. Some may disagree and that’s just fine. There are obviously no easy, one-size-fits-all answers for someone else’s pain.

  53. Muff Potter wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    There will justice and healing in the ‘world to come’ as the Jewish people call the age that follows our own.

    Some kind of inheritance in Olam Ha-Ba (world or worlds to come in Jewish thought) is way more appealing to me than ‘Christianese Heaven’.

    seems to me that the ‘Christianese Heaven’ is touted by a group of people who have a ‘very small god’; a group of people who are both smug in their own ‘salvation’ and certain of the dreadful fate of ‘the lost’ as they describe those who have no chance to know Our Lord in this life …..

    I cannot understand such people, no. Seems to me that the opposite of faith is that smug certainty ….. especially the kind that looks upon oneself as ‘saved’ while pointing fingers at ‘that sinner over there’.

  54. “Child Sex Abuse: So You Think They Should Get Over It? One Man’s Moving Testimony, Decades Later.”

    When, in history, in Scripture, does God “get over it”?

  55. “Recently, there were some members of Covenant Life Church (formerly run by CJ Mahaney and now run by PJ Smyth whose dad allegedly did something similar to this man’s abuser) who spoke against a proposal to extend of the statute of limitations for child sex abuse in Maryland. ” – Dee

    I am very glad that my state (California) passed a new law and that there will be no statute of limitations on rape. (There is no statute of limitations on murder.)

    http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2016/09/28/495856974/california-eliminates-statute-of-limitations-on-rape-cases

  56. @ anon:
    Just the fact that you are considering telling your story shows how incredibly strong you are. I hope you are able to tell you story. People need to hear. I think that most people don’t realize how common child sexual abuse really is. If you choose not to share your horrible experience, no harm / no foul. You have to do what is best for you.

  57. Megan wrote:

    That said, it’s sensitive, and I wouldn’t have been receptive to this from just anybody. He’d earned the right to do that.

    Megan, I think you nailed it right here.

  58. Julie Anne wrote:

    Megan wrote:
    That said, it’s sensitive, and I wouldn’t have been receptive to this from just anybody. He’d earned the right to do that.

    Megan, I think you nailed it right here.

    Yes. I think it has to be the right person said in the right way. As I said, though, I would be much more proactive with someone who seemed suicidal.

  59. Boston Lady wrote:

    To the victim, sexual molestation is like losing a spiritual limb: It never grows back; it never heals. Yes, it may get “better” over time, but it never heals. Please remember that.

    Kind of like the stab wound Frodo got from the Nazgul sword. Full healing will not come until crossing the sea to the land of the Valar.

  60. @ NJ:

    I do think this gets into what healing is. You can’t change what happened, and it will affect your life, but that doesn’t mean there is no possibility of moving forward, having meaningful relationships, etc. The man mentioned in this post did that, but the pain was still there too.

  61. Megan wrote:

    That said, it’s sensitive, and I wouldn’t have been receptive to this from just anybody. He’d earned the right to do that.

    It wasn’t a drive-by ambush with a tract, like you see so much of in churches.

    He put time and money where his mouth was.

  62. Muff Potter wrote:

    Some kind of inheritance in Olam Ha-Ba (world or worlds to come in Jewish thought) is way more appealing to me than ‘Christianese Heaven’.

    There’s an actual term for what you call “Christianese Heaven”:
    “Fluffy Cloud Heaven”.

    And it’s been snarked as far back as Mark Twain and “Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven”.

  63. High school is a horrible place for so many. Some of you don’t and will never know. I spent most of my adult life there was just so much you could do for the kids who were different. And so many of the ” elite ” cheerleaders and ball-players called themselves Christians.
    These same ” elite” are often in religious leadership roles at their church and they don’t want people who are not their same socio-economic status, or people who are not their same level of ” cool” in their church. Oh they say they do, but those people will never be asked to be deacons or officers in the WMU ( I Am going SBC here) no matter how much they are involved or how much they contribute. Sorry, but in so many ways many churches are just like high school, and for many, why go through that same h*ll? So, they won’t go to church, and how can you blame them?

  64. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    Speaking of child sex abuse perverts, Tony Alamo died today. He was 82 and a guest of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for a 175 year sentence on Mann Act violations.

    I remember Tony & Susan Alamo from my time in-country in the Seventies. One of those On Fire For The LOORD ministries that were popping up all over back then, gushed over as The Real True Church. (Come out of Egypt…)

    Then he got popped for what’s becoming a Privilege of Pastoral Rank and faded out of sight.

    The last time I heard of him was four-five years ago, when a Tract from “Holy Alamo Christian Church” (his cult) about his PERSECUTION!!! got shoved into my car through an open vent window. Talk about Blast from the Past.

    And Holy Alamo wasn’t the only one to get popped by the Mann Act.
    Remember Polishing-the-Shaft Schaap?
    And the “Dake” behind Dake’s Annotated Bible? A little Wiki-tripping reveals he got popped for the same thing back around the Roaring Twenties. Apparently a long tradition in the MoG set.

  65. @ K.D.:
    Social cliques in high school (even middle school) and social cliques in church. Childish. Sometimes those cliques are members/friends of the same family, smaller churches in particular. Our current church has 6 deacons. 3 of them are first cousins. WMU leader is the auntie/mommy. Our former church has 5 deacons – 2 are brothers-in-law. A 3rd deacon is the son-in-law of one of those men. In both cases, the family “mafia” pretty much controls the churches.

  66. dee wrote:

    anon wrote:
    I’ll see if I’m up to telling a bit of my experience tomorrow.
    I am so sorry for the pain that you had to endure. If you are able, we want to hear your story,

    Thank you. I haven’t read all the comments but I think I saw a few other replies of support so thanks to those as well.

    I dunno you guys. This is a very complicated story, as I suppose many are. I strongly identify with the gentleman in the video because I’m not sure you ever ‘get over it’ or understand exactly what happened, but the pain can be very close to the surface at times, even though many years have passed. I’m not sure I could be convinced that, that part of us, the child who was abused, never matures beyond, in a sense, that child who doesn’t understand what’s happening or why it’s happening. So as the man is breaking up and crying the interview I don’t see that as sadness and despair necessarily, I see it, from my experience, as the frightened child still there, still not understanding, still trying to deal with innocence lost. If that makes any sense I guess. My focus is often different in this issue because it’s what I have to deal with and how I’ve made sense to what happened over the years. I’m in my early 50’s now and these things happened when I was 9 and then again starting when I was 14. I have told, unlike the man in the video, just a few people about the abuse. I did some counseling with a pastor a few years ago that was quite helpful and I’ve told maybe two other people who I felt should know what makes me tick, as it were, as a person. Like so many who’ve been in this type of situation I can be a bit quirky in my relationships, trust issues I suppose, and even though I’ve been married for 29 years, I can still not like to be touched both sexually or otherwise affectionately. It’s not that I’m adverse to physical contact, I do have children, but it’s more of an who is initiating the contact type of thing. I’ll stop there and come back to this in a bit.

  67. @ anon:
    I learned something in my own life from a psychologist: many years after a traumatic emotional disappointment, I experienced a recurrence of the same pain ‘as though it had just happened’ and this recurrence came at a time when I was under a bit of stress in my profession. I couldn’t comprehend why those feeling from many years ago were coming back, and the psychologist told me that emotions can re-surface like that and don’t ‘fade away’ like I thought they did …. an emotional trauma can show up again, independent of time, and come back forcefully as though it had just happened. Wow.

    This explains a lot about the hell survivors of abuse go through, and why those ‘theological leaders’ who tell victims of abuse to ‘get over it’ and also tell them NOT to seek psychological help are WRONG on both counts. Dangerously wrong.

    It also tells me how important it is to seek good professional help when we go through some severe emotional pain that we cannot comprehend. We need to understand how this works. We need that support so that we can make some sense of what we are going through and put it into perspective and know that what is happening to us is something that can be explained. In time, my problem passed and did not recur again. But I remembered the lesson that emotions do not ‘obey time’ and operate by receding away …. they can ‘come back’ as though an incident just happened. Good to know. Good to understand this. It helps also to understand the terrible suffering of those who as innocent children were abused without mercy by predators, and how that pain does not ‘go away’ and they cannot ‘get over it’.

    It also helps to realize that religious leaders who tell people ‘don’t go to professional mental health doctors’ are dangerous to the well-being of suffering victims.

  68. anon wrote:

    I dunno you guys.

    We don’t know you either, but we all care about you. Sometimes the anonymity helps. Here we pray for each other and listen to each other and learn from each other. May God heal your heart, and to the extent that telling whatever parts of your story you may feel that you need to tell right now we will listen and we will believe you. No one here will judge you or criticize you or belittle you.

  69. @ anon:
    May God give you peace. May our prayers for your comforting be heard. Our Lord is making all things new.
    God Bless!

  70. Christiane wrote:

    This explains a lot about the hell survivors of abuse go through, and why those ‘theological leaders’ who tell victims of abuse to ‘get over it’ and also tell them NOT to seek psychological help are WRONG on both counts. Dangerously wrong.

    Remember Job’s Counselors.

    Those who have NEVER been there are always first with the glib advice (delivered with wagging finger) for those who ARE.

  71. Nancy2 wrote:

    @ K.D.:
    Social cliques in high school (even middle school) and social cliques in church. Childish. Sometimes those cliques are members/friends of the same family, smaller churches in particular. Our current church has 6 deacons. 3 of them are first cousins. WMU leader is the auntie/mommy. Our former church has 5 deacons – 2 are brothers-in-law. A 3rd deacon is the son-in-law of one of those men. In both cases, the family “mafia” pretty much controls the churches.

    One-upping both the Saudi Royal Family and the Kims of North Korea when it comes to nepotism.

  72. K.D. wrote:

    High school is a horrible place for so many. Some of you don’t and will never know. I spent most of my adult life there was just so much you could do for the kids who were different. And so many of the ” elite ” cheerleaders and ball-players called themselves Christians.

    Arroyo High School, El Monte, California, 1969-73.
    Four years of my life I’ve spent the next 45 trying to forget ever happened.
    And I didn’t have it as bad as some other “different ones” I know from fandom.

    1) My old Dungeonmaster, “the fat kid” for four years.

    2) My writing partner the burned-out preacher, who does online counseling of young guys in Furry Fandom. Without exception, they came from either highly-abusive families, high school careers, or both. He describes some of the stories as “literally Hellish” and remarks about Furries that “obsessing over upright talking animals beats sucking a load out of your father’s shotgun”. Because in a lot of them those were the only two alternatives.

    3) My other writing partner, who has been all but destroyed as a functioning human being. Whipped-dog timid (more timid than Fluttershy), constantly apologizing to everyone he meets just for existing. And THE absolute hottest writing talent I have ever run into in various fandoms (which is always an uphill struggle for him against his overwhelming sense of worthlessness). Doesn’t talk much about his high school, but I get the distinct impression he was not only bullied and beaten, but may have been sexually harassed/assaulted. Calls me up for two hours every Friday just for a “lifeline” ear to listen to; I also sponsor him out to two cons every year to get him out of the house for a bit.

    These same ” elite” are often in religious leadership roles at their church and they don’t want people who are not their same socio-economic status, or people who are not their same level of ” cool” in their church. Oh they say they do, but those people will never be asked to be deacons or officers in the WMU ( I Am going SBC here) no matter how much they are involved or how much they contribute. Sorry, but in so many ways many churches are just like high school, and for many, why go through that same h*ll? So, they won’t go to church, and how can you blame them?

    Yeah. Why go through that same hell?

    These same “elite” (the Muffies, Buffies, Chads, Megans, and Debbies) are trying to stay in High School holding court over the Kewl Kids’ Table forever. They will never leave High School. (“I was a football star in High School; Once I Scored Three Touchdowns In One Game!”) And they will NEVER EVER let any of the rest of us leave High School.

    Like the Author Self-Insert in Twilight, who gets vamped to be Immortal before the ripe old age of 18 so she can be in High School with Sparkling Eddie forever. (The actor who did Eddie said “he’s a 105-year-old virgin, so you can tell he has a problem”. I think that being a 105-year-old High School BMOC who’s been going to High School after High School for most of those 105 years is a bigger indicator ofa bigger problem.)

    Like the pitch sessions at Hasbro/Hub that resulted in Equestria Girls: “Let’s make a My Little Pony movie! Except let’s make all the ponies HUMAN! No, let’s make them all Bratz Dolls! And put them all in High School! Because everybody wants to be in High School!”

    All I can say is if you want your life (and eternity in the case of sparkly vampires) to be a never-ending High School, or that High School was the all-time Best Time of Your Life and you want to get back to it, your high school career was VASTLY different from mine or my writing partners’.

    P.S. When I was flushing $$$ down the toilet of Christian Dating Services years ago, I noticed that ALL the social events the groups put on were Dances. Just Like High School.

  73. @ Christiane:

    Yes indeed. Triggers and flashbacks are very real things and can come up at seemingly odd times and years later. Sometimes it’s obvious why it’s occurring.

    But if people don’t have resources to understand and trained and aware help around them to help them know what they’re feeling is normal or explanatory and rational (though it may seem irrational to them because of how it makes them feel), it can make things worse and make them feel isolated at a time when they really need to not feel alone. They need to know it’s not “weakness” or something wrong with them, but normal and typical human response to whatever trauma or pain that occured specifically to them. Nouthetic counseling can misappropriate especially in this area and do so much damage to people.

    For instance, I have much larger examples than this, but without sharing too many details about this specific trigger: for a long time if I was in a store or gas station I would get anxiety and flashbacks anytime I saw a Dasani brand water. I knew what the relationship was, but it would seem irrational and confusing if there is not at least a basic understanding of how trauma works.

    I am continually fascinated by how our bodies and emotions and spirits process and work things out at a subconscious level.

  74. I thought high school was okay, but then I was the kid who did my homework and then did extra homework and then copied it over for neatness and, on occasion, memorized parts of it (like sonnets) just because. I was happy with that. Until the annual came out our senior year and there they had included a cartoon of me-name and all. But the cartoon did not look like me; they gave me hair pulled back in a bun and large black rimmed glasses and a grim expression. I had no idea. Clue-less.

  75. This video was really powerful and I pray blessings and freedom on this precious man as he continues to heal.

    I also appreciated the demeanor of the reporter in this piece and how he interviewed and handled the situation. You could tell he seemed to have researched abuse and has a compassionate understanding of it’s effects.

    This was especially evidenced in how he consistently made note to keep putting up front the question and reality that there are likely other victims of this man out there.

  76. HUG….I know, I wasn’t a cool kid in high school, and wound up back in HS for 30 years of my life. For whatever reason, I wound up there, and many times I felt I was there so the Un-cool kids could have a place to eat and socialize. And these were wonderful kids. And smart, and some still suffer today from HS. Others, well, you’d be amazed at how many are now engineers, turned out alright, but deep down, they know, HS is a horrid place for many, just horrid.
    And that same d*mn bunch are running the Protestant church, and it is why so many of us just won’t go. We’ve suffered enough.
    HUG, I so wished I could have been there for you….

  77. *researched abuse at some point in his life or maybe has personal experience with it as well, either himself or someone he knows.

  78. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    These same “elite” (the Muffies, Buffies, Chads, Megans, and Debbies) are trying to stay in High School holding court over the Kewl Kids’ Table forever. They will never leave High School. (“I was a football star in High School; Once I Scored Three Touchdowns In One Game!”) And they will NEVER EVER let any of the rest of us leave High School.

    I think that many of the people heading abusive NeoCalvinist churches were never *cool* in high school. They are just making a power grab now in their churches because they can.

    And I’ve gotten to know the *popular* kids from high school and they are just as human as the rest of us. Acting perfect was hard on them too from what they’ve told me. Life has a way of mellowing people out.

  79. okrapod wrote:

    I thought high school was okay

    I always find the focus on high school fascinating, because I had SO much more fun in college! I didn’t have a traumatic high school experience, but I was kind of an innocent, good at school plus band nerdish type. My only regret is that I didn’t go a little wild. But I never worried about or tried to be popular either. The only major bullying I got was in 7th grade at a ‘Christian’ school and my response was to go to public school the next year.

  80. emily honey wrote:

    I am continually fascinated by how our bodies and emotions and spirits process and work things out at a subconscious level.

    It was a huge revelation for me to understand that trauma has physical and emotional and psychological components. It’s like broken brain wiring that affects the different components in random ways.

    It is often best that those suffering with it are circumspect and wise in sharing it. There are who will use it to label as in, “well no wonder they think/act that way” come out of the woodwork over totally unrelated issues. This only serves to re-enforce the trauma.

    It’s a tricky thing. It’s not really a mental illness. You know these Trauma responses kept people safe and alive at one time in ancient history. Now they are anti social.

    I have heard some great success stories using the EMDR method. I am not a big fan of CBT. EMDR makes the Therapist more of a process facilitator.

  81. okrapod wrote:

    I thought high school was okay, but then I was the kid who did my homework and then did extra homework and then copied it over for neatness and, on occasion, memorized parts of it (like sonnets) just because. I was happy with that. Until the annual came out our senior year and there they had included a cartoon of me-name and all. But the cartoon did not look like me; they gave me hair pulled back in a bun and large black rimmed glasses and a grim expression. I had no idea. Clue-less.

    It is so different for so many kids and it varies from school to school. Texas high school seems worse because there is this push for the almighty Friday Night Lights. Unless you live here you do not know how bad it is. And your cartoon? Trust me, that’s exactly how the ” cool kids” saw you. Don’t feel bad unless you were ” cool” it’s how they saw everyone.

  82. Lydia wrote:

    I am not a big fan of CBT.

    Really? Interesting. I think of EMDR more for PTSD, although I understand it can be used for depression. PE and CPT seem to have good results as well. I think different things probably work for different people.

    Lydia wrote:

    You know these Trauma responses kept people safe and alive at one time in ancient history.

    Not just ancient history either. Soldier get hyper vigilant because it keeps them safe. It’s just harder for some people to turn it off than others.

  83. Lydia wrote:

    I have heard some great success stories using the EMDR method.

    I have too.

    I have also heard good things about the book The Body Keeps The Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., what science has now uncovered about trauma, peoples’ responses, and healing.

  84. K.D. wrote:

    And your cartoon? Trust me, that’s exactly how the ” cool kids” saw you.

    So lame. I loathe cliquishness.

    I’m surprised they let stuff like that in a yearbook but I know you’re a bit older than me.

  85. Lea wrote:

    I’m surprised they let stuff like that in a yearbook

    Yearbooks are pretty safe now. Everything goes to social media, which may or may not be penetrated and understood by school administrators.

  86. Lea wrote:

    I’m surprised they let stuff like that in a yearbook but I know you’re a bit older than me.

    If KD’s area of Texas is anything like my area of Kentucky …….. A teacher heads the yearbook committee. The students on the committee are the teacher’s pets …… the “cool” kids.

  87. @ Nancy2:

    We had a yearbook class or something. Kind of like journalism classes? But they had requirements for the yearbook (clubs, sports, etc). I don’t think they were necessarily ‘cool’ kids, they were more people who actually were interested in doing this stuff.

    But it’s like school newspapers and probably real ones…people tend to interview their friends. I know I had a random picture/story in the yearbook the year my cousin was working on it.

  88. emily honey wrote:

    Yes indeed. Triggers and flashbacks are very real things and can come up at seemingly odd times and years later. Sometimes it’s obvious why it’s occurring.

    Thanks for responding, Emily. The ‘crazy’ thing was that the incident the emotions were related to had long ago been dealt with (or so I thought) and I had ‘gotten beyond it’. So when the feelings came back VERY intensely, it was like the incident happened yesterday, and I knew (or thought) I was in some kind of psychological trouble and sought help quickly.

    At that time, I was under another stress in my profession with additional responsibilities at work and also, helping my aging parents with their appointments and their needs. The stress apparently was the ‘trigger’ because whatever energy I had been using to contain those very old emotions was now being used to cope with present difficulties. And the old feelings came out of their box and off the shelf and right back into my consciousness with a vengeance. Wow. Once the therapist explained what was going on, I felt like I wasn’t going crazy. I still had to deal with the difficulties, and the feelings, but I had a listener who was wise and I needed that wisdom. I regained perspective. And the trouble subsided.

    I guess we keep a lot of baggage up on shelves, packaged away, out of sight. Good to know.

    I have so much sympathy for abused people who suffer intensely for years and years after the original abuse. I think they need for people to listen and to pray for them and care for them in times when it gets too much to carry alone. Our faith commands us to bear one another’s burdens, and sometimes just listening is in itself an act of mercy.

  89. Velour: I so appreciate your comments. As mom of a child who was abused, I actually had to do a bit of shielding for a time from those with the “You poor dear you will never ever get over this” comments.

    There was healing to be had, with the proper help, and with understanding of long term effects and treatment vs the “I am broken and cannot be fixed again” mindset.

    The shrinks we saw made it clear that hope was something we have no right to snatch away from the victims. Or to rephrase it in physical terms, would you ever walk up to someone the victim of a shooting, having lost an arm, and tell them “Well poor baby your life is just gonna stink from now on?” No, you would of course recognize they had but one arm, not two, and make reasonable adjustments all the while encouraging them to never give up but go on and enjoy life.

    Robs the stinker that did it of their power if the victim does find healing. That can be the most empowering thing ever for the victim.

  90. @ Lea:

    Good points. I am not qualified to discuss this, so you know. Strictly armchair talk. I think trauma prolonged can induce PSTD responses. I am thinking of people who have been married to sociopaths, narcissists. They often don’t know anything about it or what you look for but years later when it escalates, those early days of gaslighting, etc, when they were ignorant about personality disorders are seared in the brain and can remain triggers just like the big stuff. It’s like reliving all of it because they now have a name for it and it is that be avoided at all costs. I know EMDR has worked well for several of those types. Same for a few adult children of personality disordered parents.

    I agree about the modern soldier. I was thinking of people who outwardly seem to be living normal lives but secretly, because of personality disordered spouse, siblings or parent are living in pro longed trauma. As one described it:.Its like living in a black op that has no end in sight. Did you read Julie McMahon’s story being married to Tony Jones? A lot like that. These situations are not traumatic “events” where you hope to make it to safety later. They are lifestyles and interwoven in them are good times, too, which produces chaos. . And all of it is presented as normal by the disordered person who has influence. They do not even know they are in harms way for quite a while. Different dynamic, I think.

  91. Yep! Yep! And yep! Im reading all the past comments under my sons story which Dee put together. Dee I sometimes forget just how sharp the readers are here at TWW. Going back through the comments on our story are encouraging Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Christiane wrote:

    This explains a lot about the hell survivors of abuse go through, and why those ‘theological leaders’ who tell victims of abuse to ‘get over it’ and also tell them NOT to seek psychological help are WRONG on both counts. Dangerously wrong.

    Remember Job’s Counselors.

    Those who have NEVER been there are always first with the glib advice (delivered with wagging finger) for those who ARE.

  92. Nancy2 wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    I’m surprised they let stuff like that in a yearbook but I know you’re a bit older than me.
    If KD’s area of Texas is anything like my area of Kentucky …….. A teacher heads the yearbook committee. The students on the committee are the teacher’s pets …… the “cool” kids.

    It was ” cool” kids. Mostly females, but head of the drill team, band lieutenant…..so glad I ran the academic team. There was really no ” cool ” kids. Just math-science- and history nerds….( Texas has Current Events and Social Studies in UIL Academics, one year the Social Studies topic was Belgian Colonization)

  93. Velour wrote:

    I think that many of the people heading abusive NeoCalvinist churches were never *cool* in high school. They are just making a power grab now in their churches because they can.

    Velour, THAT is the exact impression I get from “Womb Tomb” Swanson.

    Dorky Omega Male who got to Alpha Male by Divine Right and is throwing his weight around HARD.

  94. okrapod wrote:

    I thought high school was okay, but then I was the kid who did my homework and then did extra homework and then copied it over for neatness and, on occasion, memorized parts of it (like sonnets) just because.

    You were a Twilight Sparkle!
    (Though that DOES sound obsessive, whether human or unicorn pony…)

  95. Lea wrote:

    I always find the focus on high school fascinating, because I had SO much more fun in college!

    It took me two years of college (and discovering D&D) before I could let my guard down.

  96. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I think that many of the people heading abusive NeoCalvinist churches were never *cool* in high school. They are just making a power grab now in their churches because they can.
    Velour, THAT is the exact impression I get from “Womb Tomb” Swanson.
    Dorky Omega Male who got to Alpha Male by Divine Right and is throwing his weight around HARD.

    H.U.G.,

    It’s amazing how many of these NeoCalvinist *leaders* had absent fathers/alcoholic fathers/abusive fathers/drug addicted fathers and the like. Think Mark Driscoll,
    Voddie Baucham, John Piper, and my ex-NeoCalvinist pastor.

    I think it was LawProf and AnAtty who said they’ve noticed same.

  97. okrapod wrote:

    anon wrote:
    I dunno you guys.
    We don’t know you either, but we all care about you. Sometimes the anonymity helps. Here we pray for each other and listen to each other and learn from each other. May God heal your heart, and to the extent that telling whatever parts of your story you may feel that you need to tell right now we will listen and we will believe you. No one here will judge you or criticize you or belittle you.

    True.

  98. Headless Unicorn Guy wrote:

    Lea wrote:
    I always find the focus on high school fascinating, because I had SO much more fun in college!

    It took me two years of college (and discovering D&D) before I could let my guard down.

    Maybe this relates to the PTSD discussion, but I’m glad you did get there.

  99. I’ll stop there and come back to this in a bit.

    ——–

    Sorry I wasn’t able to get back to this today. I think I should be able to get the rest posted in the morning.

  100. @ Daisy:
    In perusing your Daisy Blog, it is wonderful that since other blogs don’t give you your due, you establish your own opportunity to let us know what you are about. Excellent. Way to go!

  101. I checked out the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office inmate list, and CHANTRY, THOMAS J is still there.

  102. Muslin, fka Dee Holmes wrote:

    I checked out the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office inmate list, and CHANTRY, THOMAS J is still there.

    Perhaps that judge set a bail amount that Chantry hasn’t been able to pay yet?

  103. New prayer request for Billy at the other comments post. Please if you all have time to take a look it’s really important. Thanks so much

  104. Below is something I wrote to the survivors of SGM a few years ago – it was posted in the comments of another blog. I’m sharing it on this because I think, maybe, it can give the beginning of a glimpse of what life is like for survivors of these abuses. Also, Shauna, if you think it would be helpful for Billy, please share with him. Thanks.

    =========
    “In the middle of the night, when the doubts roll in and you are unsure if you are the one to blame, I am with you.

    When you step out of your front door or get out of your car and the irrational fears come and panic tries to take hold, I am with you.

    When something triggers the memories and you find yourself back in that place, reliving the pain and the fear and the confusion, I am with you.

    When the anger floods in and you want to scream – scream at the abusers – scream at God – it’s okay. I am with you.

    When you feel so small and just want to hide somewhere safe and not have to face the reality of what was done to you, I am with you.

    When your faith wavers, stumbles, falls or even stops, I am with you.

    When the waves of sadness and pain overtake you and all you want to do is cry – then cry – let the tears purge the pain. I am with you.

    When the voices in your head scream at you that you are the one to blame and you are ‘bad’ and ‘ruined’ or ‘tainted’ or any of the myriad things you were told by the so-called adults in your life, know that you are none of these and I am with you.

    When that taunting voice mocks and tell you you deserved it, that voice and the one behind it is a liar. You did not deserve to be abused. You did not look for it. You did not ask for it. You did not want it. It was shoved at you and you survived. Thank you for surviving.

    When people stand and accuse you of lying or being any number of hateful things, know of a certainty you are none of these. You are stronger than you know. You have a depth of wisdom few have. I know this because you are here – alive – you survived. Your courage is a beautiful thing and as you stand and speak the truth, I am with you.”

  105. Folks,

    Shauna has requested prayer for her son Billy throughout his school day, from 6:45 a.m. to the end of the school day at 2:45 p.m.

    He’s been struggling and there have been issues with a teacher.

    Thank you.

  106. Ok. Well, let me get the rest of this done. I imagine there are a few hundred pages of details if I sat down and put my alleged mind to it, but I’ll cover some of the lowlights and try and give a few conclusions of my own. I do apologize because it seems like a lot of I, me, I’m, well it is actually, so if there are parts of the story you can draw from or gain a bit more understanding into someone who’s been or is in this type of situation I hope you find it useful.

    The abuse when I was nine started quite shortly after my parents divorced. In the mid 70’s, at least where I’m from, parents getting divorced wasn’t very common, it seems times have changed a bit in that regard. An older neighborhood boy took an interest in me in what first seemed like a friendship I suppose. I didn’t know what to think, he seemed much like an older brother I suppose. He was only 12 or 13. But the maturity level from a 9 year old to a 12-13 year is large. The first time I remember him abusing me was he had taken me up to a loft in a large storage shed/barn that was in his back yard. This lasted the summer, with numerous encounters, about three months I suppose. Keep in mind this is where it goes a bit off the rails for me because I can look back on it as an adult and wonder – after the first time what in the world were you thinking? Did you tell anyone? Why did you keep hanging around with him? Those questions remain unanswered for me. I was too young to understand what was happening, I was afraid, I don’t know. I can see it all well enough but I’m not able to look back at myself and gain any understanding of why I let it continue. But, it did continue for those months. I’m not sure why it stopped. Maybe he found someone else, who knows. It wasn’t long after I suppose I started having a few problems when school started back up that fall. I remember vividly having to see the school psychologist but I believe they thought there were issues I was having due to my parents divorce which could have been. Divorce can be hell on kids. The sessions with the psychologist were awful but I’ll not go into that.

    Part 1/2.

  107. anon wrote:

    He was only 12 or 13.

    Thank you for sharing your story with us, anon.

    I think peer abuse is sometimes overlooked when thinking about how to protect children, or at least I don’t think about it as often. Ditto sibling abuse, which the Duggar situation brought up as well.

  108. So as we take a bit of a time jump to when I was 13, shortly to be 14, starting middle school. A few of my problems had continued, some were better, some worse. At that time nothing untypical to a young teenager I suppose. School, girls, a few friends, where to fit it, tough age for kids. That hasn’t changed much over the years and actually I think through social media platforms many of those issues are amplified, that’s unfortunate. But, as it was, I was feeling fine from the outside but on the inside: withdrawn, isolated, confused. I started smoking pot with a few of the other kids who seemed withdrawn and isolated. Things went downhill fast. By the end of the school year I had explored a wider variety of drugs and had been expelled and sent off to drug treatment. In the meantime my older brother, we weren’t close and fought quite a bit, see above post, had met an older man that lived near us. He was in his mid 30’s. Single guy, well employed. Absolutely hated people who did drugs. Naturally, he suggested I go over to his house sometime. Feeling brave and curious I suppose, I did. I dunno. Kids that age want to feel grown up, want to do things their parents would never let them do, so an older person like that, especially one who lets kids drink and do other things unlawful at his house – I’m mean cool right?

    Well, the first time and I’ll not go into the details but he and I were alone in the house, were drinking, I was very drunk and he put on a pornographic movie and performed various sexual acts on me. I stumbled home after reeling drunk and went to bed. Again, this is where the story goes off the rails for me. God knows I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer but what in the world just happened? Did I tell anyone, no. Did I say anything, no. Did I let it continue? Yes. For the next three years. One of the variety of reasons I’ve never said anything about this to people I know are, well, shame of course and for fear of my mother ever finding out. See, my mother really encouraged this relationship between he and I. Except for everything she didn’t know about – I had straightened up quite a bit outwardly. School improved, I still smoked a bit of pot but nothing serious. She thought that this was the kind of person I needed to be with. A kind of person my absent father couldn’t be. God bless her. I obviously don’t know what goes through a single mom’s mind but I’m sure her heart was in the right place trying to do the right thing for her son. If she found out what happened it would destroy her.

    2/3.

    Yeah, I know I said 2/2.

  109. Ok, let me wrap this up, and thanks for letting me get it off my chest.

    So we time jump ahead a bit until I was a bit over 17. I don’t remember why anymore but I wasn’t seeing him or doing anything with him anymore. I could have gotten too old for him, I don’t know. My life spiraled absolutely out of control again. I had stopped doing any drinking, and started much more serious drugging. Pot, cocaine, acid, meth (but we snorted it) Just filling the emptiness, shame, anger, depression with anything I could my hands on. This went on for a few years until I met my wife. Lots happened in between but I cleaned myself up, stopped and to this day would never touch any sort of drugs or alcohol. Which brings me to the Jerry Sandusky trial just a few years back and then it all fell apart again for a while. I didn’t do anything harmful or drink or take any sort of drugs but to say that hit me like a ton of bricks would be a vast understatement. I know what Sandusky did, I know what the kids he was abusing were thinking while it was going on because that was my experience between 14 and 17. Man, everything from nightmares to severe depression to suicidal plans. Everything, all of my anchors were gone and that’s the tough thing I suppose – to put on a smiling face for the world while you’re ready to find a way to kill yourself without looking like you’ve killed yourself so your life insurance would pay.

    So to bring this back full center: I’m in a good place now: at least nothing uncommon to anyone else I guess. The hills and valleys with grown children and marriage, some heavy baggage I carry around, but, nothing for the time being, the weight of which I can’t bear. I wish I had wisdom for anyone in a similar circumstance, but I don’t. I can go into a great sermon (i’m not a pastor) about where to take our burdens, but I won’t. I will say: As the gentleman in the video that sparked my conversation here: It doesn’t go away. It can be just a fresh as the day it happens and it can be hard. When it is – find help, find peace.

    /finis

  110. @ Lydia:

    Yes, agreed, do not share with most people and be very wise about it and careful. Otherwise gaslighting will soon follow. The dialogue between Job and his friends is essentially gaslighting, maybe the first record of it ever in literature? lol.

    A lot of theology in churches and ministry culture, particularly the theology of suffering, is actually rooted in gaslighting type logic and ethics. It has done so much damage and has called hot cold, called red things green, yellow things purple, demonized the normal, normalized what is demonic/haughty, mislabeled weakness as strengths, and misappropriates strengths as weaknesses. Tries to take what is natural and neutral and call it “bad” or shaming. And so on and so on.

    Much of it is not operating in line with God and reality at all and ironically some of it isn’t actually *Christian* in any sense when you look at the philosophy and reasoning behind it. Though Scripture and biblical language and verses are all over the place trying to support the theology or ethics.

    I think for instance you can argue that nouthetic counseling, isn’t actually Christian. At best it’s a heterodox practice.

    One of my closest friends runs her own counseling practice and has been researching and exploring EMDR this past year and is leaning toward it being extremely effective.

  111. emily honey wrote:

    A lot of theology in churches and ministry culture, particularly the theology of suffering, is actually rooted in gaslighting type logic and ethics. It has done so much damage and has called hot cold, called red things green, yellow things purple, demonized the normal, normalized what is demonic/haughty, mislabeled weakness as strengths, and misappropriates strengths as weaknesses.

    WAR IS PEACE
    FREEDOM IS SLAVERY
    IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH
    TWO PLUS TWO EQUALS FIVE

  112. @ anon:
    this is very difficult for you, and perhaps it is better that you share about what happened in your own time and in your own way

  113. emily honey wrote:

    One of my closest friends runs her own counseling practice and has been researching and exploring EMDR this past year and is leaning toward it being extremely effective.

    EMDR?

  114. @ Headless Unicorn Guy:
    Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven effective for the treatment of trauma.

  115. Pingback: Victimhood, Victim Blaming, and Moving On | Miss Daisy Flower UNITED STATES

  116. anon wrote:

    As the gentleman in the video that sparked my conversation here: It doesn’t go away. It can be just a fresh as the day it happens and it can be hard. When it is – find help, find peace.

    Thank you, Anon, for honestly sharing your story of being abused by several different people. I am sorry for what you have been through.

    Your story will help other people. 1 out of 4 girls has been sexually abused by the age of 17; 1 out of 6 boys has been sexually abused by the age of 17. There is an epidemic of sexual abuse.

  117. emily honey wrote:

    The dialogue between Job and his friends is essentially gaslighting, maybe the first record of it ever in literature? lol.

    Oh gosh! I had not thought of that!

  118. @ Lea:
    If I had not seen it work for several as opposed to some i know in CBT for 20 years, I would not even mention it. I feel weird recommending such things. How about looking into it as a possibility? 🙂

  119. Lydia wrote:

    @ Lydia:
    Oops I meant not you but anyone​ considering therapy for trauma.

    No I got you! I’ve seen it pop up in threads other places too. I just think it’s interesting, not meaning anything negative.

    CBT for 20 years? I don’t think that’s precisely protocol (quick looking up says 16-20 for effectiveness), but there is probably quite a bit of variation. CBT is very adaptive I think, I’ve seen trauma, depression, insomnia, and other specific protocols.

  120. @ Lydia:

    Maybe not gaslighting intentionally, I always wonder if gaslighting has to be intentional and done purposefully at the conscious level by the person/people doing it to qualify as gaslighting?

    I see it play out all the time in Christian communities:

    After perhaps originally being good friends, the comforters (whomever they may be) revert to self-assurance and self-preoccupation, somehow making the person’s suffering about them at some level. It usually goes into scapegoating at this point. Though it might be subtle.

    Then they start projecting onto God and the sufferer (Job) and offer nothing but double speak and really confusing theology. You can almost see and hear Job losing it while he repeatedly tries to respond to their mind games that are really ultimately about his friends trying to reassure themselves that *they’re* okay and safe.

    All to comfort themselves that what happened to the sufferer (Job) could never happen to them. I think a lot of theology of suffering is often rooted in this, defense mechanisms, and life is compartmentalized in these theologies in such a way that it doesn’t match with reality and revelation at all, not really.

    It’s extremely heartbreaking when abuse victims or anyone who is genuinely struggling are put through that psychological mess.

  121. linda wrote:

    Velour: I so appreciate your comments. As mom of a child who was abused, I actually had to do a bit of shielding for a time from those with the “You poor dear you will never ever get over this” comments.
    There was healing to be had, with the proper help, and with understanding of long term effects and treatment vs the “I am broken and cannot be fixed again” mindset.
    The shrinks we saw made it clear that hope was something we have no right to snatch away from the victims. Or to rephrase it in physical terms, would you ever walk up to someone the victim of a shooting, having lost an arm, and tell them “Well poor baby your life is just gonna stink from now on?” No, you would of course recognize they had but one arm, not two, and make reasonable adjustments all the while encouraging them to never give up but go on and enjoy life.
    Robs the stinker that did it of their power if the victim does find healing. That can be the most empowering thing ever for the victim.

    Hi Linda,

    You are so welcome.

    As I child, I was abused too by several different people. My sister and I were also held hostage and then threatened with being kidnapped, raped and murdered — for years on end. The offender called me as an adult woman. He actually told me that he wanted to date me! I calmly told him to call a helpline for help, and with my fingers shaking looked up the phone number in the phone book.

    I was so shaken by his call to me, actually tracking me down, that I called them myself.
    A man counselor said that he had just called and was on the other line.

    So I’ve had lots of trauma to recover from and lots of therapy of different kinds to help with various issues. And I too get tired of the labels that people are always damaged, can never heal, never have a happy life, etc. Before sexual abuse was not talked about.
    Then we’ve gone to this other extreme, or so it seems, where people are forever harmed.
    So on the upside we’re talking about it, but on the downside we’re still not talking about victims in holistic terms. As complete human beings.

    I like what the late writer Maya Angelou, who was raped as a child, has to say
    about healing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stAOpg71vK4

  122. anon wrote:

    I wish I had wisdom for anyone in a similar circumstance, but I don’t. I can go into a great sermon (i’m not a pastor) about where to take our burdens, but I won’t. I will say: As the gentleman in the video that sparked my conversation here: It doesn’t go away. It can be just a fresh as the day it happens and it can be hard. When it is – find help, find peace.

    That, combined with 1) your story and 2) your willingness to share it here, IS wisdom for others.

    Thank you.

  123. Velour wrote:

    I like what the late writer Maya Angelou, who was raped as a child, has to say
    about healing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stAOpg71vK4

    thank you for sharing that link, VELOUR, it’s priceless

    She was one of the ‘wise women’ I listened to, one of ‘the matriarchs’. She was and remains a national treasure. Thanks again.

  124. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I like what the late writer Maya Angelou, who was raped as a child, has to say
    about healing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stAOpg71vK4
    thank you for sharing that link, VELOUR, it’s priceless
    She was one of the ‘wise women’ I listened to, one of ‘the matriarchs’. She was and remains a national treasure. Thanks again.

    You are so welcome, Christiane. I treasure Maya Angelou for the same reasons that you do.

    And I have lived one of the most abuse-filled, violent, awful lives that most people have ever known. People are honestly horrified when they find out my story. Because I’m happy, smart, funny, filled with laughter, intelligent, giving, and empathetic.

    There was a time that I thought that I would never heal, never get better, and that it would all be so grim. I thought happiness was for others. And it took time.

    But I am truly blessed. The good outweighs the bad. I can help others more, perhaps because of the very wounds that were inflicted on me…that I survived. That transformed me.

    And so at certain points, because of what I’ve lived through…I will suggest to others that they get help too.

  125. Velour wrote:

    I can help others more, perhaps because of the very wounds that were inflicted on me…that I survived. That transformed me.

    maybe this is what it really means to BE a Christian ….. God Bless you for the care you bring to others ….. I knew it came from a very deep well, but I am sorry for your suffering anyway

  126. Christiane wrote:

    Velour wrote:
    I can help others more, perhaps because of the very wounds that were inflicted on me…that I survived. That transformed me.
    maybe this is what it really means to BE a Christian ….. God Bless you for the care you bring to others ….. I knew it came from a very deep well, but I am sorry for your suffering anyway

    Thanks sweet friend.

    Having been beaten black and blue every day from the time I was a toddler (same with my sister — we’re twins), starved, neglected, abused, held hostage, abandoned, abused again, and just having lived through a grim life…I know what it’s like to need help. So that’s why I take action. It’s not that hard. I know the difference it can make in peoples’ lives. The difference it made in my life.

  127. K.D. wrote:

    HUG….I know, I wasn’t a cool kid in high school, and wound up back in HS for 30 years of my life.

    For years, I’m going to say about 25 years, I kept having the same recurring nightmare about high school. I would wake up in a panic because during that nightmare it seemed so real, as though it were actually happening right then and there. It would take me a few minutes to realize that I wasn’t back in high school after all. What a relief that was.

  128. Eternal consequences. Apparently, God doesn’t “get over it”.
    There is no statute of limitations regarding the consequences of Eternity. And, there is no cheap repentance. “Bring forth the fruit of repentance.” Talk is cheap. Repentance is demonstrated action on behalf of those wronged.

  129. @ Velour:

    i’m very sorry for these horrible things. i wish it had been different. i’m happy for the beautiful thing your life is.

  130. @ Jeannette Altes:

    Thank you for sharing this, Jeanette. Depth of understanding is of such high value — the fact that you have it means it cost you dearly, not by choice.

  131. elastigirl wrote:

    @ Velour:
    i’m very sorry for these horrible things. i wish it had been different. i’m happy for the beautiful thing your life is.

    Thank you, Elastigirl, for your kind words! I frequently thought as a young child that I would never make it out alive from my troubled, violent family and the variety of predators that those bad boundaries attracted. But much to my surprise, here I am!

    And it has given me the ability to see pain and trauma in other people that others frequently have never noticed. I call it, “Diving into the Deep without getting the bends.”

    It has also given me the ability to kick it into gear to help others…because ‘yes’ the small stuff does make a difference in peoples’ lives.

    Hugs.

  132. @ elastigirl:
    Elastigirl, thank you.
    Yes, the choice was not mine to experience the things I did as a child. But the choice to face it and speak it, that was mine. And that had a price, too. Alienated from most of my family. Although facing the inward damage is possibly one of the hardest things any of us can ever do, it is also one of the most freeing. A wise woman I know compared it the lancing of an infection – she said there is clean pain and dirty pain. If you’ve ever has an infection lanced, you know the serious pain that can be involved. But the pain of lancing is clean pain. The pain of not dealing with – letting the infection continue to fester – that is dirty pain. And although clean pain can feel like it is going to annihilate you, it won’t (almost, maybe, but…). But the unattended dirty pain will spread until it becomes septic, and that WILL annihilate you.
    Many people don’t want to listen to the stories of survivors because if they have any empathy at all, it hurts to hear. And they don’t want the reminder of their own varying unattended infectioblns – or to be reminded that this can happen to people you know by people you trust. It’s not comfortable to hear. But it is even more uncomfortable to speak. Speaking carris it’s own costs, as many here know well.
    I am grateful for the safe (mostly) space this has been for me these past 8 years. I look forward to tea and cakes together with you one day. 🙂

  133. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    Below is something I wrote to the survivors of SGM a few years ago – it was posted in the comments of another blog. I’m sharing it on this because I think, maybe, it can give the beginning of a glimpse of what life is like for survivors of these abuses.

    Thank you, Jeanette! That prayer/poem is so comforting. One thing I know about TWW & Spiritual Sounding Board. I can come to these places and experience the love and compassion of Christ for those who have been wounded and abused. This is a rarity on the Internet. It is a rarity in life. Compassion, mercy, and kindness should be a Hallmark of anyone who calls themselves a Christian. Sadly, I have encountered too many who bear the name of Christ and are lacking in these qualities. I honestly think it comes down to allowing yourself to feel empathy for those who are hurting, instead of judging. Some Christians have a hard shell around their heart and will not permit themselves to feel the pain of others. If they have ever read: “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ,” it has never sunk into their hearts.

  134. Darlene wrote:

    Compassion, mercy, and kindness should be a Hallmark of anyone who calls themselves a Christian. Sadly, I have encountered too many who bear the name of Christ and are lacking in these qualities. I honestly think it comes down to allowing yourself to feel empathy for those who are hurting

    the ‘kindness’ you are describing gives witness that a person’s very soul has been infused by the power of the Holy Spirit and that this person is bearing the Spirit’s fruit into this world to be a blessing to those who need the healing kindness of Our God

    for some reason, many who have suffered terribly themselves, are bearers of this kindness in ways that bring comfort to others who suffer

    this is a great mystery of our faith

  135. @ Velour:
    Velour, I am so sorry for the abuse that you suffered. But I’m glad that you are a Survivor. Your life’s experiences have enabled you to show compassion toward victims of abuse, and thus God has used your struggles to help others in pain. Many blessings to you always!

  136. Darlene wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Velour, I am so sorry for the abuse that you suffered. But I’m glad that you are a Survivor. Your life’s experiences have enabled you to show compassion toward victims of abuse, and thus God has used your struggles to help others in pain. Many blessings to you always!

    Thank you Darlene for your kind and supportive words. They mean so much to me.

    I had an ex-boyfriend who was enraged that I used to volunteer at a Children’s Hospital with children who were HIV+ and receiving medical treatment. They were also in the foster care system. He called me up and gave me an ultimatum to choose between him and the kiddos.
    I said cheerfully: “Them!!” He was so stunned he repeated the question to me, as though I would change my mind. I wasn’t going to. I know what it’s like to be in that desperate place and to have kind, loving, safe adults to come into your life. And I wouldn’t abandon the tykes.

    And my deepest regret in “being polite” and “not interfering” in someone else’s business/choices/problems, came several years ago when I did not “interfere” and tell
    a woman I knew who worked in a high-end law office to seek therapy and treatment for her problems, which were evident to me when I first met her. I didn’t work with her.

    I just thought her law firm’s H.R. would handle her, or her supervisors, or the college director where she worked part-time. No one did.

    And when she spiraled out of control several years later, she murdered her husband with a gun and she then committed suicide. The couple’s three sons now have NO parents.

    I kick myself about that. All of us being “polite” cost two people their lives and three young men have broken hearts and trauma. So when I think someone needs help and has shown enough signs,I speak up now. I don’t care who gets angry. Because peoples’ lives can literally be on the line, their own and others’.

    Thank you, friend.

  137. @ Darlene:
    Thank you. Yes, it is true that empathy for the wounded is rare. I think, in large part, it is because empathizing – feeling someone else’s pain – well, that hurts.
    It can be an incredibly vulnerable thing to share you wounds. It is frightening because you are risking further pain. TWW is a place for the wounded to come. But even here, sometimes, it is hard to be very open. That is, I find, just part of life for survivors – at least for me.

  138. @ Jeannette Altes:

    i think many times people don’t know exactly what to say. people may feel the most sincere compassion, and yet wonder if their best expression of it may come across insensitive or ignorant or patronizing.

  139. I expect the best advocates for people in trouble are those who are willing to pay a price for their advocacy, especially when they are confronted the powerful. An example would be Wade Burleson who stood up for many who were persecuted when missionaries were ‘fired’ and Dr. Klouda was mis-treated after the ‘take-over’ at the SBC.

    It cost Wade a lot. But in the end, it earned him the honor of being a trusted person to go to for help in the Church when powerful people persecuted the innocent. THAT is something far more important than any ‘title’ or position of ‘power’: it is a mark of recognition that he is a trusted Christian leader among so many who cannot be trusted. Important? In the Kingdom of Our Lord, that is where you want to be as a leader: a servant to others who will take a stand for them when they are persecuted. Yes, THAT’s important, you bet.

  140. JYJames wrote:

    @ Velour:
    Sometimes, polite, prim, and proper just doesn’t cut it.

    That’s right. We never know how close someone is to ‘the edge’ and to getting worse…because we ‘minded our own business’ and said nothing.. I vowed after that woman spiraled out of control because we had all been ‘too polite’ to ‘interfere’ in her ‘business’, that I would ALWAYS speak up when I saw signs that someone had problems and needed help. And I don’t get care who gets angry now when I speak up. The stakes can be very high when we keep silent.

  141. Christiane wrote:

    I expect the best advocates for people in trouble are those who are willing to pay a price for their advocacy,

    Exactly, Christiane.

  142. Jeannette Altes wrote:

    A wise woman I know compared it the lancing of an infection – she said there is clean pain and dirty pain.

    Just looking back at this weekend and wanted to say this is fantastic. I love this way of thinking and it makes so much sense. Thank you for sharing it!

  143. I know firsthand the trauma that continues in the wake of clergy misconduct. Yet clergy who abuse are the very first to argue that folks should move past things on the basis that they are “in the past.”

    Don’t let “in the past” overcome the very real harm caused by abusive clergy