“You can recognize survivors of abuse by their courage. When silence is so very inviting, they step forward and share their truth so others know they aren’t alone.” ― Jeanne McElvaney, Healing Insights: Effects of Abuse for Adults Abused as Children link
What I am about to present is merely a tiny portion of the pain and suffering that Jandy has suffered at the hands of David, as well as other men who lived with the family or were acquaintances of the family. I mean for this to be an overview. I have left so much of the story out and I feel bad about that. I hope to write more of her story in the coming weeks.
It is a difficult story to tell. Jandy suffered greatly as a child and teenager. However, in the end, there is some justice.
Jandy’s parents: Naiveté born of wanting to help others.
Jandy’s parents were well meaning but naive. They were young when they married and were committed Christians. They believed in caring for those less fortunate than they were. This resulted in allowing men, one who had schizophrenia, to move in with their family. Their unsuspecting nature caused them to overlook the possible danger of such actions. It also caused them to trust neighbors and friends.This would be a major factor in Jandy’s relationship with David.
As a small child, Jandy was molested on a number of occasions by some of the men who were living in their home. She also had a friend who lived nearby whose father was a molester. Jandy would experience molestation by him as well. Jandy did not report these incidents to her parents for a number of reasons. For example, one of the men threatened to kill her parents if she said anything. As a little girl, she was frightened and took on the reversed role of protecting her parents.
Jandy wanted me to stress that she and her parents have worked this out. They have apologized to her and they were, and are, a loving family.
1991: Jandy began being groomed by David, who is the main abuser in this story, and the families joined PDI (People of Destiny, International,) a precursor to Sovereign Grace Ministries.
Jandy met David when she was 8 years old. David was the son of family friends and attended the same church Jandy’s family attended. He showed her a great deal of attention, even discussing his *crazy ex wife* with her. Both families began attending PDI which further cemented their friendship.
It is my opinion that David began grooming Jandy when she was a 8 years old. Also, given the history of CJ Mahaney and PDI/SGM/SGC, it is highly unlikely (in my opinion) that any leaders at the church had the good sense to notice what was going on.
David also rented an apartment in Jandy’s family home.
Sometime around 1991 my Dad retreated. He retreated into himself. He didn’t laugh as much. He didn’t sing as much or play his guitar. He went to work, came home and ate dinner, and went to his bedroom and closed the door. He was there, but only physically. When he talked to me, it was often to tell me to do my chores or to go to bed. I didn’t understand what had happened to my Daddy. He seemed distant and cold. I missed my Dad. I needed my Dad, more than I realized. But because of how close David was becoming, I thought it was ok that my Dad was becoming more distant
Our relationship with David was so familiar and natural that I would often go downstairs to his part of the house.
He began taking me to his jobs. He worked for a company that was owned by the assistant pastor at our church. They did remodeling and building. In the beginning, David would just have me tag along. He took me to the office to get supplies. He had me hand him nails or grab his level, and things like that. Soon he taught me how to use a table and circular saw, to spackle, to smooth concrete. He took us us girls bowling, out to eat, to the mall, played darts with us. He was present in pretty much every area of my life; church, family, personal. He painted the house, redid my sister and brother’s room, attended family get-togethers with my Mom’s and my Dad’s families. He was constantly cracking jokes, playing pranks. He was always smiling. knew that he would be there for me, as my friend. He SHOULD NOT have been my friend when I was 12, 13. I didn’t see that it was strange or as unhealthy because no one told me that it was.
By 12, my place was next to David. On walks, I was next to him. On the couch, I sat next to him. In the car, I was next to him. At church David was in charge of setting up for services and tearing down after services. I volunteered to help him with this. That meant that I went to church with him every week and spent an extra hour or two with him before and after services. During services I often was next to him. At the dinner table, I sat next to him. We always held hands and prayed. At one meal, David squeezed my hand really tightly after the prayer
Jandy now realizes that when she was growing up, she was around adults more than she was around other children.
Going back to the time I was born, I was often around more adults than other children. My parents often had friends who were single. They were 24 and 20 when they married, and most of their friends were still single at those ages. Some of the folks who came to see in the hospital when I was born and on the days after I was born were my parents’ single friends. Growing up, I was surrounded by adults. I had a few close friends who were my age, but I was always around adults.
When Jandy turned 13, she noticed that David was frequently staring at her.
The summer I turned 13 – I noticed something. I caught David looking at me. The look on his face made me feel a bit sick to my stomach. The way he was looking at me was the way a man looks at a woman, like he’s turned on by her, like he’s checking her out. I knew that look.
I was 13 but I’d developed early. I started developing at 10, began wearing a bra at 11. By 13 I was 5’ 6”, the height I am today, and I was wearing a 34D bra.
When she turned 14, he was becoming more physically involved with her and began to cross the line.
By the time I turned 14, he was becoming more physical with me. David began making comments about my clothing, my hair, standing up straight
Other times he would come up behind and put his hands on my shoulders and squeeze tightly. Sometimes as I did the dishes, he would stay in the kitchen, drying as I washed. He would often come close to me to put something away, reaching over me and pressing against me. He said a few things that puzzled me, that I know now were sexual innuendo,
He didn’t look at me like I was a little girl.
This man, whom I trusted with all of me, was crossing the line.
Jandy had not developed healthy boundaries.
Due to Jandy’s early abuse, she did not fully comprehend what constituted normal barriers in physical relationships with men.
I had no boundaries. I had not been taught how to create healthy boundaries, and every boundary that should have been established had been shattered at age 4.
David moved out of their house, got his own place and that’s when things accelerated.
My parents bought out his portion of the house. They rented the downstairs to our friend Kathy. We all helped David move and he would begin remodeling portions of his new home. Things changed with him almost right after he moved.
When she was 14, she drove with him to visit old friends up north. The ride took several hours. In that drive she admitted to him that she hoped they would marry and he said he felt the same way,.
Wow! This is incredible,” he said again. There were several more “wows,”.
My mind was racing, my heart beating fast. I did not know what to think or feel. I was excited yet confused, filled with so many questions. Wasn’t this something good? He liked me – loved me! I’d wondered for so long what he’d been thinking and doing by talking to me, touching me, flirting with me. I could never understand. I asked “why” a thousand times. I couldn’t wrap my brain around why HE would have an interest in me. It simply did not make sense. He was a grown man, attractive, popular. What on earth would he be seeing in me? I thought about it as I sat there. I was 14-years-old. I was awkward, gawky, so unsure of myself. Why would he love me? It didn’t make sense. But I longed for it – the love. I longed to be wanted.
He put her heads down on his lap, and he got an erection. he stopped and told her that this was wrong., he told her that she was not to tell anyone about this.
Instead, on the drive back they memorized scripture verses.
(Ed. comment): Sounds good? right? But I believe this was part of the grooming: pretending to back off.
Jandy thought she might be in love with him while he accelerated his physical involvement with her.
Shortly after returning home, he kissed her.
Once this was our secret I began having trouble sleeping. I knew that no one could find out. My headaches got worse. I didn’t know that was the reason, but it was. I wished that life would speed up so I could be older. I didn’t realize that this was so wrong. I thought it was my fault, that it was because I was too young. When we talked David would focus on how young I was or how much older he was, so I began to feel the fault was with me. If only the years apart were 10 instead of 20. If only I was 24 instead of 14.
As time went by, he moved my hands up over his chest. This progressed to him pulling my hands inside his shirt, and moving them over his abdomen and chest, reaching my hands around and touching his back.
Although he was the one directing this show, he pretended to blame her.
He’d grab me and pull me tight, rubbing his face on my neck, kissing my throat. He’d say, “What are you doing to me, Jandy?” I didn’t know that I’d done anything. I was simply following his lead.
Shortly thereafter he began to have sex with her on a regular basis. (She was in 9th grade.)
The sex went on for months. This was my 9th Grade year of school. Out of all of the years I was homeschooled, this was the only year that I didn’t take a class somewhere. Every other year, 5th Grade through 12th Grade, I took at least one class at a brick and mortar school. But in 9th Grade, I was at home for all of my classes. And it made me more accessible to him.
I didn’t want sex; I wanted the closeness. I did want to be held and comforted. I wanted safety and security, a listening ear and a shoulder to lean on. I didn’t want what he wanted from me. There were times all I wanted to do was to crawl into his lap and be held…like a child. I didn’t know that what he was doing was disrupting everything in my mind and my heart. I thought he was loving me.
Most times it was at his house. He took me to job sites so that I could assist him. This was also an excuse to take me back to his house afterward. Once he had sex with me on a job site. Once he had sex with me at the church.
Pregnancy, miscarriage and profound strength. Graphic warning: There is a moving description of her miscarriage.
The inevitable happened. She became pregnant when she was 15.
It was now close to Christmas and I couldn’t ignore this any longer. I’d missed my period twice and soon it would be a third time.
Jandy went to see David and they confirmed she was a pregnant. He didn’t know what to do but he said he would figure it out.
In the second week of January, I woke up in the darkness of the early morning to extremely painful cramping. I also felt wet. I looked inside my underwear to find them filled with blood
For however long it took, and I’ll never know how many minutes, I sat on the seat, and bled that tiny life into the toilet. I can vividly remember my feet on the cold tile floor, my toes curling with the pain. I grabbed the side of the toilet with one hand and had the other against the wall. I glanced into the bowl once. I saw a large bloody object, and I looked away quickly. I couldn’t look again. I couldn’t. It had looked like a little body, shaped like a body. It was in its tiny sac, with little arms and legs and head. I flushed the toilet. I knew what this was. I wasn’t that naive. I knew I was miscarrying and there was nothing I could do. I don’t know that I was ever so scared and desolate in my life. I was losing a life, a baby. It seemed to last forever – the pain, the blood. I was terrified someone in the house would wake up. I knew I was supposed to go to a hospital for this. I knew there could be complications. I didn’t know how long this was supposed to last or how much pain was too much. When the bleeding finally slowed, I flushed the toilet again, and ran a little bit of water in the bottom of the bathtub. I sat in the water, washing myself and quickly pulled the plug. I put on my clean underwear and pants, with a tampon and 2 pads to help the bleeding.
I tiptoed to the back door, where I put on boots. We’d gotten the biggest snowfall that I’d ever remembered – over 2 feet. The wooden steps leading down to the backyard and to the basement entrance were completely blanketed in snow. If I was going to clean my bloody clothing, I’d have to shovel my way down. So, I did. I shoveled through 2+ feet of snow: uncovering the steps, making a pathway from the sidewalk to the basement door. Downstairs I quickly put my pants and underwear in the washer. I didn’t know what to do next. I was still sure that someone would wake up and find me, ask me what I was doing. So, I decided to keep shoveling. I figured that if someone came outside and asked what I was doing, I’d say I woke up early and couldn’t sleep, so I’d begun shoveling. It was something I would have done. I shoveled all the way around the house and up to the alleyway between ours and our neighbor’s homes. By this time my clothes were cleaned and I threw them into the dryer. If my mom asked why they were in the dryer, I could tell her that I’d gotten my period and wanted to wash them right away. I dragged my feet up the back steps, exhausted, cramping, in shock.
Inside the house was still silent. It was only a little after 7 in the morning. Since I knew he’d be home – everyone was snowed in- I took the phone and pulled the long cord into our pantry. I called him. When he answered I said it was me and that I’d started bleeding. I didn’t know how to say it. I didn’t want to say “baby.” He asked if I was all right. I told him it was over, finished. He asked if I was all right again, with so much relief in his voice. I lost what adrenaline I’d been running on and leaned against the wall of the pantry. That relief, that almost sigh of “I’m safe,” that I heard in his voice was like being stabbed in the heart.
I wanted to hear “I’m sorry.” I wanted to hear, “Oh, Jandy! What can I do? I’ll come get you somehow and make sure you’re all right.” But, no, there was only relief.
I woodenly went through the next 2 days. We worked hard shoveling sidewalks, digging out cars, helping neighbors stuck in their parking spots. I took Advil, one after another, wore 2 or 3 pads at once, and tried to ignore the lingering pain. But there were moments when I had to stop, gripping my snow shovel as the pain radiated throughout my uterus. But I had to go on. I had to act as though this hadn’t happened.
David stepped away from the relationship and Jandy felt sad and alone.
Jandy’s parents would not learn of the miscarriage for many years.
A short time later he called me on the phone. It was to tell me that “we need to take a step back,” and that “we can’t keep doing this,” because “it isn’t right.” He didn’t touch me for months. And there wasn’t a time that I needed a hug more than then.
Though I was 15-and-a-half, I’d lived a lifetime. I’d been guarding and protecting others since I was 4. I’d been keeping secrets so that my family would be safe. I tried to protect my little friend by taking her place and her father’s abuse.
He allowed me to go through a 3 month pregnancy and a miscarriage completely on my own, with no help, no solace, nothing. There was no apology for what he’d done or what happened. There was no ownership for the hell I’d been through. There was only the guilt and the shame of what “we’d done.” I saw him for the first time. Before I’d been looking at him through my rose-colored glasses, only seeing the laughter, the joking, the listening ear. What I saw now was a man: utterly flawed, selfish, scared, and with a lack of confidence that left a bitter taste in my mouth.
During this time, Jandy struggled with depression and wishing that her life would end.
I wanted to go to sleep at night and not wake up the next morning. I had no hope for anything after this. I felt so disgusted with myself, with my body. I believed life was over, that there was no future for me. I was a whore, a slut, who’d gotten what she deserved by getting pregnant and miscarrying. And of course, he would leave me. He probably looked at me as a used object. Why would he want me now? Time after time in my short life I’d been used and discarded, and this was simply a repetition
I wanted to run away or to die. I believed I was a burden to my family (though they did not know of any of the abuse), and so I told myself they would all be better off without me. I wrote both suicide and run away letters. I once took my bag and made it to the corner. I was panicked, knowing I didn’t know where to go, and I so I went back home, tearing up my letter and feeling all the more a failure for not being able to run away from home properly. I had suicide plans, but I was terrified that God would not allow me into Heaven, that I did not attempt them. In the end, I wanted to stay for my little sister and brother. I wanted to take care of them.
Over time, things changed. David visited Jandy’s parents, claiming that he wished to marry her.
Jandy’s sister discovered a note she had written about her relationship with David.
So, I told her part of it. I admitted that he’d pursued me and told me he loved me, that he wanted to marry me when I was 14. I told her that since then we’d only talked and that the only physical things that had happened were hugs and hand holding.
What I didn’t know was that soon after this conversation, she called him. She confronted him with what she’d found out and asked him what was going on. She told him she knew that he was hurting me, and that if he didn’t come forward, she would tell me parents. He lied. He said nothing had ever happened
David met with her parents when she was 17, saying than that he loved her and that she loved him. They told her that they asked him not to speak to her.
David became even more controlling.
being told to stay away from her, caused him to want to connect with her even more. This demonstrates his controlling nature. However, Jandy’s feelings had begun to change and she began to notice his controlling behavior.
I was getting older, my circle of friends was expanding, and He wasn’t sure he could keep his control intact
But, His self-doubt escalated. More and more often, I was asked to affirm my love for Him. I did, over and over. It became stressful, annoying even
I’d been attending college classes since the year before, and my good grades helped me to feel good about school. While I thought He’d be proud of me for my accomplishments, and He always told me He was, I saw the fear in His eyes, His conversations, His actions. He began to ask my advice more for things like clothing, career choices, hobbies. I picked out shoes, shirts, made suggestions for haircuts, music. It did make me feel as though I had more control. In November of 1997 my sister Margaret and I went on a mission’s trip with our church. There were several young men who went on that trip, and David wanted to know all about the trip when we got home. It wasn’t easy for him to hear that I’d had such a good time and had such good conversations with lots of people: both male and female.
I COULD not speak to another guy without Him interrogating me. “Do you like this guy? Does he like you?”
She came to a decision that she would not marry him.
The idea that I’d had for so long – to marry Him – had begun to seem unrealistic. I just couldn’t see it, as much as I still told myself it was supposed to happen. It wasn’t so much the reaction from family or friends, it was simply that I couldn’t see it. When I tried to picture me as His wife, us as married, it just didn’t gel in my mind. But it had been the “plan” for so long, that I wasn’t sure what to do without it. As someone who had experienced so much inconsistency, upheaval, I wanted sure things. I wanted plans that would work, some sort of safety in the future. He’d been promising me this for 4 years now, but suddenly it didn’t feel right…less right than it ever had. I think I wanted Him to come through on what He’d said, what He had assured me of time and time again. But, you know, my picture of Him had changed so much over the years. In the beginning, in the haze, I only saw a rescuer, a companion, a safety net. After the pregnancy and miscarriage I saw a man who had betrayed me and let me down in the most devastating way imaginable. I had tried so desperately to pick up what I could salvage, that I still wanted to see Him as someone who would care for me and love me. He should, after all He had done. That was my thinking. He had to fulfill His responsibility.
I began college that August. Busy with school and church, I didn’t see Him as much as I had. I was hoping to focus on school and just see what happened with Him. But He continued to put pressure on me. As His desperation grew, my desire to disconnect grew. Nearly every time I saw Him, He wanted confirmation of my feelings, validation. It got to the point that I didn’t want to see Him on my own. I shied away from the two of us being alone in a room, so that I could avoid the interrogations. There was a final straw.
One day, their families went on a long hike together.
I was halfway back to the van when David came up behind me. He immediately began to take me to task about that morning. I was angry and in pain and so hurt that he would this again. I told him I didn’t want to talk about it. He went on about how I had talked to this person for 2 minutes and to this person for 5 minutes, to another person for 3 minutes, but I’d only had hello to him. I was hunched over as I walked, holding back tears. I just told him that I knew I was going to be spending the whole day with him, and so I’d simply said hello. I’d talked with others because I wasn’t going to be spending the day with him. He didn’t hear anything he said. He kept going on about this specific guy or another specific guy and how he saw me speak to that guy for this amount of time. I was almost to the end of the trail when the pain in my stomach grew so intense that I knelt down by the ground. I put my hands on a rock and actually laid in a fetal position on the dirt for several seconds
While I lay there, David stood over me and yelled at me about how I’d taken the time to talk to other men at church and not to him.
In that moment, I was heartbroken. The man who had slipped his way into my life, destroyed every vestige of me with his selfish needs and desires, stood over me, pointing at me and yelling, like I was some animal lying in the gutter. I did wake up that day. I realized there was no reason or logic in him. He did not care. My heart, my poor heart.
She then told David that she no longer wanted to marry him.
Over that summer and fall, the man I would marry began attending a men’s Bible study that my Dad lead
I knew that the guy liked me, and I thought that maybe I could make a future with him. He seemed solid and sweet and I knew he cared about me. I needed to get away from David.
“You need to let me go,” I said. I was shaking.
He looked shocked and then upset. What did I mean? He asked. Did he need to be more sensitive to me? He said he knew I was making friends more and that I probably needed more space.
So, I said it again, “You need to let me go.”
He looked at me and started crying. “But we’re supposed to be married,” he said.
While this was happening, I was spending more time with the man I would marry. By the end of January we went to a dating class together. At the end of March, he told me he loved me.
The last communication I received from David was a card that he sent to me. I received it the first week of April 1999. In it he expressed sorrow that he lost me as his friend and that I was moving on with someone else. He asked me to forgive him for not being strong enough to just be my friend.
However, David married in December of that year, 1999.
Jandy married, had two children but developed migraines and an eating disorder and sought counseling.
And from that session on, it just kept coming: all of it. Every horrid, disgusting thing that Danny had done, that Tommy had done, the neighbor boy, the friends – every last thing came up and out like vomit that I could not stop. I didn’t understand how I could speak it. It had been under lock and key behind a vault for 30 years. How was it coming out? But it wouldn’t stop. And it hurt so fucking much. Oh, God!!! It hurt so much.
And then I got to David. And I did not want it to come out. I didn’t think anyone would believe me. I spoke it chronologically. She believed me. She told me it wasn’t my fault. I tried to believe that, and it was hard in the beginning. It wasn’t my fault at all? It wasn’t any of my responsibility? She told me it wasn’t. She told me that I’d been an innocent child, and that he had taken advantage of me.
And it kept coming. Every assault, every slight, every broken promise. The pregnancy, the miscarraige, the heartache. There were days and weeks that it was simply too much. I lay on my kitchen floor wailing. I thought I couldn’t breathe for crying so heavily. The most devastating thing in the world was to look truth in the face. My childhood was not what I’d reconfigured to look like. My teen years were not just they angst-filled time I told myself they were. So many of the people I’d told myself were simply acting out and needed more attention were not as they seemed.
Sometimes Truth is so ugly and horrifying to see that we cannot look at her. But until we are able, we cannot live fully alive. I had to look at the truth of my life in order to process the fact that I had been sexually abused over and over and abused in so many other ways all throughout my life. And it’s not my fault that I didn’t process this until 34. My mind had protected itself for a very long time.
She opened up to her parents and husband and told them what had happened with David though the years.
I was disclosing all of this to my husband and to my parents. They were all shocked and horrified. My parents were devastated that they hadn’t protected me. My husband was shocked and angry.
She went to her pastor for help in confronting David.
September 2014 I reached out to meet with my pastor. I wanted to tell him about the abuse, and I also wanted to share my concerns regarding David. I knew he still lived locally, was a member at the church we all used to go to, and had 2 teenage girls. My husband came with me. I told him about being abused, beginning as a child and throughout my teen years. I then told him briefly of the guy from my teen years. My pastor wanted to know if the guy was a member of our church. I told him no.
He said, “Cuz, if he was,” and looked at both of us as if to indicate he would do something. I told the pastor I knew where the guy was a member. My pastor said he had good connections at the church. I told him that the one pastor who was still there used to be my youth pastor and was the assistant pastor at the time my family and David were members together. My Pastor said he would reach out to the other church. The next day I forwarded info about G.R.A.C.E. to my pastor.
Just after meeting with JM, I emailed Brent Detwiler. David, his brother, and my family had all been members of an SGM church at the time of my abuse. Knowing of the CSA coverup and Brent’s documents, I wanted his advice. Brent knew all of the pastors. He encouraged me to go to the police, as my abuser had most likely not just abused me. I would stay in touch with Brent regarding this issue up until present day. Brent always encouraged me to take my story to the police.
On October 29, 2014 , JM emailed to say he’d met with Kurt and Bill. They were “helpful” and “deeply grieved” Bill would be calling David
On Nov 10, 14 I emailed JM to ask if he’d heard back from Bill. He responded, saying he had a 2nd meeting planned with Bill the following day and to call his office at 3 pm the next day.
So, on Nov. 11 I spoke with Jamie on the phone. He told me he’d met with Bill and David denied any wrongdoing. JM set up a meeting with me for the following day.
Nov 12, 14 I went to Jamie’s office. He said that Bill had called David and told him a young woman from another church was saying David had been sexually inappropriate with her when she was a teenager. David denied this. Bill then called him again and told David that it was me who said this. David denied any wrongdoing Jamie said I needed to tell him about everything David had done so that he could take that information to Bill and to David. If presented with exact detail and times, he would be more likely to admit. So I sat there for 2 hours and stared at the hole in my jeans and told my pastor about every time David raped me. (ed. note: She went on to give details.)
David’s faux apology.
He was not going to admit to anything. Finally, his pastor asked him if he would like to apologize to me for anything. This is the last time I saw David “speak” to me. He looked at me and said, “If I could go back and change things, I would. I’m sorry I took your trust.” He said this aloud, but he was also communicating with his eyes. He was pleading.
Another biblical counseling fail: She was told to seek forgiveness for so many things like not telling her parents when things happened.
Folks, as you may know, I am opposed to biblical counseling. Here s reason 235.
At this time I was also receiving biblical counseling through my church. There were things that were helpful, but there were also things that hurt. I was asked to find the things I need to ask forgiveness for: not telling my parents, and anything else I could think of that I’d done wrong. I was immediately asked to forgive all my offenders. There was no time given for grief or for mourning. It was time to move forward, leave the past in the past.
Those were Jamie’s (pastor) words. There was an article on shame from John Piper that made me very angry. I showed it to my Mom and she agreed that it was confusing and ambiguous. I took it back to the counselor and told her why it looked wrong to me. I had made a copy of the chapter on shame from Rid of My Disgrace by the Holcombes to show her what I thought was a much better writing for victims.
Boz Tchividjian told her to report what happened to the authorities. (Yay, Boz!)
On October 2015, I emailed Boz Tchivijdian. I had no peace regarding David, and I wanted his advice. He emailed me back almost immediately and we spoke on the phone. One of his first questions was to ask if my pastor had encouraged me to go to the police. When I told him about the confrontation and what Jamie had done, he told me I should leave that church. Boz said I needed to report David and that I needed a church that would respond properly to sexual abuse.
Her pastor was furious that she wanted to report David to the authorities and said she had not been abused!
Pastor said she should not report him to authorities:
He interrupted me. “Don’t you dare tell me God told you to do this! God doesn’t speak to people like that!!”
I sat back in the chair, speechless. He went on. “God doesn’t say things to people. You can’t do this. You did what you are supposed to do. You confronted your brother. He denied it. It’s in God’s hands now.”
I asked him if he knew about a crime that had been committed, wouldn’t he need to go to the authorities and tell them about this crime?
“This isn’t the same! This was 20 years ago! They’re not going to do anything. The statute of limitations is over!”
Now I was mad. Who did he think he was? I leaned forward and got loud right back. “The statute of limitations is not over. I have until I’m 50! The laws have changed and the statute of limitations has been extended!”
His eyes grew wide and then baffled. “Why would they change the law?”
I could not believe it. Who was this man?
“Why would they change the law?!” I asked back. “Because it takes years and years for most survivors to be able to speak.” Time is needed so that abusers can be held accountable.
Then he said some things I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to forget.
“Who told you it was abuse?” he asked me.
I was dumbfounded. What?!
“No one told me.”
“No, your counselor did,” he said, smirking.
“Um, no, she didn’t,” I replied.
He sat there smiling and nodding.
Oh, boy, was I angry. “She never used the word abuse. She allowed me to come to the realization of all that had been done to me was abusive and wrong and harmful.
He shook his head as though to indicate he didn’t believe me.
“Everyone uses the word abuse nowadays.” He said that men are accused of abuse when they’re not abusive and that counselors and therapists fill peoples’ heads with ideas that they’ve been abused.
“What are you saying?” I asked him. “Are you saying I was not abused?”
“Well, the stuff that happened when you were younger, that’s abuse. But, David? You were older, a teen…”
Dear, sweet, merciful God in Heaven. My pastor just indicated that I was not abused.
I couldn’t speak. I could not find words for some time. When I was able to speak, it was to tell him again that I had no peace regarding the situation and that I was considering going to the police. He became angry again. He told me I would be pulling my family through the mud, that nothing would come of it, that I would be doing something that was not biblical. He then pointed his finger at me and said, “If you do this, I will NOT stand with you. I WILL not stand with you.”
The pastor himself was involved in undisclosed sexual sin.
In October 2016, our church body was informed that Jamie was being fired. He had been caught and forced to confess ongoing sin: sexual sin.
During this time, her marriage fell apart. Her husband had not been supportive of her as she went through this process.
David was arrested and convicted: (Thanking God for extended Statutes of Limitations!)
Jandy went forward and reported her abuse on March 9, 2018. After months of police interviews of Jandy, her family and friends, David was picked up on December 18, 2018. He posted bail of $200,000.
He was charged with:
- F1: Deviant Sexual Intercourse with a person less than 16 years of age.
- F2: Statutory Rape
- F2: Statutory Rape
- F2: Sexual Assault
Throughout 2019, there was much discussion of plea bargain. On September 23, 2019, just before the trial, they agreed on the following:
He pled guilty to one count of F1: Statutory Rape and F2: Sexual Assault. He is serving 2 years of County time with work release. He also got 8 years of probation.
She is grateful for some justice.
For the next few weeks, I definitely felt a void where that purpose and dedication had been. I knew I would sense that, but I didn’t know exactly what it would feel like. There are times I question if I made the right decision. Should I have taken it to trial? Should I have sat in that box and allowed every word to spill forth? I don’t know. I do know that I have peace in that I reported crime and the offender is being held accountable, even if I might not think it’s “sufficient.” I have seen justice, and for that I am so very grateful.
Now, she wants to help others. I know she will. This is the beginning.
It’s now January 2020. It’s a new year, and a new decade. I have spoken and written some of my story. I want to do more. I have reached out to the churches and to the leaders. I am trying to be still and hear what the Lord is asking of me. I desire to “do” but I also want to be sure I am listening.
Are you feeling stunned by what Jandy experienced? I certainly am. I spoke with her for 5 1/2 hours and I know there is much more to say.
I am grateful for her willingness to be open and I only wish I lived closer so I could hug her.