So many people are under the false belief that once a molester has been caught and justice has been served, that the abused ones no longer feel the effects of childhood abuse. This is one of the biggest misconceptions that society has about abuse victims, and it’s time to get educated about what really happens after a predator is found guilty.
Having lived with the mental abuse of a manipulative sociopath predator, I can tell you that there are long-term effects — the most difficult is that of trust. But, this particular story is not about me. This is the continuing story of a father of abused children who has willingly chosen to speak out so that others might be saved from the trauma and pain he and his family are still experiencing. Continue reading →
The last post I wrote was powerful. It was also sad and heart wrenching. It brought me and thousands of others to tears as we read the words of a father speak out about how his children were abused by the man I called my husband for almost forty years. I haven’t slept a night through since this story was published. Why? Because I still find it so dehumanizing to think of what pedophiles do to children, and it is heartbreaking to me to know that this type of abuse goes on day after day while good, honest, caring parents are unable to recognize the abuse. We must get better educated! Continue reading →
How do you move on beyond a day like the most horrible Thanksgiving ever? Truthfully, when you want to fight hard for your family, for the values you believe in, you sometimes just take the pain and move on. And, that’s just what was done. We went on and had Christmas with the entire family home. But, it was much different this particular year. It was quiet. It was awkward. It was lacking laughter and joy! It was as though everyone was walking on eggshells not knowing what to do, not knowing what to say, and not knowing what to expect. One thing we knew — we didn’t want a repeat of our Thanksgiving!
That particular week of Christmas is mostly a blur to me. As a way to cope, we can trick our minds into not remembering horrible pain and heartache, and that is just what we did. We didn’t allow ourselves to feel much of anything for fear of experiencing that horrible pain and brokenness once again.
The winter months were lonely. I worked long hours — in fact, most nights I stayed at work very late not wanting to go home. At this point in our lives, I was still shut down emotionally with John. In fact, I didn’t even want to sit at the dinner table with him. We spoke very few words to each other. And, it was miserable — terribly miserable Continue reading →
Sometimes I hesitate to write certain stories from my life that were “red flags” about John’s secret life as a practicing pedophile because quite honestly it’s hard to write about these things and it’s shamefully embarrassing to me that I didn’t at least tell someone — anyone– what was going on. I think that’s the cry of every person who has been emotionally abused — fear of nobody believing you and also fear of being called stupid for putting up with so much wrong. I lived with both fears.
This story is graphic and if you are weak in the stomach, please do not read this one.It’s very difficult for me to think about, and I’ve tried and tried to shove it out of my mind, but the images are burned there forever. I will share only because I believe this information is important for you to know — this is information that clearly shows something was wrong with John. He was a gentle, kind person, and he was also one of the most cruel men I’ve ever known.
If you are new to this blog, I’d suggest you begin reading here. It will help you to get a bit of a background of the unfolding of how this mystery came to be solved.
By now, our kids were older and we had allowed them to have pets. Our oldest daughter chose a doggie, and he was adorable. He slept with her and he was truly our spoiled family pet. We had the usual parakeets, turtles, and fish, but this particular year one of the kid’s friends from school had some bunnies to give away so of course all we heard from morning ’til night was, “Please….please can we have a pet bunny? I promise to take good care of him. I’ll play with him and teach him tricks. I’ll feed and water him every day.” And, on and on it went. Well, as it turned out, we visited the farm, the kids chose their bunnies, and we came home with three of them. They were adorable!
The kids wrapped them in little blankets while John put the finishing touches on their bunny cages. They would stay in the side yard during the warm months, and during the winter months they would be brought into our garage for protection from the cold. The kids had used their allowance for the feeders, the straw, and the bunny pellets which they ate. And, so we became a family with a pet dog, several kittens, and now playful bunnies. Every day after school the kids would play with their pet bunnies in the yard. That is until they began growing larger and got a bit too frisky for them. Rabbits have sharp claws and they can give a pretty good bite, too!
It wasn’t but a couple of months into the pet bunny ordeal that the kids came to me and said, “Do you think we can give the bunnies back? They’re mean and they aren’t fun to play with anymore.” That was fine by me because quite truthfully I felt sorry for those rabbits always cooped up in their cages. What kind of life is that?
I talked to John about calling the farm to see if they wanted the rabbits back, but he stopped me on that idea. “No way! I have a better idea. We don’t have to call the farm. I’ll find a home for those little rascals on Saturday.”
Hmmm….I had no idea who John was giving the rabbits to, but I wasn’t at all worried about it. I was just glad that those poor things would find a good home. Our kids were afraid of them, and they just weren’t getting the attention they needed.
Saturday rolled around and I asked John if he was still taking care of the rabbits. “Yep. It’s a done deal. I’m going to wait ’til the kids are down for a nap.”
Nap time came and John went outside. He said, “I’m going to take care of those rabbits now.”
“Okay. Thank you!”
This is the part that is very hard for me to share. It’s grotesque and barbaric. It was so out of character with the man I thought I knew.
After about thirty minutes, John walked into the kitchen and said, “Hand me a baking pan. I’m cooking rabbit for supper.”
I froze in my spot in the kitchen. No. He wouldn’t do that to the kids pet rabbits. No way would he do that. John loved to hunt, but my goodness — these were family pets!
I could feel myself starting to cry. “What did you do? Please tell me! What did you do?”
John looked at me with a half grin, half smirk on his face as he calmly said, “We’re having rabbit for supper. Those things were hard to kill. They kept running around in their cages. I had to hold them down while I got them.”
My body is shaking as I’m telling this story because I truly became afraid of John that afternoon. For the very first time I knew with full assurance that he was capable of doing atrocious things. He said he took a hammer from the garage and hit each one on the head several times to kill them. He literally smashed in their skulls, skinned them, gutted them, and then wanted to prepare a feast with the pets he had just murdered.
I dropped to my knees screaming and I thought I was going to vomit. John had the most odd look on his face as if to say, “What is wrong with you? I’ve just brought home supper and this is how you act?”
He took the baking pan and brought in the rabbit meat as I sobbed and wondered how to tell the kids what had just happened. Do you know what? I don’t even remember what they were told. I’m drawing a blank. I want so badly to completely forget that scene, but it’s one that will never be forgotten. I saw a side of John — an evil, malicious side — that I never knew existed.
He breaded the rabbit meat and cooked it as he hummed a song in the kitchen. No, I did NOT eat any of the meat. I couldn’t bear to look at it. I just kept replaying over and over in my mind what it must have been like as he threw blow after blow onto the heads of those rabbits until they died.
I looked at John from a distance as he sat eating his rabbit meat, and I saw evil. I felt the evil. I knew at that point that something was terribly wrong, but I didn’t know what it was. He had crossed a line and had gone into territory that was reserved for those who were mentally ill, only he didn’t see it that way. He never thought there was a thing wrong with what he did! In fact, he said that was the best rabbit meat he had ever eaten!
The red flags were there! Something was very wrong with this man who could intentionally plan on killing his children’s pet rabbits in such an inhumane way and then sitting down at the dinner table and eating them. That look on John’s face — that sneer — was frightening. He looked like a different person. I knew from that moment forward that he was capable of inflicting pain on the innocent without feeling any remorse. I had seen it with my own eyes, but I didn’t know what to do.
Do you see what was going on here? John had crossed safe boundaries — he had exposed part of his dark side to me and I reacted just as he knew I would. I was shocked. I was repulsed. I was frightened. But I didn’t tell a soul. Ever. That was a well-kept secret without him ever threatening me not to tell.
Molesters do evil things to children. They hurt them on purpose. They do not feelremorse. They get a rush from doing it. They love the feeling of being in control — being the one with the hammer — and pounding down until there is no more breath left. In a most unusual way, John was exposing to me who he was, but I didn’t get it. I knew something was wrong, but……I slid deeper down into the hole of secrecy and despondency and never told anyone. However, from that day forward, a side of me always knew that he was not to be trusted. Ever.
What can you glean from this story? Two things are most important to remember. A child molester is charming and kind and sweet to others. I don’t think anyone would ever have believed this story had I told them. They would have looked at me in dismay and thought I was the biggest story-teller around. Never in one million years would kind Mr. John do anything harmful — not even to a flea! Wasn’t he the one that spent hours buidling the rabbit pens? Wasn’t he the one that went and got fresh straw for them every week?
Besides that, he loved and adored his children and he’d never, ever do anything to intentionally hurt them. My goodness! He was the most loving father ever! He never raised his voice. He never said a swear word. He was always funny and even-tempered with the kids. This is not something their dad would do!
A childmolester always has an air-tight story. The kids always surrounded him with love and their complete allegiance. In their eyes, their dad could do no wrong!
Beware. I’ll say it again and again and again. Chances are very big that you know a child molester. Chances are that you trust a child molester. Chances are that you’ve had red flags waving in your face, but you keep saying, “No. Not this person. He is too kind. Too giving. Too loving. He has done so much good in our church and community.”
Familiarize yourself with some of the characteristics of a pedophile. If you think something is “off” — something is “wrong”, then report it. It’s better to err on the side of protecting our children than letting this behavior go on!
When I put together the Christmas gift, the skull for Mother’s Day, and the abominable eating of the pet rabbits, you can clearly see that there were dangerous red flags. Why didn’t I do anything? Think of the complexity of it all. John was a beloved preached. An adored father. Women swooned over him because of the way they thought he treated me. And, in public I was the adoring wife.
I felt like I was crazy. I was not crazy. I was living with a practicing pedophile — a man who continued to molest children up until the age of 63 when he was arrested.
Please don’t allow this same thing to happen again! Pay attention and take action! Pay attention in your churches, in your schools, in your daycares, in the homes of your children’s friends, with your babysitters….just pay attention!!!!
For the sake of all of the children, please be a voice!
If I had a dime for every time I was told how lucky I was to be married to John, I’d probably have a stack of dimes a mile high. He was most definitely on the “top ten list of most desired men.” He was charming. He was kind. He had good manners. And, he did things that were romantic. But, there’s just one little downside to this. That’s what other people saw. I know the inside scoop, and it wasn’t quite what met the public eye.
This story is my story about what it was like to be married for almost forty years to a man who molested children. I didn’t have a clue of this dark side of his life. I did, however, see odd behavior. I knew the pain of emotional abuse. I understood what it meant to be so controlled by someone who I found myself asking permission to be excused from a room if I had to go get a drink of water in the kitchen.
I began writing this blog as a means to educate others of the extreme manipulative power a pedophile holds over his victims. Not only does the pedophile groom the children he chooses to molest, but there is also a very targeted grooming of adults, too. It is the molester’s goal to have such an air-tight wall of trust built that absolutely nobody would ever suspect he is committing such harmful, evil actions.
I want you to get deep inside the mind of a pedophile so that you can see it — really see just how controlling they are. I want you to understand without a doubt just how this manipulation works. I want you to take some deep breaths and live with me through this journey so that you can understand clearly enough to protect yourself and your children from the harmful actions of pedophiles.
John and I had a difficult marriage from the very beginning, and there’s no doubt about that. He didn’t seem to see it that way, though. He would often apologize for hurting me, but his eyes would never look at me when he tried to apologize. He would divert his eyes to the side of me, but he’d never look straight into my eyes, and that always bothered me. In fact, I cried time and time again begging him to simply look at me. Hold my hand and look at me when he talked.
He didn’t. Instead, he’d stare as though he was in some kind of strange trance and mutter the same words time and time again, “I’m really sorry I hurt you. I’ll try to do better. I’ll really try.”
The biggest thing that made me cry was the way he treated me — more like the way he “didn’t” treat me. He could go for days on end without talking to me or touching me. After a sobbing session, all I ever wanted was for him to come hold me close. In fact, I’d often cry saying, “Can’t you just hug me? You make me feel like I’m poison! I feel like I have some kind of sickness and you don’t want to be near me. I just want you to hold me. Hug me. Touch me.” Those words seemed to be foreign to him. John would look at me with hollow eyes — like he had no clue what I was talking about.
Our fifth year anniversary was coming up and I dreaded it. People from church were asking, “Are you doing something special to celebrate? Where are you going? Do you want me to babysit the kids for the night? What does John have planned for you? I know it will be something wonderful!”
Let’s just say that our anniversary was different — far, far different than I expected. April 18 fell on a Wednesday that year — and of course we had bible study that evening, so there was nothing planned. I kept hoping that John would have a surprise date night planned. It would be so nice to go out — just the two of us — and be like a young couple in love again!
Saturday came, and I was losing hope. There was nothing. Not even a card. I had done my usual gift shopping. Don’t tell me why except I love to give gifts. I still love to give gifts, and I hope I always will! I bought John a new suit, shirt, and tie. He wore dress clothes six days a week, and he absolutely hated going shopping (can you believe we only went Christmas shopping together one time in our entire married lives?????). All I wanted was a simple card. Okay, maybe a long-stemmed red rose, too. I think that would have been so romantic! And, yes, I even told John what I wanted. Because he was a list-maker and lived by his lists, his words to me, “Tell me what to get, and I’ll get it. Tell me what to do and I’ll do it. But, don’t expect me to be a mind reader.”
I was crushed by the time Saturday evening rolled around and there was no card. And, no date night. No rose. Five years of marriage and no kind of special recognition. That hurt.
I knew something was brewing, though. He was on the phone whispering for two days. And, he kept going into the church auditorium from our livingroom (remember that we lived in the parsonage). He seemed especially happy on Sunday morning — an excited kind of happy, and that usually meant one thing. He had some kind of crazy antic up his sleeve for a sermon and I dreaded that. I never knew if he was going to throw a glass of water into the audience, jump on the pew to bring home a point, or cry. He was getting good at turning on the waterworks while preaching and I’m going to be honest with you. It seemed so fake to me that it was hard to handle.
On this morning, though, the sermon was different. It was all about honoring women. Interesting for a man who showed so much dishonor in his own home! He quoted scripture after scripture and I don’t think there was a woman in the audience who wasn’t poking her husband in the ribs as if to say, “Are you listening to what John is saying? This is how you’re supposed to treat me!”
As for me — a felt hollow inside. I knew the real John. I knew the John who wasn’t that same person who adored his wife with all of his heart and who shared mutual respect and adoration of her. His words stung and I could feel the tears falling from my eyes.
At the close of his sermon, instead of saying the usual words of asking if there were those who wanted to give their lives to Christ in baptism, John began walking down the aisle towards me. He looked over his shoulder and simply said, “Now, Ruth!”
Suddenly, there was love music filling the air of the auditorium, and my sister walkedout from behind the baptistry door with a package, and came and handed it to John. I could tell she was embarrassed and nervous. He took this box with everyone in the auditorium watching his every move.
He walked up to me, got down on a knee, opened up the box, and handed me the most beautiful bouquet of roses ever! I was stunned!!! Never had he done anything like this ever before!! “Happy anniversary to the one and only person I will ever love!”
Please pay close attention! Do you see what was being done? This was such a show! What should have been a simple act of love and kindness between a husband and wife turned into a big elaborate show for the entire church to see! This wasn’t a moment between the two of us. It was a staged act that would forever seal the love and adoration of John with the women of the church — the mothers of the children!
John about drove my sister crazy, she later told me. That entire week, he had her practicing how she would hide behind the baptistry and pop out at the just right time when he said the right word. She was the one who went to pick up the roses and hid them. He used her to gain her trust, too. She thought this was the most romantic thing she’d ever witnessed — just like something out of a love novel.
Trust me when I say that when we stepped through the door into our livingroom that Sunday afternoon the romance was all over. John sat back in his chair while I fixed lunch, he ate, and then he basked in the sunshine of his day. Mission accomplished!
For years after that grand event, women would talk to me about how I was the luckiest person they knew to have such a caring, loving husband. Inside, I died a little more each time they said this. If only they knew! If only they knew what really went on inside our marriage. How many times I went to bed sobbing because of the hurtful things John said. “Don’t rub your hammerhead toes up against me. That’s disgusting. Don’t hug me. I can’t stand that feeling — it’s too smothering.” And, he would always — always — put his back to me when we went to bed! He made it very clear that he was shunning me!
I was like a puppy craving some affection. John was now a traveling insurance salesman so I rarely got to see him at all during the week. Most of the time I only got to see him on Friday nights, a bit on Saturday, and Sundays while he was preaching. It was a lonely, lonely life, but he was shining! Not only shining, but he was thriving! He was a happy, happy man — freedom, no accountability, a church that loved him, kids that loved him, a community that was growing to love him. But, his wife? Not so much. But never would I tell. Never. Why? Because deep down I still felt it was my Christian duty to uphold him in whatever he did. I felt I should never question him or make his life uncomfortable. I wanted to be the best wife and mother I could be and I thought that by keeping quiet, by pretending to be happy, by accepting the crumbs of time he gave me that one day — one day he really and truly would want to do the thing that I most wanted out of our marriage. I wanted him to enjoy spending time with me!
I can see now how John set the stage for molesting children. I can see how me made certain nobody would ever question his motives or actions when around children. I can see how the abuse was able to continue!
Child molesters do something called grooming. Grooming is how a predator develops a friendship with the child, creating a bond, preparing them for sexual assault. Predators start by choosing the parents. They will push the boundaries of acceptable behavior to test parents and see if they can take advantage of them. They literally seduce the parents into allowing them access to their children. By charming parents and gaining their trust, the predator gains access to the family and is not suspected of inappropriate behavior.
This quote is taken from NotWithMyChild.Org . Pay attention to the words. Examine what is going on in your own life. Think. Watch. Listen. Pay attention!!!! Please, for the sake of the children pay attention! If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t!!! Abuse is never right— not emotional abuse. Not physical abuse! Not spiritual abuse! Abuse hurts. It leaves wounds cause a lifetime of pain!
Be smart! Look for the red flags that are waving and don’t allow the abuse to continue. And, please…………..if you suspect that you are being set up or your child is being targeted, get out of that situation fast! Confront the person. Set boundaries and stick to them. Grooming is the first and most important phase of molesting. Once you’rein the trap, you may never get out!