It’s been a while since I’ve written, but I certainly have not forgotten you. In all honesty, I’ve been taking care of myself following the sudden loss of my son. There are days when my heart feels so heavy that I don’t want to move. But, there are also those days that are blessed with new hope and smiles, and I am most thankful for those days.
I thought it would be appropriate to get back to my story of living with a practicing pedophile so that we can continue to understand a bit more of the mind of a predator, as well to understand much more about what happens to those whose lives are touched by the actions of a predator. Continue reading →
It’s been a while since I’ve picked up with my story of being married to a practicing pedophile for almost forty years — without knowing it. Just hearing the word pedophile pains me. And, finding out that while I was sharing my heart and soul with the man I vowed to love for all the days of my life, while I was having a family with the man I wanted to be the father to my children, while I was giving my all to my marriage — while I sincerely loved this man — he was molesting children. I cannot put into words how this has changed me. I cannot explain the lack of trust I now have. I cannot adequately choose the right words for the daily pain that has come into my life knowing that this man I loved clearly was causing pain and devastation to so many. Continue reading →
Thank you for visiting this blog once again and for sharing it with so many others. If you happen to be new here, I would strongly encourage you to start reading from the beginning of this blog on how to protect our children from practicing pedophiles. The blog entries are short, but I can’t promise you that they are easy reading because they are not. You will become uncomfortable. You will begin to question others and their motives. And, if you have been abused, hopefully there will be something you read that will help you to become empowered!
Let’s pick up where we left off the last time in this ongoing unraveling of my story about what it was like to be married to a man who molested children the entire time he and I were married. If only I had known what “red flags” to look for I could have saved children from falling into the trap of this man who used his cunning, divisive ways to lure adults and children alike into his web of lies, deceit, and abuse.
John was now a full-time preacher and for the most part he was adored by his church members — both young and old alike. He had a way of coddling the elderly into liking him immediately. He was soft-spoken, respectful, and always helpful. Let me add he was funny, too. It seems he always had a great story to tell that would get even the crankiest old person smiling.
And, we know he was a hit with kids of all ages. They clung to him — craving his attention. He was the kind of preacher they wanted and loved. Continue reading →
The last post I wrote about did me in. It drained me. So many of you that I know personally ask me the question, “How do you do it? How do you keep it all together?”. Well, the honest answer is sometimes I don’t. Some weeks I go to work and work as long and as hard as I can to avoid alone time with my thoughts. It’s too painful to go there. This life that I’m now living — alone, and the father of my children in prison for the remainder of his days on this earth — is definitely not the life that I prayed about since I was a kid. It’s not the life I asked God to bless my children with — not even close to my prayers for them or for myself. And, yet the harsh reality of it all is that this is the life we now have. It’s up to me to learn how to pick up the broken pieces and go on with some kind of grace and strength. It’s up to me to try my best to keep it together for my kids and grandkids that I love with every ounce of my being. It’s up to me to love myself enough to build some kind of a life that can serve as an example to others who also are going through the fires of hell on this earth — and I am convinced there are many who suffer through horrible pain every day of their lives.
That being said, thank you so much for continuing on in this journey with me. What was it like? What was it like living with a man who was a practicing pedophile for almost forty years? How does it feel to know now what I didn’t know then? Continue reading →
Thanks so much for your interest in keeping our children safe from predators! It has been so encouraging to me to see so many of you reading this blog, posting comments, and sharing this valuable information with your friends!
If you are new to this blog, I would suggest you start reading here. It will give you a much better feel for the way a pedophile works very hard to target and ensnare both the child victims as well as the adults.
I’m going to skip over several months of activities in our married lives in order to move on to what I think were the biggest red flags in our almost forty years of marriage. Trust me when I say now that I’ve been reading, studying, talking with victims, and gathering information, there were hundreds of red flags along the way but unless you have some sort of base knowledge of how pedophiles work you will remain naive, like I was, to the pedophilic behaviors happening right before your eyes.
By this time in our married lives, John had graduated college with a degree in Religious Education. He was the first student graduating from Oklahoma Christian University with such a degree. He persuaded his professors to allow him to change his major from business to bible in his senior year of college, and then to go overseas one semester living in Israel with his parents while “studying” (I honestly don’t know how he got this approved yet!), and then when he came back to the states he would need an extra semester of bible in order to get his self-made degree in religious education. As he put it, his job would be to “coordinate bible curriculum” for churches from nursery classes through adult classes on a rotation basis. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Funny thing is he never used that degree! What he wanted to do was become a youth minister! His focus was working with young children!
Notice once again the manipulation of his professors! John was never overtly confrontational but he was quietly stubborn. Once he said something that was it. That’s how it was and he would not back down. Interestingly, he could manipulate the most intelligent of people without them ever knowing it!
I was well into my role as a mother by now, and I loved every second of it. John was away from home so much that I called the church his “first home.” He loved being out with the youth. He no longer had college classes to attend, and he was now officially on the payroll as a youth minister for a large church. He was happy! And, I was happy staying home with my little girl!
Let me insert something here. By “happy” I mean I was happy that I had someone to hold and love and cuddle. I did not get those things from my husband. He remained distant and very quiet with me. It boggled my mind (and at times it still does) when I think of his two very distinct personalities. When he was among the kids at church he was energetic, full of laughter, and alwaysthe life of the party. When he was home, he would slump in a chair, his eyes would roll back in his head and he’d fall asleep. Night after night after night I’d wait up for him, but it was all in vain. He didn’t speak to me more than a “yeah”, “no”, “okay”, “I’m tired” and “I’ve got to get up early. I’m going to bed.” It was noticeable to anyone who knew us. I was asked many, many times what was wrong with “us.”
After a while, you just grow to accept that this is how things are going to be. My life and my focus was my daughter. And, oh how happy that must have made John! I had plenty to occupy me right at home in our apartment while he was out and about.
Note: It is not normal for a husband to desire to be with others more than his own wife. It is really not normal for a husband to desire being with church youth more than his own wife and daughter! Mental abuse is real, and it does a lot of harm. I liken it to training a pet. After a while, a pet learns to accept a little pat on the head and not ask for more attention, but that pet is always there ready to shower his owner with affection. I felt dehumanized on so many levels. I felt like a dog who was always begging for crumbs of time and affection. Little-by-little any self-worth that I had was being stripped away. It’s humiliating to beg for affection!
John was busy planning a huge week-long youth event that was to take place at a camp about four hours away from the church. He had a large group of youth going, and a host of parents were also attending as chaperones and bringing their young children. It was going to be a family affair. You guessed it! Just as happened with the New Year’s Eve party, I was not invited to go along!!! Why? John said it would be too hard with me and our daughter there. He said it was his job to keep things going all week-long and he was going to be too busy taking care of all of the details to have to deal with us.
I cried until my heart felt like it was broken in two. We had never been separated since getting married and I didn’t want to be away from the man I loved — not even for one night. This was going to be seven long nights alone! I cried and begged some more, but to no avail. The answer was a firm “no.”
Note: John never, ever raised his voice. He always seemed so “in control” no matter was situation arose. However, he would never bend once his decision was made! This is master manipuation and control at its best!
Something wasn’t adding up. Why were others going as a family but we weren’t? Why didn’t John want me with him? I wasn’t some monster or some nagging wife who would have hung all over him. I just wanted to spend the week with the man I loved!
Instead, John came up with a wonderful plan. “Why don’t you and the baby fly to New Jersey for the week?” “What? How can I handle her on a plane by myself?” He assured me I could do it, so I called home and asked if that would be okay. Somehow my family managed to get together the money for a plane ticket and off to New Jersey we were going during the week of the youth camp.
Note: Never once did John call me during his week at camp! This is a huge redflag! This practice became routine for him throughout our years together. He would go away for a week at a time and never call home, nor would he give me a number of where he was staying. My coined phrase became, “I could have a child dead and buried and you’d never know it. I have no idea how to track you down.” His secrecywas another huge, ongoing red flag!
Timw went by ao slowly for me that week. I missed having John home at night. Strange, you might be saying. But, not really. I had been conditioned to think I couldn’t survive by myself. I somehow felt like this trip was a “punishment” rather than a special treat. We were just two years into our marriage and my strongest desire was to be a great Christian wife and mother. I wanted nothing more. How could I do that when it felt like we were growing further and further apart?
I still remember so many details of that week. I remember that by Wednesday I wanted to go back to Oklahoma early. I would sit by the phone praying that John would call. Even a two minute call would have been fine. But nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not one word!
Finally, on Saturday night my daughter and I flew into Oklahoma City Airport. Sadly, were not greeted by John, but rather were greeted by a lady from church. John was with his youth group, of course.
Nothing felt peaceful or “right.” I felt like I didn’t even know this man who married me. Where was he? Why couldn’t he be there to meet us? Did he miss us? Did he even care? Why did he send a lady from church to get us after an entire week of silence? I felt like our marriage was crumbling. We were drifting further and further apart. In fact, it didn’t even feel like a marriage and I was sick about that. My insides were knotted up and once again the hot tears began streaming down my face.
Note: If something feels wrong, it probably is! Learn to go with your gut feelings, especially when there are obvious red flags dangling right before your eyes!
From the book, “Not With My Child”, ‘ Skillful abusers can easily provide youth with seemingly genuine attention, companionship, love, emotional rapport and a sense of belonging that they crave. Youths are accustomed to spending time alone and are not afraid to be alone with someone they like (especially in a church setting). Parents and protectors responsible for the youths are more than willing to be relieved of responsibilities so that they can have time of their own.’
Please listen carefully to what I’m about to say. John was called into an elder’s meeting on Sunday night after church. I didn’t think anything of it. I thought they’d probably go over the details of the week at camp. When John came home from the meeting he went straight to bed. Little did I know what news was going to be given to me in themorning!
John got up early as usual on Monday morning. He spent his two hours in the bathroom. But, he did not go to work. He said he had some news to tell me. “I was fired last night! Those elders are total jerks. They said I’m not communicating good enough with the kids or their parents, so they fired me as of last night.”
I was in shock. Total shock. His life was those kids and the church. How could those elders do that to him? Why would they do something so wrong to a man who gave so much to the church? I pulled him close and sobbed, but he would have none of that. He said, “I don’t need them. I’ll find another job. We’ll just use this as our chance to move back closer to home.”
Notice the control? Notice how I stood by him? Notice how I didn’t press him for answers? I sided right with him saying the elders were horrible men to do that. Never, ever would I have questioned if something went wrong during that week! This is what total control over a person does! He had masterfully contolled me just as he controlled the children he molested throughout the years. I stood up for him — not questions asked!
As I look back now, there were patterns that had formed already. John was permanently kicked out of Boy Scouts. I never learned why. He was kicked out of church camp. I never knew why. He was fired from a previous job working at Wilson Meat Company. I never knew why. Something was very, very wrong, and it would be almost forty years until I could begin to put the pieces together!
Grooming. Control. Manipulation. Mental abuse. All of these are characteristic of pedophiles.
Thank you so much for following along on this journey of me being married to a practicing pedophile for almost forty years without know it. Please pay close attention to the intertwining of events, the red flags that were overlooks, and the tightening control over the years. Sadly, I was the perfect mate for a pedophile! I have cried millions of tears over this, and I pray that nobody else will ever fall into the same horrible trap!
For the children, let’s get educated! For the children, let’s stop this type of control and abuse! For the children, let’s not allow these predators to ever get to our children again!
Next week we will talk about the job search and our move. In the meantime, please keep your eyes open. Be aware of the things that just don’t seem right! Ask questions. Speak up. Speak out. Set boundaries. Keep your children safe!
PS It is my sincere belief that something happened with one of the children at church camp that week. I believe it with all of my heart! I have tried to locate the elders, but unfortunately cannot. Most (if not all) of them have since died.