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 →
Pinterest is the big craze right now, and I admit that I love visiting there, too. Fashion, cooking, and DIY crafts, and my favorite of all — flowers! Anything to do with flowers brightens up my day!
Ten years into our marriage, many years before anyone ever heard of Pinterest, John was a person who was “creative” with his gifts. We didn’t have much money at all for gift-giving with our growing family, so we often did things like searched at auctions for a piece of furniture, sanded it, and stained it and that was a “together” gift. I like that — a lot! Those were the kinds of gifts that had meaning and purpose!
I’m going to tell you about a gift that I received from John that is the most unique gift ever, and I feel fairly safe in saying that it was a one-of-a-kind never to be duplicated!
If you are new to this blog, I would strongly suggest you begin reading here in order to get the complete meaning of John’s gifts, his planning strategies for gifts, and to understand more completely the thought processes of this man who was a preacher, teacher, father, husband, insurance salesman, outdoorsman, and child molester. Yes, I did say child molester. For almost forty years (while we were married) John hid a very dark secret from me and countless others. He had begun molesting children at the age of fourteen and continued to do so until his arrest and conviction at age sixty-three.
Let me give a little bit of background to set the stage for this particular gift — a Mother’s Day gift. I was eleven days away from the due date of delivering my sixth child on Mother’s Day. My oldest daughter was now ten, and following her birth I now had five healthy, active little boys — stair steppers. They were fireballs full of energy, and I thank God for that!
We had just moved from the church parsonage to our home in the country that we were renting. We finally had a yard — a BIG yard for the kids to play in, and the house was far more than I could have ever asked for. It was lovely, and I remain living there to this day.
On this particular Sunday morning, I got up and got the younger kids ready for church while the older ones got dressed and ready for Sunday School. John was up at his usual time of 4:30 a.m. to study his lesson, but on this day he was dressed and showered early and was outside doing something. He popped his head into the kitchen to ask the three oldest kids to come outside with him, and that’s when my heart began racing. I was hoping upon all hope that he had somehow managed to get me a used rocking chair — the one we had looked at when we went to a second-hand shop. I fell in love with that rocker immediately, and my heart was dancing as I imagined rocking my new baby, in our new home, in that rocking chair!
I began putting the ham for lunch into the oven. I had already made the potatoes and salad. But, I didn’t make dessert this particular Sunday. Okay, I admit it. I was hoping that John would have bought a cake for dessert. Being this far along in my pregnancy, I didn’t feel much like cooking! And, it was Mother’s Day! I would have loved a day off from cooking!
The three older kids came running inside all out of breath! “Mom! Dad said to sit down in the livingroom. We have a Mother’s Day gift for you, and it’s gonna be great! Just wait until you see it!”
Can you feel my heart racing as you’re reading this? Honestly, I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. I was feeling so special — so blessed. It was Sunday — a beautiful day to begin with, plus it was Mother’s Day. And, here I was blessed with so many beautiful children, and another one about to be born. And, now this —– a surprise gift (that I was still praying would be that rocking chair)!
“Close your eyes, Mom! No peeking! Dad is finishing wrapping the gift and he wants all of us around you when you open it so he can take a picture.”
Can I just say that I was dying from the anticipation? This was about to be the happiest day of my life! I knew it! I absolutely knew it! I sat in the chair and gathered the kids around me. I even dabbed on some lipstick for the picture about to be taken. Every pregnant mom wants to look her best for a picture!
John called for the three oldest kids to come get the gift. “The gift is ready for Mother! You can come get it now!”
“Open your eyes, Mom! It’s time to open your gift!”
Ahhhh….ohhh…..I sighed with so much joy. The box was wrapped beautifully. I knew it wasn’t the rocking chair, but who cared? I knew this lovely surprise had been chosen just for me and that’s all that mattered.
I took my time untying the ribbons as the kids were jumping up and down with excitement yelling, “Open it faster! C’mon, faster, Mom!”
Finally, it was time to lift the lid to the box, and I could feel the happy, thankful tears begin to stream from my emotional face. Maybe this was the outfit the baby would wear home from the hospital. Maybe it was a lovely blouse for me to wear home from the hospital. No, maybe this was a delicious Mother’s Day cake with fluffy white frosting with “I love you” written across it.
I smiled softly at John as he stood nearby with the camera in his hand to capture this moment for us as a keepsake that we would have forever!
It was time to reveal the gift!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
On Sunday, May 10, 1981 part of my heart died when I lifted the lid of that box. And, that part of my heart will forever remain dead. There is nothing or no one that could ever bring life back to the part of me that died that Mother’s Day morning.
Sitting inside of a beautifully wrapped box amid pure white tissue paper was the skull of an animal. Inside of the eye sockets of that skull John had placed purple wildflowers that he picked in the yard that morning. Because of the heat and humidity of that mid-May morning, the skull attracted flies and bugs. When the lid to the box was lifted, those bugs swarmed at my face.
I will never, ever forget that moment — ever. I cannot explain in human terms how much that hurt. I could never express to you the pain I felt that morning. I sat trance-like as the kids jumped up and down yelling, “Ewww…..where’d you find this skull, Dad? Is it a dead dog? A fox? A possum? What is it, Dad?”
The kids were young. A skull is exciting to a little boy, and I had five very excited little boys. They thought it was a really “cool” gift that their dad got me. How would they know any different?
I remember looking up at John and he had the most horrifying sneer on his face — almost scary. He enjoyed seeing me hurt. I could feel it. I saw it on his face. And, I knew on that day in May that I no longer loved this man with all of my being. This time the pain had gone too deep. He cut out a piece of my heart, stomped on it, and killed it. He killed part of my spirit that day and that part of my heart has never come back to life.
The ride to church was quiet on that Sunday, Mother’s Day morning. I looked out the car window and softly cried. I wanted to scream and sob and punch in a wall but I held a tissue over my mouth and muffled my voice so the kids wouldn’t hear me crying. I didn’t want them telling everyone at church that I had been crying.
Somehow, I prayed to God that it was all a big, ugly joke. I prayed that when we went home there would miraculously be the rocking chair sitting in the middle of the room. Of course you and I know that wasn’t so. My gift was a rotting skull with flies flying from the eye sockets. And, I knew from that moment on that I was nothing more than a convenience for John. Love doesn’t hurt like that. Love would never hurt like that!
It was years until I shared that story with a counselor and I remember the odd look on her face. She simply said, “Maybe he has a personality disorder.” And, it was dismissed. That left me feeling a bit crazy. Maybe I was overly emotional because of the pregnancy on that particular day. Maybe it was just meant to be a funny kind of joke. Victims of abuse always have a thousand reasons why it’s always their fault. Victims of abuse never want to hold the abuser accountable. Victims feel ashamed and powerless.
The red flags of manipulation and control that are part of a practicing pedophile’s profile were there! The kids thought their dad was the absolute best! He told funny stories that made them laugh so hard they would cry. He loved playing basketball with them. He built campfires and told scary stories. He took them on nature hikes. He was, in their words, “the best dad in the world.”
I was the one who disciplined. I was the one who made them pick up their dirty laundry, clear away their dinner plates, make their beds. I was the mean mother who lost her temper and was never fun. I was the cranky one. The one who didn’t have a sense of humor.
John was building up his airtight support system! He used “shock” methods in front of the kids to desensitize them to the wrong he was doing to me, and later on to the children in the community. Why would his kids ever believe wrong about their dad who was their hero? Besides, I was the perfect enabler. I didn’t call him on the carpet for things such as the skull gift, so they didn’t really see anything too wrong with that. I didn’t speak badly of John to the kids. In fact, this story never got out. Isn’t it amazing how this was an “understood” thing that none of us would talk about in public? As young as the kids were nobody told them not to say anything at church. And, believe me, tons of people were asking me what I got for Mother’s Day. I just said through dripping eyes, “John got me a special surprise.” And, their response — “You’re the luckiest woman I know! My husband would never get me anything for Mother’s Day — not even a card!” If only they had known………..
Pedophiles who molest children are liars. They manipulate. They control. They build a wall of support so that nobody — and I mean nobody — would ever suspect them of molesting a child! John was loved and adored by his children. He was cherished by the people of the church where he served as minister. He was a servant to people in the community. He went out of his way to show love to others. He was a practicing pedophile and he was masterful at grooming his victims!
Memorize this quote and keep saying it until you really understand and believe it: After a molester is exposed, it is common for adults to say things like, “He was the last guy I would suspect to do something like this.” Molesters become friends to adults, helping them out, being friendly and nice, and just doing things that friends would do. They don’t do this out of kindness; they do this to get to your children.
For the sake of the children, let’s speak out! It’s time to bring these actions to a halt!
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Again, thank you! Together we are making a difference!
Every now and then I remember an event in my life that literally sends shivers up my spine and I’m going to share one of those times with you today. This isn’t easy to read, but it’s important to read! For almost forty years I was the wife of a practicing pedophile and didn’t know it. I saw odd behavior but passed it off as just that — odd. There were times when I was treated genuinely well in my marriage — like I was loved and adored. And, there were times when I was neglected and ignored to the point of making me withdraw into a shell of silence and depression. There was next to zero self-esteem in my life, and all I wanted to do was “be good enough” to be loved by my husband and the father of my children. There were times when I literally begged for love, and this segment of my life that I’m about to share will give you an even closer inside glimpse into the mind of a man who spent long, hard hours planning his every move that dug him deeper into the dark world of pedophilia.
If you’re new to this blog, I suggest you begin here and continue reading each post so that you can watch how the events in my life unfolded while being married for forty years to a practicing pedophile. I didn’t know what signs to look for and I’m sharing my story so that you can learn from me just how easily we can be fooled into completely trusting our children with molesters!
John loved church camp! It was part of his life growing up as a kid. In fact, I can say that church camp was one of the biggest highlights of his life. He wasn’t a big talker with me, but when it came to church camp, he got downright giddy. He would mark the date of church camp on his calendar a year in advance and make certain that he was a volunteer there every year. Honestly, I think we could have experienced a death in the family and he would have put church camp above attending the funeral.
In 1975, John had made his usual plans to volunteer his week at church camp. I’ll be honest with you. By this time in our married lives, I was so used to staying at home, that the thought never crossed my mind to go with him. Besides, on this particular year I was sixteen weeks pregnant with our fourth child and I wasn’t having a good pregnancy. I was experiencing bleeding and the doctor warned me that I should have complete bed rest until the bleeding stopped.
As you can guess, a troubled pregnancy was certainly no reason for John to miss the highlight of his year. He worked hard for weeks planning games for the talent show at camp. He was known as the “camp jokester” — the one who kept things lively and hopping at camp. He was a prankster doing things like hiding in the woods at night and hiding food from the cooks in the mess hall. He had his reputation as “camp comedian” to live up to, and nothing would stop John from going!
He also loved to hide out in the woods and set traps that would make the kids trip and fall and then he’d spook them by grabbing them and making them think that they tripped over a snake. I can’t tell you how animated he got over his week at camp!
He especially loved raiding the girl’s cabins at night, and would tell story after story of peeking inside the cabin windows late at night to scare the girls half to death.
This particular year I really didn’t want John to leave me. I had three young children, a fourth on the way, and it was a difficult pregnancy. I literally begged him to stay home from camp that year. “Please, can’t you stay with me? I’m so afraid that something will happen to this baby while you’re gone.”
John had a way of looking at me that was a mixture of pity, disgust, and questioning. He just stared as if to say, “I don’t get it. Why would I stay home? Camp is where I need to be.”
And, that’s just where he went. I remember the morning he packed up the car for camp this particular year. I sobbed because the bleeding had gotten worse, and I knew once John was at camp I wasn’t allowed to call him. He said it was a “camp rule.” In later years I found out there was no such rule. He could have picked up the camp phone in the kitchen and called me any time he wanted.
I watched the car pull out of the driveway of the church parsonage and then the tears really began to fall. I had already miscarried once and I knew how horrifying an experience that was and I was petrified that I would have to go through another loss again. I wanted my husband home with me!
Logic would tell you that I should have said, “You’re not going. This is your baby, and I am your wife. You’re staying with me! This is where you belong.” But, when you are already beaten down emotionally, there’s not a lot of fight in you. And, it is humiliating and demoralizing to have to beg for someone to love you. And, that’s just how it was with me. Besides, I felt once again that it was my Christian duty to share John with others — that he was a real asset to the campers. This was supposed to be a fun week for the camp kids, and a part of me felt so ashamed for wanting to keep him home from having this time away that he loved so much.
I’d like to say this was a good week, and all was well, but it was not. The pregnancy continued to give me problems. I was scared out of my mind as the bleeding gained momentum. And, I was also too afraid to try to call John to ask him to come home with me. In looking back now, I can’t believe how afraid of him I was. I have grown to say that he had a “quiet, complete, empowering control over me” — so hidden from everyone else. To the public, he was a fun, sweet, kind, man who loved his wife and children with all of his heart. He was also this man who everyone wanted to be around — he could make you laugh, he was even-tempered and so patient about everything, and he always flavored life with Christ-like love. At least that how it seemed to others.
John never called home once that week to ask how I was doing or to ask how the kids were doing. Not one call! Nothing!Not one word all week long!
When he came back on Saturday, I was not feeling well at all. In fact, I was now bleeding regularly. But, I didn’t tell John. Instead, I listened to him tell his stories of the crazy antics he played at camp. He told me about one particular preacher that he “razzed” (a word he loved to use) until this preacher actually cried. John pulled so many pranks that week that he was not invited back! He laughed himself silly over that! In his words, “They love me! I’ll go back next year. You just wait and see. That camp can’t survive without me!”
I shudder to think of what he really did while peeking inside of the girl’s cabins at night while they were undressing to get into their pj’s. I cringe when I think of him hiding out tripping the girls on their way back to the cabins and hearing them shriek in the woods as they thought a snake was wrapping around them! I’ve cried many tears over stories that were later told to me about him volunteering to walk the young girls to their cabins after the nightly devotionals so that they wouldn’t get afraid of the dark.
John loved church camp because it gave him a world of opportunities to have free access to children! He was trusted and loved! While other adults were sitting around the campfire talking together, he was out playing “pranks” on the kids.
Please pay attention! This is not a joke! Read this over and over again until it all sinks in! John is sitting in prison serving a thirty year sentence for molesting children. He has admitted to molesting children since the age of fourteen. He studied children, and knew games that they loved to play such as tag and hide-and-seek. He loved hanging out with kids far more than the adults. He got so excited about this, that he could barely tell the stories because he was so giddy about his time with the kids at camp. That’s not normal behavior for an adult! That’s really not normal behavior for an adult preacher — a man of God! That’s not normal behavior for a husband and father!
There were red flags waving everywhere, but nobody caught on!
Four days after John got home from camp, I lost the baby. I began hemorrhaging and for a period of twenty-four hours my life was at risk because the bleeding was so bad. I had emergency surgery.
John did not stay with me at the hospital. He left while I was still in recovery. He said hospitals bothered him and he didn’t like hearing about blood.
My mind was left in a state of flux. There were so many things I didn’t understand about the man who was my husband. He said he loved me, but he was so distant. Around me he was not affectionate, but around children he was absolutely amazing — hugging, holding, snuggling, and cuddling.
I thought there was something so very wrong with me. It took me forty years to find out it wasn’t me. It never was about me. It was all about the children.
Please, please share this blog with others. Take these words to heart. Do you know someone who displays this type of behavior? If so, have you confronted this person? Are you living in a situation similar to this? Do you see “odd” behavior? Does your gut feeling tell you something is wrong? Are you being emotionally abused? Do you know a child who is being abused? Has your child given you hints that he or she has been abused by someone? Are you listening to the voices of the children?
Please talk to someone! Keep this person from your children! Pedophiles are walking among us. They are your neighbor, your preacher, your teacher, your mailman, your best friend — maybe even your husband!
For the sake of the children, please let’s be on the alert at all times. Let’s make it impossible for these predators to gain access to our children! It’s our responsibility to do all we can to keep our children safe — beginning right now!!!