Archive for the ‘Childhood Sexual Abuse’ Category

Hatred in the name of G-d

September 17, 2012

Hello, Friends,

I have been delinquent in posting this week.  I had a VSO meeting on Tuesday and that can take an ugly turn some days.  Most of the time, I enjoy hanging with those guys.  I’m the only female and my husband is also in the Post and they have come to accept me as their little sister.  Unfortunately – we still have our share of mysogonistic sons of bitches!  Tuesday night one was in rare form.

Believe it or not – the man is a preacher.  Only he knows the will of G-d and only he knows how G-d feels about things.  He knows exactly who G-d loves and who G-d hates.  I’m not sure what version of the Bible he uses, but he pulls out scriptures interpretation that I know is not in there!!  He even defended the Westboro Baptist Church group for protesting Veteran funerals in the name of hate.  So, as he is sitting there talking about all of the things that G-d “expressly forbids” I am held captive to his hateful ramblings because I have to lock up the building.

“G-d expressly forbids any woman being placed in a position of authority over a man!”  He preached on.  Really?  Really?  Holy crap I grew up with some of this type of crap and by the time he reaches that point of his “sermon” I have just about had it.  Every fiber of my being wanted to point out the women in the Bible that have been authority over men – but I keep my mouth shut.  This is the same person that viewed my Command as illegitimate…just because I have ovary and boobs – and brought a few of his like minded buddies along for the ride.

He railed against women, he railed against homosexuals, he railed against Muslims and he railed against bikers.  He railed against the young troops coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan who are experiencing mental health issues – “They must have been wrong in the head before – why should the American Tax-Payer take care of them!”  He is very non-prejudicial – cause he hates everyone who isn’t an old white guy who thinks like him.  Every sour, hateful, venomous remark was punctuated with the words, “G-d says!”

Hatred in the name of G-d is one thing that I cannot stomach.  If you want to hate someone then be man enough to hate them outright – don’t bring G-d into your deluded little fantasy!  Don’t justify your hatred by painting it with G-d!  Most of the readers here know that I am a practicing Catholic, I attend Mass on Sunday and I serve in the Church community.  I was raised a “church hopper” by a Southern Baptist mother (who still believes I am going to hell for becoming a Catholic.)  I know my Bible and I know how men like him justify their hatred.

I also know that there are many more Biblical passage about love, forgiveness, respect and caring for your neighbor than there are passages that tell us to “hate.”  In fact – there are NO Bible passages that tell us it is okay to “Hate” another person.  I also know that no matter what we have done, what we are doing or what we will do can separate us from the love of G-d…because he loves us that much.

This man’s attitude, and the attitude of so many others just like him, is what justifies the predator.  You may think I am making a leap here – but I promise you I am not.  He exerts his power and his control with his title of “preacher.”  We saw it in my own church in the sexual abuse of young children by those dirty, sick bastard priests that dared to touch a child!  (My Church…but thankfully not in my Parish.)  I have known excellent Priests who bring credit to their position – just as I have seen excellent soldiers (officers and NCO) who bring great credit to their positions.  I have also known the one’s who use their position of authority to execute the most devious, self-serving and sick fucking actions on the lives of other people.  They exercise their hatred and call it “G-d.” 

I wonder what their judgement day will be like?  I would like to think that there is a special place in hell for those who would harm in the name of “G-d.”  Even then I don’t want to think about what they may have to suffer – because I have seen and lived through so much suffering and sorrow that I don’t want ANYONE to suffer – not even my attackers or my acusers.  

In some ways I feel that I could justify a desire to see them suffer – hell…I could probably justify being the one to light the fire on some of them!  But that would be hatred in the name of G-d…and we have way too much of that going on these days.  I think I would rather choose love – and forgiveness – if not for them then for myself. 

Peace,

Joan

It’s All in the Cards

August 19, 2010

Yesterday I had an appointment with my therapist, and it didn’t go so well. I asked for my treatment records, so I can file my claim, and she at first refused to give them up. She started to get a little angry when we were talking about my need for a PTSD diagnosis in my records. She was saying that of course MST would cause more damage to a person who has already suffered from PTSD from childhood sexual abuse and trauma, and from the cancer, and what did the VA expect. I had never seen her like that, it really threw me off. She wasn’t angry at me, but the VA and the fact that I have suffered so much from the MST. She did agree to give up the records after I meet with the VA, and she calmed down.

But that just put me on edge something awful. I just kind of recoiled inside myself, and started getting kind of worked up myself. Then we started talking about the depression and the flashbacks, and it was just a really sucky appointment. Usually we laugh a great deal in my sessions, but no laughter this time. I was just uncomfortable the rest of the night because of this. I can’t really explain it.

Anyway, I got home, and my mom is calling me before I can even get out of the car. I answered the phone pretty rudely, “WHAT, I’m not even out of the drive way yet, what do you want?” Thankfully my mom is fairly understanding from my random outbursts like that. I always apologize, I never mean to snap at her. I felt bad that I had. So, I stayed in my driveway, and had the full conversation with her, and went to get the mail.

I opened the mail box, and there was a card from Joan. I was confused. I thought maybe it was an invitation to something, but I opened it immediately, still in the driveway. Here is what it said: Life can suck, I know. Let’s gt coffee sometime and talk about it…or we can get a bottle of wine and plot our revenge.

I couldn’t help but start laughing, still in the driveway. I don’t know how she knew life was going to suck so bad yesterday, but she did, and sent me a card. All I can say again and again, is thank God for putting Joan in my life. I never have to go through anything alone, and neither does she. We have been through the absolute best and worst of things together, and knowing she is just a phone call away, or an hour of crazy speed demon driving, makes all the difference.

Thank you again Joan, for being my bestest friend in the whole world.

Brigid

Taking a Step Back

August 8, 2010

We have finally come to the conclusion of the Ranger Wags Statement, which as I stated before, is the most painful of all I had to tell. I still have several more posts to write regarding this, my conversation records and such. But right now I wanted to take a step back and explain a few things.

First, why is this the most painful? Well, because Wags was my direct supervisor, someone I should have been able to trust. Also, he knew that night in February when he forced me to go out with him, that I had been raped just a few months prior. He caused me to help him commit adultery. He wasn’t a stranger. He was a part of my life for years before, and years after. And he tormented me for years. He became the most powerful man in my unit, and used it dishonorably. And because of him, I lost everything.

When I was raped in Ft Gordon, although I had to see the individuals for months afterwards, I was protected by friends. Those same friends made sure that both of my assailants were punished outside of the law. They took a few tumbles down the cement stairs in the barracks, and were beaten a few times. I don’t advocate that kind of violence, but at least other men who were also privates stood up and said this is NOT OK. And Jose did apologize to me for raping me. Wags never did.

I want to talk about my first sexual experiences. This is not pretty, but I feel the need to put it out there. When I was 10, I was molested 3 times by the 12-year-old boy who lived down the street. His 11-year-old brother and I were boyfriend and girlfriend for years, and he was my sister’s boyfriend for years. My sister went to live with my dad when I was 10, so I was all alone. He molested me twice on my paper route, but I never told, because I was ashamed. But then one day he attacked me in my home, and tried to rape me. Luckily for me, he was only 12, and could not get an erection, so I was saved that time. But I finally told that night, because I wasn’t able to get my house work all done, and my step-dad (the devil himself) was going to beat me within an inch of my life for it. My parents told his parents, and he was beaten withing an inch of his life. That was the end of any contact between our families, and nasty rumors started about me. I was very alienated. A year later, this boy was successful in raping a 7-year-old girl. He broke her jaw with an ashtray, and left her to die in a field, but she didn’t. He was then institutionalized after that and I never saw him again.

Then, when was 12, the 72-year-old man down the street on my paper route, lost his wife. His wife had been blind, and they were the kindest people I had met. The kind of adopted me as their grandchild, and were so nice. So, when his wife died, and he asked my mom if he could take me to church, of course we said yes. After church, we went back to his house, where I was to wait until my mom had finished grocery shopping. I fell asleep while he was reading to me, I was sitting in his lap. I woke up to him kissing me, and molesting me. I got up an ran out of the house, and ran home. I told my mom what had happened, but she said I must have been mistaken. He later showed up and apologized for molesting me, and gave my mom a tape recorder to give me as a consolation prize. We didn’t speak of that again for years, but it really messed me up.

Then, at 14, I had run away from home. I couldn’t take the insane beatings my step-dad gave me anymore (this was my 4th attempt to run away). I wound up being raped, and held at knife point. I reported it, he went to prison, and I was forced to go back home to hell. My parents told me it was my fault it had happened. We also believe that I became pregnant from the rape, and my mom was going to force me to have an abortion, something I am so against. But I miscarried (one of the most physically painful experiences, let me tell you). But 2 weeks to the day after I was raped, my step-dad decided that since I was no longer pure, it was going to be his turn. Luckily he only (like only is good) molested me. I freaked out. He told my mom what he did, she said it was only an accident, and that he was drunk. She made excuses for it, and it took me years, decades and therapy, to forgive her. I left home 2 weeks later for good.

When I was 17, I had my first date. It was with an older man, who was in the National Guard. I thought he was 24, he was actually 28. He asked me out on my last day of my 2nd Summer with the JTPA at the Guard. I spent the entire night literally fighting this man off of me. We didn’t have sex, I was successful if fending him off, but what it did to me mentally…

The I finally got my first boyfriend on New Years Day my senior year in high school. By April he dumped me. Why? Because I just could not have sex with him, and that is what he wanted. There went my prom date and all. But I just could not get over my fear of sex, could you? So, I took my prom dress back, because nobody in my huge high school wanted to take me to prom. Then I had my first drill weekend, and wound up with 2 prom dates. Prom night I decided it was time to have sex, so we did. It lasted 30 seconds, seriously, and all I could think of was “Really? What is so great about this?” I didn’t enjoy it at all, but at least it was over quickly. Then he cheated on my 3 times the next week.

So, there was already a long history of abuse before I was ever raped in Ft Gordon, which really tainted my whole outlook on sex. By the time Wags got to me, I felt pretty much destroyed. After I was raped in Ft Gordon, I turned into a total slut for a while. I figured it was better to give it up, than to have it forcibly taken from me. I have found that is one of the natural responses to sexual abuse. Most people who are raped either cut out sex completely for a while (as I did before Prom), or become very loose with it, as I did after Ft Gordon.

This is what I live with every day. No amount of therapy will take those abuses or memories away. But at least now I know that it was not my fault. And I stood up for myself almost every single time, and told. I am still standing up for myself. Doesn’t make relationships or trusting people easy at all, but I am trying.

Brigid

Mercy in the Middle

June 27, 2010

My husband and I spent yesterday off by ourselves on the motorcycle.  There is nothing better to tangle your hair and untangle your thoughts than a day spent on the bike.

One of my favorite things to do on the bike is to throw on my MP3 player.  It is full of my therapy music – some of it happy and upbeat and some of it angry.  One of the songs that I often skip is by Amy Grant.  It isn’t a well known song, but it is a song that strikes me in a very deep place.

ASK ME

I see her as a little girl hiding in her room
She takes another bath and she sprays her Momma’s perfume
To try to wipe away the scent he left behind
But it haunts her mind

You see she’s his little rag, nothing more than just a waif
And he’s mopping up his need, she is tired and afraid
Maybe she’ll find a way through these awful years to disappear

Ask me if I think there’s a God up in the heaven
Where did He go in the middle of her shame?
Ask me if I think there’s a God up in the heavens
I see no mercy and no one down here’s naming names
Nobody’s naming names

Now she’s looking in the mirror at a lovely woman face
No more frightened little girl, like she’s gone without a trace
Still she leaves the light burning in the hall
It’s hard to sleep at all

So she crawls up in her bed acting quiet as a mouse
Deep inside she’s listening for a creaking in the house
But no one’s left to harm her, she’s finally safe and sound
There’s a peace she has found

Ask her how she knows there’s a God up in the heaven
Where did He go in the middle of her shame?
Ask her how she knows there’s a God up in the heavens
She said His mercy is bringing her life again

Ask me how I know there’s a God up in the heaven
(How do you know?)
Where did He go in the middle of her shame
(Where did he go?)
Ask me how I know there’s a God up in the heavens
(How do you know?)
She said His mercy is bringing her life again
She’s coming to life again
He’s in the middle of her pain
In the middle of her shame
Mercy brings life
He’s in the middle
Mercy in the middle

So ask me how I know
Ask me how I know, yeah
Ask me how I know there’s a God up in the heavens
(How do you know?)
Ask me how I know there’s a God up in the heavens
(How do you know?)
Yeah, ask me how I know
(How do you know?)
Ask me
Ask me
Ask me how I know
(How do you know?)
There’s a God up in the heavens
Ask me how I know there’s a God up in the heavens

I don’t think there is any need to explain the song.  It is pretty clear what she is talking about.  It is a sad reality that for some reason – children who are survivors of sexual assault are more likely to be assaulted as adults.  It is nothing that the victim has done and they can’t really seem to find a good reason for it.  I believe I have a big sticker on my forehead that is only visible to perverts and pigs that says – “Rape me.”

I was a victim of childhood sexual abuse.  It seemed to be the “thing” in my small town and was perpetrated mostly by the older boys.  In fact, one of my very first memories is of my foster brother making me touch him.  I was three years old. 

I didn’t skip the song on this ride.  I actually listened to it twice.  Nice thing about a motorcycle is that you can say the “wind got in my eyes” when you get caught being tearful.  It really gets you thinking…

Where is the “mercy?”  How does all of this play out?  No one named names and those people continue on with their lives seemingly unaffected.  This is my “angry at God” song and it is also my “At peace with God song” all at the same time. 

Yes, I get angry with God.  I get angry with him quite a bit.  I figure that God knows that I am angry or that I am hurting and it is just better to be honest about it with Him.  Bottled up anger leads to bitterness – and I know all to well what “bitter” people are like.  They are called bitter for a reason.

Still, I find a lot of peace in this song.  There was “mercy in the middle” even though it is hard to see.  First of all – I survived.  Even with the “scars” I am still here and I am still contributing.  I would be lying if I said that I have never once felt like ending it all.  Most of us who live through this can’t help but wonder, at some point in our lives, if there isn’t peace in death.  How quick and painless it could be.  But we continue to choose life.  Second – I am not a bitter person – at least I don’t think I am.  Brigid…anything to add?  I try to live a life of non-confrontation.  I just want all of us to play nice in the world’s giant sandbox.  Share our toys, speak kindly and not be throwing the sand.  Family, friends, laughter, love and joy are such an important part of my existence.  I admit that I am a goof-ball!  I like to hear laughter – even if it is directed at me.  Finally, I know that God is love.  In the Gospels Jesus said that of all the commandments the most important is to Love God and to Love your neighbor as yourself.  Being loved.  Having precious friends in your life and having supporting families is so important.  I have been given great mercy in that respect.

If you have found this by accident and you are going through this now – please reach out.  Don’t hesitate to contact Brigid and I.  There is mercy in the middle and we want to be part of your healing.  Even though we are still healing ourselves.

Joan