Saturday, May 19, 2007

Chronology of Events

I realize that when we are talking about things that happened so long ago, that a timeline can be confusing. However, my story is told over a long time and it becomes important in understanding. This is my best attempt at putting it together.

• 1977, July – November: The molestation took place during church youth activities and when the youth intern took me to or from church activities.
• 1977, November: My mother found a journal or letters in which I recorded the events. I was given the message that I was never to speak of this, again.
• 1977 – 1983: I continued to go to the same church every week. I would see the molester every time I went. I kept silent until I was dating the man who is now my husband.
• 1987: I suppressed thinking about the abuse until I was pregnant with my first child. I now know that this is very common for abuse survivors. Sometime around 1988 I began going to a “Christian Counselor.” His advice was to go home, look in the mirror and tell myself how bad of a person I was until I got over it. I read later, that he was arrested for videotaping women using the restroom at his office.
• 1999: My husband and I were in the process of applying to be missionaries in Latin America. I knew that there would be questions regarding our pasts, beliefs, etc. Part of me believed that if our board knew about my abuse I would be disqualified from service. This is part of the shame factor with abuse. Somehow, the victim takes on the guilt of the event. I began to believe that I would either have to deal with this head on or our dream of being missionaries would have to die. This is where the chronology gets interesting.
• 1999, November: I attended a Sunday evening service with my parents at their church. After church, we went out for coffee. When we entered the diner, the guy who molested me was sitting with a teen-age girl from the church. The girl was the daughter of one of my best friends. Suddenly, it all came together. I had not been the only victim and I knew that I had to do something.
• My husband, Chip, and I talked about seeing my friend’s daughter with the molester. Chip sets up a meeting with the molester and the current pastor of the church. This pastor had been at the church for four or five years and would have had no idea that I had been molested.
• My husband and I meet with Pastor P and the molester, Mr. S.
• 2004, June: We find out that Pastor P is no longer at the church and wonder who is watching the molester?
• 2004, August: Contact Pastor H who is associate pastor of the church. He assures us of full cooperation and says he will protect the children of the church.
o Mr. D, Chairman of the deacons, gets involved and says he will investigate.
• 2004, September or October: Mr. D writes and tells us that while Mr. S admits to having had improper contact with a 13 year old (me), that since Jewel was the only victim, there is nothing more that needs done!
o Further, I am chastised for my unforgiving spirit and told to leave them (the church) alone.
o Mr. S will not be removed from working with children or youth!
• 2005, August: The church calls a new pastor, Pastor R. Chip calls him from South America to let him know that he has a molester in the church.
o Chip asks him to “do the right thing.” We do not know what if anything has ever been done other than that Mr. S does not go to church because he is ill.
• 2007, May: I launch this blog spot in the hope that someone will be helped.

1 comment:

Di said...

Well, I must be about a month ahead of you. I have a blog and about 30 postings on it if you would be interested in taking a look. I would absolutely love to have your thoughts on my postings.

Your story makes me very grateful for the way my report was handled. At least the guy still has a flagged file that will go with him if he is ever called anywhere else - he is retired now.

There are pastors and churches out there that will respond rightly. I am so very sorry that you have not found one.