This is a very long post, but it's a huge truth reveal in several parts. This is not the first time I've written about these things, which can be corroborated with other timestamps elsewhere, so if you see this published anywhere else without my name on it, it's not with my permission.
Since so much is coming to light with underground anons and odd news items starting to break the surface in mainstream medias about how prolific sexual abuse is across politics and entertainment, which seems far away to many of us and therefore not really 'real', I've been thinking about bringing the focus closer to home in the way of personal experiences.
This is a mental health issue. For the nation, for every state, for every city and town, for nearly every household. Definitely for the world. The statistic when I was working on my masters degree in college was three of every 4 people are sexually abused by the time they reach adulthood.
I was personally not traumatized sexually as a child (that I know of or remember, backed up by how ridiculously naive I was about sex right up to adulthood), but I'm surrounded by people in my own household who were. What I'm sharing here is an example of how closely this touches us all, how blind we can be to this being all around us. This is important to grasp because, as a nation hanging on to the 'news', we might find ourselves feeling pretty rattled over the next 6 months as dark information comes to light. This is nothing to be ashamed of. We have all been trained en masse to cover up secrets. Society protects its own, and unfortunately, high ranking society isn't immune from some very dark secrets.
I was a virgin when I married a pedophile. I had no idea what that even was. I was in a bad place emotionally after my best friend was murdered and I managed to move forward in very narrow tunnel vision. I was not aware during my 4 years of marriage to this pedo that his nieces and nephews had been accosted, that incest was rampant in that family. There were hints and the usual red flags that never quite came out saying THIS HAPPENED, and I was very normal looking past those because I didn't understand them due to my lack of experience.
My first hint was an old doctor, who was doing my first ever pelvic exam, literally pulling my husband into the exam room while I was still in stirrups to show him I was still a virgin several months into our marriage. I had been feeling pretty sick and apparently was riddled with STDs. In spite of this obvious evidence, that old doctor practically spat me out the door insinuating I was the bad guy, and I went home crying. My husband was completely off the hook while I was completely lost in what just happened.
I gave birth at a local hospital when I was 21. A patient being wheeled down the hallway, who apparently knew my husband, lost his temper and nearly jumped out of his wheelchair threatening to beat him up, alleging that it wasn't cool to knock up 15 year olds. I confirmed I was 21 and married to him. I was too naive to realize back then what that could possibly mean about my husband's reputation. He was a handful of years older than me, and for some reason I've always looked much younger than I really am. I guess I made an unwitting cover for him...
When our kiddo was around maybe 8 months old, I often found her hiding in odd places being very quiet and still, like by the water heater. Sometimes I wondered how she even got in there. About that time, several other things happened. I got my first taste of spouse abuse to the point of permanently damaging a nerve near my left rotor cuff. (Much later, years of physical therapy finally gave me relief from unremitting pain my entire adult life.) Our daughter also went through a spell of severe constipation. One evening after the initial attack on my arm, during my dissociating pain shock, I heard her screaming in the bedroom and wasn't able to respond. I knew my husband was back there and would take care of her so I didn't worry. It never entered my mind that anyone would purposely make a child cry like that. A couple of weeks later I stumbled across a locked trunk he'd always dismissed as junk from his deceased father, picked the lock, and discovered a wealth of the nastiest porn like nothing you ever saw on retail shelves anywhere, including kids. He was so angry with me when he found me looking through it that I became afraid of him. Within another week I had moved us back in with my parents. I was too rattled to tell anyone.
As my husband started establishing with the county health department that he was unable to work (the scheduled visits all returned negative confirmations of his list of problems, which were obviously psychotically based on TV shows and other people's stories of having a metal plate in his head, a rod in his spine, plastic kneecaps, etc.), I got work and we moved back out again. He watched our kiddo while I walked down the street to a drive-through fast food franchise. A couple of months went by before I found out he was driving all over the county with our 2 year old and a friend of his while I was at work. She confirmed years later that he'd been trafficking her to his brothers and other acquaintances, which explains the weird strangers walking up to my daughter and I during grocery shopping and going on and on about what a doll she was and they'd like to take her home. I didn't have a clue what they were talking about, but it felt over the top and creepy.
During this time, the longer we were away from my parents, my husband became more and more hostile to me at home, he and his friend humiliating me whenever I was off work, kicking my butt with their boots and laughing, which hurt. I was afraid to say much because he always had a black powder pistol on him, within reach, or beneath his pillow at night. He took to watching out the window on nights he couldn't sleep, gun in hand like he was waiting to be raided, and maybe he was. He had also started bringing home other people's guns to take apart and blue, hanging them from the shower rod, so I had to skip showers before work. Eventually a coworker approached me about him stealing their gun and I simply said go talk to him, not my stuff.
As our marriage weirdly transitioned into something out of a TV show, our little girl started stumbling a lot. I started paying more attention, worried that she might have a developmental issue, and caught him tripping her, pushing her, even slamming her fingertips in a door. When he thought I wasn't looking he'd giggle or stomp away mad each time. I grew more fearful because his behavior was so strange. One day I walked in from work and he was peacefully sitting on the couch watching TV while our little girl screamed in the bedroom. He seemed completely unphased. I went back and found her turning colors from screaming so hard, her diaper was soaked through, and when I pulled it open I was extremely shocked to find a long pubic hair in her diaper and she looked a little swollen. With a terrified rush, I realized I had confirmation of everything wrong and quickly changed her before he could see that I saw, because I knew in that moment he was not above killing me. He had accidentally killed before during a hunting trip, according to one of his crazy stories everyone blew off. No one ever really believed that, in spite of his expert marksmanship and obsession with guns. I quickly arranged a babysitter while I was at work and demanded the one car we had, saying I'd lose my job if I were late walking again. I made sure only I could access her and pick her up, all without really confronting him, using excuses and acting dumb. I knew we were both in danger.
I wasn't sure what else to do so I went to a neighbor for help, the wife of an officer in our church. She suggested I stop watching so much TV. I was so crushed that I went home dying inside, not daring to cry openly where my husband could see. I tried to hold everything together for about a month until one of my husband's sisters showed up at the door demanding to know if I was a whore or just stupid, and she was really angry. I knew in that split second I had an ally, even though we weren't friends at all, and told her I guess I'm stupid and I don't know who to trust. She sat with me at a clinic to check my little girl out for abuse, but by then she was healed up and no one was able to confirm. I look back and wonder if she showed up because, with my child being more protected out of my husband's reach while I was at work, maybe her children were more at risk from their uncle.
One of my big unmistakable clues that the danger was rising was when he walked in one night, held a stolen rifle to my head out of the blue without saying anything, and didn't move at all until I rolled my eyes and turned around and ignored him. He held that position about ten seconds longer and then lowered the rifle and stomped away down the hallway without saying a word. My heart was thumping really hard but I didn't cry or act freaked out or anything from that moment onward through the rest of our marriage. I knew his crazy head meant it and somehow I called his bluff. If I had reacted at all, I have no doubt I would have died that day. I think he was really pissed because he hadn't had access to our daughter.
After that, I knew I needed outside help as soon as possible. I went to the health department and asked for a referal to a specialist for my child under the guise of developmental issues. I was still so naive that I didn't understand when, instead, they suddenly confronted me about the faint bruises that were nearly healed on her arms actually being cigarette burns (I'd grown up in a nonsmoking household and had no idea cigarette burns could look like that and argued that my husband just gripped her too tightly) and they said they were going to take her away immediately. I negotiated hard and fast, saying I'd have my husband out of the house within a week. I was so fortunate they were slack enough to allow me to leave the building with her. I quit my job that very day and asked for help from a lawyer who went to my church. He helped me map out a legal plan to get my husband out of our lives without rocking the danger boat. First he helped me file for legal separation on the spot, the rest would be waiting a few months for that to pass through court uncontested, and then hopefully proceed to divorce without visitation, and a big part of that sliding through successfully would hinge on not pursuing child support. It would be tricky, a long game, but he defined the goals and coached me how to behave to reach those goals.
After that visit with the lawyer (quite a lot in one day!) I picked my daughter up from daycare for the last time, telling them I quit my job, then went home the rest of the day. I was so glad my husband wasn't home when I first got there so I could set up a play area and get ready to face him. He walked in about an hour later after his friend dropped him off and was very surprised to find my daughter and I both home instead of at work and daycare. I explained to him that I had taken our daughter to the health department for stumbling so much and they were going to take her away on the spot, and here's where being brave gets really hard, and since I've lived it, I believe it when other people say how hard it is to get out of bad situations. I had to lie straight faced and act convincingly naive to a man who was already abusing me and had showed ample evidence he might hurt me very badly or even kill me. I babbled on how I couldn't understand what they were talking about, but I said ok and quit work and said I'd be staying home with our daughter myself and they'd come check on us in a few days, and within a few minutes he was packing, saying he needed a break. I never found out if he thought he might be caught for child rape, but I played stupid and nice and signed the car title over and told him come back when he got his stuff figured out. Once he was out of the house, I started packing myself and moved back with my parents. After that, it was a game of legally baiting him to out himself as a psycho while he signed away custody. He wanted visitation, and on the advice of my lawyer I insisted on a psychological assessment with the condition that he must sign a release for me to visit with the psychologist afterward before he could see her.
While I waited for that to roll out, I did take kiddo to see her daddy one time after he got a place in town, mostly so I could confirm how he was doing. He took me on a tour of the backyard and the house while she played, and didn't seem at all phased to walk me right by an unmade bed with a big pool of not quite dried blood across the sheets. There was no way that was someone's period. I nearly had a panic attack at how blatant that was, how unaware he seemed to be about that affecting anyone. I told him he got lucky, it was a nice house, and he seemed proud of himself. Once we got back to the livingroom with kiddo, he almost started slavering, insisting I go shopping and he could babysit. I laughed and said no, I'm not shopping today, but I brought you the rest of your things, which he seemed happy to see (they were really more of my own things, including his favorite record albums), but then started pressuring again for me to leave for awhile. I rattled on while I ushered our daughter out the door, down the little lane, through the gate, and by the time we made it into the car he was hostile. I don't know how he refrained from putting hands on me, maybe because we were so visible while we were outside of his house. I just kept playing really stupid and got away.
He complied with the request to talk to a doctor at a mental health center, and I was able to visit with that doctor in private another day. From all accounts, that doctor believed everything my husband said, but I had come prepared. I expected that because everyone believed him about everything except when it was something 'ridiculous' like accidentally killing someone, which he didn't bring up with that doctor. Everyone really believed he had suffered through terrible things and horrible surgeries and had a metal plate in his head, a rod in his spine, and plastic kneecaps, including this doctor. The doctor even felt sorry for him, telling me it was a pity that he was unable to work. He was very surprised when I pulled a stack of papers out of my purse, and I started asking questions. Did he tell you when we got married? Yes, he did, and the doctor read the date from his meticulous notes. I laid our marriage certificate on the desk so he could see the date was wrong. Did he tell you our daughter's birthday? Yes, he did... I laid the birth certificate down. I asked question after question and laid down paper after paper. Every single fact my husband had told that doctor was wrong. I made sure that doctor became aware of the health department referral findings about there being nothing physically wrong with him. And when I reached the end of that stack of papers, I put them all back into my purse and said Thank you, that is all I needed to know, and smiled, standing up to leave. The doctor had looked more and more worried through the visit and suddenly seemed very anxious, asking Can you get him back here? He really did look worried, and I hadn't even told him about the guns. And I said, Sorry, I really can't, and I walked out. This is proof that you cannot talk to someone during assessment and know the truth about them, no matter how many professional years a person might have under their belt. This is also proof that my family and neighbors believing my husband's words over my own only shows how naive and gullible people everywhere really are in the presence of a mentally ill person. Society as a whole, in my opinion, is far too trusting. We should all be more aware of our neighbors than saying they seemed so nice and you can't believe they did something that bad when the police come for them.
So, obviously, I was married to a quackadoodle who compulsively made things up continually, confirmed by a number of doctors, and after that I screamed at him that he would never see his daughter again, and he hasn't. All the same, I had to remain very stringent for years watching out for possible kidnap, especially after a niece of his warned me in a phone call that he'd found her school, and she told me a man was watching her on the playground.
None of that helped anyone else believe me about the sexual abuse. Even my own mother called me a liar. So that's a real thing, unless people have literally been through something traumatic or know someone who has, they cannot process it as 'real'. I was alone for years unable to talk to anyone, and ostracized by my church as a divorced woman.
Anyone can be a bad guy and you'd never know it. If someone comes to you asking for help, don't blow them off like they're lying and making up fictions. Never trust anyone with your kids no matter how nice you might think they are, because you. don't. know.
You know what, I'm going to put parts 2 and 3 in a follow up post.
A person I know on twitter posts these numbers every single day. I think these are U.S. numbers.
You matter. 24/7 Suicide 800-273-8255 Sexual Assault 800-656-4673 Domestic Violence 800-799-7233 Child Abuse 800-252-2873 Drugs/Alcohol 800-662-4357 Veterans Text 838255 for VA help Trans 877-565-8860 TTY 800-799-4889 Crisis Text START to 741741 for trained volunteers
I also made these links one year on a blog post. They should click out.
If you feel alone and trapped, find ways to let someone know you need help.