Design a site like this with
Get started

Healing From Sexual Abuse

This writing is from a few years back and part of a small autobiography I have been working on called “The God Angle” but I am now publishing it

I’ve written for a while now and always have skirted around the reality of what really happen. I like to think that the people responsible for abusing my sister and myself were punished, held responsible. But the truth is they were not. I must preface my history by saying that my parents were good people, caring and protective and never would have allowed things to happen to me if they had known. But growing up inn a so called “religious” family sometimes means that we were encourage and forced at times to allow transgressions or perpetrations to go unresolved.

Generally anyone would hope that a child could go to a trusted. adult and share something that is happening to them and get help. Not only make it stop but hold those. people who are doing things responsible morally and legally. I have realized over the years that this is not true and found out more so that as a child it is easier for adults ini certain positions to simply cover up or manipulate the reality of sexual abuse especially when done by people within a “church” or “religious” group.

As I look back on my childhood, I can’t help but feel a deep sense of sadness and betrayal but still have incredibly fond and happy memories.. Growing up, I was a part of a religious organization that preached love, compassion, and kindness. Believing ion everyone, accepting all and giving second chances. I was raised to believe that this community this religion was my family and that I could trust and confide in the adults around me. But sadly early on I realized this also meant an opportunity for things to be covered up or dealt with as “sin” in order to keep perpetrations hidden from authorities or others who would take action.

As I got older, I began to realize that something was very wrong. It started with small things, like the way I would see things handled when it came to sexual “sins”. How it never occurred to me how many ministers would be rumored among us younger kids as to have been “in trouble” with the ministers. Some of us would talk about what was happening, confide ion one another. We grew up being taught that things did not happen TO US but that we allowed the devil to take hold of our lives and invited evil to occur. Even if this evil was due to someone else’s actions. In this case the actions of the ministers and adults within the congregation or churches.

I was probably only 3 when things first started happening to my sister and myself. She was three years older than me and my best friend. We were photographed and recorded together, taught games that were “secrets”. I am certain that my parents were not aware of these things and I now feel that our constant moving was almost a way to keep us apart from a lot of abuse. But we would move only to be a part of the same religious organization in another place.

We settled down in one place when I was 10 and for a few years I thought maybe my childhood could become normal. my sister and I somehow manage to work through the things that had been happening to us and had been taught to us for years, we struggled with what had happened to us. We felt dirty, ashamed, and alone. We wanted to tell someone, but I was too scared. I thought that if I spoke up, nobody would believe me, and I would be ostracized from the only community I had ever known. We in our minds were ” fornicators” guilty of “incest” “sexual perversions” that must not exist in the supposed purity and sanctity of our congregation. Looking back now I know that maybe more was happening to her. She became pregnant from a young man in the church and being that she was 15 and he was 21 she was so ashamed that she went to have the baby aborted.

Many of these things, including this detail of how the adult was never held accountable for what had happen and the fact that we were not to talk about such a thing occurring now show me that obviously the congregation knew of what was happening. My parents were pressured and suppressed by shame from elders to not speak up. When I was 13 years old the abuse ended finally for my sister. We were in a car accident together and she died instantly when the car was cut in half. I suffered a broken pelvic and some cuts and was forced to learn to walk again. But none of those injuries were as severe as the ones that had already happen to us both or were to come.

At times I was thankful that my sister had died, that she didn’t have to continue to live in this type of world. One where we had a great family, a happy home life but a greater group of individuals held such horrible secrets and dark natures that had somehow even entrapped our own parents.

During my recovery things only became more overwhelming for myself. Two individuals within the “church” became closer and would then continue the abuse that I thought I was able to simply pretend wasn’t real as a little boy. A man who was 26 at the time promptly took it upon his self to move in with us, someone who had been a supposed “friend” of my older sister and a woman in her early 20’s who imposed her self as some what of a sister figure in my mind at first. My parents were not allowing things to happen, I truly believe they themselves also trusted the morals and supposed goodness of these people. The man would come into my room nightly and do things to me while I pretended to sleep and the woman would eventually become what happen during my days or when she would take me to her house where she lived with her mother.

As I became older I also became more aware that I did not want these things to happen. Each time another abuse against one of my friends would be made known in the church the minister would be “punished” or “set down”. A few times I knew that law enforcement would be involved in certain circumstances. The other children and teens that these things were happening to all became close. We somehow hoped that maybe by choosing one another for our “sexual sins” that we could escape the ones that were being forced or chosen for us. Sometimes one of us would speak up or make what had happen to us publicly known. Those individuals would be known as “sluts” or “teases” “encouraging sin to happen” but rarely would we see an adult be held responsible.

After many years of these things occurring of course some families would leave at times, obvious now that they were deciding to no longer be a part. of the hidden deeds they were a part of or were unknowingly placing their own children into. But my father had hope and true belief that he could help people change. Help them out of choices and lives that were troubled by many things. Now to clarify, this was not some cult, or some known organization full of molesters or sexual deviants. This is a well know religious organization not full of old priest touching kids. A normal happy group of everyday people you would interact with in stores or businesses. The same ones who would be your kindest customer you waited on at work or the person who helped you get a business loan, the same ones who would have written you a speeding ticket.

There was no real way to have suspicions of what was happening on some large scale. When I was 17 I decided that I couldn’t keep just allowing things to happen. By this time I also believed that the ministry set in place would help, the trusted figures in my life would call the police, confront the man, call out the woman and all those who knew what was happening. Instead, when I did confide something occurred that still puzzles me. I was taken to spend the night at a hotel with the minister, we ordered pizza and drank pop. Watched TV. Then He had a conversation that in short went something like, ” I needed to admit my sins” “I needed to be open and share them with the congregation” “I should forgive what had happen to me”. So I did these things. I was made to prepare a speech and get up on the platform where I accepted my responsibility for having sexual sins in my life.

I would be become new from my childhood on out, free from the “burden of my secrets” I thought that at least the people who had been doing these things since I was 13 would be made publicly known. So the time came and I began to read what I had written and as I did so the perpetrators and those close to them would stand up and say, “sinner” “how many more of us have you had sex with?” They would cut off my words, cut off my truths. I would be ushered off the platform where a minister would say that I had done a good thing and was forgiven by God. People were waiting off to the side, encouraging me that I was a good man now. 17, a good man, because I had said I had sinned but somehow still had not gotten to openly say more.

You would think that in some way I could move on now. Leave perhaps, start a new life maybe. The abuse room the man didn’t stop until I was well over 18 and the sexuality that was a part of all of us kids who had been involved with so many others only perpetuated itself during our childhoods. Most of us had also by now had sex with one another as well as being molested by the same individuals. When I was 18 my chance finally did come to have what I hoped would be justice for myself and many of the kids I had grown up with.One of the families had left due to the fact that their daughter had become pregnant and they refused to give up the baby or have an abortion. Even though the reality of the matter was that is was by her own mothers husband. Upon moving to another place this obviously was not so acceptable and the questions begin to happen from authorities towards the church. I took this chance, the first I could. After overhearing that the police were looking to talk to anyone from the congregation regarding this matter. So I went to the police station told them what I was there for and really thought that maybe I also could have some sort of justice.

I opened up finally, for the first time in my life about everything that had happen to me, to my sister, to my friends. They assured me that I had been helpful and that if needed I would be contacted further to help or update me on what would be happening. I knew I could not stay any longer. I had been doing design and art since I was 16, my own way of escaping the real world and while doing so I made some money as well by doing construction jobs. So I left for college, a way out. I traveled as much as I could when not in school to stay away from that home town. Went to see the world, traveled to countries to see what was out there. For the first time I felt safe, free. My parents who had not truly known I was also being victimized were dealing with som much grief. The way the congregations were setup was that there were multiple churches, so when things happen it was a. tight knit group who was made aware at times until things became more publicly known. By that point they could mitigate the situations and severity guiding everything back to some sort of religious stand point. So, no, my parents did not know of what had ever happen to my sister or myself until this point.

I returned home off and on to find out what was happening to the people that had done these things. Inquiring at times with the police and being told it was being handled by someone. When I was about 20 I came back to live with my parents, my Father was the Senior Pastor now and most of the people in the congregation had changed or were replaced bye new faces for the better. The looming scandals were not so present and the church was a singular group who were involved now with other spiritual organizations. I hoped that maybe. I. could find some closure and see the good in all the true purity I had been shown through my parents. I met a good girl, fell in love, finished up my degree and felt my future looked better now. I even started letting go of the abuse and somehow just was ready to be done with all that had happen to me regardless if anyone was ever made responsible or punished. I started healing and going through therapy to speak more about what had happen in my childhood and learning to let go of the things that I felt I could never say out loud.

When I was 21 pulling up to the church which I had now grown to love again, I was greeted by police. Arrested and taken in on sexual charges. See the details I had given were in-depth and open. Not only did they include the what people had done to us but also what we all had been made to do or had done with one another. Little did I know that the Mother of the woman who had been molesting me was involved with a member of law enforcement or that several members of the congregation were part of a fraternal order. I had some to close to making things public, to close to exposing some details. So the only person who was held accountable for all that had happen to me was. myself. In my details of events I had shared that while I was 17 or 18 several of us that were being abused had done sexual things or had sex with one another. This was enough to use for me to no longer insist the people be held responsible. I was charged for a confessed crime and somehow in all the information about everything that was happening it was decided this crime must have taken place exactly on my 18th birthday. Making me an adult. I was destroyed inside. Not only had what happen to myself and others not been brought out, it had been swept away. No one responsible, no. one in trouble. To this day I do not think that some. were even made to answer over anything. Not a single question.

I was released almost immediately, told that I needed to focus on what I should do to stay out of jail and not on what others had done. I would later see the man and at times the woman, her mother, the “official” who she was involved with, others who had done things. I felt angry, I felt dirty again and ashamed. Two years later I was sentenced to jail for 23 months but was then released by the sentencing Judge mostly due to my letters imploring him to look into my report. He retired shortly after my release. For many years I just felt fear. Afraid to say anything further, to speak up at all. To even mention any of this. The only things I could focus on that gave me comfort was my family and design. 20 years later, now I feel I am able to openly share. I have been afraid to share a lot due to having to explain such a thing and talk about what happen to me.

I have never wanted to be seen as a victim, or weak. I have not wanted to be seen as not being able to stop things from happening to me and many times I questioned still like I did as a child if I wanted those things to happen to me. It is that experience that has branded me, stuck with me. Forced me to push through every obstacle to become anything truly. Whether as a person or in may career. I have still faced manipulation from that, been lied to and about. Been singled out and afraid to still speak up about what happen back then. All because of what has happen since then. But I am and I am stronger for it all. iI have more determination and drive than regular people. More ethics and morals behind life and diligence in work because I know I have to be my best in every way in order to not look like the worse. Even if others have still manage to win the past use my abuse to take advantage of me or abuse me further, well. I finally in the last few years have realized I always deserved better. We all did and sometimes the only way to have that is to get it ourselves.

Today, I am still healing from what happened to me. But I know that I am not alone, and that there are others out there who have been through similar experiences. With continued encouragement and love from my wife and family, I hope that by sharing my story, I can help to bring attention to the issue of child sexual abuse in religious organizations and encourage others to speak up and seek help. To highlight trusted groups that will focus on corruption and victims so others can feel safe in speaking out. Now days I put those emotions and lessons to use in everything I do. How I treat others and how I perceive or design for perception. this world.

Published by Jonathan

Just another person leaving comments behind on blogs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: