As I watched the interview of Dottie Sandusky for the fourth time, my anger began to diminish and I began feeling so sorry for her. I listened to her every word. I listened as she stumbled through tears to try so hard to convince Matt Lauer of her husband’s innocence. She cried saying she was strong. She said she never called those who came forward with their stories liars. But she did. She said she didn’t see anything wrong with Jerry showering with teenage boys, tickling them, and soaping them up. But, she hesitated at the very end when she said *maybe* there could have been something inappropriate.
Dottie Sandusky is the perfect molester’s wife, just as I was! Dottie is sitting in the chair that I was sitting in many, many years ago when I didn’t know the truth about my husband. She loves her husband and she believes whatever he tells her. She believes him because it’s just too painful, too unreal, too out of the realm of her innocent beliefs to think otherwise.
Jerry Sandusky chose the perfect wife! She took in foster kids. She stood by her husband’s side while he received accolades for all of the wonderful help he gave to underprivileged kids. She is a God-fearing, loving, faithful wife, but….. deep in the pit of Dottie’s stomach I believe there is a small knot of nerves that has been building up over the years that is going to one day became a big, painful explosion of truth. At the end of the day when Dottie is alone with her thoughts and she begins putting pieces to the puzzle together of her life spent with Jerry Sandusky I believe she, like I, will begin to see the red flags that were waving all along trying to tell her that something was very, very wrong.
I admit that I was very angry when I first listened to the interview. I wanted to shake Dottie. I wanted to get in her face and yell, “Why are you covering up for him? What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you admit that your husband has done horrible things to children? Why? Why the pretending that he’s such a saint?”
But, the more I listened to the interview, the more I looked into her pain-filled eyes and I saw brokenness. I saw the very same brokenness that I’ve felt for a long time now. And, I felt like reaching through the computer screen and pulling her close and holding her while he body falls into a million pieces for believing so many lies all of those years.
Yes, Dottie and I have a lot to talk about. And, I really wish that we could spend some time together. Maybe we will some day. But not until she is able to break free of the persuasion of Jerry and see him for who he is. Not until she is able to see the truth.
Having lived for forty years with a masterful liar, manipulator, abuser, and practicing pedophile I can say that I understand a lot of what Dottie is going through.
Nobody wants to believe that the person they shared their life with on such an intimate level is not really the person you thought you knew. Nobody wants to feel that kind of brokenness, shame, and disgrace. Nobody wants to feel the humiliation of knowing you were fooled for years and years and years. Nobody wants to feel so much betrayal.
Living with a liar — a person who has two very different lives — does a lot of damage to you. Dottie is protecting herself, I believe. The “Sarge” isn’t quite ready to face reality. And, I don’t say that in a nasty way. I say that out of love — the kindest love I have. Because facing this kind of reality is like facing a battlefield of lies and having those lies come at you at a fast pace — each one piercing the heart and causing a bit more pain.
When I first heard the charges that were being brought against John, I had two choices. Believe the victims were telling the truth OR believe they were lying. And, if I believed they were lying, then I was pushed into a corner of believing that John was telling the truth. He said he was a man of God. He said maybe he had done some inappropriate things, but “they (the children) made me do it.” He said others were liars. He said if he lived in another country, what he did wouldn’t be considered wrong. He said that and so many other things.
But, and I think this is a critical “but” — John didn’t have a wife who stood by his side and told the world she believed him. John didn’t have his children come rushing up to him and say they believed him.
For the first time in his entire life John Hinton was forced to stand alone. Just he and God. And, in those moments of aloneness, John Hinton was able to say, “Yes, I did those things.”
Please don’t go jumping up and down and think it all happened so easily because as he sits in prison serving the very same sentence as Sandusky, he writes of his wrongful punishment. He asks people to feel sorry for him — not the victims of his abuse. He says that his punishment is too harsh. He says that what he did “wasn’t all that bad.”
He continues to lie. For a brief moment when he stood completely alone — just he and God — he knew he was exposed. And, he knew the evidence was there. And, he knew that he was in the 3% of practicing pedophiles that got caught. That’s right! Very few get caught and that’s why the truth seems so much like an outrageous lie to Dottie Sandusky!
I wish I could talk to Dottie and tell her that when she faces the truth about Jerry she’s going to feel like dying for a while. I wish I could tell her to line up some friends for support when she feels too weak to even walk to the kitchen to drink a glass of water after crying for hours upon hours. I wish I could tell that after it feels like she’s broken in two, it will feel like that again and again and again.
I wish I could tell her she will begin to doubt everyone, including God. I wish I could tell her that it is going to make her fall to her knees when she allows her mind to think about the horrors that sexual molestation causes in children. I wish I could tell her that when she takes her focus off of Jerry she will begin to see the truth — the real truth — and then she is going to become even more broken.
I wish I could tell her she will trust no one — not one person — for a very, very long time. I wish I could tell her that she, too, is a victim of abuse and needs to seek help and support.
Betrayal. Brokenness. Heartbreak. Humiliation. Degradation. Dirty. Worthless. She’s going to feel all of those while the truth is becoming part of her life.
I wish others would stop trying to help Dottie Sandusky scheme and try to twist the truth and find loopholes in the truth to make it fit the lies of Jerry Sandusky. I want to scream, “Leave her alone. Let her have some time alone with her thoughts. Just she and God. Allow her to be still with her thoughts. Stop giving her false hope and stop feeding her more lies. Hasn’t she been used enough?”
Just as I know John Hinton is a masterful liar and is guilty of molesting many children, I know the same is true for Jerry Sandusky. Reading about one is like reading about the other. Pedophiles who molest are so hard to catch, but when they are caught, they sound like the same person. They are known to be respectful in prison. Quiet. Well-liked. Well-groomed. Adjust well to prison life. Willing to help others.
And, they continue to dwell on pedophilic thoughts of children! All of their lives they will continue to do this! They will lie. They will manipulate in prison. They will deceive.
But……..the one thing they cannot do is harm another child!
As the former wife of a practicing pedophile, I felt compelled to write how I viewed the interview of Dottie Sandusky. She and I have a lot in common. But, our dividing line is clear. I can now see the truth. She cannot yet see the truth.
But, I have hope and pray that one day she will. That is the only way she, like I, will begin to find healing and freedom from so much pain.
I would encourage you to read what my son Jimmy wrote about Dottie Sandusky’s interview, too. Jimmy is my son which makes him the son of a pedophile and his writing style and thoughts are somewhat different than mine. But, we hold a common thread of believing the truth. Never once did Jimmy waiver from believing what John’s victims said! Yes, it was horrible. It still is. Every day there is pain. But…..there is worse pain for the children.
Have you ever wondered what you would do if a child came to you and said, “Mommy, I have something to tell you. Preacher Tom did some bad things to me. ” Or how about this, “Daddy and Mommy, I’m scared to tell you, but cousin Danny took me in a room and made me take my clothes off and he touched me in my private parts.”
Thousands upon thousands of children who have been molested have tried to tell, but NOBODY would listen! Maybe the adults were caught up like Dottie Sandusky. Maybe they couldn’t see the truth. OR, worse yet, maybe they *wouldn’t* see the truth! Maybe they were in a web of lies and manipulation that made it impossible for them to see the truth!
I’m urging you to listen to your children. Watch how they play. Do you know how to identify the signs of abuse in children? What will YOU do if faced with a situation like Dottie Sandusky? Will you hide behind a façade of pretending all is well? Or will you listen to the children?
When a pedophile molests a child, there is so much damage done. Children box themselves into a world that is make-believe. They often suffer a lifetime of terror and trauma. They don’t know how to trust anyone or allow others to get close to them and show them true love.
Isn’t it time we work hard to make this a safer place for our children? Thank you so much for reading. Thank you so much for thinking deeply and not accepting everything as truth that people tell you. Thank you for speaking up when you see something that could be inappropriate going on with a child!
Thank you for being a voice for the children! Thank you for listening when our children try to talk to us! Together we are making this a safer, better place for our children. Together we are forming a strong voice!
PS Thank you so much for your comments and for you continuing to share this blog! Together we really are making a difference!