The amount of readers to this blog is mind-boggling to me. Never in a million years did I expect so much interest in this topic. What I’m learning is the sad fact that there is so much abuse that has been kept silent that it’s frightening. Because of the silence of those who have been abused, the molesters have had the freedom to do as they please with little repercussions, if any. Why? Because most children who have been abused keep quiet. They’re embarrassed. They’re afraid. They’re humiliated. And, they don’t think anyone will believe them. And, sadly, our laws aren’t designed to fully protect them!
But, that is changing! Silence no more! Victims are turning into survivors! They are learning to speak up and speak out and they are being heard! Every time you read one of these posts and you share it, you’ve done your part in diluting the power of the molester and you are encouraging the victim who is gaining the courage to become the survivor.
Thank you! Thank you so much for doing your part in being a voice for the children!
If you are new to this blog, I’d strongly suggest that you begin here.
By this time in our married lives, I was “okay” with life. I had a house filled with children, and they made me happy. John was gone mostly every week working insurance, and we all had adjusted to that routine. He generally came home Friday nights and stayed through Sunday afternoon. It’s amazing how quickly a family can adapt when they have to do it! And, yes, he remained the preacher for our local congregation.
The hard thing for me was knowing that when John came home, he had made little to no provision for time alone with me, his wife. Somehow, time with me always seemed to get knocked to the bottom of the priority list and it was expected of me to be happy with that. Secretly I would cry. I was lonely and I would wait all week long for him to come home. I wanted nothing more than to spend alone time with my husband.
I would daydream all week long of John walking through the door, giving me a great big hug, swinging me around, and saying, “You have no idea how much I’ve missed you and how much I love you!” I would lay in bed and think about what I would say to him when he spoke those words to me.
Instead, when he came home (after being away an entire week), the very first thing he did was to lift up the lids of the pots on the stove and say, “What’s for supper?”. After that, he’d walk to the bedroom, change into sweat pants, eat in silence, and then go downstairs to “go over paperwork.” What a let down when he turned and walked away from me yet another time.
Always, always I wondered what was wrong with me. He just didn’t seem interested.
There was something else that was bothering more and more. And, that was the way John acted with others in front of me. Sometimes I would blink my eyes two times or more just wondering if I really saw things right. Or, was I imagining what I was seeing because I was hurt and feeling abandoned by him?
Pay attention to these red flags because they are of major importance! I never said one word to him about these things even though his actions seemed odd, strange, inappropriate, and wrong! Why? For the same reasons that victims of sexual abuse never speak up. I was afraid. I felt embarrassed. I thought I was somehow the cause of his inappropriate actions. And, who was going to believe me if I did say something? Certainly not anyone from church! He was the hero — the coolest preacher ever!
1. The first time I saw this, I had to re-think this over and over thousands of times questioning myself if it really happened. Just as quick as lightning, John pulled his pants down (yes, underwear and all) and bared his entire bottom to a group of girls. Why? He said he was just joking and teasing and said ever so quickly, “Don’t look now, but I’m gonna moon you!”
And, he did! Yes, that’s right. The odd thing was that the girls didn’t seem at all put off by this or surprised or upset. Instead, he was just more fun to them than ever! This was done on many occasions and almost always in front of our own children (because he was “mooning” their friends). It was a shock effect, but nobody reacted adversely — not one of us! Pedophiles love using the shock effect as a test to see how far they can go without anyone telling!
2. John loved to pick up little girls and hold them in their crotch (between their legs), and balance them high in the air with one hand. Mothers would ask him to stop — they were afraid he was going to drop their child. I used to turn and look away. I couldn’t stand it. I just knew he’d end up hurting a child.
What’s wrong with this? His hand positions on the child — always, always hands in crotch. And, his total disrespect of a parent’s boundaries for their child! And, knowing what I now know about a pedophile’s behavior, this was a way of exciting himself!
3. John loved to change diapers. Honestly, if I never changed another diaper in all of my life I’d be happy. Not John. He’d always whisk up a child and say, “Phew! I smell something bad in here. Let’s go get you changed.” And, away he went with the child’s diaper bag to change the child’s diaper in a back bedroom or someplace in the church that was private. I thought it was weird that he’d want to change somebody else’s child’s diaper, but now it’s a lot more than weird. It’s a waving red flag that something was very wrong!!!!
4. The first time John did this, I threw the sight of this to the back of my mind because I kept thinking, “There is no way I saw him do that. Absolutely no way!” But, I did see it, and I kept seeing it. John would “tweak a boob” as he called it. Just as quick as lightning, he’d grab a girl’s breast and squeeze her (reaching for her nipple) leaving both the child and me in shock! And, yes, he even did that in church in front of adults. And, no. Nobody (including me) ever said anything.
Obviously, he was again using the shock effect. And, it worked! He got his jollies and nobody said a word. Not a soul called him out on this!
5. John loved to “wrestle” with little kids — tackling them, tickling them, and rolling around with them on the floor. It was embarrassing to me to see him act so immature, and I’d ask him time and time again not to do that. But, he continued. Why would a man of 35 years plus do this with little kids? He said he loved to “loosen kids up and get them to laugh.” I believed him, even though I didn’t like what he was doing. This should have been a big red flag to me that there was something more involved than immaturity!
Rolling around on the floor drawing children up close against him was another way of getting physical pleasure AND of grooming children. This is a tactic used by many molesters. Little children feel pleasure when touched in private places and they don’t understand what’s going on. Bingo! Exactly what the pedophile wants to happen!
6. Snapping a little girl’s training bra was another favorite. He loved that “little teeny bopper age” as he called it when girls were “just sprouting their boobs.” I would yell at him to stop it, but he’d only laugh. “You’re too uptight. These kids never get to have any fun. Their parents are like dried up prune pits. They don’t know how to laugh with their kids. This is nothing but kids having fun.” Again, I fell for it thinking maybe I was the prude — one of the ones who was a dried up prune pit.
Do you see what was going on here? Do you see how John was getting away with things right in front of adults? Can you see how this is called “grooming”? He was “in training” — testing. Testing to see just what he could do right in front of an audience without anyone thinking ill of him. He was a master! Every move of the hand was calculated, planned, and well thought out. He was playing games with the adults (who was going to question this fine, trusting man?) while he was stimulating himself by touching breasts, grabbing between little girls’ legs, and baring his own adult male body in front of these pre-pubescent girls.
I’m sick as I think about it. Totally sick. Once again I fell for his horrid lies. He often told me that I was no fun. I didn’t know how to joke and tease. He knew my father wasn’t this kind of man, so he’d often say, “You grew up in a home where your father wasn’t really a father. You had no male role models, so that’s why you can’t see how funny this is.”
He did a great job convincing me that I was the one who was thinking wrong! And, this is just how a pedophile works to lure your child, trick the parents, and get away with molesting children without any fear whatsoever of anyone telling!
Please, please think about these red flags I’ve just shared with you! It’s NOT okay for a grown man to bare his privates in front of kids “just for fun.” It’s NOT okay to grab little children between their crotch! It’s NOT okay to ever touch a girl’s breast or squeeze her nipples! It’s NOT okay to rub your adult body up against a small child and force them to feel your adult body being excited! It’s NOT okay to take a small child to a back room and take off a diaper and use your hands to excite yourself.
NONE OF THIS IS OKAY!!!!! NONE OF IT!!!!!! Together we must be aware, we must do all we can to keep our children safe, and we must continue to be a voice for our children.
I didn’t have the information you now have. I didn’t even know what a pedophile was and I was married to one. Please learn from my pain. Please listen to what I have to say. Please pay attention, and do all you can to keep our children safe!
I hope to be posting a link within the week along with a form letter template to send to our lawmakers. We need changes in our laws and in order to do that we need to create a voice with those who make the laws. I’m hoping that you will help!
PS For more information on child abuse, please visit my son’s blog — written from the heart of the son of a pedophile.