Tuesday, July 1, 2014

It All Adds Up, But I Wish It Didn't

(Sheldon's note: Reader discretion advised for this post, especially for abuse survivors)

I made the call was I was dreading making to my sister, but I had to know. Several weeks ago, she had made a vague reference to our "mother"  who I prefer not to refer to her as, (usually I just say her or she, or call her Mrs. Psycho, I can't even bring myself to say her name or refer to her as a mother), trying to protect her from her warped family, but said she hadn't protected her from who she needed to protect her from, our father. She made some vague reference that he had done some things when she was a teen that she found disturbing, she acted like she didn't want me to push it any further, so I didn't.

Even before she had said that, since I had broken free from them after The Confrontation, I began to realize a lot of things that I hadn't noticed before, I spent so much time during my years as the Undercover Agnostic just spending so much time and energy trying to survive that I had no sense of self reflection.

In recent months, some things started to add up, to make sense, that I wish didn't. I didn't want to believe it was possible, not because I had any illusions that she wasn't capable of it, but it felt so disturbing, so violating to even think about it.

So much made sense, the way I was simultaneously the favorite of the family in her eyes, but also hated, and she seemed to resent my very existence as a human being.

 I remembered the way she always seemed jealous of girlfriends and female friends as I was a teen, and would come up with bizarre excuses of why I shouldn't around them, and why they didn't measure up to her ridiculous standards of "godliness", and I could tell she was grasping at straws in trying to come up with excuses, even for her delusional mind, but at the time I couldn't piece together her agenda was. I remembered her delusions about the mother of my best friend Rose supposedly hitting on me when I turned 18 (she was doing no such thing).

I remembered the disturbing way she used to hug me, even though she knew I couldn't stand her hugging me, that always left me feeling violated, and my father, ever her enabler, would chew me out later for making it damn clear that I did not approve (and she would always get annoyed by it), "she just wants to show you that she loves you", etc. (she kept this up until I was about 19/20 years old by the way).

No, no, it just couldn't be possible, I don't want to think about this, I can't remember much of anything before I turned about 12, so it's possible it didn't happen, it probably didn't, you're probably just seeing patterns where they don't exist, I mean, she's pure evil, but that? ...shit, it probably did happen.

Even as I'm writing this post, I'm listening to Metallica and checking out comics on Cyanide and Happiness trying to hold myself together.

I called my sister, talked to her for quite a while, she talked on for some time about her kids as she always does, and I asked her if the kids were in the room at the time. She said no, and wanted to know why.

I asked her about what she had meant earlier about our father. She had said that our "mother" when she was a teen tried to keep her away from her family as much she could (contact with most of that side was ended when I was about 10, contact ended with my grandmother on that side when I was about 12), that side of the family included a perverted brother of hers that had made inappropriate remarks and gestures towards even other women in the family, and a sister of hers that at one point had sex with her 16 year old ex brother in law. (She came from a screwed up family that no doubted contributed to who she was, but doesn't excuse her one bit).

My sister said that she had ran interference between them and her when we were helping to take care of out grandfather who was dying from Alzheimer's (and he was far from a saint himself when he was younger, beat our mother and possibly molested the aunt and uncle I referred to earlier that knew no boundaries), but never tried to protect her from our father. I asked her what she meant, and it shattered any illusions that I had left of our father being a basically good man that just fell prey to Stockholm Syndrome/enabler pattern.

She said he had disturbing habits that included him liking to sneak up on her all the time (which got him her arm across his throat once when he did that to her at a car wash), trying to kiss her on the back of the neck, and she said she remembered him climbing on top of her a few times when she was asleep to wake her up, kissing her. Our mother never stopped him, even though it was clear she was uncomfortable with it, but she acted jealous of her, and the attention from him.

I asked her about the patterns I remembered, how it all fit together with our mother, and she asked me "Wouldn't you remember it?". Well, I explained to her, that's precisely it, I can't remember much of anything before I was about 12, what I can remember is in disjointed pieces, out of context, like random clips from movies all tossed together, scrambled. I honestly may never be able to know for certain, unless something causes it all to come back to me, and I don't know if I'm ready for that.

Already, my illusions about my father, I still though he was somewhat of a saint as recently as about this point one year ago. When she had talked about our father, it came back to me, the way he looked at young women, even teen girls, his tales of his whiskey/LSD fueled wild youth where he had three "girlfriends" at 19, one of whom was a 14 year old girl. That would qualify as felony sexual abuse in any state.

My sister, after what I had told her said that it was definitely possible that our "mother" had molested me, or as I had said, possibly wanted to, but I didn't go along with it. It would explain her hostility and resentment towards me while at the same time, making me her favorite, why she didn't want anyone else around me, or to get too close.

I told her it all seemed too much at once, that I still struggled with wanting to see our father as a good man, but this destroyed all those illusions. I suppose I just wanted that hope, I wanted to think that someone other than my sister was looking out for me, but alas, there truly was no one else. His character was no better than hers truly, he just was better at conning people.

It also made me angry too. Because of "Pastor Jones" and his big mouth, my old congregation likely knows about the abuse except for what I just talked about here, and yet I have been shunned by this congregation.

To use a reference from 1984, my favorite book, I am an unperson, I no longer exist to them. Even people who knew I no longer believed and supposedly supported me like my best friends Sam and Rose won't talk to me. When Sam sees me at my company in the lunchroom, he acts cordial, but distant, he won't respond to me when I text him, and Rose won't respond to me on Facebook. These were people who supposedly had my back no matter what, but they too have cut me off since I have left.

It makes me angry that these people would side with the cult and with two known abusers in their midst over me. I gave 12 years of my life to that place, my heart and soul to them, and this is what I get?

Fuck you. 

Fuck you all. 

Every last one of you.

May you roast in the hell you enjoyed condemning every else to, you better hope that you're wrong, that it doesn't exist.

Papa Roach -- "Burn"


I can't wait to leave this town behind, seeing all these places of my past, my youth, the cult church, it's too much sometimes. Only 354 more days before I can legally sell my house and leave this town behind for good. I can't wait.



  1. Yea you need to get out of the town. Sounds like both your parents may need to go to jail. Even if your mom did not physically touch you, emotional incest is also extremely sick. If she was possessive of you, then she at least had emotional incest. Right our past never excuses us; your parents should gave gotten professional help before it got out of hand.

    1. We really have no concrete proof of any of it, unless more happened to my sister tham what she has told me.

      Would it be too many years paseed now anyway?

      Nothing would make me happier than to win a suit against them or see them get arrested no less sent to jail, but I don't know if anything can be done.

    2. Yes most rape cases are dismissed. The speculative case will not go anywhere. If your sister knows something happens, she would have a better case, but she is older than you, so even more time has gone by. People can sue their family; but it the information will be public, and with todays internet age, you never know if public means VERY public.

  2. Oh dear God. Sheldon, I'm so sorry this happened to you and your sister. It makes me all the happier that you escaped.

    Are there victim services in your area that you and your sister can take advantage of? Sexual assault crisis centers offer free counseling, even if the victimization took place years ago.

    Please let your readers know what we can do. We're behind you, Sheldon.

  3. Yes, like Ahab said, let us know how we can support you. You're brave for sharing this, and you never know who you're helping by doing it. Often the readers who appreciate it most never comment.

    1. Thanks. I wonder if I will get e-mails about this from survivors.

  4. Tugs at my heart reading all this.

    This is even more solid evidence that I made a good call to get out of that fundie church shortly after the Illinois House passed marriage equality into law.

    1. Did you leave before the new pastor came in? He has taken the church into cult territory.

      Glad you found a welcoming congregation.

    2. As to when I left: A few months after the new guy took over and the hideous 2013 amendment's passage.

      The flyers against the marriage equality legalization that is now law and the subsequent anti-LGBTQ amendment (which I was the sole person to vote against the amendment change FWIW) being passed shortly before he took over full time were the impetuses for me leaving there on my own terms.

      One of the key reasons I voted no to the switch back to one SS/one service format was the fact that I was a fill-in usher on some Sundays for a few months in late 2012.

      The primary reason I stayed as long as I did there was because of their bus ministry.

      My current church has members/attenders from all across the theological and political spectrum from leftist/liberal/progressive (where I'm oriented) to centrist to conservative and has a female as its pastor.

      I've gone from being at a church where I was the essentially the only reliable liberal/progressive/LGBTQ-affirming/pro-reproductive choicer person to a church that is a much better theological fit for me.

      For the last few years of my attendance at my second career church, I had an UCC-like viewpoint in an SBC church, and tried to cope with that as much as possible.

  5. Sheldon,

    You should look into DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder). One of the reasons to suspect it is lack of childhood memories (or very disjointed ones). At the very least it sounds like you dissociated because of the emotional abuse, aside from any sexual or physical abuse, and therefore you wouldn't be able to recall it. It's a survival mechanism to help you deal with unbearable stress and trauma. Of course, once you start looking into this stuff then you might get the memories back, which is really rough, but it will allow healing for you. If memories are dissociated into your subconscious your body still carries the memories around and it leads to more anxiety and so forth. I have DID from emotionally abusive parents (made worse by sexual abuse by a friend of the family), so that's why I suggest that as a thing to look into. If you're interested, this is a self-screening questionaire that can give you a number to determine how likely it is you have some sort of dissociative disorder: http://www.pcsearle.com/screening/screen_des.html

    Good luck. You've been so strong, and I'm so glad you have been able to keep your abusers away from you.

    -Piper S.

    1. Hi, Piper.

      I need I need to quit putting off getting psychiatric help.

  6. Sheldon, someone I trust just wrote this article at NoLongerQuivering. I think you'll find some useful stuff here. :)

  7. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nolongerquivering/2014/07/cyberstalking-by-clergy/ Sorry! forgot the link!


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