Tuesday, December 31, 2013

RE: “I am abused.” Those words are so hard to say

On the blog A Cry for Justice.  Barbra Roberts recently wrote a post titled “I am abused.” Those words are so hard to say.  In this post she says "Like the surface tension on the skin of water, or the surface tension on a soap bubble, there is a tension at that membrane. Will the victim pass through it and acknowledge “Yes, I am abused.”? Or will she shy away to avoid going through into that unknown world where everything will (at first) seem upside down, inside out and back to front?"  

She then goes on to challenge her readers to think/ write about the moment they spoke out by saying.  "Dear reader, whether you’re approaching that membrane, newly transitioned, or have been across for years, or whether you just know someone on that journey, I’d love you to share what it’s been like for you.

And if you’ve gone through the membrane, what was the thing that precipitated you going through it? What was the thing that overcame the surface tension?"

This was my reply.

For me I had to cross the membrane many times. The official story was I was the lucky one that got away. My dad was tempted once, he stopped himself just before anything happened. Just out of the goodness of his heart. Then he fully repented to the church.

Once I was a feisty young teen fighting for freedom and a way to voice my witness against my dad. I told him I would tell, and he felt forced to tell my mother under threat that I would tell. I believed he would tell the truth.

When I was accused by the church my spirit broke. My dad was held on a pedestal for being so repentant. Everyone believed the above lie. And he had been grooming all around me to distrust me for years. I saw no way out except for one. Though it was not a conscious decision. Believe the lie. I was broken like a horse, and went from fighting to praising the “repentant” man like all around me.

I was left with the strange bonds of abuse. My dad was my hero. The best man I knew. And of course always, he was repentant. I leaned on him for everything. Asking him for step by step guides on how to live my life correctly, and following the suggestions to the letter. Always hoping I would get some approval or praise from him. He was the only one who understood me. Everyone else distrusted me for some reason.

Fast forward 16 years and trauma memories resurface because I am in a moment of trauma at the time. I had two miscarriages, then a house fire, and one more miscarriage. That is what it took to rock loose hints of real abuse.

I had to break through a tough membrane to go to counseling the first time. I had to break through the membrane to keep going over and over…. I saw my counselor for two years, telling him memory after memory around the abuse. But the story of abuse always stayed the same. I was the one who got away, thank goodness.

Then a young girl was abducted in my neighborhood, and after three days her killer was caught. It was at this moment that I finally relived the abuse I endured around 12-13. I did not have words as a young preteen to say what happened to me. Only as I relived the sensations as an adult did I know what happened to me. I crossed the membrane to tell my husband I was molested. I crossed the membrane to tell my counselor I was molested. I crossed it again to tell my younger sister.

But even still, two years in I had just scratched the surface. Over the next year I came to terms with the fact I was raped just before I turned eight. I now have reason to suspect the abuse went back to when I was an infant. But I don’t want to remember more.

Finally, one day, by many miracles, I crossed the membrane to report my father. Now I am waiting to see what comes of that.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

An open letter to Dirtbags, From the husband of a survivor.

The following post was written by my husband, DeltaHotel (DH). Think of him as a "guest columnist". Hopefully he will write further at other times and give some additional perspective on surviving abuse from a spouse's point of view.
-- Jean Marie

An open letter to Dirtbags, 
From the husband of a survivor.

Message to Dirtbags: You can never fix what you broke so stop pretending that you can, your only hope is to spend the rest of your life outing yourself (so that you can't do any more harm), advocating against others of your kind (IE. dirtbags), and praying that Jesus will square it for you in the next life. Good luck.

I want to build on Jean Marie's post titled "The Atonement does not heal Lung Cancer or Kidney Disease." I agree with everything that she said but I think it needs to be taken up a notch. 

If you are an abuse survivor, or someone who loves an abuse survivor (as I am) please don't take this post the wrong way. Victims CAN heal ... But perpetrators can't. Feel free to read on, but the rest of this message is for the dirtbags.

Jean Marie thinks that perpetrators can't heal because what they have done is too dark - that they have to move "past feeling" in order to do what they have done so they are therefore beyond hope. I agree with her that they can't be healed but I differ on why. I think that they can't be healed because they don't WANT to be healed, they want to be validated in what they did, they want to have their part of it minimized and the bulk of it blamed on the victims, and they want to be enabled to do more of it. The end result is the same - perpetrators are a lost cause but there is a subtle difference.

I am a bit of a shade-tree rhetorician in my spare time, and one of my pet peeves is the "unfalsible hypothesis." So I am, therefore, compelled to give dirtbags the benefit of the doubt (this infuriates Jean Marie but what can you do). So even though I don't believe that dirtbags WILL heal I have to leave the door open to the theoretical possibility that they COULD heal if they wanted to. It makes me feel like I'm being logically consistent, and therefore justifies the condemnation of those that choose not to heal (or choose to fake it) when a door to genuine healing is open before them.

So ... What would a healed perpetrator look like?

Well, far be it from me to claim that I speak with any authority on these matters, but in my mind they would look more or less like a recovering alcoholic. "Hi, my name is <blank>, and I am a sexual predator." ... Not "I used to be a sexual predator." ... But "I AM a sexual predator."

They would be conducting themselves very much in a manner consistent with the concepts outlined in Jean Marie's post "#PerpsInChurch How to Heal a Perpetrator's Sexual Abuse Addiction."

Among other things, a truly repentant perpetrator could reasonably be expected to admit (to both the law and the church) ALL of the abuse that they have committed, even things that they do not stand not accused of (even things that no one would ever have a way to discover and accuse them of later). They would voluntarily avoid ingratiating themselves with potential victims (usually children) and people that have responsibility for protecting potential victims (parents of children). They would voluntarily exclude themselves from environments where they might have contact with potential victims. They would take full responsibility for their actions, including facing the legal consequences, as well as the heaviest of condemnations that the Church and the rest of society may deign to impose. They would NOT minimize the danger that they present to others nor seek to represent this danger as a thing of the past. In fact they would do just the opposite, and actively and vocally warn others of the danger that they (and others like them) present in society. A danger that is right here, right now, today.

In practice this never happens of course. Dirtbags are always looking to conceal/minimize their evil and expand access to potential victims. Ergo: dirtbags can heal, they just won't. 

And this failure to heal is a choice on their part.

Sadly, they are all too adept at perverting the atonement and engaging in false "repentance." While this only compounds the eternal consequences of their unrepented sins it also does additional damage (incalculable in scope) to their victims and to the church at large.

The false "repentance" that these dirtbags engage in contains a predictable narrative which is complex enough to require explanation in another place at another time.

If you say that it's asking too much for a person to spend the rest of their life in sackcloth and ashes, that it's too high of a standard and unrealistic. If you say that it's unchristian and unforgiving - to not just hold their sins before their eyes for the rest of their lives, but to expect them to do that to themselves - then you don't really have any idea the level or the duration of the pain, the devastation, that these monsters wreak in the lives of their victims (and the lives of those that surround the victims). 

If you could tally up all the harm to even one victim (and its follow on effects in the lives of the vicitm's loved ones) and see it all in one place and appreciate its full magnitude you would vomit to the point of requiring intravenous fluids. Then, when you realize that most of these people have done that to dozens upon dozens of victims, that is when you realize that no price could be too high for the perpetrator to pay (see Mark 9:42-48; Matt 18:6-10; Luke 17:1-2) ... And that the path of repentance ... TRUE repentance ... Not the counterfeit ... Is indeed a "burden that is light" in comparison, and the perpetrators should be glad to have it so easy.

You see even if a perp does all that has been suggested, it does precious little to relieve any of the suffering that they have inflicted. The suffering is beyond their power to remedy. (FYI: any perpetrator that seeks contact with one of their victims to try to "make it up to them" or to "aid their healing" is really trying to take control of that victim to shut them up and manipulate them into advancing the false "repentance" narrative.  Nothing makes a perpetrator look lilly-white like an endorsement from a victim.)

Even a perpetrator's genuine repentance (which is so rare as to be effectively a non-event) can't begin to undo any of the unimaginable suffering that they have wrought. 

This is consistent with what Jean Marie said about repentance not curing cancer.

Take note that the notion of the perpetrator's repentance healing the victim (and thus putting an end to any claims of lingering harm, pain, or other emotional effects that the victim may be suffering) is a structural feature of the false repentance narrative, and is not consistent with the expectations we have of the atonement in other contexts. The physically harmful effects that a sinner brings upon themselves and others are not automatically reversed by repentance. Syphilitic lechers that repent and are baptized are still syphilitic. Those that have been murdered are still dead, even if the murderer later validly repents. Likewise the damage that the perpetrators have done will not magically disappear ... Even with a genuine change of heart.

To think or act otherwise is to take the side of the perpetrator, advance their narrative of false "repentance", and worst of all... It is to join in heaping further abuse upon the victim.

Once more for emphasis: even genuine repentance on the part of a sexual predator does nothing to heal the victim.

Perpetrators: be on notice that you can never fix what you broke so stop pretending that you can, your only hope is to spend the rest of your life outing yourself (so that you can't do any more harm), advocating against others of your kind (IE. dirtbags), and praying that Jesus will square it for you in the next life. Good luck.

-- DeltaHotel

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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Faith Healings - Or Seeking Professional Care for Emotional Scars and Cancers

This Post is being reposted from my former blog Daughter of a Perpetrator.  It was originally posted on December 9th 2012.

In our day and age we have an understanding of medical science.  We understand the need for medical care of physical ailments.  If someone is severely cut or if someone has cancer we take that person to a qualified medical professional.  There are times that priesthood blessings have held in them the ability to do all the healing a person needs.  But healing medical problems by priesthood blessings is not the standard.  Instead we give blessings to our sick and medically afflicted before, during and after medical treatment.  Our blessings bless the afflicted that the medical professionals will be skilled and inspired.  The more medical experts act on true principals of healing the more skillfully they help their afflicted patients.  Through true principals and spiritual guidance medical professionals work towards healing sick patients.  In this way medical healing is not an act of healing by faith alone, it is an act of works, works by skilled professionals using true principles.  The faith comes in as we ask the spirit to guide the professionals and strengthen the afflicted. 

Why is it that we then fall into the trap of believing that emotional scars should be healed by faith alone? Many emotional scars and cancers also need the work of a skilled professional.  Just as a gash needs to be stitched up severe emotional scars need to be knit together by a professional acting on true principals, under the guidance of the spirit.  Severe emotional scars can be like a cancer, eating away at every aspect of a person's identity.  In the case of physical cancers, teams of specialists are called in to test and determine with skill all the places that the cancer has spread to, all the areas of the body affected by the cancer.  Then this team consults on the best ways to skillfully remove the cancer, in a way in order to enable the best healing for the patient.  Emotional cancers caused by abuse spread throughout the person's whole belief system, eating away at all that is good in their life.  As in the case of physical cancer, emotional cancers many times need a skilled professional to evaluate how far the cancer has spread, and what areas of the emotions are being affected by it.  Then the skilled professional considers how he can skillfully remove the cancer in a way that promotes the best healing.

For the healing of emotional scars and cancers the atonement offers guidance and true principals.  The atonement can assist the emotionally afflicted before during and after the skilled emotional treatment.  We would not take a deeply wounded person, who is actively loosing precious blood first to the priest and beg of them to stop the bleeding with prayer.  We would not take a person ridden with cancer to the priest and beg of them to pray each bit of cancer out of them.  We would not rely solely on faith to heal the physical ailments of the body.  We would turn to a medical professional, and ask them to help us heal as we rely on faith and blessings to guide his principals and actions.  The atonement can help knit the emotional wounds.  The atonement can help shine light and truth into the darkness, lighting the way towards healing.  There are times, as with  medical problems, when a blessing alone can help heal deep emotional problems, but that is not the standard.

If it was a true principle that the atonement alone could heal all emotional problems then we would not be placed here on the earth with other people.  Because each of us alone could then turn to the atonement and heal by our self.  But that is not the Lords plan.  The Lords plan is for community, church, family, love and professionals to all be used in our life for good.  I actively turn to an emotional professional to guide me on my path of emotional healing because I know that faith without works is dead.  Faith alone will not heal the scars that were caused by evil works.  Evil works must be combated with good works.  I choose to turn to a professional to help me find and skillfully remove my emotional cancers.  In this process of emotional healing I will lean on the principals of the atonement in the beginning, in the middle and at the end. Emotional healing comes from good works and professional care guided by the principals of the atonement.

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The Atonement does not heal Lung Cancer or Kidney Disease

The Lord loved each of us enough to atone for each of our imperfections and sins.  He loved us each enough to die for us so that we may live again.  He loved us so much that he would make these sacrifices for us, even if some of us will never choose to partake of the gift.

The Lord has a unique message to the earth of unconditional love.  The Lord loves everyone, no matter the circumstances.  The Lord holds his hand out to lift everyone up, no matter what their choices are.

As people follow their Lord they are inspired to lift up others around them.  As people follow their Lord they have an unusual sense of hope towards the world.

I am very thankful for all the Lord has done to lift me up, give me hope, and help me heal.

The Lords atonement of repentance and forgiveness is fundamentally a spiritual principle.  When we turn to the Lord and take part of his healing atonement our spirit is healed.  The spirit is a strong thing.  When the spirit is healed it can have all reaching effects into every aspect of our lives.

As powerful as the spirit is though, the atonement does not heal the physical ailments that come from bad choices.  My abuse makes me fear and avoid dentists.  No amount of atonement will give me my healthy teeth back.  When an alcoholic comes to the Lords atonement to heal, he will be given lots of spiritual strength and healing, but the atonement will not heal his kidney disease.  When a smoker comes to the atonement to heal she will again receive a great deal of healing, but her healing will not include removing the effects of smoking on her lungs.  The atonement will not remove the smokers lung cancer.

Abuse has all reaching effects on a person.  The atonement is one significant part of the healing.  In turning to the Lords unconditional love we can heal the spiritual elements of the abuse.  Once the spiritual elements of the abuse are healed we can then start to focus on the mental and physical ailments caused by abuse.  But participating in the atonement will not heal all that havoc abuse causes in our lives.  The physical and mental ailments caused by abuse will need to be addressed and worked through still.

I am thankful for the Lords unconditional love that he has shown me through his actions and through the support of others.  Healing in my life is a process, slow and steady.  It is like healing seeps into the layers of my life deeper and deeper as I take a holistic approach to healing.  When my spirit heals it opens up my mental state to be healed more.  When my mental state heals it opens up my physical state to be healed more. When my physical state heals it opens up my spiritual state to be healed more.  I am thankful for the atonement, and I am thankful that I have lots of other resources to enable my healing to be holistic.

Thank you for reading.  Please follow, +1, comment, tweet and like my post.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

#PerpsInChurch How to Heal a Perpetrator's Sexual Abuse Addiction

I hesitate to make this list. Because perpetrators will find it and figure out how to game it, and fake it so they look sincere in these actions.  It is what they do. They lie and deceive to gain trust.  But I am making the list because I want to break the lie that perpetrators can be healed by God and have all their tendencies to perpetrate wiped away in this life.  Perpetrating is an addiction. Once someone is addicted to being sexually abusive, the addiction will not leave their body, it can only be managed.

1. Admit to your church leader when you go to confess that the real reason you are confessing is because a victim wants to speak out.  Admit that you feel that things will go easier for you if you speak out first.  Admit that you feel that speaking out will help you regain control of the victim and the people that are around the victim.

2. Confess of more than you are being accused of.  Perpetrators have an average of 100 victims.  The fact is you have committed many more crimes than you are currently being accused of.

3. Confess all of your sins, confess all of your perpetrating, sexual abusive actions.  If you do not confess and forsake all you are not repentant, you are lying in order to gain the trust of the church community.

4. Admit you have an addition.

5. Admit your addiction controls you, you do not control it.

6. Tell the people around you that you have an addiction and cannot be trusted around children.

7. Avoid the temptation of children.  Avoid being around them.  Avoid being around the adults that have responsibility for them.  Avoid making trust relationships with the adults in charge of children.  Avoid your constant need to display yourself as trustworthy.  The facts are you cannot be trusted.  When someone trusts you they are asking your addiction to take over.  When you place yourself in areas of access, and social circles of access you are asking your addiction to take over.

8. Admit you use Trust and the Benefit of the Doubt as tools to groom and control the adults who should be protecting children.

9. Face the fact that you have done irreparable damage to every single victim you have been in contact with.  Face the fact that you have done immense damage to every family member of the victim. Face the fact that you have damaged every offspring of the victim.

10.  Ask the Lord to forgive you of that damage. But not the victim.  You have no right to approach the victim about anything, ever.

11.  Thank the Lord for the victim that exposes you.  Thank him for the victim that chooses to change their lives for the better and heal.  Thank him for the victim that does not spread this pattern to others. Because every victim that heals reduces the eternal effects of your actions.

12. Do not downplay the effects of your actions.  You are only lying to yourself.  Or you are lying to others that you are grooming, so you can perpetrate again.

13.  If a church official tells you that you are forgiven, do not wear it as a validation badge.  If you are telling people you have repented then you are using repentance as a grooming tool, and not as a life cleanser, and gift.

14. Confess of the grooming. Tell your church leaders just how calculated you have been in the grooming.  Tell them how you have misused trust. Tell them how you systematically disarmed all protections that are naturally around a child.

15. Confess of the manipulation.  Tell them how you have terrorized the child to stop them  from telling. Tell them how you threatened the child to get them to not tell.

16.  Confess your obsession.  Tell them how you think of sexually abusing constantly. Tell them how you evaluate all people you interact with socially on whether or not they can be manipulated to gain access to a child.  Tell them how you spend your free time trying to figure out how to gain access to children.

17. Confess that when you can get away with perpetrating you will abuse again.

18.  Confess of the mental abuse.  Tell how you treat the child as having no value in order to keep them weak.   Tell them how you have systematically broken down the child's view of self so the child will feel incapable of standing up to you.

19. Confess of Spiritual abuse. Tell how you have used God and his Church in twisted meanings to harness the power of religious beliefs in order to control the child.

20. Admit to the church that even if you do all of this. The addiction still controls you. You do not control it.  You can only try to hold it back by avoiding temptation.

21. Seek professional help and counseling from a person trained and experienced  in helping perpetrators.  The facts are you will and can pull the wool over any other counselor's eyes.

Matthew 23:
27 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.
28"So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness..."

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#MaleAbuseAwarenessWeek Myths

This blog post is dedicated to my friends that are survivors of abuse from female molesters, and survivors of male abuse.

Like with mental health survivors, abuse survivors face a great deal of stigma associated with their abuse.  It has been said often that the stigma's around things like mental health and abuse cause the survivor more trials then the actual ailments.  This is possibly very true with mental health survivors.  But with sexual abuse survivors, and survivors of incest the stigma is very difficult, but not the most difficult thing.  The most difficult thing in my estimation would be the triggers.

I want to talk about stigma today, mostly I want to talk about the inaccurate stigma around sexual abuse and the way it affects the different genders.  Two of the most classic and inaccurate stigmas are that male survivors of sexual abuse always become perpetrators and female survivors of sexual abuse never do.  These stigmas are both completely wrong! Let me help you dispel this myth. Because these stigmas cause allot of difficulty for survivors.

For starters lets talk about the sexualization of the victim.

One night I had  a difficult dream, my counselor told me this dream was a gift.  At the time I was curled tight with negative emotions this dream caused in me, so I did not readily see its gift.  But as my counselor talked to me I could see the gift of the dream.  In this dream I was seven again.  I was an innocent, self consumed, obedient girl who focussed on the physical elements of the world, abstract concepts were not something I dealt with.  Now because of this dream, when I look back at me as a little girl, I instinctively know what I am about to tell you.  But for you, I may need to go into more detail, for you to know what my dream child taught me.

Children are innocent.  The younger they are, the less they know about sex, and sexuality.  Their minds are not made to readily grasp sexual concepts and fully understand them.  Their immature minds have lots of ways to protect the mind from fully understanding sexual concepts.  One of the most notable is dissociation.  Because of disassociation my mind has a protective bubble wrap around the majority of my abuse.  Thank goodness it does.  The little things I remember are overwhelmingly hard.  Thank goodness I do not remember everything, and I do not need to know everything, or process it all.  My mind continues to protect me.  It releases impressions, and memories from time to time in the form of dreams, triggers, and yes, full blown memories.  Most often the subconscious only releases these memories to me as I am strong enough to handle them.

When an innocent, of any gender, of any non adult age is sexually abused they are not instantly fully knowledgeable about all things sexual, even if they were fully raped.  The victim's knowledge of sexual things is proportionate to the level of exposure the victim faced.  The number one indicator of how much a victim will act out sexually is the level of the victims exposure to sexual abuse both in intensity and frequency.  In other words, it takes frequent significant sexual abuses of the victim in order for the innocent to really understand all aspects of sexuality.  Even then the innocents have an undeveloped mind, that actually never fully comprehends sexuality.  Furthermore the innocent mind protects the innocent from as much exposure as it can through desenstivisation and disassociation.

Don't let my above words undermine in any ways the significance of the effects of abuse in the child's life.  The effects on a child's life is all reaching, into every aspect of life.  As far as sexualization the effects on the child is proportionate to the level of exposure in terms of intensity and frequency.  If a child is exposed once they have a lower level of sexual knowledge than a child who is exposed frequently.

Again I am not in any way diminishing the level of impact one exposure has on a child.  Abuse very closely ruins a child's life.  Who can put a measuring stick on ruination.  Who can debate over how one form of ruination is any less or more than another.  You cannot measure that.  The impact is great, and real for every form of abuse.

Sexualization on the other hand can be measured based on the level of the child's acting out sexually.  A child with more sexual exposure will sexually act out more.  When a victim acts out from sexual abuse it is most likely the victim will act out on themselves.  The victim will act out on themselves sexually and violently, because sexual abuse has violence in it. The level that the victim acts out on themselves is proportionate to the level of the victim's exposure.

Not all victims become perpetrators.  It is not a given that sexual abuse creates sexual abusers of either the male or the female genders.  For a victim to become a perpetrator it takes something more than exposure, it takes choice.  Most victims are repulsed by all things relating to perpetrators, and anything that reminds them of perpetrators. Most victims, both male and female, will avoid acting in any way that reminds them of a perpetrator.  In fact most victims, ESPECIALLY males become hyper aware of their actions, always watching themselves to make sure that they will not be perpetrators.  Why do victims respond this way, especially male victims?  Because of stigmas.

The social stigma says that if you are a male, and you were victimized, then you will become a perpetrator.  For male victims a perpetrator becomes a hidden monster, that they are always afraid might be lurking in their own hidden closets.  But like the boogie man, and other imaginary monsters of our childhood, these lurking perpetrators do not exist in most victims.  Male survivors are so afraid that the monster is there inside of them, because stigma tells them the monster is there.  This actually does harm to male survivors and increases the effects of abuse in their lives.  Because they live a life in fear of themselves.

A perpetrator only becomes a perpetrator by choice.  Most victims are repulsed by anything that reminds them of the perpetrator, and avoid those things at great cost.  But the people who become perpetrators do so by choice.  For them they are tantalized intrigued and curious about what the perpetrator world is like.  They step into the perpetrator world, one step at a time, slowly changing over time mentally from victim to perpetrator.  This is not even close to the same as a victim acting out sexually on themselves.  There is a choice that is made when the sexualization crosses over into acting out on other potential victims.  Though this is a difficult topic, it seems I need to say more in order to be clear.

When a victim acts out sexually it is about being over sexualized, it is about the victim having too much knowledge and exposure to sexually topics.  But the motivation and thought process are different when a perpetrator acts out.  When perpetrators act out sexually it is required that there is a victim, they are tantalized and stimulated by dominating, abusing, controlling, taking, stealing, hurting, victimizing and destroying.  For a perpetrator sexulization involves acting out violently on someone else, making yourself dominate over someone else.  Going this direction at all, sexually, is a choice.  It is a choice that is made by the perpetrators. It is not something caused to them because they were victimized.  The Perpetrator cannot point to their victimization and use it as an excuse for their actions.

The stigma; victimization causes perpetration in male survivors; exists because perpetrators perpetrate that lie.  This lie helps the perpetrator.  As long as society believes this lie, society can look on the perpetrator with compassion and pity.  Perpetrators want society to believe that their sick addiction is caused by their victimization. Perpetrators want society to believe they are victims.  Because this belief causes society to deal with them compassionately.  When perpetrators are shown compassion, they see weakness, then they exploit that weakness.  When society is busy pittying perpetrators because they are victims they are not being careful to protect themselves, and they are making themselves vulnerable to perpetrators. Perpetrators perpetrate the lie that victimization creates perpetrators.  Because it helps them get away with it.

Perpetrators choose to become perpetrators. They chose to take ever increasing steps further down the road of acting out violently, with dominance, sexually on others.  It is a choice. Perpetrators choose those actions.  Once the perpetrator chooses to act out in a sexually abusive manner they respond to these stimuli like an addiction.  Perpetrating becomes a compelling sexual addiction.  Soon the perpetrator does not control the addiction, the addiction controls the perpetrator.

A perpetrator can not just say I am sorry, I repent, and be healed. That is impossible.  Perpetrators suffer from an addiction to being sexually abusive.  A recovered alcoholic is aware of their weakness to alcohol, they change their daily life in order to reduce the temptation to drink.  I know you all know perpetrators who claim to be saints, healed and changed by God.  And these claims make the naive feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  But I am here to tell you that EVERY, yes EVERY perpetrator that claims to be healed and cured by God is lying.  They are lying in order to gain your trust and benefit of the doubt.  Their main focus is to make them selves look good to people, so people will trust them.

The only healed perpetrator is the perpetrator that humbly admits that he has an addiction.  The only healed perpetrator admits that exposure to his addiction may cause his addiction to take over control of him again.  The only healed perpetrator actively warns people to help him keep away from his addiction. The only healed perpetrator actively works to avoid anything that reminds him of his addiction.  If a perpetrator is saying to the world, through his actions. "Look at me, put me on a pedestal, look how perfect, and humble I am. I am a model citizen."  Then be AFRAID.  Because they are doing this to gain your trust.  Trust is the #1 thing perpetrators need to victimize. They are grooming everyone around them to trust them so they can have more access.

Perpetrators only option for healing is to fight back the addiction. The ONLY perpetrator who is close to healing is the perpetrator who is managing their addiction by avoiding the temptation.

Well, I went on a tangent there didn't I.

Not only male victims perpetrate.  In fact female perpetrators are an invisible plague.  In some states it cannot be claimed that a female raped, because they don't have the proper body parts to rape.  Whether or not it is "legally possible" females do rape.  Survivors of female abuse are just as hurt, just as victimized as other survivors.  But they struggle with a different stigma, they struggle with a stigma that tries to take away their claim, the claim that they could even be victims at all.

It is not gender that determines if a person will be a perpetrator. Perpetrators are both males and females.  It is choice that determines who will be a perpetrator.  A perpetrator is someone who is stimulated sexually by abusing other people.  Both men and women can become perpetrators and become addicted to abusive sex.

Please do not let stigmas created by perpetrators, to protect perpetrators, cause you to misjudge a victim.  Sexual abuse does not make male survivors perpetrators.  Perpetrators make themselves, by choosing to take pleasure from abusing.  Men and women can both be perpetrators, so don't misjudge a female perpetrator by trusting them, and don't misjudge a victim of a female perpetrator by not believing them.

My research and credentials for writing this article come from being raised by an extremely influential and manipulative perpetrator.  It comes from years of knowing what was behind the mask, yet seeing the way he manipulates people, and the way people respond to him.  My research and credentials also come from the years of therapeutic work, pondering, discussing, real world trial and error, and all around healing, it took to work through my own abuse.

Thank you for reading.  Please follow, +1, comment, tweet and like my post.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

KLOVE Sings to my Heart!

My emotional state was crushed.  Because of a phone call that I may talk about in the future.  I could almost feel the chains and chaos of my youth closing in on me again, trapping me again.  After the phone call I closed myself off in a room alone and cried.  The pain was too big to contain.  In order to try to escape the pain I imagined myself living somewhere new, taking on a new type of lifestyle, one as disconnected from my abuse as possible.  Escaping to this imaginary alternate life separate from reality helped me cope temperarilarly.  But time did not stand still, it kept passing, and I had places to be and things to do.

I loaded all my kids, almost a half dozen, into the mini van, and started to drive.  We were heading out to meet other homeschooling families from our co-op, at a harvest festival in a small town almost an hour away.  I think as far as the Lord was concerned that was the perfect thing for me, because that meant he had my listening ear for two hours.

I was crying still visibly upset.  I turned to K-Love in hopes it could offer comfort.  I first heard Overcomer it sung directly to me.


Staring at a stop sign
Watching people drive by
T Mac on the radio
Got so much on your mind
Nothing's really going right
Looking for a ray of hope

Whatever it is you may be going through
I know He's not gonna let it get the best of you

You're an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You're not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it's hopeless
That's when He reminds You
That you're an overcomer
You're an overcomer

As the song played I slowly moved out of the deep feeling of hopelessness that was threatening to overtake me.  The song healed me, so that by the time it ended with a promise of hope I could believe it.

There's nothing He can't do
He's telling You

I wish I could recreate that sermon of songs that God sung to me one song after another.    I wish I knew what songs they were.  It was like a skillful hand off of a baton in a relay race.  Each song sung to me, exactly where I was emotionally, healed that feeling inside of me, and opened my mind to something more.  Just in time to hand me off to the next song that sung once again to my hurting heart, right where it hurt, healing me through music.

By the time I reached my destination I was no longer feeling angry, like the world was against me.  I did my best to be sociable with the other Homeschoolers and not call attention to myself during that Harvest Celebration.  I thankfully was feeling more composed because of the healing music.

When I was back in the minivan with my kids, driving home again, complicated emotions started coming up again.  I quickly reached over and turned on the radio.  It was a miracle, I knew it was a miracle now.  Yet another song singing to me exactly where I was emotionally.  And the best of the miracle is yet to come.

It is impossible for me to tell you how complicated the topic of Forgiveness, Repentance and Atonement is for me.  In short it is a SIGNIFICANT trigger for me.  In a little longer than short, I talk about some of my issues here ( What do you have to confess of....).  The Lord cleared a significant bolder in my path this day, and I began to see a bit clearer about his Attonement.

I found myself crying again, this time for the relief of understanding.  This is what I learned to understand that day.  Thank you to all who have prayed for me to be blessed with this and other similar understandings.

I understood the Lords love.  I understood he loves all of us, every one of Gods Children.  I understood this meant he even loves my perpetrator father.  I understood he hurts inside, even for my perpetrator father.  He loves all of Gods Children, even the worst among them.  In fact Jesus's love was so great that he atoned for the sins of EVERY person, even if they would never turn to him for healing.  He loved so great that he took on the sins and suffering for my father, even if my father mocks his atonement, even if my father takes his beautiful gift and uses it as a tool to abuse.  Words are not strong enough here to describe what I am feeling. My father mocking, disgracing, abusing, manipulating, lying and abusing in the name of the atonement was not enough to remove the Lords love for him.  The Lord loved my father enough that he was willing to have his greatest gift treated as trash, if only to give my father an opportunity he would not take.  That is real love, that is real love that I can begin to see and understand.

But as my heart found this healing and soft place, it had to harden and protect its self again.  "Well," I said to myself.  "That may work for the Lord, he may be big enough to do that.  But that does not work for me.  I can not, I will not, give anything more to that man, risk anything more that man, love him any more, or soften towards him anymore.  That is for the Lord to do.  For me it is expedient to protect myself."

But even as I closed part of my emotions off in understandable protection, I knew inside this moment of understanding, this miracle of healing, brought on by song, was a significant moment in my struggles to heal from Spiritual Abuse.

Thanks for Reading
Jean Marie,

P.S. I am charmed by the Christian songs I hear on KLOVE.  They have an amazing ability to truly understand that life is overwhelming difficult.  They sing of struggles and trials like they really know how it feels to crawl through adversity and hope it is enough to sustain you.  Then I read Christian commentaries and they speak of this idea, we do not need to be strong alone, we need instead to rely on the Lord.  I really feel LDS culture could benefit by taking these elements into its self.  We, LDS are trying to so hard to be strong, be perfect, fit in an ideal.  We miss this idea, that our trials are to show us our weakness, so that we can rely on the Lord, and he can strengthen and sustain us.   We are afraid to show our weakness to ourselves, or anyone.  Like somehow admitting the weakness admits defeat.  But it is in these moments we are not strong enough, that the Lord shines through in his glory.  It is in these moments that he carries us and sustains us.  In some ways I am still fighting this battle on my own, determined to be strong enough.  Somehow my trust issues are triggered and I don't feel I can take down my fight, and lean on the Lord.   What might have happened if at the moment I was in that Steak President's office I stopped being strong?  What might have happened if I collapsed on his floor from the weight of my pain, as I resisted doing?  I feel strongly that that Steak President's heart was in the right place, but his awareness, and knowledge weren't.   For me right now, I can still feel inside that I am not yet strong enough to lean on  the Lord, and give my will to him.  For me that would take faith more than I have.  Though the rest from fighting would be welcome.  I am thankful I am healing now, and understand I have more healing to come.

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

What do you have to confess of....

"What do you have to confess of Jean?  With what happened with your father?"  I  had anticipated this day for a long time...

The day I told my dad to stop or I would tell, bought me my first bit of reprieve from sexual abuse.  I had almost grown comfortable again.  Then my father came to me, about two weeks later and asked me if I had told my mother yet.  I was panicked at the question.  The only peace I have had, came from the threat I would tell.  If I somehow let on that I did not tell, that I did not intend to tell, because I knew mom was a puppet, then the abuse would start again.  I had to find a way to keep that protection around me still.

"I have not told mom yet, because I was trying to figure out what to say.  But I will go tell her now."  I said as I walked towards the laundry room.

"No," my perpetrator father said "don't tell your mother.  I should be the one to do that.  You should not tell her."  I looked at him  in defiance and disbelief.  If he was going to tell me not to tell her then that just might be the thing I would do. "I will tell her" he reassured me, and I believed him.

Everything became deathly silent, imoveably silent.  Everyone was on edge and no one talked to each other.  But I could tell allot of things were happening under the surface.  Finally I got my oldest sister to tell me that Dad was in a church court, but she shut off and would tell me no more.  What I knew of court was that witness would be called to testify.  I believed I would be called to testify.  In spite of the pain I went over my witness again and again preparing to testify.

But no one ever asked me what happened.  Mom and dad came and went to meetings with the Steak President, looking grave and upset.  No one asked me.  I wanted my mother to put her arms around me and tell me it would be ok, but she just looked mad, and I was sure she was mad at me.  So in the silence I prepared my witness in my head.  I went over the details over and over and over, though they hurt greatly...

Then my dad came to me and said "I am sorry but... You should not...."  It does not matter what he told me I should not do.  It matters that he blamed the abuse on me, on my actions.  And just like that I was accused.  My dad blamed his evilness on me.  My mom blamed me. My sisters blamed me. The church blamed me.  The church members who knew blamed me.  No wonder why it was so silent around me.  No wonder why no one was speaking to me.  Did they even know?  Did they know that as my dad "confessed" and put on his fake humble repentant look, that the only reason he was confessing was because I threatened to tell?  Did they know that I am the only reason he is talking at all?  No they did not.  Of course they did not.  Because my dad controlled the conversation.  They never asked me what happened. Not even my mother. And they all blamed me.

I no longer prepared my witness, I now prepared my defense.  Day and night I went over my defense, praying that someone, anyone would believe me.

It was after the blow of my father's accusation that I got my first chance to speak out.  I lived in a constant prayer of "please Lord let me defend myself."  And one day I found myself walking to the church with my two older sisters to meet with the steak president.  I was very afraid and prayed all the way there.  My oldest sister assured me it would be ok, so I chanted to myself over and over "it will be ok, it will be ok."

Sister #1 is in the Steak President's office for hours while I wait in terror and my Sister #2 looks antsy and like she feels cooped up inside here waiting.  Sister #1 comes out and she looks broken and guilt ridden, her eyes are red from tears.  I am in horror, what did he say to her, to break her?  But I would soon find out.  Sister #2 skips in seemingly unaffected, she is in there for a short time, and skips out, still seeming antsy to go outside.  Now it is my turn, and I am more afraid than ever.  Would I be able to defend myself?

I sit opposite the Steak President at his desk and look at his photos of his family. He looks tired, it is late, and he is anxious to go home.  Without wasting much time he jumps right into ""What do you have to confess of Jean?  With what happened with your father?"  And just like that, I was accused.  The room started to spin, I barely could keep my mind focused on the moment.  I managed to fight back with the last of my remaining teenage fight and say something like. "Confess of, me?  You should be asking HIM that question!"  I folded my arms, and closed my mind, and no longer even tried to pay attention to what he was saying.  He could tell the interview was done.  He stood up and started to escort me out of his room.

Inside I panicked.  This was my last hope of rescue.  This was my last hope of protecting myself.  I glanced at objects in the room, desperate to find something to save me, but they were all useless objects.  I wanted to brace myself against the doorway, to stop him for walking me back to my world of abuse, to stay in this last oasis of hope, that maybe I could find a way to protect myself.  But the interview was over, and I walked out of the room a changed person.  It was at this moment that my strong will was broken.  It was at this moment that I had given in, stopped resisting, believed I was evil, I was wrong, my dad was great.  At this moment I was crushed, and stopped fighting.  If dad had known how devastating that blow was, maybe the sexual abuse would have started up again.  But I still suffered a lifetime of continued mental and spiritual abuse.

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

What Christians and the LDS can do to help survivors

I am so thankful for this blog post What Christians can do to help survivors.  I tweeted quite a few quotes from this post.  I am reposting those tweets here so I can quickly review these topics again in the future.
  1. Rapists are manipulative, that’s how they do it. So make it clear that you will always believe them (victims).
  2. Just because you think the victim isn’t Perfect Wonderful Christian, doesn’t make your judgment right.
  3. And just because you think Mr. Nice Christian Man over there would never do it, doesn’t make your judgment right.
  4. Believe survivors. I swear to you, in this culture, there is no benefit to go around “making up” rape stories.
  5. Bring it up. Even if you make other people uncomfortable, you might be surprised at who might confide in you.
  6. Tell your fellow Christians how it’s not the survivor’s fault, how rape is never deserved.
  7. Talk to your kids, if someone does something to them it is not their shame, and they do not have to hide.
  8. Preach rapists will not be tolerated. Make rapists afraid. I don’t care if that seems contradictory to Christian love.
  9. Preach not to rape.
  10. Cut out any and all sermons on modesty and abstinence until you can figure out a way not to shame survivors.
  11. Let them stay away from their abuser, ask the abuser to leave the church. Neutral ground is taking the rapist’s side.
  13. Support survivors when they talk. Let them be angry, let them be afraid.

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Wordless Wednesday: Project Unbreakable

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Abuse does not come from God!!

There is this misguided thought meem in the LDS community.  My concern is with the social LDS community and how they handle this topic, not with actual LDS doctrine.  I am not sure if it reaches into other similar religious communities or not, I think it might be unique to LDS thought.  The meem goes like this.  God gave you your trials in this life because God knows your character.  If you have been "blessed" with bigger trials it is because you are a stronger spirit that needs stronger trials..

In the video Abuse - Healing for Secret Hurt the speaker says "Your abuse did not happen because God abused you. Or because God wanted you to be abused.  He did not want it. He did not cause it."

These are powerful words.  These words hold more healing in them than many silly trite things that are said to victims.  People who have not experienced it don't realize how strongly abuse rocks faith.  It is easy to sit in a comfortable place and judge the victims for being weak in faith, because their faith was rocked.  But I believe that everyone's faith is rocked, to the core, by abuse if they are close enough to the harsh realities of it.  The question is not, does abuse rock faith.  The question is, how can survivors heal and overcome the spiritual abusive effects.

Do not warp the truth and tell us that God has anything to do with our abuse, do not do this, unless you want us fleeing churches just as we flee an abuser.

The above flawed thinking, that God gave me this trail of abuse, because I am that strong, is wrong for many reasons.  First it is a failed attempt at flattery.  Most survivors of abuse detest flattery because the perpetrator used it so skillfully against us.  Second it can easily be proven to be completely false.  I started to try to address this topic in my blog post Not Everyone Heals.  I will continue to try to dispell this myth.

If God gives people the abusive experience because they are strong enough to overcome it, then why do most victims suffer degrading lives enslaved to victimization?  Why do most victims suffer from being trapped in abuse with no way out, and no healing?  Why is it that most victims will never have a happy ending?

I know it will make the speaker feel better to imagine in their head and inevitable happy ending.  But this can only bring them comfort because they remain naive to the devastating effects of abuse.  For those of us, who can never change the fact that we were abused, this false happy ending only gauls us.

Second, if the effects of victimization are stronger than us, then the responsibility gets placed back on our shoulders.  Really, actually, there is much about society now that places responsibility back on the victims solders.  This is just one.  If I can not somehow overcome abuse, become stronger, and grow from it (as the speaker seems to suggest God intends) the flaw is placed on my shoulders.

It is like the misquoted thought that "God will not try you above that which you are able."  This thought is not scriptural.  This is not supported by doctrine.  This idea comes from 1 Corinthians 10:13.  It states "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."  The scripture is clearly about temptations not trials.  The real scripture basically says there is no excuse for being overcome by temptation.  You can always turn against temptation.  God will not allow you to be tempted by something stronger then you.  So don't use the strength of the temptation as an excuse for giving in to it.  If you think about it, this is quite literally the opposite of never having a trail stronger than we are able.

It is the sinner that gives into a temptation that causes the deep pain of abuse.  It is this deep pain that trys the victim above that which they are able, all the time.  And yet the sinner, and society, take the very verse that was intended to give no excuse to the sinner, and they turn it on the victim of the sin instead.

My abuse does not come from God.  He did not pre-plan it into my life arch as a gift, because of my strength.  The very idea challenges the very nature of God who "can not look upon sin with the least degree of allowance."

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