Married to a Pedophile: Our First Christmas

Thanks so much for visiting this blog!  I appreciate the love, support, and interest shown in the message here.  I am not an expert in the field of child sex molestation.  I am, however, a woman who was married to a practicing pedophile for almost forty years without knowing it.  It is my hope and my prayer that I can use my experience to help educate you so that you will know what signs to look for and what to do should you suspect actions of pedophilia.

If you are new to this blog, I suggest you begin by reading my story from the very beginning.

The months seemed to be moving along smoothly — the baby was growing inside of me and that was a feeling like I can’t explain. There were little bursts of excitement from John about becoming a father. In fact, I could say he was very excited for him. He wasn’t normally one to show a lot of emotion, but he did like telling others that we were having a baby!

We’re skipping quickly through the months of August through December because life remained “normal” in most respects. John was back in college and continued to work part-time at the cemetery as well as continued his volunteer work at church. I was happy being a working mom-to-be. In fact, all that filled my mind most days was the fact that soon I’d have a little one to snuggle with and that thought excited me so much! Sadly, I had to stop working in November due to the work laws at that time. Women who were beyond seven months of pregnancy weren’t permitted to work.   I worked as a secretary for Kerr-McGee Corporation. The people I worked with were wonderful and saying good-bye wasn’t easy. They had become like family to me. My bosses visited in our tiny apartment which was so funny as I think back now. They were multimillionaire oil men and John and I were as poor as church mice. I’ll never forget the look on their faces when they saw where we lived! I fixed them tacos and chocolate chip cookies. Isn’t it funny how you can remember details like that? I’ve always been so appreciative of the way they accepted my invitation to dinner and they and their wives were so gracious to me!

I made the decision to quit my job and stay at home to take care of the new baby when he/she arrived. John encouraged me to do this even though I was offered a big fat raise to come back to work, and Lord knows we needed the money. “Stay home and enjoy this baby. I have everything under control. The elders are going to start paying me for being the youth minister. They finally agreed I was ready to be put on as staff!”

NoteCan you see the insidious workings of control?  If I stayed at home, I didn’t have access to the outside world.  My world was suddenly growing smaller and smaller. 

That news of John getting extra pay was music to my ears, and so I began planning for Christmas. ( As an aside, Thanksgiving was a disaster — I ended up throwing out the turkey. It tasted like burned rubber!)

Christmas bulbs - use this

I LOVE Christmas! It was going to be so much fun with a baby due on January 23 — just one month away! John and I decided we were too poor to buy anything for the baby, and we’d just exchange cards for our gifts and have a nice meal together. That being said, anybody who knows me knows that I love giving surprise gifts. And, this Christmas was super special! This was our first Christmas together! So, I had begun giving up my lunches way back in June to start saving for a Christmas gift for John — well before we said we’d only exchange cards. It was so much fun watching my stash of money add up. When the other girls at the office bought barbecue beef for lunch, I’d pull out my packed lunch — two slices of bread and one piece of bologna. It didn’t matter because I knew that the money I would have spent was being saved for something super special.

I made a surprise visit to the church and visited the minister and asked him what his best study books were. “That’s easy! I study from the Bible and my ISBE’s — International Standard Bible Encyclopedias. John will love them!” Yikes, they were expensive, but……I could do it! I knew what gift I would be buying John!

pregnant - use this

My belly was growing and I only had one maternity outfit to my name other than baggy shirts.  I would have loved something new to wear, but……it was Christmas! I could not wait to see the look on John’s face when he opened up his gift! While I was at it, I decided to buy one more gift — a basketball that he could have so that he didn’t always have to borrow one from the church when he wanted to play ball with the kids he brought home. Oh, I cannot tell you how excited I was wrapping up those gifts and hiding them until Christmas morning!!!

Christmas eve arrived. We went to church, came home and lit a candle, watched a little TV and called it a day. I was too excited to sleep. We had a small tree that sat on top of a desk in the living room (yes, it was a tossed out shrub from the cemetery, but I didn’t even care this time around. At least it was a tree!). I watched the flickering candlelight and counted the minutes until morning!

candle 019 - use this

Finally, morning arrived. We were  away from all family — living in Oklahoma City. We didn’t get to go home because the doctor wouldn’t give the okay for me to travel being so close to my due date. This was going to be so ROMANTIC! Our first Christmas together!!! Let’s face it, anything could be better than the honeymoon we had!

I fixed an awesome breakfast for John, handed him his card and inside it had a little note saying where he could find his surprise. My heart is pumping faster as I’m telling this story! Can you tell I get like a little kid at Christmas time? “I thought we weren’t giving gifts?” “I know…but I couldn’t let this be our first Christmas and not give you a gift! I’ve been saving up since June! I can’t wait for you to see what you got!”

The look on his face was different than I expected.  He looked like he was hearing a melody that went sour. He didn’t look at all happy. In fact, he looked rather perturbed. “I really wish you hadn’t gotten a gift. A card would have been fine.” I felt disappointed a bit, but who cared? I wanted HIM to be happy! I wanted to see him open his gifts!

Instead, he went off to the bathroom. He said, “I’ll be back in a while. I have to do something. I have a big surprise for you.”

Woo hoo! I knew it! I knew he was tricking me! I knew he wouldn’t forget me on Christmas!!!!! I sat in the living room sipping some tea while he was in the bathroom. (Remember last week’s post about those hours in the bathroom? Well, Christmas morning was no different.)

Finally, John unlocked the bathroom door and had something hidden behind his back. Oh, I couldn’t wait! I had his gifts sitting under the tree, and now I would get to open my gift from him! I was so happy!!!

John walked over to me, and said, “Pick a hand. Your gift is small but I put a lot of thought into it.” I LOVE gifts that are thoughtful! Maybe a necklace or a bracelet. No, too expensive. Maybe a little teeny stuffed bear. No, that wouldn’t be like him. Maybe a tiny bottle of perfume! Oh, that would be wonderful!

I picked a hand, and out came my surprise………….. I looked, and then I looked again. I didn’t know what to say! I still don’t know what to say.  I could suddenly feel the hot tears streaming down my face. I began to shake and he just looked at me with the most bizarre expression. “What’s wrong? Don’t you like it? I’ll bet you’re the only person in the entire world to get a gift like this!

toilet-paper - use this

He was right. He was so very right. Nobody that I know of in my lifetime has ever gotten a Christmas gift like this. He sat in the bathroom on the toilet and took two sheets of toilet paper and drew a picture of two deer — a buck and a doe. And, above the deer it said, “Merry Christmas, Dear.” My heart broke that day — it really, really broke. He hadn’t even gotten me a card. Instead, he wrote a message on toilet paper. That was my gift.

I’d like to say this was a joke, but it wasn’t. This was it. My body is shaking as I am writing this and it is now forty plus years later. That hurt me worse than if he had taken a kitchen knife and stabbed me right in the center of my heart.

Why did he do that? I’ve thought about that a million times over the years.   He said he thought it would be “unique” — something I’d remember always. I spent the remainder of the day in bed sobbing. He didn’t really like the encyclopedias. He said I should return them and get the money back, and he didn’t need a basketball when he could take anything he needed from the church.

NOTE:   As I’ve now learned, pedophiles are all about “control” — they must be in charge. In order to do that, they will find ways to beat you into submission. John didn’t physically beat me — he never even came close. But, emotionally, he was killing me. He was slowly beating me into submission for the years to come.  Once you beat a person down to a very low point emotionally, you can gain full control.  The person no longer feels worthy of being treated any other way.  And, I was slowly but surely descending into the dark pit of manipulation and isolation.

Thank you so much for reading. Thank you for trying to grasp what I’m saying. I know it’s not easy reading about sad experiences.  But, in order to learn what makes child molesters tick, I think we need to see the whole picture.  Pedophiles are calculating liars. They care about one thing — themselves. They don’t “get it” when it comes to hurting others. They are out to fulfill their mission and that is ultimately to get what they want.

I believe John was molesting children frequently at this time. I can’t “prove” it, but I now have reason to believe it was going on quite often at this period in our lives.  He had many, many opportunities. Two BIG red flags were there, but I didn’t know how to recognize them as such.   Johns spent so much time away from me with young children.  He always had a reason.  He was building relationships.  He was getting to know the families at church better.  He was encouraging the youth to love church and church activities more.  And, on and on it went.

Another strange thing was happening.  Many Sundays John wouldn’t take communion in church. I asked him why, and he would never say. In our church communion is taken weekly.  But, if you have wronged someone or if you have not confessed the sins in your life, it is considered “not worthy to partake.”

John apparently thought he was worthy to partake on many Sundays.

Note:  When a pedophile molests a child, he knows it is wrong!  Molesters absolutely know that it is wrong, yet they continue to do these vile acts on children! 

By the way, I never told anyone about my first Christmas gift until many, many years later. Why? It was too painful. And, John knew that I wouldn’t tell.   I believe this was one more test to see how far he could go with me. How much could he do? Abused victims rarely tell. It’s just too hard.

Poster - USE THIS LAST

My abuse was horrible, but it was nothing compared to what John did to little children. Please stick with me and let’s continue on with this story……learn what goes on inside the home where a pedophile lives. Learn about how they manipulate others into being enablers. Let’s learn together how other family members can be manipulated and controlled into thinking the molester is a wonderful, caring person — right while committing acts that are hard to speak about.

For the children, let’s stop these predators!  Let’s work hard to stop them in their tracks!  Let’s educate ourselves about what to look for, and let’s be on guard at all times.  For the children, let’s stop this terrible, painful cycle of abuse!

Love,
Clara

20 thoughts on “Married to a Pedophile: Our First Christmas

  1. Yes, lets! … and thank you for letting us see another side of what goes on in the family lives of the people who hurt our kids. I think what you have to say will help a lot of us be able to protect our children even better. :)

    • I believe the day is coming when child predators (molesters) are going to have a very, very difficult time getting away with thier malicious acts. I hope reading about my life allows people to be introspective and really open up their eyes as to what’s going on in their own homes with their own children. Maybe (hopefully) when the big red flags are waving, people will speak out and make this kind of abuse impossible!!!!

    • Nancy, I feel strong now, but at the time this was happening I felt beaten down and that’s why it continued. Hopefully others will see how predators use their ability to seek out and find people (like myself) who are easy targets to control. They use this same technique on children, too, and that’s why it’s so very important for us to be involved in the lives of our children and be on guard at all times. Thanks so much for your comment.

    • Hollie, I don’t know that I’m brave as much as wanting to take this ugly mess and put some meaning to it. And, hopefully by telling my story others can see the different levels of control, manipulation, and grooming that is done by a molester. Many times they’ll have you believe their acts are “spontaneous” or they couldn’t help it. Rarely will a child molester take rsponsibility for his actions. It’s always somebody else’s fault to them when in reality they are the ones doing the planning and master minding their actions.

      • So far I’ve kept my blog light and funny but in the very near future I’d like to tell my story of domestic violence. It won’t be an easy story to tell as abuse is so complex but I think it would be worth it if someone read my story and how I go out and was encouraged that they could do the same. I’ve avoided it for so long because it was such a dark period in my life but it is time that people stop sweeping these issues under the rug. It will help me to heal more too..though its been 12 years since I left him, the abuse has had long lasting effects on my life as I live it now. I look forward to reading your stories regardless if you think you are brave. I say you are for writing this and even more so for mothering all those children! I can barely keep up with the one I have sometimes!

  2. Hollie, I most definitely would encourage you to tell your story of domestic violence — what to look for, how it got started, what exactly is domestic violence, and how you finally got away from it. You’re so right that the effects are long lasting. People need to be made aware, and also to be given hope that they can regain the strength to get away from the violence — that they can reclaim life once again! I, for one, will most definitely read your story.

    I’d like to do some lighter writing — the part of my life that was spent being a mom to my eleven children. Those are stories of a different nature — some funny, and some make your head spin! LOL I sure do love the kids and we sure did have some wonderful times together! I’ll save those stories for another time. For now, there’s some educating to be done.

    Thanks so much for your comments! I love hearing from my readers!

  3. Clara, thank you again for being so open and honest. It all breaks my heart, for you, your family, and the children. What an eye opener this all is. And yes, I hope your friend Hollie will help us know more about domestic violence and what to watch for. Clara, I feel so guilty for asking to pray about things for me. I had Monty. You had a control freak. I love you dear sister of my heart.

    • Melody, Sometimes it’s hard to know how much to share, but I feel like it’s important for others to see how the mind of a pedophile works. The things they do are to “shock” you — and you’re left scratching your head thinking, “Did this really happen?” After you’re shocked so many times, you begin to accept those things as “normal” behavior.

      Don’t you ever feel guilty about anything. Our friendship is a wonderful blessing and it is an honr to pray for you and with you. And, while it makes me a bit sad that my marriage was like it was, I’m always so happy when I see happy couples such as you and Monty — such pure blessings to others. Your marriage — your love for one another — is a wonderful blessing to many! I am so very blessed to know you!

  4. Clara, you are doing a great job with your story. Keep it up. Deb and I love you. We respect you for your candor. May God’s richest blessings be upon you and your family.

    • George,
      Thanks so very much! You have no idea how much I cherish the love and friendship of you and Deb. A very special thank you for the thoughts and blessings for the family. It’s still hard taking this all in — still seems unreal in so many ways.

  5. I was eating a walnut when I read this…and it fell out on my shirt when I read about the toilet paper gift. Unbelievable. I would be shaking too no matter the time that passed.

    • It was awful. And, so humiliating. The intent was to belittle me and it worked. It makes me very angry now (because I’m in a different place now emotionally), but at the time I felt so broken. This was all part of the total control and manipulation.

  6. Dear Clara,
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Once upon a time SG was a place I frequented daily. My rainbow was found to have been sexually assaulted within the week of her 4th birthday…as well as other children who were in a family daycare. It was the husband. He has plea bargained down to only 2 counts… (from 12 involving four children), and sentencing is later this month. I need to prepare a victim impact statement.

    I think I have come to terms what the pedophile did…but the role of the wife confuses me. I believe she was groomed…but she knew. After school children heard her say ” Go upstairs or I will call the police” after finding her husband in the sleeping room upon coming home with the after school kids. Looking back, there were more signs she knew… Never once has she said “I am sorry for what he did” ….regardless as to whether she knew or didn’t know….

    This is painful…
    Everything is painful…
    I too was groomed…as my then 3 year old daughter was.

    • Dear Dominique,
      Hearing things like this pain me so much. More than you can ever imagine! Our laws for punishing pedophiles are weak. The accountability after pedophiles serve some time in prison is very weak. And victims are left in the aftermath of the acts of these men to somehow try to get their lives back together. Often the trauma doesn’t come full force until years later.

      It angers me to hear that the wife has not expressed extreme sorrow over this. In fact, I cannot imagine her doing anything but deeply grieving over these acts of her husband.

      This is a complicated web of lies, manipulation, grooming, and control. I can only imagine what you are going through right now, and I’m so very, very sorry.

      Please update me to let me know what the sentencing for this is. Often, pedophiles get nothing more than a slap on the wrist. I’m working very hard to bring about awareness not just to parents but to our lawmakers. It’s time to stop these actions from continuing!

      My thoughts are with you during this terribly difficult time.

      Love,
      Clara

  7. Clara,
    Crown Counsel is going to be asking for 5 to 7 years. Apparently that is ‘in line’ with BC/Canadian laws…as well as being ‘so cooperative’ as the arrest occurred in Dec 2012 and we are already going to sentencing in July 2013.
    It is not enough…no matter what it is will never be enough…we do not know what will occur with our daughter….
    Things have settled down…the first couple of months were awful. Fortunately the other mom of the child he pleaded guilty to, are on excellent terms…only we can even come close to knowing how we are feeling.

    The anger I feel about the wife is probably the most ‘unresolved’ issue that I have at this time.

    • Dominique,
      Yes, that does sound in line with the laws. I’ll still be curious to know what the actual sentencing is. And, will there be mandatory intensive counseling? What about release from prison? What happens then? We don’t have good numbers on recidivism because predators who have been caught again will openly state that they “got smarter” the next time around (and not that they stopped). So, it’s a very difficult ball of wax to deal with.

      As for your daughter, is she receiving counseling? Sometimes that helps in the early months, but other times a child will repess and need help further down the road. Again, very, very difficult.

      I would suggest some kind of help and support for you, too. I can only begin to feel the anger you have toward the wife at this time. In my case, there are several people who “feel sorry” for my ex and have stood by his side as he continues to write Bible lessons in prison. They have made no mention of the countless children who fell prey to his molesting, and I feel the anger inside of me want to explode everytime I allow myself to think about this. That’s why I have to continue to educate parents on how to keep their children safe BEFORE a predator gets to their child–not always easy to do because they are so smart and controlling! They have a very complext grooming process that is often hard to detect even when we know what red flags to be looking for.

      My thoughts are with you. Seek help for your daughter and yourself. Sometimes it’s difficult finding the right counselors, but dealing with this now is a great first step in your healing.

      Keep me posted. I’m so very sorry this has come into your lives.

  8. Clara, what is your email address?
    I will send you some media links to the case, and more details. Right now, I need to protect my daughter so I will not post those media links publically.

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