A very warm welcome to those of you who are here. I appreciate the continued interest and response coming from so many people who are interested in keeping our children safe from child molesters. While I do not ever claim to be an expert on this topic, I do have years of experience with knowing how a pedophile plans and works so hard to groom, manipulate, and eventually molest children. Unknown to me until two years ago, I was married to a practicing pedophile. There were definitely “red flags” all throughout our marriage, but I didn’t have a clue what these indicators meant. The sole purpose of this blog is to educate you so that you can be aware of things to look out for that might be red flags that you’re seeing, too, so that we can keep our children safe. Education is the most powerful first step we can take against child predators!
If you are new to this blog, I suggest you begin by reading from the very beginning of my story.
Last week we took a bit of a break from the sequence of this story to interject some important information about a letter I recently received from John while he currently is serving time in prison. Most of you “got it” — you understood that even as a pedophile sits in prison aware that he is there because he has committed the most vile acts against a child, his mind is still on one thing: little children. In fact, as I shared with you, John was bold in his request for photos of little children, promising “not to have those naughty thoughts” because he has been forgiven and is now “free.” Hopefully and prayerfully, nobody will fall into this trap of manipulation that he continues to use. Please, do NOT send this man photos of any children to be exploited, shared, and used for self-stimulation and gratification!
Now, to continue on with our story, let’s pick up where we left off. Christmas was a disaster — lots of heartache and tears. But, I really believed that redemption would come with New Year’s Eve.
By this time, I was just days away from our first baby being born. In fact, our due date was January 23. As is true for almost every woman alive, I was looking forward to spending a wonderful New Year’s Eve with my husband. This was our very first time to bring in the New Year as a married couple so I planned a special Pennsylvania “good luck” meal — mashed potatoes, pork roast, and sauer kraut. I wanted to make this a super, extra special night for John to remember! Since we were living below poverty level at the time, I knew there wouldn’t be anything real festive, but….I thought it would be so much fun after our meal together to drive around Oklahoma City and look at the last of the Christmas lights and tinsel and simply enjoy spending some time together talking about the coming year and the addition of our baby. You have no idea how happy just the thought of spending this time together meant to me!
Two nights before New Year’s eve John hit me with the news. “Dear, I have to tell you something and you’re probably not going to be happy.” *Note: I hated to be called “Dear” — I don’t know why, but I didn’t like it. Maybe it’s because I knew it almost always was followed by some sort of bad news.
“There’s going to be a big New Year’s Eve party for the teens at church. I’ve been working on the plans for this party for several weeks now, and I think it’s best if you don’t go. It’s going to be all night long, and your back will be killing you. You won’t feel good and I won’t have time to run you home and then go back to the party.”
Honestly, I can still remember when John had “the talk” with me un-inviting me to spend New Year’s Eve with him. I know what dress I had on, and I can tell you where I was standing in the tiny kitchen when he threw that dart ever so swiftly at me.
“What do you mean? Why can’t I be with you? I want to spend New Year’s Eve with YOU!!! This is our first one together, and I don’t want to sit here in this apartment by myself. Please can’t I go?”
I feel humiliated telling this story. I really do. Somehow it makes me feel so unattractive and repulsive. I’m actually sweating and I can feel my heart racing as I’m writing this. It’s a horrible feeling to know this kind of rejection.
John didn’t flinch. “I told you that you can’t go. I have too many games planned and it’s my job to keep things going at this youth activity. It’s my job as youth minister. You know that. I can’t be babysitting you and taking care of the party, too.”
I was quickly learning not to fight the inevitable. John was a quiet man — very rarely in all of our forty years together did I ever hear him raise his voice. But, he was immovable in what he said. Once he said he was doing something, there was no changing his mind. I learned that very quickly in this first year of marriage.
There would be no need to make the pork roast and sauer kraut. John wouldn’t be home. He was eating with the church kids. There would be no driving around the city to see the lights. There would be no wearing the dime-store party hat on New Year’s Eve. Instead, I would be spending this first New Year’s Eve alone.
It’s embarrassing to say this, but I went to bed crying that night. Instead of fighting back, I whimpered like a dog that had been kicked in the gut and sent outside for being a bad dog. There were no hugs from John. No apologies. No saying he’d make it up to me. A saying I used over and over in my life was true, “It is what it is.” He would be leaving me home on our first New Year’s Eve.
All day December 31, I kept hoping and praying that John would change his mind. Better yet, I kept praying that somehow he was teasing me. I don’t know why I always thought that way — a coping mechanism for heartbreak, I guess. I got dressed that day and put on a fake happy face hoping beyond all hope that sometime during the day he’d say, “I was only kidding. You know that. How in the world could I ever leave you home alone on New Year’s Eve?”
But, that moment never came. Instead, he spent hours in the locked bathroom (his usual habit that I finally accepted) with the “party planning book” and his notebook of games they were going to play. He got all spiffed up, put on extra cologne (he used Old Spice — funny how I can still remember the smell), and clipped his finger nails. Isn’t it strange how much we can remember when we’ve either experienced a life-changing wonderful moment or a moment of trauma that has been imprinted forever in our subconscious?
I held back the tears….I fought so hard to hold back the tears as John drove away for the party. I watched from the upstairs apartment window, waving good-bye, and then running to the bedroom where I buried my face in a pillow and sobbed through the entire night!
I remember sobbing so hard that I thought I’d go into labor. I remember thinking, “I didn’t even get a phone number of where he’ll be if I need him.” I remember not even having the strength or desire to turn on the TV to watch New Year’s Eve celebrations across the country. I wanted one thing — to be with my husband. That’s all. I just wanted to be near him. I would have been happy to just sit in the same room where he was, and he knew it. Instead, he pushed me away and made me feel ugly, disgusting, and worthless.
I kept getting up to use the bathroom — my bladder was not in the best shape due to being so pregnant. At one point Vashti (one of the sisters that lived beneath us) called up the steps, “Are you okay, Mrs. Hinton?” I know that she heard me crying (okay, sobbing — loudly!), and the toilet kept flushing. I walked to the steps and just said, “I’m okay. Thanks for asking.” I’m sure that Vashti and her sister wondered the same as I was wondering. Why was I left home alone on New Year’s Eve?
I’ve thought long and hard over the years about that one question. Why would any husband do this to his wife? Why would a Christian husband to this to his wife? Why would a newly married man do this to his wife? Why would a decent human being (even if just friends) do this to anyone?
As I’ve studied more about the minds of pedophiles, I’ve learned that “control” and “manipulation” are their driving forces. It’s not initially about the sex, although that comes into play later on (terrifyingly so). But, initially, it’s about control. A mad, almost savage need to be in total control. And, I now better understand why John treated me the way he did. He had total control without ever raising his voice or his hand. He could never be labeled a “wife abuser” by anyone in the outside world because he never did anything that even came close to looking like abuse. And, in fact, I was made to feel rather crazy. I was confused. I couldn’t understand what I had done to “deserve” being treated this way. Just as a child often wonders why a parent pushed aside a child — I was that child. I didn’t understand why I was being pushed away. What I have come to understand now is that I was being purposefully mistreated. I was being crushed in spirit. I was being belittled. I was being manipulated. And, my abuser (John) was seeing just how far he could go before I would tell.
Much to his delight I never told. Just as the abused children very rarely ever tell. I was forced into such a broken, confused state of being that I would never tell. I craved his love and blamed myself for not getting it. Can you understand a bit more why little children who have been molested never tell? Can you imagine how confused their young minds are?
What did John do that New Year’s Eve? I don’t know. I know he put on quite a show for the teens at church. He was the center of attention, so I heard in church on Sunday. He was a comic. I heard the teens saying he was the funniest guy they ever met! He planned all kinds of fun games. He ate great food. He was happy to tell me of all of the good food he ate! And, he planned a wonderful midnight devotional where several kids from the youth group gave their lives to Christ. From what others could see, John was one amazing young man!
However, while John was being a “Christian” and converting others, I was at home alone begging and pleading God to somehow teach me how to become a better wife so that my husband would love me.
REMEMBER THIS: Child molesters know what they are doing! They hurt on purpose. They do not care. They lie. They cheat. They will steal your heart and tramp on it. They will take the innocence away from a small child and feel jubilant over their success! And, they groom and manipulate adults prior to grooming and manipulating the children. Why? So that they are never suspected of such heinous wrong doing!
I will close this by saying that John came home about 2:30 a.m. New Year’s Day. I was wide awake waiting for him. I pretended to be so happy that “his party” was such a success. He had to know how much I was broken because there was no hiding my swollen eyes that had been crying all night. And, any person with an ounce of common sense or a shred or love would never have left his wife home alone on New Year’s Eve. He was happy. Another notch of victory for John!
Next week we will talk about the arrival of our first child. Until then, please read the words I’ve written carefully. Read them again and again until it sinks in as to how demeaning a pedophile is. Read these words and understand how calculated every action of a child molester is. Nothing is done randomly. Every action is well thought out — planned ahead with much thought. Do you see yourself in such a situation? If so — RUN as fast as you can and if you have children take them with you!!!
If you are the victim of any abuse, learn the strategies of these abusers and don’t allow yourself to be beaten down ever again! Pedophiles are on a power trip and they use their power to beat others down emotionally. They use children for their sexual and emotional gratification. And, by so doing, they cause a lifetime of terror and pain for these children!
For the children — let’s get smarter and stop this abuse now!
Thank you for reading. And, thank you so very much for caring. Together we can get educated about pedophiles and the way their minds work so that we can stop them in their tracks well before they reach our children. Our children deserve a carefree, innocent childhood! Every child deserves to be treated respectually and with love! Help me in this mission to educate! Spread the word. Be on the lookout. Speak out when you suspect any kind of abuse. And, please hold your children just a bit closer to you every day and tell them how much you love them. They are precious and they depend on us to take care of them. Let’s get educated and empowered — for the children!
PS John’s case was said to be one of the most “complicated cases” of child molestation in a long time. To this day, I do not know if he also abused older children. He said his “favored age” was young, prepubescent girls, but I know for a fact that he also molested older girls. I’ll never know for sure how wide the net of his molestation went, but that’s not the purpose of this blog. The purpose of this is to educate you of the cunning ways of pedophiles and how they also groom adults into thinking they are wonderful people. John, to this day, is a wonderful person to many. Hardly a week goes by that I don’t get a call or an email saying, “I know John did this stuff, BUT — he was so good to me and my family. He will always be a pillar of strength to me.” That’s manipulation at its best!
As always, I welcome your comments!