Clara Hinton – a modern day Heroine

It’s because of comments like this that I continue to write….Never would I consider myself a heroine of any sort, but I consider every one of you that has lived under the hand of abuse my hero. Every time God uses my words in some small way to help a person break free fom the cycle of abuse — whether physical, emotiona, or spiritual — I know that my past now is being used for good.
Let’s continue to speak out. Let’s continue to break free. Let’s continue to be advocates against abuse!
Love,
Clara

Miss Spirit

 For the past few months I have been avidly following the blog of Clara Hinton – Married to a Pedophile.  And although I have never met Clara in person, I am so in awe and inspired by her courage and spirit. She is also an amazing mother to eleven children – her son Chris, described her as a saint! She also has lots more grand children. Over the years, Clara suffered terrible psychological abuse at the hands of her preacher/pedophile husband, John. At the same time, he led a secret life which involved sexually abusing children in his parish. Clara’s abuse lasted for around 40 years until she plucked up the courage to leave. Of course that was not the end of the story because controlling, abusive men never just let their wives walk away peacefully or seek a win: win compromise. They just can’t do it and it is…

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Clara Hinton – a modern day Heroine

Never in a million years would I consider myself a heroine — ever, but it is humbling to know that God is using my past to help others.

Thank you all for continuing to read my story and thank you for expressing your stories, your journeys, and your questions about what to do now.  I’ll be adding resources and ways for you to get help to the blog.

You all are my heroes!!!!  Someone I’ve never met — someone I don’t know has written this story — sharing part of her life.  Please read, and hopefully her words will encourage you to speak out — even a little bit.  Every time that you speak out, you dilute the power an abuser has over you!

Clara Hinton – a modern day Heroine.

It’s because of things like this happening that I continue to write — praying over every word asking God to help me speak the truth in a way that will help others break free from the iron hand of abuse — whether it is emotional, physical, sexual, or all of different ways a person can be abused!

Love,

Clara

Married to a Pedophile: Our First New Year’s Eve

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!

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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.

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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!

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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 THISChild 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!

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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! 

Love,

Clara

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!

 

 

 

Married to a Pedophile: A Letter from Prison

Thanks so much for the overwhelming interest and response to this blog.  It makes me so happy to see so many people getting involved in this serious issue of protecting our children from predators and eventual molestation of innocent children.  If you are new to this blog, I would suggest that you begin reading here.  Please remember that this is my story.  I do not claim to be an expert on all the different aspects of a pedophile and the behavior of a pedophile.  What I do know is this:  I know how my life was affected and changed living for almost forty years with a practicing pedophile. And, I want to share that with you so that you can learn from me.  I want you to know what red flags to look for so that you don’t fall into the same trap that I did!

Last week, I had the privilege of being a guest blogger, and I thank Loony (Erica) for giving me an opportunity to voice my opinion on her blog, “Thoughts of a Lunatic”  on the very complex topic of whether or not a pedophile can be rehabilitated.  This post is going to go in a different direction just for today because I feel it’s so important for you to understand the way a pedophile thinks long-term.  At least the way the pedophile in my life is thinking.

A couple of weeks ago, I received my third letter from John since he has been in prison.  I have not spoken to him since he was under investigation.  I have chosen to remain silent with him for a number of reasons, and one of the reasons will become apparent to you when I share just a few lines from a letter from him to me.

Letter from JohnJohn’s letter was two pages, hand written front and back.  The first line that grabbed my heart and began to shred it was this:  “Dear Clara, I’m sorry I have ruined your life.”  That’s as far as I read until the tears came pouring from my eyes — actually, the tears came pouring from my heart.  Those words — “ruined your life” — felt like I was being stabbed with a knife over and over and over again.  Cold, hard stabs.  My first response was to sob, then curl up in a ball and cry for the next several hours.  It’s still so hard for me to grasp this whole thing.  I gave my heart, my very soul to a man that I loved and little by little my heart was kicked, beaten, and bruised until the final chapter when this letter arrived from prison and simply said, “I’m sorry I ruined your life.”

As you are reading these words, please think back to the post about rehabilitating a pedophile.  I don’t think it’s possible, and when I read further on down through the letter I’m convinced that the pedophile I was married to can never be rehabilitated.

As his words continued, he said, “I’m sorry that you had to see my dark side.  This has hurt you, I’m sure, but you’ve always been strong, and I have a favor to ask of you.”  Ah, I knew it!  I knew he could never leave it simply being sorry and asking forgiveness.  Here we go to the real John.  He’s going to ask (which really means “tell”) me what I’m supposed to do!

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My tears continued to fall like pouring rain.  How?  How could this man be asking me to do something for him when he had caused so much destruction in my life, the lives of each of his children, his grandchildren, and so many others who knew him?  If this has been me, I honestly believe I would have taken my life.  I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself.  But, the mind of a pedophile doesn’t work that way.  John was thinking about John.

What did he want?  He wanted me to talk to the kids and ask them why they weren’t all writing him.  Why can’t they forgive him and have a normal relationship with him?  I almost came out of my skin at that point!  Are you kidding me?  You’ve wrecked so many people in so many different ways and you want me to fix it? 

NotePedophiles do not take responsibility for their actions.  They find an escape and someone else to blame. 

John said, and I quote, “I have been forgiven by Abba Father.  The minute I asked Abba, I was forgiven.  Now, I want you to get the kids to forgive me so that we can be a family again.”  Really?  Really, John?  You want ME to fix this for you?  It’s not going to happen! 

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Reading his letter made me feel like I had been swallowed up by some giant lie and I was trapped and suffocating and needed to get out — needed to run away — break loose, so I could get some air.  I didn’t finish that letter that night.  Instead, I sobbed deep, hard sobs into my pillow for hours and hours.

Those words, “ruined your life” and “you’re strong……you need to get the kids to forgive me” kept playing over in my head again and again and again until finally I bolted upright around 4:00 a.m., and it was like a light bulb went on!  He was at it again!  He was using me from prison!  Or, let’s rephrase that — he was trying to use me from prison.  But it wasn’t going to work.  Not this time!  Never, ever again will I give that man permission to manipulate me, to use me, and to trick me into doing anything for him.  NEVER!  This is his responsibility to win back his kids’ respect, love, and forgiveness.  Not mine!  I will not be the enabler — the fixer — any more again! 

It took me about two weeks to open up that letter again and finish reading it.  What I read stirred feelings that I don’t think I’ve ever had before.  It was a mixture of horror, anger to the point of rage, heart pain that felt like my chest was going to explode, and a sadness that felt like I had fallen into a deep, bottomless pit.

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There it was.  In writing.  Right before my eyes.  “I’ve been forgiven.  I know I did wrong, but I’ve never felt more freedom in all of my life.  I’m teaching Bible studies in prison — like the Apostle Paul.  I’m in the church choir.  And, I’m doing a lot of one-on-one teaching.  I’m evangelizing from inside these prison walls.  But, I miss seeing everyone.  Can you tell ________________ to send me pictures of the kids?  I really need to see them.  I’ve been made whole, and I know I won’t ‘those thoughts’ again.”

In this letter, he specifically asked for photos of little girls.  Not parents.  Not photos of their families.  But, of the little girls.

And, I knew.  At that moment, I knew that all of the crying.  All of the brokenness.  All of the wishing things were different was for naught.  John says he is forgiven.  Maybe he is.  Maybe he isn’t.  But, I can tell you one thing.  He is not changed.  Not at all.  He is trying to manipulate me (and others) into sending him pictures of little children.  He is masking his motives.  He is trying hard.  He is being persistent.  He is using religion.  He is lying.  He is the same.  He is a practicing pedophile.  Only now, thankfully, he is kept away from children.

And, I thank God that the children are safe from this child molester.  Every day, I thank God that many, many children are safe because this one man has been taken away from the children!

Sometimes it’s easy to fall into this trap of, “God has forgiven me, why can’t you?  And, by the way, send me some pictures of little kids because I’m all okay now.”  Do NOT fall for it!  Please, be on your guard.  Pay attention.  Stay alert at all times!  Pedophiles are lurking, watching, planning, wanting, desiring, and acting.  They take innocent lives and hurt them — causing deep, lasting pain.  Please, for the children, let’s continue to stay alert and on guard so that we can protect our children!

Next week, I’ll go back to my regular writing.  I’ll be talking about our first New Year’s Eve together.  Let’s just say it was a party like none other!  But, for today I felt it was important to update you on the ongoing thoughts of a pedophile — even when caught, proven guilty with tons of evidence, claiming forgiveness and a new, clean slate, yet still……wanting the children and boldly asking — demanding, manipulating — for those selfish, hurtful, evil desires to be fulfilled. 

Keep alert.  If someone doesn’t seem right around your children, call that person out.  So what if you’re wrong?  It’s better to speak up and be wrong than to keep quiet and back off and always wonder if you could have possibly stopped a predator in his tracks! 

Thanks for hanging in here with me.  I know this is hard reading, but it’s important for us to know — to really understand how a pedophile works.

 

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As always, I appreciate your comments and your thoughts.  And, I thank you for caring for the well-being of innocent children!

Love,

Clara

Married to a Pedophile: Is Rehabilitation Possible?

A few weeks ago, the question was posed on another blog I follow as to whether or not it was possible for pedophiles to be rehabilitated.  That’s a difficult question, but a necessary one for us to think about.  Using the information I’ve gathered from many different sources as well as from my own experience of living almost forty years with a practicing pedophile, I’ve formed an opinion.

The blogger, “Loony” (Erica)  from “Thoughts of a Lunatic” accepted my thoughts to be used as a guest blogger today.  I’d like to share these thoughts with you, also.  Please be sure to visit “Thoughts of a Lunatic” to see what I said as my response to this question about rehabilitation.

I welcome your comments, and ask that you keep them respectful.  I know this can become quite a controversial issue, especially when bringing God and His forgiveness into the picture.  Have you given it much thought?  Can pedophiles be rehabilitated?  If so, to what degree?  When they say, “I’ve been through a counseling program.  I’ll never do this again”, do you believe that’s the truth?  What about when they say, “I’ve been forgiven by God, and I’ll never do this again”?

Can pedophiles be 100% rehabilitated — enough that you would allow a pedophile back into your home living with children, into your church interacting with children, and into your community where there would be interaction with children?  What about the internet?  Can a pedophile be rehabilitated to stay away from child pornography and the triggers that will lead to actions of molestation?  These are hard questions — tough questions, but they need to be addressed.

My blog post later on this week is going to be somewhat different as I’ll be sharing with you excerpts from a letter that John recently sent to me.  I want you to draw your own conclusions.  I think you will be both enlightened and very surprised!

Thanks so much for reading.  I know this isn’t easy reading, but it is necessary reading.

Always, always — we have one goal in mind:  to protect our children!

Love,

Clara

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!)

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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!

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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!

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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