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!

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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.

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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