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.
John’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!
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?
Note: Pedophiles 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!
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.
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.
As always, I appreciate your comments and your thoughts. And, I thank you for caring for the well-being of innocent children!