the Hope of Survivors

No More Silence... by Marie W.

When I was fourteen (just turned 14) this guy Glen who went to our church, who was seven years older than me asked my mother one day if he could bring me and my brother Paul home from church. (I just recently remembered he was a preacher. Oh, that is really sick). She said ok. Glen wanted to know if me and Paul could start riding with him to church. It seemed ok and I thought it was cool to ride with someone other than my mother.

Glen then wanted to know if we could start going out which seemed ok because Paul was always with us. He then started picking us up from school. I thought this was great, not having to ride the bus home, and whatever I wanted he would get it for me. I had no clue he was grooming me and I would have to pay a price for that. He is the one who got Paul and me started smoking cigarettes. I thought I was doing something big smoking. I thought I looked really cool lighting up a cigarette and smoking it as I rode out of the parking lot of school.

He would take us to his house to play pool and take us to play arcade games, all the fun stuff teenagers like to do. I didn’t have a problem going out with him because it gave me a way to get away from Darriel (my brother 15 years older than me) and the mental, physical and emotional abuse from him. I was a very vulnerable target for him. I trusted him. He was supposed to be a Christian.

Glen started off really slow. Getting me comfortable going to his house, then he started horsing around, tickling me and goosing me and he threw me on his bed once and I jumped up quickly and said what are you doing. Then he wanted to go a step farther and started kissing me with very passionate kisses. It was like he then got obsessed with me because he had to come and see me everyday. He would take my hand and place it on his private while we were riding home at night. He had my mother fooled as to what kind of person he was. My mother would invite him to go with us when we would take trips out of town. So I never really got away from him. He would fondle me every chance he got me alone with him and one day he sodomized me in the same room that my older brother Darriel raped me. I carried that burden around with me for 20 years, never telling anyone what he had done to me. I felt as if in some way it was my fault. It has been only a year and a half since I started dealing with my abuse issues and only 2 months since remembering that Glen was a preacher. My wish is that maybe my story will help someone who needs the encouragement to start in their own healing. Your very survival is a testimony to your ability to give yourself permission to protect and take care of yourself and heal. Healing is not going to be easy but, you can heal. We just have to keep taking those little steps, one step at a time, one day at a time and pray for God to help us through each day. I hope by sharing my experience it will be of help to those struggling with similar experience and know that God is our great physician and can heal our deepest wounds.

After Glen sodomized me he didn’t have anything else to do with me. I remember him telling in front of my friend Malinda that I was a slut and whore. She told him to keep his mouth shut or she was going to slap the heck out of him. A couple of days later he went to Malinda’s house and asked her mom and dad could he take her out and they told him no way because of the age difference. I am thankful for that because he would have done the same thing to her.

When I first had my memory that Glen was a preacher I didn’t want to believe it. I told myself you must be crazy, but this bugged me very bad so I called a few other people that knew Glen to confirm my memory and they told me, yes, he was a preacher. I do remember now seeing him get up and preach several times. This is really sick. I am definitely confused about a lot of things. I would like to know why a man claiming to be a man of God would do something like that to a young girl. I was still a child and didn’t have a full understanding of what was happening to me and why it was happening. I did feel a lot of guilt and shame for the things that he did to me and I carried that burden around with me for 20 years. I struggled with self-injury issues (cutting and burning) when the pain in my heart from all the abuse was overwhelming to me. It gave me a release by feeling the pain on the outside. I know that was the wrong coping mechanism to use. I know God is still working on me to make me what he wants me to be and one day I will be whole. I hope by sharing my experience it will be of help to those struggling with similar experiences and know that God is our great physician and can heal our deepest wounds. Thanks for listening to my story. God bless you and continue to carry you through in your healing process.

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If you are a survivor of pastoral abuse, we would love to hear your story and possibly make it available on this web site for others to read and renew their hope. You can use a pseudonym if you choose and rest assured that all personal information will be kept private and strictly confidential. Please contact us.

Please note: We do not necessarily agree with or endorse all the information contained in the survivor’s stories. We do, however, feel they have some valuable information that could be useful to you in your recovery. It helps to know you’re not alone, that others have shared your pain and have healed, by the grace of God, in their own time and way.

The LORD is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart...Psalms 34:18