Sunday, April 7, 2013

Chapter's 2 and 3

After Peter and Pam had welcomed their first little girl into their family, it became an obsession with them to find me a husband.  Together with another couple from the church, John and Linda, they worked on this task.

I had dreamed of getting married and having children since I was a little girl.  The problem was there were no prospects on the horizon.  This fact did not stop these determined people, they were on the hunt and there was no stopping them!

Peter had become like an older brother to me, so one night when he told me that he had met someone he thought would be perfect for me I trusted him completely.  He said that he had been talking with a young man who had started coming into the bookroom.  I had never seen him because I worked in an office on the second floor and never had much need for going downstairs.  I was told that his name was Gary, apparently he had seen me one day and had started asking Peter questions about me.

I am not by nature an outgoing person and the thought of meeting and talking with a stranger was unnerving to say the least. So my four co-conspirators got together and hatched a plan for us to meet.  It was decided that the six of us would get together after a Sunday evening service at John and Linda's.  I was to bring my guitar, and finding out that Gary played guitar as well, he was asked to bring his.  Somehow Peter manipulated things so that I found myself driving with Gary in his Camero to the house.

It was so funny watching everyone that evening.  Everything that was said and done had a double meaning!  At one point I found myself changing diapers and being told by Pam that it was really going to "impress Gary that I knew how to take care of a baby!"  I found it highly amusing that my best friend's good intentions had her relaxing and me changing her child's dirty diaper!

Valentine's Day fell in the middle of the following week, and I received a surprise at work.  Peter sent Gary to the staff room and then came and got me.  Gary had noticed on Sunday evening that my guitar needed new strings.  he brought me strings and a card!  I ran over to my apartment and got my guitar.  He spent the next hour or so restringing and tuning the guitar while I tried to work at my desk.  Before he left he asked me out to supper that Friday night.  I was one of the leaders of the youth group at church and had been busy planning a Valentines Banquet for that evening.  It was decided that I would go and do the youth group activity, then meet up with him, Peter and Pam for a double date at a Chinese restaurant.

It was nearly 9:00pm when we got to the restaurant.  I love Chinese food, but I had eaten at the church and wasn't really all that hungry.  Pam kept kicking me under the table and whispering to me that I had to eat something because Gary was paying for it.  Needless to say, I was stuffed when we finally left!

As we left the restaurant something happened that I was always fearful would happen in public.  I was born with a condition called "hip dysplasia", simply put, I don't have a left hip socket.  The condition is painful because it is just bone rubbing on bone (my left leg is also a bit shorter because of this).  At times when I walk my leg just "gives out" on me and I can fall if I'm not careful.  This is what happened when I went down the outside stairs at the restaurant that night.  I laughed it off, but inside I was so embarrassed and worried.  Would Gary want to date someone who had a birth defect like this?  I didn't have to wait long to find out.

                                                                  Chapter 3

That Sunday evening Gary and I spent at Peter and Pam's and the following week he started calling me at night.  I was excited but also apprehensive about what his response would be when he found out about my disability.  I didn't have long to wait.

During our second call he asked me if I had hurt my leg because he noticed that I walked with a slight limp.  I told him about my hip problem and also about two back surgeries I had when I was 13 which left me with a huge scar on my back.  He got very quiet, then said that he would have to think about whether or not he wanted to pursue a relationship with me.

I hung up with all my insecurities rearing their ugly heads at me again.  I had grown up laughed at and bullied because of my limp and the fact that I had to wear a lift on my left shoe.  I remember coming home from high school one day and getting a screwdriver and taking the lift off all my shoes.  I couldn't take the constant ridicule anymore.  Now once again I found myself being judged for a disability I had no control over.  The feelings of not being "good enough", and wanting to hide came back in full force.  I found myself hoping that he would overlook these "failings" and accept me.

A couple of days later he called back and said that he had decided to keep seeing me.  I was so relieved that I had been "accepted" that I ignored the first red flag that raised itself in my mind.  I had unknowingly taken the first step down into a pit of control and abuse.  He had accepted me despite the obvious flaws and I should be grateful.  In his mind I now "owed" him for this favor.

Becoming controlled by another person doesn't happen overnight.  A person who is obsessive, manipulative and overbearing has a built in radar, it seems to zone in on the weaknesses and inferiority's of another.  All my life I had just wanted to be accepted, to fit in and feel normal and he was "bestowing" on me that opportunity.

That Sunday night after church Gary offered to carry my guitar back to my apartment.  When we got to the door he asked if he could come in and pray with me before he went home.  I thought that was so nice and said OK.  He prayed, then asked if he could kiss me good-night.  It was our first kiss.  I never saw what was coming.  I knew that men could lose control quickly because of what had happened the year before to me by the guy I had been seeing, but Gary shredded that record all to pieces.  I kept saying no, but he wasn't listening, he had a goal in mind and there was no stopping him.  For years I've wondered why I didn't fight him, but looking back I think I was afraid of being beaten again.  It all happened so fast, I was left dazed and in pain.  I had been a virgin was the only thing that kept repeating over and over in my mind...I had been, but no more.  I was to stunned to cry.  I just lay there in pain and shock listening to him crying and promising that it would never happen again.  He kept begging me to forgive him.  When I didn't say anything he started telling me that Jesus commanded us to forgive one another, therefore it was my obligation as a Christian to forgive him.

I don't remember saying much to him that night.   He left and I started to cry.  I just couldn't comprehend what had just happened!  I felt confused, and totally hurt by God...why had He let this happen?  What was I being punished for?  Not once did it occur to me to go to anyone.  I felt so much humiliation and shame that I knew I could never talk about it...and I didn't.  It got buried in the back of my mind with the other abuses.

Unless you are someone who has been raped you cannot understand the torment, shame and guilt that floods the soul.  For some reason the sin of the abuser becomes the force that drives the abused.  There is no understanding this, I've tried for years, its just what happens.  The abused takes the blame and responsibility for what has occurred, even though it's the force from hell that broke them.

After a couple of days he started calling again every night.  He worked nights as a janitor at a school.  Somehow despite all the work he had to do, he still found time to talk for at least an hour each night.  I was wary at first and unsure of myself.  On Saturday he brought me flowers and was very much a gentleman, and I let my guard down.  In a sick way I still felt flattered that he wanted to see me.  Looking back I realize that I was very immature and naive about things.  Don't misunderstand me, I am not in any way excusing Gary from the responsibility of what he did (and kept doing), I'm just saying that's just the way it was.  Nothing makes sense about what happened, if only I had gone to someone for help!  I was being broken bit by bit until the guilt was so terrible it was eating me alive. 

There were always tears and promises from him, and like a fool I accepted these declarations as truth, only to find myself burned again and again.  It didn't take long for me to feel like the scum of the earth, and that I didn't deserve anything better.  I was "used" property;  what decent Christian man would ever want me for a wife? 

Its only been recently that I understand how this type of abuser works.  They pick up on the low self-esteem, the emotional dependency, and the pliability of the person they are controlling, and they become masters of deception.  This doesn't negate the responsibility that I had to protect myself, but it showed me what an easy target I was and how quickly I became snagged and trapped.

He soon had me believing that if I broke up with him it would be a sin.  I had lost my virginity to him, therefore ending up with someone else would make me a whore in God's eyes...and in God's mind I belonged with him and only him.  This is called religious abuse, using God as a scare tactic, a bully, to control the other person.  How I ended up believing this was true I don't know, I just know that I did.

Within six weeks of starting to see him he had asked me to marry him.  I found myself despite everything, excited.  It meant that I could have a family;  it also meant that I could stop feeling so much guilt and shame every time he demanded sex...I so wanted rid of those feelings!

I had a lot of doubts about marrying him.  Each time these thoughts came into my mind I would push them away.  I felt this was my only option.  The date was set for October 5, 1985, seven months away.

I've asked myself this same question for years, "why was I so stupid?"  I have no answer.  How does anyone get duped?  You listen to lies and half truths long enough and that's what you start to believe.  Sometimes believing the lies is easier than facing the truth.  I can honestly say that I was in love with the thought of marriage, not with who I was marrying.


  1. Cindy, this is incredibly painful to read; I can't imagine how it was to write it out after so long. You now have the understanding of hindsight and the education about abuse of all kinds. Back then, you didn't. You were a young, innocent girl.

    You really hit the nail on the head with the idea that you owed him a favor since he decided to date you. It amazes me that not even his rape of you "repaid" that "favor" - but then, these people are not of the light. They have dark souls.

    I am sure God stands by, waiting, just in case they choose to accept...but they never accept. I don't think they can.

    Thank you for publishing this. It means the world to me to see you stand tall and spit on the pain of abuse. Yes, the pain is there, but you are bigger and stronger. You rule, Cindy!

  2. My dear Cindy,
    I started to read your story and I was just overwhelmed with sadness for you...It has taken great courage for you to write and even greater courage to allow us to read and see what you have lived...God bless you...and thank you for allowing me into your life...Bonnie

  3. My heart bled reading this. Hindsight is a beautiful thing but we thank God for the lessons we learn