I reached past the psychologist and handed the sex offender clergy a picture of an eleven year old girl standing tall and skinny with a very sad face. The child in the picture was me. I told him ‘Here is a picture of the little girl you molested. You don’t know who I am now but you will remember this child. The adult woman before you now is courageous & strong but I want you to remember this child as I speak to you.’ I then read my prepared testimony addressing my remarks at a disciplinary church run sex abuse trial to him but not really looking at him. I told him exactly what I remember him doing to me as if it were yesterday. When I was finished I asked him a profound question, “who hurt you so badly that you had to hurt me so badly?” He had been in complete denial being interviewed by the committee of 8 clergy & well known psychologist. Looking at me he thanked me for coming, said he couldn’t recall being molested himself, and asked if I could find it in my heart to forgive him. I told him “I don’t know if you asked for my forgiveness because you got caught or if it came sincerely from you heart. Yes, you have my forgiveness!”
This pastor was found guilty on six counts of severe psychological & emotional abuse of me and three other women, his ministerial license was revoked & he was expelled from any further ministry. Seven weeks later he fell down the stairs & broke his back & died! As I penned my book, Listen to the Cry of the Child, I was finally able to go back to painful poignant journals that I had not looked at for decades & begin grieving my many losses & come to grips with what happened to me. I facilitate a trauma support group called “Beauty Out of Ashes” to help addicts out of darkness who have not yet told their secrets including murder to their therapists. Helping my husband face his past of his father’s suicide & having him hear me tell my story all over the world we are now helping other’s with broken wings. We celebrated 50 years of marriage May 1st, 2015 and are working together to give back with a Higher Power.
“God has brought Beauty Out of Ashes and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.” Isaiah 61:3