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Hit and Run….

As a survivor of sexual exploitation, the most challenging aspect of my recovery is when it began.

I was abused from such a young age yet, at the time,  it actually seemed normal to me … just another chore on the farm.

Cathy 4th grade pic
By 4th or 5th grade, my body had been pushed  so far by the level of abuse (and the number of those who sexually assaulted me) that my physical senses became numb and my mentality reduced rape to just another one of my farm chores. Another chore I must comply with obediently– just like helping milk the cows, clean the stalls, or feed the animals.  Yet I was still just a child.  A captive, abused child who did what she was told to avoid being beaten, have 8 to 9 inch hat-pins poked through my upper arms, or getting punched, kicked,  or burned.  I just thought all kids must live that way.

Then suddenly, I was at 13 or 14 living in the  fundamental pastor’s home.  I remember making a remark when it dawned on me all kids didn’t live the way I had lived on the farm.  The response I was given, “You knew it was wrong. You just want to make excuses.”
But, how could I know?  Looking back I remember I was very confused – confused and hurt.  What excuses?

I’ve been thinking about sexual abuse and assault. In particular, concerning how in too many of these crimes, it is as if the victim is a victim of a hit and run car accident. There seem to be some major differences, however.  While witnesses to a hit and run accident witnesses will run to the aid of the wounded victim, get the license plate number of the car, or stay to fill out a police report, the same rules don’t seem to apply to sexual crimes.  During nearly 20 years as an nurse, I do not recall one incident when a person was blamed for being a victim of a hit and run. All outrage and blame was directed toward the driver who hit someone, caused multiple trauma as a result, but just took off without stopping.

Within too many churches and Christian organizations, we see the perpetrator ‘runs the victim over’ but could care less about the traumatic wounds s/he has caused. Then to add to the victims wounds, far too many church leaders and church members walk or drive by heckling the victim concerning what a shame it is the victim is so wounded.

What a pity the survivor isn’t capable or needs assistance to get back to “normal”.

What a pity the survivor may still limp around with emotional, psychological, and spiritual problems.

“Why can’t you just get over it?”

God forbid, the survivor is left with some long-term issue or disability such as Clinical Depression, PTSD, anxiety, or substance abuse problems. But even when that happens, many Christian leaders, pastors and church members run over the victim again and again – often reversing to run over the victim again while the s/he is attempting to get out of the way.

I have even taken care of a few drunk hit and run pedestrian victims. I don’t recall even the drunk hit and run victims being blamed.

Let’s look at  the same scenario with a sexual assault victim.

The victim will be told if she wasn’t drunk she wouldn’t have been raped.

“What was she doing walking down that street?”

“What were you wearing?”

“You wanted it.  Now you just have buyers remorse.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It’s common for a survivors of such crimes to be told such things as “I understand why you’re bitter, but….”.

“I hate to add more to your concerns but this all falls from a consequence of your actions.”

Pastors, nouthetic counselors or Christians leaders rarely, if ever, use the word pain when speaking to or about the victim of these crimes.  Nor do they tend to acknowledge a crime was even committed. The church and Christian leaders are at the same place general society was in the ’70’s when dealing with these crimes. Perhaps even worse in some cases.

church leaders abuse

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21 thoughts on “Hit and Run….

  1. “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.” Hebrews 12:15

    You don’t just have a root of bitterness.

    Wow!

    Bitterness exudes from your pores.

    • I would rather be around a person you would call bitter (read: a person seeking justice and healing) than I would a supporter of perverts like…. oh, Fundy “pastors”. Go back to the Hell from whence you came, Al.

    • Al you are complete jackass … and I mean that in the Biblical sense.

      If you really don’t like what you read, why do you keep trolling on over here? Could it be that you are trying to “show your mettle” to some older man-o-gawd and do his bidding? Are you that confused about who God is and what his story tells us? Are you that calloused to justice?

      Man, I sure hope your sheeple wake up and smell the loving grace of Jesus. You sound so legalistic and bitter I can’t imagine what your sermons must sound like – though I’m guessing you just constantly hound them about being better people under the guise of claiming that’s what God demands.

      Give it a rest why don’t you?

      Mark (friend of Cathy and brother of Jesus)

    • Shame on you! She was through a tragic and life-changing ordeal that NO ONE should ever go through. And as a “Pastor” how can you make sarcastic comments? Way to show your “Christ-like” love to someone in pain and needing our love and support in a time of need. God is so pleased with your type, oh that’s right, he singles out your type all the time in the NT – I believe they were called the Pharisees and Saduccees….

  2. Dang, “pastor” Al! I would say you’re the one who is bitter, and without compassion, love or any concern for others. If you’re a pastor, I’m certain you must really suck at it!

  3. Ultimately you seem to have heard preaching of truth that has rubbed you the wrong way and you have developed a method of your own and now you substitute it as gospel. You are actually engaging in part in what you condemn.

    Your method is not gospel.

      • Careful, Cathy, you might be on to something. After all, no sane person would oppose an abuse survivor seeking justice and healing. I can’t imagine what this creep’s issue would be… but then I am nowhere near that twisted.

    • Actually, it is gospel…. a false gospel. The god of Fundamentalism is a weak and perverse being, far from the God of the Holy Scripture. Al’s a false teacher, and he doesn’t want to follow a God of radical holiness. He likes the god who lets him and his buddies do what they want, regardless of who is harmed.

  4. Hey! Could somebody call over to that BJU fan club blog and tell them one of their members from the retiree’s/old-timers forum got lost and wandered over here? I don’t think he knows at all where he is. Someone will sit him outside at the curb until they can pick him up.

  5. Pastor Al, just go on to your goddamn fundamentalist Hell! If it exists, there’s a special torment waiting for YOU. How dare you comment here, you sick son of a bitch! How many boys & girls have you destroyed? You see, our anger is strong. And as a group, we could beat your ass! Sorry for the cussing, but it’s what I thought.

  6. I’m sorry you have had experiences that leave you having a generalised belief about the way churches and spiritual leaders can sometimes hold the victim to account for abuses apon them.

    I have been very blessed with a church community and elders who’s values advocate the healing and restoration of peoples hearts, minds and well being.

    I do understand that the types of scenarios you refer to happen and are quite common, not only within the church (whatever denomination) but also across the broader community.

    Thankyou for taking the time to share your experiences.

    ML
    x

  7. Pingback: The BJU Sex Abuse Coverup, Day 10 | The BJU Sex Abuse Coverup

  8. Al, you are no pastor, you are an asshole. I am not going to bother to respond to you and suggest that others do the same. Can we get back on topic, please? Cathy, my heart just broke reading this! Your story just haunts me. I am so proud of you for speaking out your truth. It is the ugly but we need to hear it. I like the analogy you used of the hit-and-run victim. This is so true! It is horrible enough to go through the abuse and have to live with the pain of the memories but then when we speak out and are re-victimized by church people it is like we run over all over again. Anyone who could read your story here and have their only response be that of berating you for bitterness, is like that driver who puts the car in reverse and run you all over again. My God, honey you were just a sweet little girl and I can’t even comprehend the evil in the heart of those who could abuse you. I so wish I could have been there with you to help you. I like to think the the two of us might have been able to fight them off. I would have died trying to protect you. I really would have. So sorry my friend for what you are endured. Far from seeing a bitter person, I see a beautiful woman who has known a ton of pain but is still willing to get up and fight back. That makes you a hero in my book. I love you!

  9. Ok, I just realized that I do know who you are, Pastor Al. My brother was a deacon at BBC during the time that you were still there, Al, so I really should have realized your identity much sooner. I guess I was thrown off by the lie you wrote on September 5, 2013 when, in one of your many inane comments on Cathy’s blog, you wrote to her that “we don’t know each other”.

    I wonder if the members of your church would be interested to know about your persistently unChristlike behavior on this blog? They might also be interested to know about your struggles with dishonesty. They might also be interested to know about your many character flaws that led to you not being called as senior pastor of BBC.

  10. Thank you so very much for writing this. i am sorry for the things you endured but oh so glad that you let the Lord use you as a voice for those still abused and those still suffering emotionally from abuse. i also remember the day when i realised all families werent like mine, and that all kids didnt have sex. thank you agaain for sharing.

    • Oh Sam, thank you for commenting. I’m so sorry to hear what you went through.

      Speaking from my own experience, healing from this type of abuse is neither logical nor is it linear.

      It’s also a myth that you don’t ever “get over it”. Instead you get through it–the rest of your life.

      Cathy

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