I was freaking for weeks before I arrived at the location where I was to be interviewed by the Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E) Investigative Team. I had spent the entire night before my interview awake, crying on and off in my hotel room.
I stood up because I just couldn’t sit still any longer.
Then the lead investigator stepped out and greeted me.
Now I was really silently FREAKING OUT!
I had a silent conversation with myself.
It went something like this:
“You’re safe. Those images of your abusers aren’t real. That happened a long time ago….Those are flashbacks. You’re safe. You’re fine. No one is going to hurt you here.”
“Listen, Cathy. Everyone you know who has been interviewed has said how these people are NOT judgmental and cruel.”
“These folks facial expressions don’t display anything even closely similar to your abusers or to the smirking face of Jim Berg.”
“Your finally honed creep detector isn’t going off, is it? You’ll be fine.”
“You’ve traveled a long way to be here today. This may be the only chance you’ve had from a solely Christian Group to tell your story to people who are interested in hearing your account— the truth.”
“You have lived through much worse than merely sitting and talking to these people. If they’re mean or cruel, leave. But at least give them the chance to prove they are not like your deceitful, guilty abusers who have surrounded the Truth with the Bodyguard of lies.”
Once I had that little silent “chat” with myself and “talked” myself into entering that room. The entire G.R.A.C.E. Investigative Team were professional, kind, understanding and affirming throughout the entire process before, during and in any follow-up communication after the first interview. Despite those times where on more than one occasion, I once again would panic, freeze-up, or just want to shut down. They remained professional, kind, understanding and affirming despite a few occasions where I lashed out of them because fear indeed was doing its A+ grade work on me….
If the G.R.A.C.E. Investigative Team are reading….
I struggle to find the words to express my gratitude to each-and-every one of you. There have been far too many in my life who have said things to me, or concerning me, to cover up my torture, rape, and physical abuse with insincerity wrapped in saccharine while ignoring or denying my pain and experiences. Trying to dismiss them away.
I am truly grateful for all you all have done and what you all will continue to do. Thank you.
Please follow THIS LINK demanding Bob Jones University honor the terms of their original agreement with Godly Response to Abuse in the Christian Environment (G.R.A.C.E.) by rehiring G.R.A.C.E. and allowing them to complete the investigation of sexual abuse at BJU.
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