Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Fighting to stay LDS

When your father is a perpetrator it is a given that you have issues with religion.  There are many reasons for this.  The less known reason is the manipulation the perpetrator father plays.  What society does not know is that a perpetrator needs a religion in order to enable his perpetration.  The perpetrator enmeshes himself in the organization, always seeking for ways to advance socially in the organization.  The Perpetrator uses the church as a way to gain trust from others.  He uses it as a way to gain respect from others.  These two tools trust and respect are the perpetrators most important tools.  Add to this the fact that a father in many ways becomes the symbol of  God in is daughter mind and you have plenty of reason to have issues with the church.  But there are still more reasons.

Then the perpetrator father teaches his daughter a twisted form of religion, a religion that takes the principals of the church and changes them and twists them.  The father uses this twisted religion to indoctrinate his daughter into the role of being his perpetual victim.  But more then this, his twisted religion is presented as standard church doctrine.  The daughter grows up where all the key words of church doctrine mean something very different to her, because of the way her father twisted everything.  But because her father is using the same key words as the rest of the church all the talks the daughter hears only reinforce her fathers twister reality, because she simply puts his definition of words into the slot each time the word is used.  That there is another huge reason to have issues with the church.  But there is still more.

At some point the daughter will try to break out of the abusive pattern.  When this is done the father then pretends to repent.  Because the only person in the room with the bishop is the father the father has allot of room to embellish his own story about what happened.  The father will supposedly go talk to the bishop, Then he will come back to the family and tell them some lie about how he is fully repentant and about how his actions should all be kept secret.. He can further complicate this by leaving the child with the impression that while it is a secret what he did, it is somehow illogically not a secret that the child wanted these inappropriate affections from her father.  Thus the child believes that everyone thinks the child caused the problem. No one blames the perpetrator, not the church, the Bishop or even God.  All the way up tot he top official himself, God, the perpetrator is forgiven for his minor infraction, but the greater infraction of the child seeking that attention is not forgiven in fact is is known abroad and unforgivable.  What official is the child left to turn to?  If the child's mother bought that show, because she was in such an emotional mess she could not see straight, then the child can not turn to her.  The child can no longer turn to the church, the child can not even turn to God himself.  But still, still that is not the end of the reason the child has issues with the church.  

Next comes the issues of why did God not save the child from the father's sexual abuse?  Why when the child prayed and prayed for protection and help did no one come to help?  Who is God really if he can not save the child from the father?  

Then that is compounded by the stupid LDS philosophy that all experiences are good ones that make us grow stronger.  Who ever believes that does not understand the true nature of abuse.  Am I really suppose to thank god for my abuse?  Does the abuse come from God to help me grow? How am I suppose to believe that line of thinking and not be angry at God?  

Then there is the LDS belief that we chose where we came to earth.  Why wold I chose to come to an abusive family, is the obvious question. For the greater trial and the greater blessing? Really?  That does not answer the question. There are plenty of abused people that never break free from the abuse, never grow past it and never gain a better life or understanding because of it.  It can not be argued that inevitable end result is that we all grow from abuse, that just is not the case.  Most abused victims spend a life wallowing in misery and worthlessness that never lets up or improves.  Being compelled to a life of worthlessness has no inherent value.  Nothing is gained in the strengthening of the spirit, in fact quite the opposite, the spirit is most often broken and falls into patterns of sin and rebellion.   

Then there  is the question of the nature of God.  It is a cruel God that knowingly sends a child into an abusive home. 

The perpetrator imposes a reality on the victim of one of lack of confidence and self doubt. This is necessary or the victim would stop the abuse and report it.  The victim is taught to that their judgment betrays them, that it is the opposite of good, that it is the cause of their problems.  The LDS church has a strong belief of personal revelation.  But the victim feels that it has been proven to them that their judgement is faulty, then the victim is someone suppose to turn to God in times of stress and look for guidance?  That would require the victim to trust their ability to receive communication accurately.  Also turning to God for help in times of stress would require the victim to believe that God will for some reason help them now, that they need something little, like say finding their keys, when God offered no noticeable help while the abuse was happening.  

Lets say the victim somehow magically fights through all of those issues the victim still has church based triggers to deal with.  Everytime the all time favorite words of repentance, atonement, forgiveness are mentioned the victim has to fight back anger, disappointment, and frustration to say the least, of the memory of her father using the repentance process as an abusive club to keep her down.  Various words spoken, various actions will trigger the victom.  Like the sacrament, watching her pious father take it the day after he abuses her.  etc.  These weekly things at church all trigger abuse memories and cause the daughter to relive her trauma.  

Not to mention that the church has a very favorable policies towards perpetrators.  The daughter has to go to church with other perpetrators and see how they are treated with trust and respect, the two things the perpetrator needs to keep abusing.  So while the daughter may find ways to heal all the other spiritual inconsistencies, nothing will change the fact that just going to church triggers her repeatedly.  

In spite of all this some of us still do chose to fight to stay LDS.

Talking With My Husband

Yesterday my husband gave me permission to feel like crap.  Before when I felt like crap I would feel my parents scorn towards me.  I would feel that I was depressed, lazy, blaming my problems on others, lazy, unmotivated, wasting time, and more negative ideas then I can put words to.  My husband asked me why it was that I could not admit it when my fathers actions were effecting me negatively.  He supposed that I did not want  to talk about cause and effect of my fathers actions because I did not want to talk about the abuse in any way, because it was a bad memory.  While that may be a factor, I think the real reason is because I never wanted to admit that I felt like crap, because I felt like feeling like crap was my fault, like it was an indication of my own laziness for lack of a stronger word..... Worthlessness... that is the word that I could not  pull out.  I feel worthless when I feel like crap.  I feel like it is all my fault that I feel worthless.  But today as I feel like crap it is a nice release to say inside my head that this is my fathers doing.  It is nice to say, I feel like crap because of my father.  It is nice to say that and not feel worthless.

Yesterday my husband talked about what a horrible, awful rotten person my father was.  As he did I felt part of me heal.  It was so calming a reassuring to hear someone outside of me talk about how awful my father is.  It made it more certain, more real, not all just in my head.  I sometimes debate weather or not my fathers awfulness is all just me holding a grudge.  But here I no longer had to doubt myself, my assessment that my father was awful.  For my husband to talk about how rotten my father was on his own validated me and strengthened me.  It is nice to be able to talk to someone about how horrible my father is and have them agree.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Church Manual - parts of interest to me

Understanding and Treating Sexual Abuse

Understanding and Treating Sexual Abuse
Since the 1 970s, many segments of society have demanded that steps be taken to reduce child sexual abuse. This outcry began in the mid-1970s when it became apparent that children who said they had been sexually abused were almost always telling the truth.

Sexual abuse is defined in the booklet Child Abuse—Helps for Ecclesiastical Leaders as “any sexually stimulating activity between a child and an adult or another child who is in a position of power, trust, or control” (p. 2).

Adults who describe the effect of being molested as children say that the form of sexual abuse makes little difference. Sexual fondling may be as traumatic as intercourse. The violation of the child’s trust affects her more than the actual nature of the abuse.

Relationship of Perpetrator to Victim

Forty-seven percent of the offenders come from the children’s own families or extended families. Another 40 percent, though not family members, are known by the children (Brown and Holder, 1980). Victims molested by non-family members are more likely to report the abuse than victims of incest. When abuse is perpetrated by family members, it may be years before the child or another family member is willing to report it.

Russell (Salter, 1988) studied a random sample of 930 adult women and found that 38 percent reported having been abused before age eighteen. Russell trained her interviewers extensively and had strict definitions about what constituted abuse. Hands-off offenses such as exhibitionism were excluded. Despite the narrowness of her definitions, Russell’s study, when compared with others, revealed the highest percentage of women who had been sexually abused.

Variances in studies show the difficulty of providing consistent statistics for the prevalence of sexual abuse among the general population. The more reliable studies do suggest, however, that sexual abuse may be the most underreported form of abuse.

Incidence among Church Members

In 1990, 1,872 children were reported to have been sexually abused in Utah (Division of Family Services Report, 1990). It is not known how many of these cases involved Latter-day Saints. There are no other reliable studies that reveal the prevalence of child abuse among members of the Church.
According to Feinauer (1988), the most devastating psychological effects occur when victims are abused by a trusted person who is known to them. Family relationship does not appear to be the determining factor in creating distress. The emotional bond the victim feels toward the perpetrator and the betrayal of trust appear to be the key factors.

Nevertheless, abuse within the family often results in the most severe effects. This is due to the longer duration and frequency of the abuse, the close relationship and greater age difference between the perpetrator and victim, the use of force, and the greater intrusiveness of the sexual activity (Russell, 1986). It is also due to the child’s dependence on, entrapment in, and loyalty to her family, which requires her to use strong defenses to cope (Courtois, 1988).

Because of the trauma associated with incest, the remaining portion of part 2 will describe the problems of incest survivors, although other victims of abuse may suffer in similar ways.

Long-term effects (two or more years following abuse) may include generalized anxiety; anxiety attacks; continued sleep disturbance and nightmares; fear of people, enclosed places, and the dark; anxiety about sexuality during adolescence; chronic depression with suicidal thoughts and attempts. Victims are much more likely than other people to consider or attempt suicide and to engage in self-mutilating or other types of sell-harmful behavior (Briere and Runtz, 1986).

Initially, abused children develop a negative view of themselves. Feelings of guilt, shame, and complicity are caused by the secrecy, entrapment, and betrayal by a trusted family member. Some children compensate by trying always to be good, hoping that their efforts will make the abuse stop. The shame is compounded if the child discloses the abuse and is blamed or disbelieved. She may feel increased isolation, worthlessness, and hopelessness. As she realizes that others have not had the same experiences, she may feel marked, disgusting, freakish, and unworthy of positive attention from others.

Physical Effects

Initial physical effects may include  aches and pains such as headaches or gastro­intestinal and gemtourinary pains;  physical signs of depression and anxiety such as lethargy, inability to concentrate,

Over the long term, victims may manifest self-hatred and self-disgust through physical problems. They may abuse or disregard their bodies. They may have chronic pain, infection, and phobias about genitourinary organs and their functioning. Victims may also have general physical problems such as anxiety, stress, obesity, or anorexia.

Initial effects on relationships include marked impairment in the victim’s ability to relate to and trust others; withdrawal even though the child is still needy and dependent. The needs of the child may be masked by her behavior. She may be very compliant or may act like a parent. She may appear mature beyond her years, taking care of everyone else in the family. But she does this because it is expected of her, it provides her with some power, it helps compensate for her feelings of badness, and it is a means of getting others to like her.

1. General difficulties in relationships. Fear, the inability to trust, and hostility lead to superficial relationships with both men and women.

3. Problems with parents, family members, and authority figures. The victim may feel hostility and rage toward family members or authority figures, or she may distance herself from the family to prevent continued abuse.

Chronic abuse may interfere with a child’s ability to learn. Victims may have difficulty learning, remembering, and concentrating, and they may have a shortened attention span.
Still others feel compelled to become super women. These are susceptible to burnout in their efforts to compensate for perceived personal deficiencies.

Incest often influences the way victims perceive the Church. Victims frequently distort and misconstrue religious concepts such as honesty, obedience, chastity, sin, punishment, worthiness, and repentance. When children learn that the abuse was wrong, they often feel confused and guilty. They conclude that they must be bad because they were part of it.

Incest victims tend to associate God with their earthly parents. They have difficulty understanding a loving, trustworthy Father in Heaven when they have an earthly parent who lies, manipulates, and sexually abuses them. Victims may also believe that their lot in life is to be abused. They may believe that their plight was chosen in the premortal world and that the Lord wanted them to be born into this family and have these experiences. Russell (1986) found that many victims of sexual abuse stopped believing in religious teachings.

Extensive treatment is frequently needed to un­scramble the pathology associated with sexual abuse. Solving debilitating problems such as those described above often requires the combined efforts of qualified professionals and ecclesiastical leaders. The remaining portions of this module will describe assessment and treatment approaches.

Victims of sexual abuse need spiritual as well as professional help. Without spiritual help, victims may continue suffering through adulthood.

In families where incest occurs, nonoffending spouses and non-victim children often need spiritual as well as professional help.

“President Gordon B. Hinckley in counsel to priesthood holders states:

“‘Perhaps [child abuse) has always been with us but has not received the attention it presently receives. I am glad there is a huge and cry going up against this terrible evil, too much of which is found among our own’ (in Conference Report, Apr. 1985, p. 66; also Ensign, May 1985, p. 50).
“If any people ought to shun abusive activities and administer comfort and cures for such problems, it should be the Latter-day Saints. Church members should strive to exemplify Christlike attributes in all their relationships and avoid cruelty and other inappropriate behavior toward family members and others.

“A great privilege of mortal life is bringing children into the world. In this process, parents become co-creators with their Heavenly Father and are responsible to protect their children in every way. Children have a God-given tight to that protection and to complete security in their home. Parents should be willing to give their lives, if necessary, for the protection of their children.

“It is difficult to understand why any priesthood holder would abuse little children verbally, emotionally, or physically. When an adult member of the Church brings ugly, immoral involvements to innocent children, his priesthood leader needs to respond” (p. 1).

Ensure that victims correctly understand the Church’s position on abuse and the gospel principles
Historically, LDS Social Services has provided short-term therapy. However, long-term treatment is often necessary to resolve problems related to abuse. The needs of sexual abuse victims, perpetrators, and their family members are often extensive. As an LDS Social Services practitioner, you must necessarily limit your involvement in this problem area. Whenever possible, you should refer those affected by sexual abuse to therapists who specialize in such treatment. Provide therapy only in the circumstances outlined below or where local resources do not exist. The following guidelines will help you determine the extent to which you should become involved.

Accept only clients that can be treated adequately according to agency policy and within the time constraints of your agency. The efforts of LDS Social Services are usually best suited for (1) brief group therapy for adults molested as children, (2) victims with mild to moderate problems, (3) families with minor to moderate adjustment problems related to abuse, and (4) adolescent perpetrators who are not entrenched in abusive life-styles.

The ability to deal with transference and Children have a disposition to please adults. They countertransference. For example, it is common for a female who has been victimized by a male to perceive a male therapist in the same negative way that she perceives other males.
Children have a disposition to please adults. They may tell you what they think you want to hear rather than what really happened.

When child abuse is reported to public officials and ecclesiastical leaders, it is not always clear what actually happened. As a rule, children should be believed when they report abuse. Only a small percentage make up stories. Unfortunately, most victims are reluctant to share information because they are embarrassed or fear punishment. Many are coached to lie and are warned that telling what they know will destroy the family or cause the perpetrator to be thrown in prison. Others lack verbal skills to accurately describe the abuse.

Perpetrators typically deny or minimize accusations and often try to frighten victims into dropping charges. Adults sometimes wonder if accusations are contrived, exaggerated, or minimized. A thorough investigation by local authorities is needed to determine exactly what happened, not only to satisfy the demands of the law but also to help determine the victim’s need for treatment.
Sexual terminology and behavior that is unusual and inappropriate for the child’s age and background.

Sleep disturbances such as nightmares, phobias, or fear of being alone in the dark.
Changes in behavior and performance at school such as a short attention span, inability to concentrate, declining grades, poor study habits, unexplained absences, or tiredness for no apparent reason.

Histrionic attention-seeking, egocentricity, overdramatization, excitability, talkativeness, emotional lability,

Crying for no apparent reason.

Excessive watching of television.

Victims often feel estranged from God and long to be freed from shame, anger, guilt, and a sense of unworthin

Bishops can also help victims understand that they were not responsible for the abuse.

Focus on Multiple Family Problems

Incest frequently occurs in extremely dysfunc­tional families with many problems. Perpetrators lie about and minimize their sexual crimes and, in the process, model deceptive behaviors for other family members. Victims, spouses, and siblings soon learn that they, too, must deny, rationalize, and minimize problems to protect themselves as well as the perpetrator. Family members often live in fear, isolating themselves from the community to keep their secret from being discovered. Victims often use deceit and denial as coping strategies against the painful realities of abuse. Once these families are brought into treatment, their extremely pathological behavior can create chaos among the agencies and individuals who try to help them unless all those involved work in close harmony with one another.

 Role reversals are common, with the victim daughter assuming many of the nurturing, caretaking responsibilities of the nonoffending mother.

Extreme family interdependency is shown in the conspiracy of silence surrounding abusive behavior.

Father-daughter incest is potentially the most damaging form of incest and is the kind most frequently prosecuted by the courts. The average victim is ten years old when her father begins his sexual advances (Giaretto, 1976, p. 2). Incestuous fathers are often anxious and insecure, and have less self-confidence than men in the general population (Rosenfeld, 1977). They frequently choose incest because they are unable to deal with adult women and establish ties with the outside community. In many cases, they have been raised in incestuous families and are victims themselves.

They often rationalize their incestuous behavior as fatherly affection or as a means of teaching children the facts of life.

Nonoffending parent” is a term used to describe the husband or wife of an incest perpetrator.~ In child sexual abuse literature, nonoffending parents have been described as passive-aggressive, helpless, rigid, overpowering, aloof, distancing, controlling, caring, castrating, or dehumanizing. Investigation has uncovered profiles of almost every type of personality (Brown and Tyson, 1978; Weiner, 1962). It is common for nonoffending parents to have been sexually abused as children and to be overtly or covertly aware that their children are being abused.

Nonoffending mothers often have low self-esteem and feelings of insecurity.

The nonoffending parent is often the object of the victim’s passive or focused rage. The child believes that the nonoffender knows she is being abused, even though this may not be the case. She feels that the nonoffending parent should do something about the abuse. She hopes the parent will protect her, divorce the offender, or at least make him stop the abusive behavior.

A child victim frequently believes the only person to whom she can express her anger is the nonoffending parent. This parent may love the victim but may struggle to understand and cope with the confusion, anger, and frustration of the victim, especially when the victim’s hostility is directed at her. When the victim is with the offender, she is often compliant and attentive and seems to prefer him over the nonoffending parent. This may confuse the nonoffending parent. The perpetrator often adds to the dilemma by persuading the victim to view the nonoffender as weak, deficient, or unable to parent.

If the nonoffending parent has lingering psychosomatic illnesses or is dependent on prescription drugs for such illnesses, the perpetrator may encourage her to remain isolated and to avoid her responsibilities so that he can have greater access to the victim.

When a nonoffending spouse is very dependent, her ability to acknowledge and expose the sexual abuse is greatly diminished. She realizes that disclosure creates the risk of extreme financial hardship for the family. She may choose not to report the abuse until she is employed and has enough money saved to escape with the children. Her self-esteem is often so low that she perceives herself as unemployable. She is frequently unskilled.

Some dependent nonoffenders reject evidence of the abuse, choose to believe the offender’s story of innocence, and psychologically abandon the victim while clinging to the perpetrator as the only hope for survival. Other family members may gather around the offender. Dissenters who sympathize with the victim are rejected. In this way, the perpetrator maintains control of the family and perpetuates their dependency.

When incest occurs, nonoffending parents usually feel guilty and angry about their poor choice of companions. Both they and their children fear the offender.

Henry Kempe (1977) discovered that people who are physically or mentally impaired have a 30 percent greater risk of being abused than those who are not. Disturbed, controlling adults often rationalize that these children do not have normal feelings or will not have normal relationships during their lifetimes. The victims often believe they are unworthy of relationships and do not allow closeness. A pattern often evolves in which they are continually victimized.

Forgetting is often perceived as a threat. If the victim were to allow herself to forget about the abuse, it could happen again.

Victims often respond to treatment in the same way they responded to the abuse. They wait to be told what to do instead of taking an active role in the therapy process. They have learned not to express feelings, hold opinions, or discuss choices. If they do not get better immediately, they may believe it is their fault. Consequently, therapy often seems to result in failure.

Begin the strengthening process by giving the child permission to accept and express feelings of anger and hurt. Incest victims, particularly, are afraid to accept or express their feelings. They often fear further rejection. They tend to blame themselves, thus inhibiting the healthy attitude that they have a right to be angry and feel hurt because their parent or parents have betrayed them (Porter, et al., 1984, p. 128).

Maxine Murdock stated: “Virtue is something that cannot be taken away from anyone; it can only be given up voluntarily. If for example, a person is robbed, does that make him a robber or a thief? Or if someone takes your life, are you therefore guilty of murder? Certainly not. And of course the same is true of rape: the guilt lies with the perpetrator, not the victim.”
6Murdock, Maxine, “When It Happens to One Among Us,” Ensign, October 1981 (emphasis added).

Faith Healings - Or Seeking Professional Care for Emotional Scars and Cancers

In our day and age we have an understanding of medical science.  We understand the need for medical care of physical ailments.  If someone is severely cut or if someone has cancer we take that person to a qualified medical professional.  There are times that priesthood blessings have held in them the ability to do all the healing a person needs.  But healing medical problems by priesthood blessings is not the standard.  Instead we give blessings to our sick and medically afflicted before, during and after medical treatment.  Our blessings bless the afflicted that the medical professionals will be skilled and inspired.  The more medical experts act on true principals of healing the more skillfully they help their afflicted patients.  Through true principals and spiritual guidance medical professionals work towards healing sick patients.  In this way medical healing is not an act of healing by faith alone, it is an act of works, works by skilled professionals using true principals.  The faith comes in as we ask the spirit to guide the professionals and strengthen the afflicted. 

Why is it that we then fall into the trap of believing that emotional scars should be healed by faith alone? Many emotional scars and cancers also need the work of a skilled professional.  Just as a gash needs to be stitched up severe emotional scars need to be nit together by a professional acting on true principals, under the guidance of the spirit.  Severe emotional scars can be like a cancer, eating away at every aspect of a persons identity.  In the case of physical cancers, teams of specialists are called in to test and determine with skill all the places that the cancer has spread to, all the areas of the body effected by the cancer.  Then this team consults on the best ways to skillfully remove the cancer, in a way in order to enable the best healing for the patient.  Emotional cancers caused by abuse spread throughout the persons whole belief system, eating away at all that is good in their life.  As in the case of pyhsical cancer, emotional cancers many times need a skilled professional to evaluate how far the cancer has spread, and what areas of the emotions are being effected by it.  Then the skilled professional considers how he can skillfully remove the cancer in a way that promotes the best healing.

For the healing of emotional scars and cancers the atonement offers guidance and true principals.  The atonement can assist the emotionally afflicted before during and after the skilled emotional treatment.  We would not take a deeply wounded person, who is actively loosing precious blood first to the priest and beg of them to stop the bleeding with prayer.  We would not take a person ridden with cancer to the priest and beg of them to pray each bit of cancer out of them.  We would not rely solely on faith to heal the physical ailments of the body.  We would turn to a medical professional, and ask them to help us heal as we rely on faith and blessings to guide his principals and actions.  The atonement can help knit the emotional wounds.  The atonement can help shine light and truth into darkness, lighting the way towards healing.  There are times, as with  medical problems, when a blessing alone can help heal deep emotional problems, but that is not the standard. 

If it was a true principal that the atonement alone could heal all emotional problems then we would not be placed here on the earth with other people.  Because each of us alone could then turn to the atonement and heal by our self.  But that is not the Lords plan.  The Lords plan is for community, church, family, love and professionals to all be used in our life for good.  I actively turn to an emotional professional to guide me on my path of emotional healing because I know that faith without works is dead.  Faith alone will not heal the scars that were caused by evil works.  Evil works must be combated with good works.  I choose to turn to a professional to help me find and skillfully remove my emotional cancers.  In this process of emotional healing I will lean on principals of the atonement in the beginning, in the middle and at the end. Emotional healing comes from good works and professional care guided by the principals of the atonement.

Great Quotes from the Browns

"People feel like, there's a sense, oh we need to hear both sides of the story.  There's not two sides to this story.  There's only one and that's the survivor, and being truthful about the abuse that happened, and having that come to justice."  ~Desirae Brown

"There is only right and wrong.  There is only supporting the victim or supporting the perpetrator. No one should ever be doing that."  ~Gregory Brown


"Those who put all their ingenuity and energy into fooling us usually succeed." - MALCOLM GLADWELL


According to a study by the National Institute of Mental Health, the average molester of girls will have about fifty victoms before being caught and convicted; the average molester of boys will have an astonishing 150 victims before being caught and convicted. - Gavin de Becker "Identifying Child Molesters; Preventing Child Sexual Abuse by Recognizing the Patterns of the Offenders


[G]ood people are rarely suspicious: they cannot imagine others doing the things they themselves are incapable of doing; usually they accept the undramatic solution as the correct one, and let matters rest there. Then too, the normal are inclined to visualize the [psychopath]as one who's as monstrous in appearnace as he is in the mind, which is about as far from the truth as one could well get... These monsters of real life usually looked and behaved in a more normal manner than their actually normal brothers and sisters, they presented a more convincing picture of virtue than virtue presented of itself-- just as the wax rosebud or plastic peach seemed more perfect to the eye, more what the mind though a rosebud or peach should be, than the imperfect origional from which it had been modelled. - William March, The Bad Seed.


These often charming--but always deadly--individuals have a clinical name: psychopaths. Their hallmark is stunning lack of conscience; their game is self-gratification at the other person's expense. - Robert D. Hare PhD, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us


Unlike psychotic individuals, psychopaths are rational and aware of what they are doing and why. Their behavior is the result of choice, freely exercised. - Robert D. Hare PhD, Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us


Bob denied most of the allegations, insisted his daughter had been the sexual aggressor, blamed Wanda for having gained weight, but acknowledged enough culpability that head was convicted.

When Wanda met Bob she knew nothing about these prior incidents. She described being swept off her feet in a whirlwind romance, and noted that he was scrupulously attentive to her. She was disappointed that this attentiveness waned considerably after the marriage, but assumed that to be normal. She became more and more uncertain of herself during the relationship as he would disagree with her perceptions, argue about the accuracy of her recollection of events, and refute minor points while belittling her about everything, all done with such subtlety, ingenuity and finesse that she always assumed she was at fault. - Carla van Dam, The Socially Skilled Child Molester: Differentiating the Guilty from the Falsely Accused


To more effectively stop children from ever being abused means better understanding child molesters, recognizing how they operate, and learning how they thin and feel. The kinds of child molesters described in this book, those who commit most of the sexual assaults against children, behave as sexual addicts who continuously fantasize about having sex with children, are sexually aroused to children, and enjoy getting away with it. Viewing their compulsive behavior as being like an addiction, in this case being addicted to having sex with children, in the same manner as one would view heroin addicts who are addicted to heroin,helps provide a framework to more accurately understand eh behavior. Those familiar with addictions recognize that the addiction drives the behavior because every act is directed at obtaining greater access to the drug of choice. For that reason, addicts primarily associate with people who can help them facilitate that goal, and not tolerate those who interfere with the goal. The child molesters described in the book similarly primarily associate with adults who can provide them with access to children, or who can help them polish their image with parents so they can have access to children. - Carla van Dam, The Socially Skilled Child Molester: Differentiating the Guilty from the Falsely Accused


That is why the child molesters described in this book, the socially skilled, respected, or feared individuals, are always on task, namely looking for opportunities to have sex with children. Their good deeds are meant to get them closer to children. Their constant activites,leaving them almost no personal time, are geared toward accessing victims. Ingratiating themselves with the adults and doing damage control are all necessary to provide ongoing repeated opportunities to have sex with children. - Carla van Dam, The Socially Skilled Child Molester: Differentiating the Guilty from the Falsely Accused


The people responsible for protecting the children also often find the topic shameful, embarrassing, and frightening. As a result, they frequently keep quiet and assume whatever happens to be their fault, a one-time error in judgment, or misunderstanding. - Carla van Dam, The Socially Skilled Child Molester: Differentiating the Guilty from the Falsely Accused


Child molesters also gravitate to those people who are most likely to be too polite to fend them off, too shy and anzious to tell themt o leave, too dependent to be assertive, adn too impressed by rank,power, status, or money to do the right thing. Child molesters deliberately associate with adults who cannot address these issues. They sek out adults who worry about hurting people's feelings. They charm adults who do not believe it could happen. - Carla van Dam, The Socially Skilled Child Molester: Differentiating the Guilty from the Falsely Accused


Child molseters are continuously busy with activties to gain access to children, but they focus on children only after the adults responsible for those children have signaled an unwillingness to monitor boundary violations, thereby having communicated that subtle cues of misconduct will be overlooked, ignored or tolerated. Groomers test this hypothesis by pusing boundaries of privacy, personal space, and thouching children infront of the adults, while crefully monitoring the reactions of surrounding adults. The Groomers look for those adults who seem oblivious to improprieties, do nothing, or say nothing, because they know those adults are the key gatekeepers for safe access to children. The Groomers then knwo those are the children to molest. - Carla van Dam, The Socially Skilled Child Molester: Differentiating the Guilty from the Falsely Accused


If predators are ever caught by adults unfamiliar with how offenders operate, the molesters typically and quickly claim either that the child was the seducer, or that it was the first time that they ever did anything like that, and provide some “plausible” excuse for why it happened just that one time. It is standard practice for offenders to express great remorse, insisting in a very convincing way that they feel terrible about what they did, and of course, they promise that they “will never do it again.”

As people who genuinely want to make this world a better place, we try very hard to give people the benefit of the doubt. We strive to not speak badly about people. And we believe that people can repent for their wrong deeds. Pedophiles know this, and they take advantage of our sincere efforts.
This is why it is important for us to learn and to teach others about the things you never wanted to know about child molesters. - Bracha Goetz, Things You Need to Know About Child Molesters


If a child discloses that he or she has been sexually abused, don’t rely on anyone else to fulfill your obligation. Call 911. - Bracha Goetz, Things You Need to Know About Child Molesters


Remember that perpetrators can look you right in the eye and lie easily. They are masters of deception. Leave investigations for forensic experts. - Bracha Goetz, Things You Need to Know About Child Molesters


Re-victimization can become a ritual. The offender will signal the beginning and the end of the victimization event by certain gesture, voice inflection, or other behaviour. These signals separate the victimization experiences from the rest of life, which will proceed without disruption. Children are especially vulnerable to re-victimization. Rituals of entrance and exit from the victimization episodes will support their sense of unreality about the abuse, and will increase the likelihood of splitting, of having a clear mental boundary between two different worlds. The offender may be like two separate people to the child victim, for example, daddy and monster. - http://spaz.ca/aaron/billious/RCYS/Chapter22.html


Newbold Case

Women describe confrontations with Black days after Sierra Newbold's murder

Police hope offer of reward will help them catch killer

Experts say child abductions from homes 'exceptionally' rare

Neighbor arrested in murder of 6-year-old Sierra Newbold.

Memories of unsolved murder called to mind in 6-year-old's death

Neighbors of slain 6-year-old nervous that killer hasn't been caught

Family grieves killing of girl, neighbors plan vigil

6-year-old remembered as eager to learn, sweet

West Jordan residents express relief, rage in wake of homicide arrest

Sierra Lynn Newbold “Our Sweet Angel”


Sandusky Case

ComRadio audio exclusive: Jerry Sandusky statement from jail

Meet the Woman Who Exposed Jerry Sandusky



Child Abuse Links

Understanding the Psychology of Child Molesters: A Key to Getting Confessions

Not With My Child
We educate and empower parents and communities to intervene and protect children from child predators


Forgiveness and Perpetrators

Forgiveness of a child rapist/molester - http://www.askgramps.org



Thursday, December 6, 2012

Neutral or Positive Resources on Sexual Abuse for the LDS

If You were Abused
As I contemplate my own recovery from sexual abuse, I am still surprised by how little I felt the abuse had affected me.  Even when my life and my relationships were in shambles, I couldn’t make the connection between my abuse and my deficiencies.
One of the hallmarks of sexual abuse is that we can not ignore it.  We can not just push it away, put a lid on it and pretend it never happened.  It will at some point demand to be resolved and attended to.  Usually by coming out “sideways.” 
Marilyn van Derbur, 1958′s Miss America, tells the story of her recovery from her father’s sexual violations in her book, Miss America by Day, Lessons Learned from Ultimate Betrayals and Unconditional Love (missamericabyday.com) She says, Most people have no understanding of how complex the long-term effects of childhood sexual abuse can be–especially if the violator was a family member, priest, coach…trusted friend.  These pedophiles weave their way into our lives.  Most are charming, talented, respected family and community members.  They are not the bearded, stubble faced Charles Mansons.  They don’t make us hate them, they make us hate ourselves.  We don’t want them in prison.  We live a lifetime in a kind of prison difficult to describe. 

My Story: The pedophile, the child and me 
The numbers are a bit staggering: One in four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused in their childhood years. But we seldom can bring ourselves to talk much about it. Maybe it is just too heinous, unthinkable, unless you are the pedophile. When knowledge of someone’s abuse is forced on us we shake our heads and mumble, “How awful,” and hope the conversation turns to more hopeful topics. The reality is, we all know at least four women and six men, and Las Vegas would be willing to bet you that one of each group has been molested. We don’t know what to say about it, and the victims don’t know what to do about it.
I feel I was much like that soldier in beginning of the movie “Saving Private Ryan.” Landing at Normandy, he is shown racing to get up the beach. A mortar round explodes, and our first expectation is that he has been killed. But he comes out of the explosion's smoke still trying to get up the beach. The only problem: He is missing an arm. He pauses to find his extremity, puts it under his other arm, grabs his rifle and continues his mission. He continues to try to live and fight and do his job. However, his realities are now very changed; he will struggle to shoot his rifle and must tie his shoes with one hand. Life will never be the same, and many of life’s simple chores will be very difficult. 
 Our world can become black and white, and we struggle with emotional shading and suffer wide mood swings. Our thinking becomes distorted, we adopt many thinking errors, and often fall into hopelessness and certainly lose the ability trust along the way. We may become hyper-vigilant and put up such an emotional wall that those who would help us can’t get through. Feelings all run together and we struggle to recognize what we are feeling, or are aware of just a general numbness where our heart should be. We struggle to feel alive and often participate in high-risk behaviors to compensate. We struggle with dissociation and being "present." Often we deny that anything really bad happened and use repression to keep the hurt at bay. Self medication seems like a good idea, and many fall into addictive practices.
Other LDS Tailored Resources on Abuse 

The Mormon Church and Child Sexual Abuse: An Introduction
Since we know that child abuse thrives in secret, and secret systems are its favorite breeding place, this tendency toward secrecy contributed to the prevalence and depth of the overall LDS child abuse problem. 
Perhaps surprisingly to some, to its credit the LDS Church has, in the last decade or so, been much more responsible, at least in my experience, in responding to the problem of abuse than have many of the other institutions I regularly deal with.  For one thing, the Church has a more sophisticated understanding of abuse, and, though there is still much room for improvement, the Church has created better training programs to prevent and recognize abuse.
the LDS Church has been doing a better job than many other churches and youth organizations at resolving claims fairly and expeditiously. 
Church authorities have often worked in good faith to resolve legal claims. Indeed, other churches and institutions of trust that deal with abused children could learn some things from the LDS approach,

The Impact of Priest Sexual Abuse: Female Survivors' Narratives

Individually and collectively, the women said that, at first, they were not
able to recognize or name their experiences as sexual abuse/exploitation. It
was only over time and after a myriad of awakenings that they subjectively
discerned the significance of what had happened to them. For most of them,
the identifying moment came years later as a result of a social or reform
movement or as a result of therapy.  
Sadly, the women said that being sexually abused/exploited by their
priests adversely affected their relationship with God. Several women
expressed confusion and ambivalence about the existence of God, while
others described God as cruel, hostile, angry, and filled with revenge.
Although two women felt the presence of God in their lives as they were
going through the trauma and one entered a convent, they were the exceptions.
Most of the women suffered spiritual damage. Not only had they
endured personal violation but also now found themselves without a
spiritual home. 
 As the personal narratives of survivors of priest sexual abuse (male and
female) have revealed, the church’s silence in the aftermath of the abuse has
caused as much agony and distress as the initial incidents themselves.
Recognition of the truth about what happened, of the gravity of the wrong that
was done, of the fact that the victim/survivor was abused—violated—and
that it was not her fault are the first steps toward recovery for the survivor
and for the church. 
The Relevance of Restorative Justice TechniquesThe principles of restorative justice, which are often contrasted with a focus
on retribution, are highly relevant to the needs of the perpetrators and survivors
of clergy sexual abuse (see van Wormer, 2001). Restorative justice is a
philosophy that is derived from traditional forms of justice associated with
indigenous peoples and is consistent with the religious teachings of
van Wormer, Berns
Mennonites (see van Wormer, 2001; Zehr, 1995). The restorative model is
victim, rather than offender, centered. Restorative justice views crime as
primarily a violation of people and relationships. Justice occurs through
offenders taking full responsibility for what they have done to the victims
and the community. Society must be accountable to the victims to help them
restore what was lost. 
An Internet search of newspaper articles on the resolution of cases of
clergy abuse revealed one instance in which restorative principles were
used. This case, from the diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, involved
lawsuits filed by 36 people who were sexually abused, in which such principles
were applied (Carroll, 2002). Final settlements were in various amounts
that were proportionate to the severity of the abuse. What is remarkable
about the case is that it was not resolved adversarily but through marathon
mediation sessions. Church representatives treated the survivors with
empathy; instead of attacking the victims’ stories, they showed compassion
and offered apologies. Consistent with the principles of restorative justice,
the emphasis was on helping the victims, church, and community heal from
the wrongs that had been done. 
Geared to the needs of the victim/survivor and to her desire to express
the truth in her own voice and to have the truth validated by the offending
party, restorative justice aims for reconciliation. Unlike the adversarial criminal
justice process, with restorative justice, the offender is called on to
explain himself to the victim and community and often to begin to make
amends. The restorative process can take place either in addition to or
instead of the standard judicial process. A major advantage of this format is
the inclusion of family members, who, similar to the survivor, express to the
offender and, in this case, the church authorities, the extent of their sufferings.
Often apologies are forthcoming. 
For the female survivor who, unlike the male survivor, is apt to be partially blamed
for the sexual involvement, this support by the church and
community are vital for her recovery. Additional advantages of this nonadversarial
approach are the restoration of a sense of control over one’s life,
the opportunity to confront the person or persons who have committed the
harm and to ask why, hearing a confession, and embarking on a journey
toward healing. For the offender, it is a chance to “come clean”; to offer restitution,
if applicable; and even to ask for forgiveness. Because restorative justice has its origins
in religious forms of resolving disputes, it is especially relevant within a church context
and consistent with Christian faith in the possibility of redemption.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

You Cant Ignore a Dead Body

Our minds do not like to come to terms with negative things.  It is rather natural for us to try to ignore the negative, to try to look the other way.  Especially with crimes.  Each time a crime is committed it has the chance to risk our sense of security.  We don't want to believe that crimes are possible, we just want to turn away and hope we don't see any more.  But most crimes have a way of leaving evidence that cant be ignored.  In the case of a murder, there is the dead body  We do not want to face the murder, but face it we must because the dead body.  Robbery leaves behind destruction of property.  The destruction of property makes us face the fact that we feel invaded, unsafe.  Theft has a loss of property as evidence.  The community at large eventually comes to terms with the violent crime because of the evidence that cant be ignored.  But what if there is no physical evidence?  What if it can be ignored? Thus we have the problem of sex crimes.

It is mentally easier to believe the story of the victim is fabricated then it is to believe that the crime took place.  Coming to terms with the crime would leave us feeling vulnerable in some way.  So many people protect themselves mentally.  The victim is not believed, the story is considered trumped up, and society at large turns the other way.

If us victims could show  the damage, the injury, people would be in shock and horror. But we have no dead body to show, though inside we feel it.  We have no damaged property to prove to your unbelieving mind that something happened, though inside we are very damaged.  That is why society turns the other way.  Because they don't know.  Then they turn back to us victims and tell us to move on.  But they don't see the deep scars, the terrible death and carnage inside.  If they did they could not move on so easily either.  

My Father the Boogie Man

I just got off the phone with my younger sister.  My niece has autism.  My sister is a very attentive and caring mother.  Her concern for her daughter has turned her into quite the advocate.  My sister runs a non profit organization for special needs people and that is just one of her many forms advocacy.  I love listening to my sister and hearing all she does to help her daughter and the autism community at large.  Really honestly I love talking to her about it.

But when I got off the phone today I gave a sigh.  Part of me wants to be an advocate for LDS victims of sex crimes.  But who can be an advocate against boogie men, when your own father is a boogie man.  When he is still alive.  When he has never served any jail time, or even seen a judge.  When he still lives a seemingly normal and respected life.  If I start to advocate people will tell me I just want to knock a good man off of his pedestal.  Well they would be partly right. I would love to knock down the boogie man.  I would love to take away the power he feels when he is a respected member of the community, that is his evil source of power.

This is why daughter holds the place of my  name and I hide behind that term.  If I were to start talking about boogie men, people may temporarily perk up their ears.  But then they would turn and look at my father, and think something like him?  He is the boogie man?  He does not scare me.  Then they would walk away and consider my claims to be all trumped up.  People most often are not afraid of something they see, that looks normal.  No, a father dressed in a suite with a charming smile holds little ground on public fear, compared to the boogie man who is undefined and unseen.

Daughter vs. Victim, Survivor, Thrivor

My counselor places allot of meaning on these words Victim vs Survivor and Thriver.  When I named my blog I avoided using any of these words.  If I put the word victim in my title then how would I feel about it when I was a thriver.  But what about the days that all I do is survive?  I think each of these fit me at different times.  When I am awake at night because I can not sleep, because of my fathers abuse, I am definitely a victim.  Not sleeping at night is continued victimization, it sucks the life out of my days and greatly reduces my quality of life.  But when I am putting on a play production for my kids I feel like a thriver.  That is until the day afterwards when I fall down exhausted and am glad to just survive for some time.

Yet putting the word daughter in there somehow takes my fathers perpetration and puts it on me as a title.  As if I identify too much with the fact that my father is a perpetrator.  Sometimes I think it would be easier if everyone knew I was a daughter of a perpetrator.  For one reason it would maybe help people be more suspicious of my father, and hopefully keep people safe from being his victims.  I think one of the worse tortures of being a victim is knowing that the perpetrator got away with perpetrating on you, and wondering if he is getting away with perpetrating on anyone else.

Sometimes my actions don't make sense to others.  Why do I panic over things that other people would not?  Why do I struggle with coming to church, even as I profess loving the church.  Why do I have scars on my arms?  Wow, I am surprised that these are the only questions I can think of.  I often feel like I stand out as a sore thumb.  There goes that lady who is off somehow, but why.  I just want to say, ask my father why.

Either way the facts are that I am a daughter of a perpetrator.  The word father means something totally different to me then it does to most people.  In the LDS culture where ancestors are very important my genealogy of perpetrators passing down their sickness has a totally different perspective to me then other LDS people who do not have that in their genealogy.  Father in heaven is a concept I struggle to understand.  Because the word father and heaven have nothing to do with each other from my perspective.  I struggle having faith in prayer when prayers did not save me from my father.  I struggle believing in the power of God, prayer and repentance when none of these helped me.

Yes I am LDS, yes I am a daughter of an LDS perpetrator and this reality is fraught with contradictions, changed meanings, and mental and emotional challenges.  Is there a day where I will always feel like a thriver? Maybe.  Maybe if I can go to sleep in peace and not find I am over come with anxiety.  Maybe when praying to the Lord to ask him to protect me does not cause me to be overcome with anxiety.  Maybe when so many other side effects of the abuse are gone, maybe then I will be a thriver.  Today the fact remains that my father is a perpetrator.


When  I was young we had a beautiful patch of Irises in our back yard.  They grew several layers thick and were the  length of the back side of the house.  Our homes door was on the side.  You could walk up to the main door on the side and just over the fence were irises.  The bugs loved these irises even more then I did.  My favorites were the huge praying mantises.

These large soldiers were constantly at battle with the huge grasshoppers.  Both wanted to dominate the irises.  They would climb out of their green flowery home up the course red brick wall behind the iris patch.  There on the red brick is where I could watch the battles.  I was always rooting for the mantises.  Though I found great joy in the quick strong grass hoppers.  Well, both great joy and great disgust.

The mantises were green, tan and brown, and occasionally almost white and see through.  I tried to name the mantises and keep track of each individual one.  Sometimes it seemed that the red brick wall was a giant game of king of the mountain, the mantis that is the highest wins.  My room was on the second floor, I was delighted when a mantis would climb up high enough to visit me at my window.  I remember one mantis in particular, large and green, that would visit me on a regular basis.

Now as an adult I have trouble sleeping at night.  The reason for these sleep problems can be found in the title of this blog.  Recently as I was trying to fall asleep, I tried to think of something neutral and relaxing.  A task that is very difficult for me.  All my old happy memories are changed now by the knowledge that my father was/ is a perpetrator.  All the symbols of safety, serenity and calmness have a different meaning now.  Thinking of the beach, the mountains, running rivers all tainted symbols.  I had a recent happy memory of planting tulip, daffodil and iris bulbs with my children.  I focused on these bulbs asleep covered over by soil protected from winter.  I thought about the ground warming up, and these bulbs showing their hidden beauty in the spring.  These thoughts were enough to help me fall asleep.

Then I woke with a start.  Because that is what I do, wake often in the night with a start.  It was only my heated blanket on too high.  I tried to calm myself and go to sleep again.  Once again I thought of the bulbs I planted.  This time I focused on the Iris bulbs I planted.  Irises.  But then the dreaded happened.  That symbol was no longer safe or relaxing, that symbol had a bad memory of my father attached to it.  I sat up in bed in frustrated amazement as I remembered how manipulative my father was, even with irises.

My mother loved to garden.  While she occasionally complained of the grasshoppers hiding in her irises, they were never enough of a reason to get rid of the beautiful flowers.  No the irises great offence was not that they housed grasshoppers.  The irises great offence was that they stood in the way of my oldest sisters bedroom window.  They were wide a bushy so my father could not stand very close to the window, they were tall and elegant so they interrupted his view of the inside.  My father stood there at that window and watched my oldest sister dress, undress, sleep.  But the darn irises were in his way.  Sure he complained to my mother that the offense of the irises were the grasshoppers, so that my mother would not suspect his peeping.

I remember my mother digging and digging to get the long established iris bed cleared.  My mother was not happy.  She loved the irises.  Heck, she even loved the praying mantises and the grasshoppers, just like me.  My mother was always a naturalist at heart.  But bulb after bulb was destroyed with her shovel and thrown carelessly into the garbage.  Forgive my over dramatizing.  As a child I viewed the world in a dramatic way.  I hated to see my beloved bed of irises torn up, the home of the wonderful bugs.  I tried to reason with my mother, and begged her to spare some of them.  Maybe even, I asked, we could replant them somewhere else farther from the garden.  But alas the irises fate was doomed, they had to go, all of them.

Now where the irises once stood is a very expose and open window.  A window that has nothing in front of it to protect it.  A window that is easy to see into, and easy to see out of.  A window still covered with a flimsy curtain.  But a beautiful curtain my mother made, I am sure she did not consider the weaknesses of curtains.  When it is light outside the person inside the curtain can easily see all that is outside.  When it is dark outside and the light is on inside a person outside can easily see all that is going on inside.  To this day I change in the dark, even with blinds in my windows.  I do not want someone outside to see me inside changing.

Not the Story I Want.

I guess we all have a different story.  I am sure few people actually get to have the ideal family.  But what really is ideal.  I don't mean ideal like Leave it to Beaver with mom always dressed to the nines and a big smile on her face.  I mean an ideal quirky family.  Because that is the nature of us humans, we are quirky.  But I want a different story for my childhood family.

What do I want? I want a mother that feels loved and valued by her husband.  I want a mother that can spend her energy living life rather then constantly licking her emotional wounds that were inflicted on her by her husband as a means to control her.  What do I want?  I want a father that does not think that little girls are sex objects.  I want a dad that I could trust to have children around.  What do I want?  I want happy, silly, simple childhood memories.  I don't want to be afraid to remember anything from my childhood.  I wish the memories of me being silly with my sisters were not tainted by the fact that my father was manipulating and abusing all of us.  I want to know that I was safe as a child.  I don't want to have to worry that I was abused more then I remember.

But what is my reality?  I don't want to tell you.  It is funny that I don't want to tell you because I am afraid that you will judge the LDS church because of my messed up family.  Every church has perpetrators in it.  Does it make the LDS church wrong because it has my father in it?  Because it has perpetrators in it?  Don't give me your answer, I don't want to know.  This is a complicated enough question for me I don't need to hear others thoughts on it.  I am LDS, I am active LDS.  It is something I chose to fight to keep in my life every week.  Because it is a fight to stay LDS for me.  I love the LDS doctrine and the LDS scriptures.  So I draw a line between hypocrites like my father and the church.  Hypocrites and perpetrators infiltrate and use many different churches to enable their abusive plans.  A fact that makes me spitting mad.  Here only a few paragraphs in I am already talking about my most difficult religious issue, when I had only planned on introducing my self.

So back to introducing myself.  My father is of course a perpetrator.  My father is LDS, active LDS.  My father holds a temple recommend, is a temple worker,  and thinks that he is highly respected in the LDS community.  And he probably is right.  Why does he still have a temple recommend?  Maybe that is because I mentally am not strong enough to take it from him.  I almost was once.  But the stress and fallout of that was quite allot, more then I was ready for.

So I have not yet chopped down the giant of my fears.  But I am not sure what that matters.  As far as I know my father would be excommunicated for a year, and then he would be back to his same old self.  Looking and feeling respectable.  The actions that I take don't really matter it does not change the fact that my father is a perpetrator.  It does not change the fact that my father needs the LDS church in order to look respectable.  It does not change the fact that my father will do what ever he can to gain back the respect of the LDS community.  It does not change the fact that the LDS church believes that anyone/ everyone can be forgiven of their sins and washed clean.  Even perpetrators, I would have put a descriptive word in front of the word perpetrator but there is not one strong enough, not lying, not deceitful not any word can tell you how evil my father is.  It does not matter that my father used the LDS church to control me.  That I was essentially abused in the name of the church by my father. These things do not matter, no sin is too great for the atonement, no perpetrator too far gone for the atonement.  The fact that my father is a respected member of the LDS church is not something I can change.

And here I feel like I am writing anti LDS propaganda.  It is very hard to face the reality of an LDS perpetrator father and not feel some anger directed at the church from time  to time.  I could easily be angry at the church, decide the church is part of the problem, and go my separate ways from the church.   But I don't want to.  I love the LDS church, I love their doctrine so I fight to stay. Are there other daughters of perpetrators out there who fight to stay LDS too?  I am sure there are.  Somehow I fear that by opening this blog I am opening myself up to have anti LDS stuff fired at me like machine gun fire.  I don't want that or care to read that.  What I find interesting is the victim who fights to stay LDS, who fights to keep the church she loves in her life.  If you want to tell me about that I would love to hear about that.

Now again I have debated more of my core issues and done little to introduce myself.  I am the middle of five daughters.  As I write that my fear pops up, does that tell you too much about me.  I think we were all perpetrated on by my father.  But I am the only one who has come to terms with the abuse I experienced.

It feels wrong to mix these realities.  While I did not have the ideal childhood.  I am a mother and a wife and I try to give my children something closer to the ideal  I missed out on.  By some miracle I married a very supportive husband.  We are both seeing a counselor full time.  My husband is having something of a mid life crisis, and I am seeing a counselor because of my abusive father.

That is me in a nutshell.  Ideally you could say I am like an injured bird trying to heal, trying to reclaim back my life, tyring to make sense of it all.  And this blog is a place for that mental journey.  Blogging about this feels very risky, but I hope it will be better then keeping it bottled up running circles in my head.