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Thursday, August 4th, 2011
Blogs | Sociology of Sheena
Someone Has to Be the Sacrifice, an excerpt
In 2007, I reconnected with a family friend. He asked about part of my story. This is some of what I wrote.
Elder Daniel C. Young and Pastor Gary Brown. They are a different story. Authority, spiritual leadership…. Bah! To a fault, I hate and despise it. I hate control freaks, people who are power hungry. People who use the bible as a platform for their personal agenda. I hate hypocrites and inconsistency. It gets under my skin.
The church we were involved with was more of a cult. We didn’t know it while we were in it. But it was after going to college, after learning more about the world, that I realized…we were in a cult for almost seven years. That’s why my [family] went to the pastor and not the police. We never made our own decisions. It was the pastor. The elders. The deacons. They advised us on our life. No one knew better.
So many people were left shattered with devastating stories because of that church. It hurt and broke so many families, so many people. He is still a pastor today to a whole new group of people. Five years from now, they will cry too from whatever he has done.
Law. I have many hesitations about policeman. They carry guns. Guns scare me. Policemen would stop my family when I was younger if we were in the ‘wrong place.’ Too many shows had too many crooked cops.
One day, Daniel and I got into an argument. It escalated to violence. He threw me against a wall. He physically broke me. It was horrible. I ran. I left home and ran to a nearby church…modern day version of seeking sanctuary. I never looked back.
That night we went to the cops. They arrested him from assault. He served one day in jail.
Days later police came to interview me. It took hours. My family cried. I hated remembering the memories. The police blamed me. I could have stopped him. He never threathened me. Why did I let it happen? Life would be great if it was that simple.
How can a seven year old cry for help when she doesn’t know she’s being raped? What seven year old knows that word? How can a twelve year old say anything when her pain is in no comparision to the blessing and will of god.. according to the pastor? Someone has to be the sacrifice. And at fourteen, nothing matters. By now you’ve mastered the art of separating your body from your mind. He may touch me but he will never have me.
Aaah. This is all ancient history.
The interview with the police was exhausting but at least we’d be able to bring justice to Daniel. Days later I left for a retreat. Apparently during the retreat the police lost my file. It disappeared and because I was unreachable, the case was dropped without my statement. We had nothing. And I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t do that interview again. I could not say the ways he made me do things again. I could not speak those words out loud. So again, it was my fault, I supposed.
Years later, actually a year ago, we found out a member of the pastor’s family worked in the police administration and it had come to fruition that she’d messed with many cases to protect the church from people who went to the cops. It was never proven. Its just a theory. But I think she may have played a part in the injustice of it all.
I asked myself what justice would look like. What would make me ok after all that has happened? A miracle of god. Because you are right, Daniel wasn’t the only one who violated me. The pastor did too. The negligence of the policemen too. Another violation. Too many men. Too many forms of authority not protecting a child.
I forgave Daniel years ago. I was fifteen or sixteen. I will never forget. I am angry sometimes. Disgusted other times. I get frustrated. But I have forgiven. But during college I couldn’t figure out why I carried so much anger and darkness. I realized I had never forgiven the pastor. I still haven’t. I see a church and I want to run like hell. I see a pastor and I want to scream, ‘fuck you too.’ Not good. Got some issues to work out. I see a cop and I look the other way.
And who would have thought I’d end up dating a fugitive investigator. A black one at that. Interesting.
Family Members. They blame themselves but it was not their fault. They think they could have done more. They say they could never figure out why he was so strict and controlling with they. They think they should have been able to see clues.
This is what they tell themselves. But no. I want them to let go of the voice of judgement. I want them free of guilt. They did not do these things. They did the best they could have in that situation. I’d love complete healing for them.
“I feel like you Pastor violated you as much as Daniel.”
You wrote that sentence in the last email. It hurts. The reality of the truth in that. I have yet to come to grips with that. One day I want to be able to forgive Pastor Gary for those fifteen minutes in his office.
“A MISINTREPRETED HUG.” Spring break my sophomore year was spent in TN at my aunt’s ranch. On a long drive to the city one day she just asked me what had happened to our family. I asked her what did she know. She told me Daniel had sent an email explaining about the hug. I spent the next hour explaining the truth to her. She was blown away. Just three weeks ago a friend from my past emailed me, asking why I had forsaken god.
I hadn’t spoken to her in more than seven years…since I’d left the cult church. I told her I had forsaken conventional church. God was still very much a part of my life. She asked why. I told her the truth. She had no idea. She felt sick. Daniel was a youth leader. What if I wasn’t the only one? What if he had hurt her younger sister who was the same age as me? She had believed the “hug story” for over seven years. I can’t believe how some people just don’t know. I will tell my story until I can’t anymore.
The story of me being homeschooled is a sweet story. Ill share that another time. It all has to do with the fact that my family is amazing, school bored me and my younger sister was “too smart for school” according to the experts. Because of all that, I was able to go to college at sixteen. It was the best thing for me. But I also can’t help but believe Daniel played a part in it too. He wanted me at home. No outside influences. No boys. No nothing. Just family. Just his sick touch.
This is all just a part of my story. Just one part. All points lead to now. So life as we know it, would not be had that not happened. This is why I can’t wish away parts of my own story. I would not be sheena today had Daniel not opened my bedroom door.
There is the story of how at an uncle’s funeral, my birth father, the monster, knew I’d be there….this just about three years ago. He knew I’d be there and he casually walked into my life, sending my past into question, making me doubt every memory I every had and shattering the little stability I had at the moment. That was a trip. This all happening only months after losing James. This all happening my senior year of college.
And there is the story of James death and how it led to the death of my spirit and how slowly, my soul is finding a way to awake and breathe again.
There is the story of my walk away from Christianity into something else all together. The story of how I finally got it….peace of mind, peace of heart, and the ability to sleep through the night.
There is the story of my sexuality. Of how it started with kissing a sailor on a train at a young age and how that led to me murdering the inner sirene in order to finally purge myself of my impurities. (the murder… A metaphor. loosely and oppositely based on Virginia woolf’s essay on killing the angel of the house)
Many many parts to my story. Many more yet to happen. And that’s just me. What’s wonderful is every one has a story. We don’t know. We think we know but we don’t. And we all have these sacred stories full of hurt, love, betrayal, acceptance, abuse and beauty…and we collide, we live, we talk and friendships are made, love develops. Its beautiful. How we all get to live and interact…all of us with our stories.
ARTICLES OF NOTE