In the meantime, I had developed a friendship with a girl at the church named Melanie. We pretty much became best friends. I don’t know how I landed her as a friend. She was a grade ahead of me so at this point she had already graduated and was in college. When she was in high school, she was really popular. She was a star basketball player and homecoming queen. Every guy had a crush on her. She was one of those people who was sugary sweet and everyone loved her. In fact, a guy at work I thought was going to ask ME out only wanted me to hook him up with her. She was a great friend. One day she opened up to me that she was bulimic and was going to Seattle for treatment. After lots of discussion, I also opened up to her about my abuse. She kept asking questions and I told her the gist of it: I was molested repeatedly from the age of 4 until I was 13. She already knew that my mother was half crazy but add this and she felt that I needed to say something and maybe get out of that house. In the past, it would have made sense to want my mother to divorce Dave but that would have meant that I would have been alone with her. At least Dave was a buffer and an ally against her. Melanie convinced me to talk to the youth pastor so I made an appointment to talk to him. He immediately called the pastor who immediately got a hold of my mother.
We had an emergency meeting at the church. The pastor had a police officer handy (he was a church member) to help if needed. My mother comes bursting in the office all dramatic-like and sobbing that she didn’t know. “I’m so sorry, baby, I didn’t know!!” Such fucking bullshit. She knew! We talked about it and I told her that he had molested me repeatedly for 9 years and I was finally coming out about it. The church put us up in a hotel for three days (my mother, Scotty and myself) and had the cop at the house to help Dave gather his belongings and be there in case anything erupted. The reason they put us in a hotel is because any reasonable parent that finds out their child has been molested by their spouse would immediately leave and file a divorce, sole custody and a restraining order. Not my mother. After one day in the hotel, we were moving back and Dave hadn’t gone anywhere. Basically nothing happened. We had a family meeting with him where he apologized and asked for my forgiveness. He didn’t shed one single tear but did say that he had been eaten up by guilt and had been punished all these years with that guilt. At that time I was so naive and just didn’t know any better. Also, being a Christian, we are told that we should forgive as Christ forgave us, so I didn’t really think there was any other option. I told him that I forgave him. What else was I going to do? My mother obviously didn’t want him to move out. I couldn’t go anywhere. I had zero money and no car. No one would take me in. The best I could do was hope that I got accepted into Master’s Commission and get the fuck out of there.
The thing that gets me today is that I wasn’t offered any type of therapy or recovery and everything was at the hands of my mother. It was more important to her to keep the family together and put up fake, white picket fences around us than to get rid of a potentially dangerous person and get her daughter some help. Everything was so fake with her. I realized later that was part of the reason of going to church. It was just one more thing to make us look like a normal, all-American family. She worked hard to keep up the facade. She was also very dramatic and overbearing. She was getting on people’s nerves at church. She made a scene of herself half the time. Being a pentecostal was her ticket to be crazy without anyone noticing. After the incident with Dave, it became apparent that some people stopped talking to my parents and became distant. Of course, she just chalked it up to “church politics” and “hypocrites” but the truth was, people couldn’t understand how she could allow all this to happen to me and stay with him. No body could understand that. She basically sent the message that all of that didn’t matter and she was ok with it.
I graduated from high school that year. My mother put on a rather nice graduation party for me at our house. There were a few church friends and family there. My grandfather (Dave’s step-father) pulled me aside while everyone was mingling. He looked me dead in the eye and said “You get as far away from here as possible, you here?” He wasn’t chasing me away because he hated me. He was trying to protect me as an adult. He knew what Dave did to me and he was never a fan of my mother. He was right. I had to get far away.