What happens when the rose-colored glasses break

“Not All Men”

I’ve been hearing that a lot. Like it’s some sort of valid argument against the fact that a vast majority of women are raped and/or abused at some point in their lifetime.

Meanwhile, I’m just over here putting the pieces of MY life back together. Trying to figure out how I even got in this mess to begin with. These days they claim that a lot of adult problems stem from childhood trauma, right? Mommy or daddy issues, SA, or something of that variety. The thing is, I was raised in a good home. Pastor’s kid, both parents still together, nothing significant to speak of. Through the healing journey, more memories surface. But still the mystery remains. How did I end up in not one, but two abusive relationships? Both rapists, but not my only rapists.

And then I remember.

The pedophile in church.

You read that right.

I’m a pastor’s kid. I grew up in church. My dad’s church. Which happened to have a pedophile in the congregation. A pedophile determined to “marry” one of the pastor’s daughters: ME. Oh, sure, I was never full-blown raped by this man. That’s mostly thanks to my own vigilance than any protection from anyone else. Growing up, I and other girls my age were frequently encouraged to ride with this creep (in his car) to outreaches or other church functions. I was very vocal about my discomfort and the inappropriate things he said and did when no one else was watching. Occasionally, someone took me seriously and said something. Once he got “kicked out” of the church – but only for a few months and then was allowed to return – only to pick up where he left off. For the most part my protests were ignored. I was treated like I was making things up to cause drama. The “not all men” who should have been a safe space for me made light of what was happening. In the church! I’ll never forget the time I went to my dad (the pastor) about something that happened after a church service and he laughed at me. I guess my concerns were ridiculous and petty.

It’s no wonder I stopped speaking up whenever a man chose to harass me. It’s no wonder I learned to tolerate and accept verbal, physical, and sexual abuse from men. It’s no wonder I never bothered – in fact, was afraid – to report the many crimes that have been committed against me over the years. Why bother? Our police and court systems are run by men who will spend more time and energy interrogating the victim than the offender.

The “not all men” camp don’t actually care. Not even a little bit.

That includes my own dad.

The evidence is in their silence.