Wendy's Blog

Thank you for bravely sharing your story, Wendy on HuffPo “I Was Sexually Harassed By A Christian Fundamentalist Minister“.
I was raised in the same church and at age 14 was pursued by and started “secretly” dating an 18 year old young man from the local congregation. At the time my immature brain was hugely flattered and didn’t think it was at all strange that I was the only girl in 9th grade whose boyfriend picked her up in his car after school. After a year and a half of sneaking around I got turned in to our local pastor, who then went to my parents and I suffered much the same humiliation, punishment, and overall degredation that you did with questions about what happened, where and how often…which was mostly me saying “No” to his “But we’re going to get married anyway!” advances. He was quickly shipped off to school in another state and I was left to suffer the embarassment alone in our rather small local congregation.
Just like you, after 2 years, evidently I had atoned sufficiently to be sent to the church summer camp for brainwashing and eventually was accepted to “God’s College”. Thankfully I met my amazing husband there, we married (way too young) and are still happy together after leaving the cult together over 20 years ago. I had an experience recently that can only be described as PTSD after finding out my “boyfriend” went on to become a pastor in one of the cult’s splinter groups.
Out of curiosity I watched part of a video of a sermon he gave and I was flooded with feelings of guilt, and shame, and embarassment…and then, something else bubbled up after all these years. Anger. Pure, unadulterated anger. As a mother of a daughter myself I was finally able to understand that I was a VICTIM of a PREDATOR…and a predatory religious system that valued his worth above mine…that blamed ME for the sin MORE than him. That held young females to a higher standard than young males.
I’d been carrying the burden of my “sin” most of my life like a scarlet letter and suddenly it fell away and I was PISSED! I was angry at him, at the church, at my parents, at his parents, at my friends, at the church members, at the pastor, at everyone that was supposed to protect ME! I did some research and found that in some states, our relationship amounted to statutory rape, even though we weren’t having sex. And on top of it all to see him standing behind an elevated pulpit, preaching to the sheeple still following that grotesque way of life was almost more than I could bear.
Over time I learned to forgive myself and move on…but it’s not been easy. I know it wasn’t easy for you to share your story, so I wanted to support you and hopefully find my own bravery in sharing mine. I was a child and what happened to me wasn’t right. What happened to you wasn’t right. The more we hide in the shadows, the more likelihood it can/will continue. Thank you again for sharing your story.


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