Tuesday, November 24, 2015

"Shock Jock" Victim Advocate

I came to Moscow, Idaho, during my college years with a history of sexual abuse that I had not yet dealt with or talked about. I was a mess. I had been molested when I was 11, and the fallout from that had been pretty incredible, as one can imagine. I was teetering on the brink of leaving Christianity and that's when, in God's kindness, I came to Christ Church.

It was “shock jock theologian” Douglas Wilson who became the first person to ever tell me that I was, in fact, a victim. I tried to make excuses for my abuser. I tried to say that it was my fault, though I was only 11 when he pinned me down. Even now I can feel the absolute panic, the claustrophobia from his weight, and his one hand pressing my stomach into the back of my ribs as his other pushed into other places. Or the time he slammed his body on top of mine and slid his Super Soaker up my shorts and then his horrible hand. I laid there completely helpless again and had a sort of out of body experience where I watched what was happening and was filled with anger and loathing at myself for letting it happen again.

With that in mind, I can tell you that the place I felt the safest was around the table with Doug and Nancy Wilson. And that's where I finally spilled my story after a few years of meeting them for the first time. They were ready for it. They knew it was coming. There was a cinnamon roll on hand and a box of tissues on the counter. They saw the visible marks of self harm on my arms and legs, and the fact that I would often only have half an eyebrow that I pulled out in my distress. I even remember one of their daughters very kindly offering to draw it back in with an eye pencil without ever asking me to tell her what happened, though I'm sure she knew. I am getting choked up just thinking about how they protected me and gave me such a comfortable space to eventually reveal my darkness to them. They just sat and listened to me. They let me tell them all about it and then they let me know that it wasn't my fault. They were the first ones to tell me that I was a victim. That I was a victim. I could hardly believe them.

I've called on them many times over the years. And as I look around at my Christian sisters in the church who were also dealing with this same thing, I realized I wasn't the only one calling. Doug and Nancy have dealt with a lot of people, but they always made me feel like I had their undivided attention and sympathy and love. They could have taken the easy way out, especially in light of the way others have so badly treated them. But they never do. They’re not in this for personal comfort.

With Doug and Nancy’s help, I dealt with my issues initially and moved on. And I’ve built a wonderful life with my husband and our children and that would not have happened apart from Doug and Nancy. And I haven't had to rehash my sexual abuse until recently. I have been appalled at the way my pastor, friend, and victim advocate has been treated by ambulance-chasers like Boz Tchividjian.

These people have been the worst. I don't know what victims Boz has helped, but he and the other “professionals” have been the bane of this victim’s existence for the entire fall of 2015. I would never go to him or recommend that someone go to him for counsel on such complex and incredibly sensitive issues as these.

I am here to go on record for Douglas Wilson. He helped bring the light of the Gospel to my darkness. He helped bring the grace of Jesus to my disgrace. I almost let my abuser run me out of the church. But God used Doug to keep that from happening. I am very grateful to Doug, the person who truly deserves the title of pastor, a true defender of sheep, a faithful servant of Our Great Physician, Jesus Christ.