pleasing and fear of rocking the boat trumped the small alarm
bells within me warning that things were not quite right. In
hindsight and in the process of giving voice to an entire
community, we were confronted with the truth that the red
flags were right in front of our collective face.
In response to the first revelation of danger for our
most vulnerable charges, I joined in with others to research,
write, and implement a comprehensive safety and security
policy. This was important work, but it did not bring to light
an ongoing abusive situation nor prevent the future dark and
underground abuse going on in the middle of our community.
Only God knows how deep and wide and far this community
cancer spread.
In 2008 when the second wave of abuse was revealed,
I was personally devastated and felt a deep terror about the
wellbeing of my own children, along with that of teenagers that
I had known and loved for years. I hope to never ever
experience that feeling again. I sunk into a black hole of anxiety
and depression and had to figure out a way to start slowly
clawing my way back up. The fact that all of this was happening
in the midst of my church made it all the more complex and
destructive. In the midst of this, my growing crisis of faith was
nourished. Alongside my body’s breakdown and my parental
failings, this particular situation was the final shove for me to
enter into therapy and get the emotional help I so desperately
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