Check out the YouTube video. But full story is below. I was not comfortable talking about the sexual assault on camera. Thank you for viewing and I hope this helps someone.
Please note that this video was filmed a few months after leaving my abuser. I want to thank you ahead of time for reading my story and feel free to share.
I am a survivor of domestic violence, narcissistic abuse, and sexual assault. I’d like to share my story with you. I want you to know monsters are out there, but they look like people. You need to be careful. I want you to know that you can escape and experience freedom again.
My story starts with the click of a mouse. A friend of mine persuaded me to join Christian Mingle. I had given my life over to Christ in October 2010 and thought that it would be in my best interest to seek out someone I could be equally yoked with. I had received some emails but one guy in particular continued to write me. He wasn’t really my type, but he was persistent and continued to pursue me. He proclaimed to be a Christian. He played on the worship team at church, was actively in the Word and seemed to be pursuing a life with Christ. This appealed to me. I was a new Christian, and I was passionate about Jesus. I thought, “Maybe God has sent him for me.” Little did I know, he was the devil instead.
I finally responded, and we had the most awesome date I’ve ever had. We continued to see each other, and he wooed me with compliments and promises. He wined and dined me for the first few months. I’m a single mom and it felt good to be treated like a queen. This was the love bombing phase.
Approximately 4 months into the relationship, the interrogation, emotional, psychological abuse, and biblical manipulation started. Any argument was always followed with apologies from me, not him. However, throughout the relationship the abuse escalated. I have been cursed at, berated, thrown around, shoved, slammed against walls, held down against my will with my mouth and nose covered that I could barely breathe, cheated on and biblically manipulated. I had 2 cellphones smashed and many of my other possessions dumped or thrown on the floor. He even hacked into my iTunes account to delete my entire phone. I was also sexually assaulted. Many times after the abuse I was expected to go on pretending I was ok. I was expected to have sex willingly, When I wouldn’t want to be intimate, he would pressure or guilt trip me by saying things like, “I’d never marry a woman who would withhold sex as a punishment,” which was not what I was doing. After abuse episodes, I was hurt and had no desire to be intimate — he called it “make up sex.” I would eventually give up fighting with him and just laid there because I just couldn’t handle any more abuse, hurt, and relentlessness with trying to get me to give him what he wanted. As he sexually assaulted me, I would just lay there with tears running down my face until he finished. I was sexually assaulted https://www.rainn.org/articles/sexual-assault on several occasions throughout this relationship by him using these tactics. (I wasn’t even aware what I had experienced was sexual assault until I started counseling). (see trauma bonding) I had no one to talk to; I was pretty much isolated from family and I no longer had any friends around.
I was strong in my faith, so I decided to go to the church for help. I went to my Associate Pastor, Alan Hannah, at Cornerstone Ministries seeking help on three occasions. Initially, I sent an anonymous email on March 31, 2014 without giving our names. Unfortunately, he said he couldn’t help me until I disclosed who we were. I was afraid to tell him and decided against it. I told him I had changed my mind and was going to let God handle it.
The abuse continued and I needed help. Around January 2015 was the second time I spoke with him. It was in person after church. I was crying and pleading for him to help us. I told him that I was the one who had sent the email to him before in 2014 but now things were really getting worse. I asked him if he could talk to my ex without letting on I had spoken with him, maybe by asking how we were doing. He said he would be glad to counsel us, but my ex would have to agree.
The following day, he went to lunch with my ex. I’m not sure why, but he revealed to my ex that I came to him. My ex said that Pastor Alan had to tell him because I, “usurped his authority” and am not to do that. Needless to say, when my ex came home, he scolded me. “I told you to keep our business out of the church!” I told him I just wanted help. That sent him into a rage. He threw me across the bed, held me down, covered my mouth and told me, “Shut the f*ck up! You never listen!” This went on until he let all his anger out on me. I wasn’t allowed to say a word back. He commanded me to withdraw from my bible study group and not to have a relationship with the leader and Women’s Director, Amy Thomas. I was instructed I needed to “know your place” and to “keep your mouth shut.”
I still loved him, so continued to follow his lead and my son and I temporarily withdrew from church. I also requested that Amy stop contacting me because I was not allowed to talk to her anymore.
The abuse continued. In February 2015, I endured another attack and his brother was there to pull him off of me. He hit me so hard that it knocked my earring out of my ear and me across the room. I remember grabbing my phone and calling his mom for help (she answered) but all I could do was scream. He grabbed the phone from my hand and threw it across the room. I didn’t want to call the police because I didn’t want him to get in trouble. I just wanted the abuse to stop.
There were times that if I didn’t look at him when he would speak to me, he would forcefully hold my eyelids open or hold my head up squeezing it like it was in a vice as I would cry from the pain. This type of treatment was frequent. To this day, his words occasionally sneak in my head, “Know your role you f*cking bitch! No one is gonna believe you!”
In August 2015, I had had enough of his awful treatment and told him I was leaving. I packed my things. We weren’t living together at the time, but a lot of my things were at his place. I remember him saying that I had better be there when he got home because I needed to make sure he was up the next morning for work. I told him that I just couldn’t take it anymore. I felt like his slave. I cooked for him and his brother and cleaned their place while trying to keep up with my own place. I never received any help. He never appreciated anything I did for him. When I would get the nerve to say something I was told that I should do those things for him. He would say, “Don’t think you’re special. Any woman would do these things for me and have”. I had no plans to return to this life. And I left.
We were broken up but it didn’t take long before he began to contact me. I started getting texts and phone messages saying, “I miss you. I love you. I’m sorry”. This, I know now, is a technique narcissists use called Hoovering. It’s a technique that is named after the Hoover vacuum cleaner, and is used by Narcissists and other manipulative people in order to “suck” their victims back into a relationship with them. It is often done after the silent treatment is given or the victim has left them.
After continuing to talk, he convinced me to go back to him 4 months later. I was unaware of what was to come.
In February 2016, I was using his iPad with his permission, and I found several pictures of other women. I also found a picture of him and a girl from years ago that he used to talk to. He had said they had never met. Clearly they had, because she was in Pittsburgh (where we live) in a photo of the two of them together. Her name is Tanya, and she lives in Texas. Here is an example of how persuasive he can be, because this girl drove from Texas to see him. He explained she needed a place to stay while in town. Previously, he had told me she had friends here so, why would she need to stay at his place for an entire weekend? I decided to let this go, because we were starting over. I asked him if those 5 women that I had seen on the iPad were the only ones he spoke with, and he answered, “Yes, what was I supposed to do when you left me for dead?”
We continued to move forward. One day, I was at his place waiting for him to arrive home, and everything seemed normal. I had gone into his room to change into something more comfortable and found other women’s clothing in his bottom drawer, all different sizes. When I pulled them out, I could smell the overbearing scent of perfume. I texted him pictures of the clothes. He responded to me by saying they were his mom’s. I loved him and wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, but something wasn’t right. These clothes were clearly two different sizes — one small and one was large — and they were not clothing his mom would ever wear. I knew what I saw and smelled this time. When he arrived home, I showed him the clothes and asked him to explain. Repeatedly, I asked him if they were Tanya’s. Finally he came forward with the truth. He told me she had been at his place sometime in November 2015.
I didn’t believe him. I sent Tanya a message on Facebook to ask her what her story was. I just wanted the truth. He tried to grab my phone and break it, but I held on to it so tight that it left bruises on my hand. He said, “Why do you have to upset and try to ruin other people’s lives?” I wasn’t the one out trying to do that. He was and had been for years with all his lies, infidelity, and triangulation. (see link- https://www.psychopathfree.com/articles/torture-by-triangulation.134/ ) He had a history of infidelity, and I wanted to make sure this wasn’t happening again. But she never responded back. I’m very sure Tanya wasn’t aware of the double life he had lived with me and Jacqui in 2011-2014.
When I had spoken to Jacqui in February 2016 she had said our ex had been taking to Tanya when they were together because Tanya had called his phone while they were together and left a voicemail. Jacqui made him let her listen to it. She was crying and saying how much she loved and missed him so much. Jacqui asked him why would Tanya leave that kind of message if they were just friends? Of course, he had no good explanation. Truth be known, he was probably dating all three of us at the same time and that what it sounds like now. But to know him, is to know how good he was with his words. He was very persuasive and could make you believe anything. If you would catch him in a lie or caught him doing something you’d better have proof if you were going to make assumptions or allegations. He would demand it. I’d have pictures to prove something to him and he would outright deny it and try to make me doubt myself. If you looked at the sky and knew it was blue but, he said it was purple you’d be agreeing with him or at least questioning your own sight in 20 minutes or less. That is called gaslighting.
To give you a little more background, from 2011-2014, he had been living with Jacqui while he was engaged to me. He kept that lie going because we both lived in different states, all went to different churches, and I was not active on social media. I still have no idea how he was able to do this because I would see him several times a week after work, until very late, and we talked every single day all throughout the day. Over a month period, I would have approximately 5,000-6,000 text messages from him. He had been very active on the church worship team so, I never questioned him about whether or not he was going to practice which was usually Wednesday evenings, Saturdays 2pm-7pm, and Sunday 7am-1pm, and some Friday nights to play for addiction recovery. To further the deceit, he also told me that I couldn’t come around from November 2011 to February 2014 because his “mom didn’t like me”. He had said I upset his mom and was “aggressive” when I approached his mother in November 2011, asking her if Jacqui had been around because my intuition was telling me something was off.
It was around this time he had asked to start being a part of my son’s life. I protected my son at all costs, and I didn’t want him to get hurt. My ex’s mom said that Jacqui had been around and that she, “wasn’t going to lie for him and that he needed to decide who he was going to be with.”
Later, I found out that his mother was never upset with me. It was a lie to cover up the things he was doing. He used his mom as a pawn to keep both of us finding out about the other.
In September 2013, he had proposed to me by getting down on one knee, with a beautiful ring while I was in the bathtub. I accepted. It was then that we decided to get serious about premarital counseling and meeting with a Christian counselor at a church in Carnegie, PA after work every Tuesday. There was one instance when he verbally abused me and attempted to manipulate me. Our counselor called him out on it saying, “you will not abuse her in my office!” During one of our other sessions she had told my ex that he should try to talk to his mom about talking to me so we could heal that relationship. Our counselor suggested that he have her reach out to me by phone which he said probably wouldn’t happen but that he could probably get her to email me. A few days later, I had received an email from his mom—or so I thought. (Please refer to the email under the link The Email that he wrote himself but sent it from his mother’s email. He is a knowledgeable guy at computers so of course he knew the password to get into her account.) And that’s a whole other story. (That part is described in my video) Pretty much what happened was I prayed to God a few days after Valentine’s Day 2014 to give me the courage to call his mom and make amends. Needless to say, when she answered she was flabbergasted. She said, “What?! He’s been dating Jacqui for 7 years and she’s like part of our family”. When everything finally came out Jacqui left (which is what his mom said). But according to him, he said that he told Jacqui that he couldn’t help who he fell in love with and that he couldn’t live without me. (I’m very sure now that it was another one of his lies.)
Now that I have given you some of the happenings in between maybe you can understand why in that day in February 2016, I told him that I had just had enough of all the lies and betrayal and that he could have these other women. He was furious and came at me saying, “Shut the f*ck up you dumb b*tch! You never know when to just keep your mouth shut!” He grabbed me by both sides of my jaw and slammed my head into the wall. Then he threw me over between the wall and the couch. I got up and ran into the kitchen to get away from him, and he followed me. He then grabbed me again by my jaw and slammed my head into the cupboards. I fell down, and somehow he managed to give me a busted lip as well which caused blood to drip down my chin. I got back up, and I was screaming for him to stop. I stepped on his foot really hard to try to hurt him so he would let me go. I could hear his brother coming down the hall. His brother had pulled him off of me a few times before. And once again he was my saving grace by just coming down the hallway that night. He finally stopped, and I grabbed my things and ran out and never returned.
The next day, he was texting me saying how he “missed me” and “loved me” and he doesn’t know why I “make him do those things”. I told him he doesn’t love me and not to contact me ever again. That afternoon, I went to speak with my friend from my new biblical community. She told me I needed to leave. She told me to think about what I wanted to do and that was “not what God had wanted for me” and that he was “not a godly man”. She promised I would have support from the group if I chose to leave. I was embarrassed to even talk about this so, I kept it hidden. After speaking with another close friend, I knew if I didn’t leave now, I’d continue on this path forever. She informed me of the Blackburn Center in Westmoreland County for abused women. I looked up the number and called. I had never felt so validated in my life. They knew EXACTLY what I’d been going through. The center told me that I needed to get a protection from abuse order (PFA) or he would continue to pursue me and keep drawing me back in with his eloquent words.
The next day at 8:30am, I went to the courthouse and filed with the support of my friend. I was given an advocate that day; she has been a blessing. I could barely fill out the paperwork. I was having trouble remembering his birthday, his eye color, the car he drove, etc. I was in shock. I was told I would be going in front of the judge within the next few hours. When I went in front of the judge I was trembling so badly. I was terrified of what my ex was going to do to me. The judge asked me why I was so afraid, and I told him my ex had previously threatened me when I had went to our Associate Pastor in the past about the abuse. My ex said, “You’d better be careful, you don’t know who you’re messing with”. Still to this day I am unaware if he was talking about what he would do or what Cornerstone Ministries would do to me. I had my phone and the judge asked me if I wanted to approach the bench. I showed him the pictures of bruises and my busted lip. I was able to obtain a temporary PFA in Westmoreland County and had to return several days later to ask the judge to continue to keep the PFA in place until next year.
After I started counseling, I went away on a vacation to clear my head. I decided that as a part of my healing I needed to confront the Associate Pastor about his betrayal. I did so in a letter (third time approaching Associate Pastor, Alan Hannah) and advised him to approach this issue differently if he would ever encounter another victim because he had traumatized me all over again when he failed to believe me. My attorney provided him with a copy of my PFA. I didn’t want to file charges initially because I expected the church to discipline him and then possibly he could receive help. Well, the Associate Pastor still chose to believe my ex. Then, I decided I should’ve just let the police handle it from the beginning. I thought about how many times I was told that, “I needed to be taught a lesson” and “no one would believe me”. I decided that I was going to file the criminal charges and not let him get away with what he did to me. I had gone through every type of abuse you could imagine in those 5 yrs. I wouldn’t be able to prove anything in the past but I could now. In the meantime, I had been trying for weeks to press criminal charges but kept getting the run around for weeks. Finally, I was able to file police report with the White Oak Police Department after I was advised I had to go speak with the ADA Tom Kelly because the actual incident occurred in Feb 2016 and it was now April 2016. ADA Tom Kelly approved for me to file criminal charges. I filed police report with my advocate, and my friend and Sergeant H stated that she was “going to get a warrant for his arrest.” I spoke to her a few days later, and she then states that, “I’m going to just try to get a summons from the magistrate since it had been so long since the assault.” She then stated that she was not going to contact me until she filed the charges and had a court date which is stated on her final report that was available for me to obtain on 5/2/2016. Low and behold, I receive this letter from my ex’s attorney stating that we were going back to court. The Associate Pastor went to my ex and turned over confidential emails between ourselves. My ex tried to use them to get the PFA dropped by saying I was “maligning his reputation and harassing him”. His attorney even said in court that the Senior Pastor was supposed to show up in court that day to defend his client but he was told, “something came up”. (No, actually, I’m was thinking at that moment that…God, is in the works here preventing him from showing up) The judge obviously denied the request to drop the order and to this day it remains in place. And there I was still waiting on charges to be filed. They never were so, I contacted the chief of police who guaranteed me that they would be filed that following Friday. However, no charges were ever filed so I called again and the chief says, “Sergeant H is now going to do an investigation and interview my abuser this coming Thursday with his attorney”. 5/12/2016 I receive phone call from ADA stating that, “the police have decided not to file charges because he didn’t see bruising in my photos and that my ex brought in text messages I sent him after the abuse occurred. Also, that they had spoken to family members and ppl from the church who vouched for his character .(Statistic)**Women’s Health-5 Facts About Domestic Violence That May Surprise You (June 10, 2016) ). I had pics with bruising on my face, dental records from my dentist from where I had assumed at first my jaw was fractured because of the pain, clicking, and my jaw area was swollen. But fortunately, my dentist said that it wasn’t fractured and would heal but it would take time. I also had emails, text messages he sent admitting of past abuse. The police just traumatized me all over again. Plus, I had my advocate with me the entire process. Another one of my advocates contacted the chief of police and advised him that they were in need of training and some education for their police department and that she would be willing to assist them. He refused and then had refused to take any more of her calls. Sergeant H falsified the police statement which conflicts with my actual statement. She had written the wrong time of incident! Sergeant H wrote 1700 when incident happened at 8pm! They tried to say I was texting him after the incident. Well, of course I did, if she wrote 1700 because he didn’t abuse me until 8pm! At that moment, I just wanted to die. I really wanted to commit suicide. Never had I ever felt so much injustice. I had belief in the justice system. Shortly after the phone call from ADA Tom Kelly, I was advised I should go speak with an attorney. I scheduled appointments and presented these pictures to 2 attorneys and they stated, “It is clearly evident that there are bruises in those pictures”. They also stated that I was able to file civil charges against my ex and the Associate Pastor at the church as well. But the end result would only be monetary compensation. However, I’m not interested in money. I’m concerned with justice. After that, I went right to the Allegheny County DA’s office and waited for someone to see me. I was never seen by anyone. When I called the DA’s office and asked if I would be able to file the private complaint and was told by the secretary that it would be, “denied too”. It’s absolutely amazing to me the injustice that goes on.
Don’t tell a victim to come forward if you don’t plan on believing them especially, if they have plenty of evidence. That is a slap in the face and you are just re traumatizing the victim all over again. It takes extreme courage for a victim to come forward after years of abuse. But if I could do it all again, I wouldn’t have wasted my time believing that there was going to be justice. There is no justice for victims.
My advice for victims is to contact your local Domestic Violence Center or call the hotline. Mine has provided counseling free of charge for all victims. They understood what I was going through. I wasn’t even aware the things he did to me had names; gaslighting, projection, smear campaigning, etc. After becoming aware of these things and educating myself through reading and interacting with other survivors, it was then that my healing began.
Victims need to be patient. Healing is a long, hard road. It’s been almost a year later, I have turned back to God and feel He was the one who brought me out of this darkness. I still am in counseling for PTSD and continue on the path of healing. I look back and can see that through coming forward and telling my story I’ve already helped others know that they are not alone and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
I have provided several resources under the Resource section on my site for you to go to. There are wonderful people doing work in these areas and are there to help if you just reach out.
God Bless You All,