Thursday, March 13, 2014
Chapter Three: Devastation, Part II: January 2010
January 9, 2010, continued
I changed my mind and decided to drive over to Dee’s house. I couldn’t just stand in the doorway waiting, with my coat on. What if Jerry came in and saw me standing there?
As I pulled into Dee’s driveway, her husband, the bishop, walked out the front door. I got out of the car and hurried over to him.
“I was coming to see Dee, but, bishop, I believe it’s you I’m supposed to see,” I said, my chin quivering. The Holy Ghost planned it perfectly.
The bishop didn’t hesitate and invited me in, though I knew he was probably headed out to see someone else. I felt for the cold metal of the blue phone in my pocket as I walked into the house. Both ired and afraid, I shook and shivered as we went downstairs into his basement office. The sting of humiliation followed me and, I knew, would be a constant companion in the coming weeks and months.
I spent about an hour confessing my life with Jerry to the bishop. Nobody knows our whole story. I’m sure the bishop found it hard to believe. After all, my husband was once a bishop, too. He’s this bishop’s second counselor now!
But he didn’t judge me. He didn’t show shock. He didn’t exhibit disbelief in my words.
It’s not the first time I’d been to a bishop. No bishop ever believed me when I told him about the abuse I endured, until one finally did. That bishop who believed helped me and I am forever grateful to him. In fact, the stake president who was just released believed me, too.
Other bishops followed and all I got was, “But Jerry’s a great guy. He’s always helping people.” I couldn’t explain it myself, so how could I ask them to understand?
The stake president when Jerry was bishop actually showed me the door when I came to him depressed, confused. I told him Jerry was acting strange, he yelled a lot, had a lot of anger, road rage.
In mid-sentence, that stake president got up and walked over to the door. I thought, I didn’t hear anybody knock. He opened it and pointed his hand at me, then to the hallway, signaling me to follow his hand out the door. I couldn’t believe it. I was about as low as I could get that day; suicidal—again.
Jerry moved a twin bed into his sparsely-decorated man cave tonight. I don’t even want to be in the same house with him. I am disgusted.
I’m venting now. I’m exhausted. I can’t eat. The thought of food makes me want to throw up. I don’t know what will happen to me or to my family. A husband, a father, is supposed to be a protector. He’s supposed to take care of us.
I’m afraid to go to bed and I’m afraid to wake up in the morning. Tomorrow is church. I’m a counselor in Primary, the children’s Sunday School. The Primary president is pregnant and she doesn’t need me calling her to say I won’t be there tomorrow.
Please, Lord, let me fall asleep quickly. I am the waking dead right now. I need to sleep. I want to crawl under the covers and forget this day ever happened. I just want to die.