“We sail within a vast sphere, ever drifting in uncertainty, driven from end to end.” – Blaise Pascal
After we survived the sell (which happened in the nick of time) of our house, we began a journey that would lead us along for eight long years, countless churches, countless homes and span three counties in Kentucky. I will spare you the boring day to day details of that eight years, but I will try to hit the high points.
After moving out of the only home I had ever known, we moved into a rental house in the middle of nowhere outside a small community called Crofton, KY. When I say it was small, when we lived there, it was a community of 800 people. (And honestly, I think they counted animals to get to that number!) Our house was outside the town limits and was in the middle of the woods. This was quite an adjustment for me, since I had always lived in the city. Couple that with the fact that I was being home-schooled and you can imagine how isolated I felt.
As I have done through most of my life, I adapted. We started attending Crofton Assembly of God and I made a few friends there. The pastor was a friend of my father”s from the Hospital. They worked in the Laboratory together and had known each other for many years. Sadly, the man of God proved to be less of a man of God and more of a man of money and power. This should have been evident in the fact that he and his wife were constantly divorcing each other and remarrying each other on a regular (if not yearly) basis. Strangely though, he continued to find work as a pastor in various churches for many more years to come.
I met my first real girlfriend in Crofton. I can only remember her last name now. But she was the first kiss I got from a girl. She was also the first person to ever love me for me. She was willing to look past my family and my baggage as an abused child to love me for who I was. Now, you may say that it could not have been love at 10 and 11 years of age. But I believe that it was. It was not perverted. It was not sexual or physical. But rather it was an emotional and spiritual connection that was made, even if it was only briefly. It was a bright spot in a rather dark time of my life. (One of many that God would send at my darkest moments.) I still think about her from time to time and pray that everything turned out well for her. I hope that she knows that she helped me through a dark period of my life and showed me that I could be loved despite what my mother had tried to make me believe.
And as usual, the darkness sets in again. The isolated nature of our new home, gave my mother even more opportunities to abuse us children. Here in the middle of nowhere, no one could hear us scream or cry. The nearest houses were only about two-tenths of a mile away, but we did not know if they were friendly people or not. So we could not turn to them for assistance. To show the type of abuse that my mother used, I will recount the story of my cat. I had this rather young kitten that we had acquired. It was the dead middle of winter and was rather cold outside. The cat had crawled up in the engine to get warm when my mother came out to leave. While backing away, the kitten, trying to get out of the now running engine and away from the moving car, got trapped behind the front tire. As you can imagine, it was not a pleasant sight. Rather than take care of the body and tell us that the cat ran off, my mother called us over to watch, as she smiled with pride, as the kitten writhed in pain and finally expired. That image will forever be seared in my mind. (Which is probably why I own so many pets that we have rescued!)
Crofton also brought a new hell into my life. My mother decided that I should be forced to associate more with my cousin. This is a long and painful part of the story that is my life. So bear with me.
My cousin, the son of my mother’s oldest brother, was 4 years older than me. And he was a pervert. He decided that since I was younger and weaker, he could force me to do things he wanted. And he was right. For years, starting in Crofton and only taking a break while we were in Russellville for six months, he sexually molested me and raped me. I made the mistake of mentioning the abuse to my mother and grandmother one time. They called me a liar and told me that making such stories up would destroy my cousin’s life. I needed to keep my mouth shut and stop being a troublemaker. I endured this abuse for years. I tried to fight back and even broke my cousin’s nose at one point. But that did not stop the abuse. It made it worse. And my mother was more than happy to make time to have my cousin over and to leave us alone as much as possible.
I would find out years later that she had been sexually abused by my cousin’s father, her oldest brother. I was angry that she knew my outcry about the abuse was true and still did everything she could to cover it up and blame me. In hindsight, it is almost like she was pimping me out to my cousin. Which is very sick.
Thankfully, my cousin is in prison now for child porn charges. I pray for him, but I am cannot lie. I am happy he is in prison. He abused his own brother and sister as well as our other cousins.
Finally, in the winter of 1990, we moved from Crofton to Russellville, KY. And a whole new set of adventures and horror began!