The Face of a Sexual Predator

IMG_2075You ask yourself, “What does a sexual predator look like”.  I will tell you one thing.  They come in all shapes sizes, colors, cultures, religions, ages, even sexual preferences.  So, you may ask is what you look for to protect yourself.  The answer, there really is none.  Just know that what ever happens, where ever it happens, how it happens.  It’s NOT YOUR FAULT!

I was stalked and preyed upon by a Military Chaplain, to be exact a Roman Catholic Priest.  He always had a great big smile and jumped at the chance to lend a helping hand to anyone.  Seemed genuine and caring especially while I was deployed at the same base he was during 2010.  I complemented his homily and from there he struck up a conversation as to how I was and what I needed while I was deployed.  Where I thought this was harmless conversations, it was actually him sizing me up as to how receptive I was.

For years he used God against me.  I felt horrible and guilty from the beginning.  I told him that this was not right.  That I felt like I was going to burn in hell from just his kiss.  I didn’t want to be that woman that took a good man from the church.  What I truly needed to tell myself is “Why is this man with the church in the first place!”  His ability to use not only his rank in the military to access those with less rank but as a clergy.  That’s like twice the wrong!  In the military it was always known that the officers used their rank to subordinate soldiers.  But think of someone being your boss and head of your church at the same time.  He would Skype me late at night to watch me sleep at first.  Then started asking me to send him photos.  He then sent me a photo of him.  Odd, who sends a photo of themselves if they are a priest on the beach,  in a bathing suit, at sunset?   Okay, yes I stared at the picture.  I’m not dead! I’m gonna look.  He had a great body.  But what was I thinking! This is my priest for the next year!  I cannot be thinking about him in that way.  So back to the Skype calls.  He started asking me to start sending him photos.  You know “topless” and such.  So, these conversations started getting really really weird.  But eventually I gave in.  I mean what’s the harm in sending a priest a photo so he can tell you that there is nothing wrong with you.  (yeah, I don’t know why that sounded better in my head then as I just wrote this out).  At this point, there was turning back.  He knew I had low self esteem, that I was trapped in a foreign country, no friends, no family, ultimately alone.

After the first time he had sex with me.  I couldn’t talk to him for a few days.  I couldn’t even look at him.  I was waiting for the clouds to collide and the reign of thunder and lightening to start falling upon me.  For I was to blame for a priest to stray. (Wait, don’t believe that line!  I was not to blame!!!)  Why would a man who told me he was engaged before becoming a priest want to continue to have sex?  I mean that’s the point why you stopped the engagement, it was to become one in the Lord.  To be celibate with one’s faith, knowing that all you need is the Lord to fill your heart.  My entire deployment I ended up being his toy.  I was there when he needed me, fulfilling he manly needs.  Even if it was just fingering me in the front of the vehicle while his assistant was in the back seat.  I couldn’t even be seen speaking or hanging out with another male.  He shamed me and gave me horrible stares if I strayed from him.  I tried to break it off and repeatedly he guilted me back in over and over and over again.  To the point I just gave in.  This was my life.  The woman of a military chaplain.  Stuck forever in the daily mess of demonizing myself for what sins I’ve committed.

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When I finally returned back to the stateside, I thought I was free!  Until I opened my Skype account to see that he was sending me messages.  He wanted to see me.  Well, maybe this man wants to leave the priesthood.  OH CRAP, what if he leaves the priesthood because of me!  There is a huge guilt trip and that is something I couldn’t live with either.  During this time of his still deployment and my ability to try to get back to a life.  He would keep me on a short leash.  I would tell him of my adventures, and even let him know when I would go on a date.  That would not last long.  He didn’t like me dating.  He didn’t like other mens intentions.  They (the other men’s) intentions were to just get some sex and return back to their happy lives.  Sigh, now I wasn’t even good enough for anyone to love me.  He would then Skype me to ask me to start touching myself.  He would enjoy the ability to have access to me whenever he wanted.  At this point, I was trapped again.

2012 and I’m still his Skype toy.  But we talk, a lot.  I mean, at this point I’m stuck with him so I might as well have meaningful conversations with him.  WAIT, WHAT!  NO, I want my freedom!  I wrote him the biggest dear John letter I could think of.  How guilty I feel, and that I don’t think this should have happened.  That I cannot think of him anymore and that I’m done.  I truly started seeing a guy, the sex sucked but he was someone who seemed safe.  I’m not sure if the sex sucked because of the trauma of dealing with “Ani” or because it truly just had no flare to it.  But I wanted to give him a true try.  Ani (Priests nickname) was coming to my state to stay for a strong bonds symposium.  He asked me to come see him.  How could I refuse, I mean since I wrote down in my letter our sexual relationship was over.  There was no harm in seeing him to help him out for a few days while he was in my neck of the woods.  So, I picked him up at the airport, drove him downtown to where he was staying had dinner and promised I would be by in the morning to help him do some clothes shopping.  I came back that next morning as promised.  Brought him shopping for clothes.  Felt relieved that this was going to finally work out.  That the letter solidified my intentions for us and that he was respecting my wishes.  Or so I thought.  That evening over dinner it was discussed how he didn’t like that letter.  It truly hurt his feelings.  That he cared for me deeply and that he would love to have things where we could count on each other.  He begged me to promise him we would still remain friends, to continue our conversations as before.  Promising that not one day would go by where we would not call or text each other.  He was having a hard time adjusting after the deployment and I, yes I was the only one who seemed to calm him down. (That my dear was a bait and hook).

How could I in any consciences mind deny him friendship?  Who does a priest turn to when they are having a hard time?  Friends, well, I knew more about him than I care to admit.  So, I bit my lip and agreed to always be there for him. (Damn, I’m such a sucker) because right after I agreed to be there for him.  He begged me not to leave that night.  I told him it wasn’t right, that I needed to get home.  He begged for me to just hold him and give him a hug and help him fall asleep.  Little did I know that helping him jerk off next to me while I held him was his intentions.  I’m silently crying knowing that no matter what I do, this man knows too much about me and I cannot get away.

I got married shortly afterwards.  I never spoke of what happened between Ani and myself to him.  I only said we got close down range and he was like a “Gag, Brother to me”.  Well, the lies piled on and on.  Every time he texted and called I was given privacy to talk to him.  I never told Ani that I was planning on getting married.  Why, you may ask, because he didn’t value me as an individual and the way he treated others while they tried to dance with me at the MWR downrange was deplorable.  I couldn’t admit to my husband that I was the sex toy of a priest.  How could I?  My depression started sinking me fast.  I had to think of ways to prevent myself from talking to Ani so much.  I had to get away from him.

For 7 years from the time it started in the Iraqi dessert to the last time he kissed me in the airport in Honolulu Hawaii, 2017.  This thing he had over me lasted.  It wasn’t until my husband actually sent him an email letting Ani know that I was married and had been that I received an I’m appalled you betrayed my trust note.  At first it hurt after awhile I could only laugh.  Wait, WHAT?  I betrayed your trust?  The man who is of the cloth.  The man who would not allow me to date.  The man who would treat me as his own individual sex toy.  The man who would not take “No” For an answer.  Irony!

For all those years I hid the truth behind this man.  I defended him, praised him even.  He was nothing but a sexual predator and I’m so glad to rid him from my life.  Maybe, I will be able to have a normal relationship with my spouse.  Maybe I will be able to respect my church again.  Maybe my faith restored in humanity.  In the meantime.  I write, I write what happened , I write how things came to be.  I write so that others see something maybe in a relationship that they are in, where one suppresses another and gets out before they waste 7 years of their life as a sex toy.  Learn to love yourself.  Learn to question everything.  And start to learn to trust in yourself again.

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Mind Twirls, Reality doesn’t make sense

 

So, you ask yourself what is the difference between a Catholic Priest and any other religion out there .  Technically, the Roman Catholic Priest is forbidden to be married or have any relationship with a woman after they are an ordained as clergy.  (Please note, I stated AFTER they are ordained as clergy).  They are not free to marry based on the vows they take.  For my instance this I found quite interesting, he was ordained as a Legionaire of Christ.  So, let’s dig deeper.  This group of ordained priests are the forefront of the news.  The founder and many of his priests and seminarians (also known as the millionaire priests) are repeatedly noted for going against their sacred vows.  Many secretly having relationships with women and fathering children as well as sexual abuse to young boys.  Now the vow they take , vows of obedience, chastity and poverty they are said by every seminarian, priest, bishop that goes thru the processes.

Knowing that you are alone in this forgein world, knowing that I grew up Roman Catholic, trusting priests, deacons, bishops and cardinals my entire life.  Why, seriously why would I not trust or believe this man, this priest?

That kiss was just the start of that evening.  Pulling away from him, fighting the inner demons inside did not work.  Who would believe me?  Who could I confess to? I could see it now; Forgive me father for I have sinned.  It has been two weeks since my last confession.  I am constantly finding myself drawn into an improper relationship with an ordained priest.  And the Priests response:  “God will punish you”.  Seriously, I couldn’t tell you a day that I constantly worried about my soul and how this had to be some type of bizarre dream, because no one comes up with this.  In a way I felt like Esmeralda in the book The Humpback of Notre Dame.  How does one get accused of leading on a man of the cloth?  The guilt and shame hit me by waves and waves every day.  Do I continue to give into him?  He makes it very hard to say “no”.  NO!  He’s taking me to the pool today, maybe we can have a little one on one conversation, at least see if we can backtrack and really find out what’s going on.  I’m pretty vulnerable at this point and I need someone to talk to.  (Worst mistake in my life) Did you know the more information a predator has on you, the more they can use it in their favor.

I’m a sex slave.  That’s how I feel.  Caught between a rock and a hard place.  No seriously you have no idea where they find places for you to have sex.  How is it that I’m the one who feels lost? As if I lost my way in this journey.  I cannot even concentrate on work, my thoughts begin to think of him.  Only him.  As we. Continue to have this ongoing , let’s just call it a “thing” I feel less human, more numb.  I stop eating, begging forgiveness in my prayers every night.  Afraid to talk to anyone about this.  Until one day, I call my sister on SKYPE, yep she is deployed to the same country I am.  And I ask her, beg her to help me make sense of this.  Her response, “Do you love him”?  I cannot answer this.  This point in the deployment and how he has made me go thru every emotion.  I don’t know what to say.  I’m overwhelmed with feelings, I just don’t know what they are.  She was arriving in a week up into my location, she can see then.

When my sister arrived, he picked her up at her location and brought her to me.  We were able to hang out as a group, but I had to return to work.  They ended up hanging out the rest of the day until I got off work that evening.  Jealousy!  Yep, this man is driving me crazy.  The places he took pictures of with my sister today, I felt so left out and felt like he started to hit on her too!  I’ve got to snap myself back together.  I know my sister wouldn’t let him touch her, but just the thought of them together kept creeping up in my mind.  I truly need help, but again no one to turn to.

That night my sister stated that, let’s just refer him to as “Ani”, he would not keep his eyes off of me.  Every time I went to dance with another soldier or contractor, his eyes followed me around the room with complete jealousy darting out.  This does not make me feel any better.  Actually, it makes me feel worse.  How can I have a normal friendship during my deployment with those eyes staring at me?  After we dropped my sister off at her barracks the drive back to my CHU was unbearable.  There was another soldier (female) in the vehicle in the back.  If I remember right it was one of his assistants.  He kept putting his hands up my shorts, allowing his fingers to roam where he thought he could go.  Don’t shy away, because he will just pull you in with his fingers and dig harder into you.  What can I do to get out of this situation?  Change religions? He has full access to me and he knows it.  He knows where I eat, where I sleep, where I work, where I worship and knows that I won’t tell a soul.

At first I felt honored, confused.  Now I’m feeling trapped and obedient to his needs.  I wish I had the strength inside of me to say no and have him believe me when I said “no”.  This entire deployment was full of his sexual needs being met by me.  I continue to think about this wondering and wondering what could I have done?  Now, trust me I have thought of so many scenarios, and those in the military know what I’m talking about.  The victim gets blamed, his reputation was so amazing down range that I would have been deemed the Esmeralda and burned as a witch for seducing him.  He would be obsolved of his sins and I would forever be burned in the eternal flames of hell.  Otherwise put, he would have been promoted and I would have been stuck on guard duty, unti they could come up with a good reason to chapter me out of the military for seducing an officer.

I thought I was beginning to love him.  I actually believed at one point he was going to leave the cloth and marry me.  At least that’s what I believed.  He sought after me daily, multiple times a day during this deployment.  Sunday’s at church and then spending the evening talking or having sex.  At one point, I had had enough.  I tried to stand up for myself.  Get myself away from his constant, come here, go away, come here.  (He was battling with the reality of what he was doing and the impact on not only his military career but his Priesthood).  I was hanging out with a contractor.  He was a great dancer, and truly light on his feet.  If I ran into Ani at the MWR, he would stare us down.  Glaring at me with those piercing eyes as if I was betraying him.  Wait, was I?  Was I betraying him?  I just wanted to get deployment stress out, have some laughs, dance the night away.  I don’t drink, I don’t smoke.  But I do know dancing is a great stress reliever.  My fun with the contractor was short lived.  I was corrected by Ani as to how it looked with me dancing with him.  Does it matter that this guy didn’t like women?  Kind of ironic, don’t you think?

The sex with Ani after that was kind of like punishment.  Punishment that I would hang with another man.  How dare I!  I cannot get the thought of Ani out of my head.   As before I continue to struggle with right and wrong.  I cannot get my thoughts straight.  But I do know, I know I’ve fallen for him.  I know it’s obvious I get nervous when he is around me.  I know that I don’t want to disappoint him.  I give him all of my undivided attention.  I get things flown in from Italy from friends that he specifically likes.  I get him pelican cases and cigars and goodies when ever I can.  I had 40# of coffee shipped to me down range and gave him the majority of it.  I constantly try to please him.  But I have to ask myself; WHY?

The end of my deployment, my entire company is flown into another area of the country for out processing.  I’m in my tent with 30+ other female soldiers when my NCOIC (non commissioned officer in charge) comes up to my tent looking for me.  As I heed his call, I see him, ANI.  He is right behind him.  Now, my NCOIC knows who Ani is, he used to attend his services too, as well as seeing him around my CHU after hours chatting away with me.  I’ll say I’m a little shocked that he found me, again.  He wanted me to go to the movies and hang out?  Um, excuse me?  Well, if I go I need a battle buddy.  So my NCOIC agrees to hang out with us.  Why not!  We are stuck in tents in 100+ heat and we get to hang out in the movie theatre!  Um, sign me up!   During the entire movie Ani kept placing his hands again up my shorts.  He got pleasure seeing me trying to hold back the emotions bottled up inside of me.  Was this his way of keeping control of me beyond the barricades?

I returned home.  Back to the states.  Away from what happened down range.  Getting back to my normal life.  My SKYPE rings, it’s Ani. He’s trying to figure out if I made it home ok.  He wants to see me.  And so the journey begins…..

Wounds are Wounds

via Wounds are Wounds

Just because he’s a priest doesn’t mean he’s honest

 

When you deploy, let’s just say somewhere far, far, far away.  Far from your family, your home, your life as you knew it.  To a foreign land, full of unseen sites, people, cultures.  What do you do?  Well, as for me, being in the military, I jumped in both feet and started experiencing things.  As they say “try to make the best of the situation”. What I didn’t know, was how many people just wanted to take advantage of a female alone in the desert

When I arrived that week just before Easter, I was in awe.  Wow, I’m here to do something for my country.  Do something I never thought I would do.  Carry a weapon and fight at my age.  I asked myself over and over again “What are you thinking”?  And the answer…doing good things for good people in a bad situation.

So, I could start with the first officer who proceeded to use me as their deployment toy, or where I truly need to start, the priest.  The one I’ve been holding in for years.  The mention of his name makes me cry.  The one that broke down all my ability to trust, who not only used his status being an officer but being a man of the cloth.  I think that’s where it truly hurt.

Church, week after Easter.  Those Catholics out there know the sermon well, Doubting Thomas.  The sermons had me so moved, I had never heard it delivered that way.  Fast forward to the end of mass and I’m thanking this priest so much.  Thank you for your sermon, your service, etc, etc.  It was truly inspirational I said to him.  We continued to chat and I informed him that I had just arrived in Country and that I will be attending regularly to this mass.  I explained that I was going thru a horrible divorce and was fighting the fight, doing something out of my comfort zone.  Improving the quality of my life as well as my children’s lives by joining.  He was quite gracious and kind and such a great listener.  He thanked me for the kind words and I thought what a nice way to start off my time here while I “embrace the suck”.

The following week I’m in my office and I bump into him in the copy room.  Weird, because at this point I was not putting two and two together.  I had no idea that he was the same person (priestly robes vs. army uniform).  But shortly after this random encounter I received an email in my enterprise account (those non military that’s the outlook account) First, how in the hell did he find me?  Second, Why was this priest sending me an email message?  Do they do this for soldiers so far from home?  Well, it didn’t take long for me to respond.  After that the emails kept flying back and forth.  He was going to his place of birth to see his family with members of his previous congregation.  To be exact two females of his previous congregation.  Odd, but okay.  He is a very outgoing priest who is concerned about his church members.  Got it!

Then I received my first Skype call from him. Late at night while I was alone in my Containerized Housing Unit (CHU).  The conversation went pretty awkward.  We discussed where he went with the two ladies to his place of birth, playing tourists throughout the city, etc.  I inquired as to their location at this time.  He informed me quite nonchalantly that they were in their individual hotel rooms.  He then asked for a picture of me?!!!!!!!!???  A WHAT????!!!  Um, Let’s just say I sent him a photo of myself, just my face, but a photo of me.  He then asked me to stay on the Skype video chat, at least he wanted to stay on to watch me sleep?  Mind you, I’m all alone in a scary place, and this was the only person who treated me like I was an individual who needed a little guidance to get thru this deployment unscathed.

So, as his rest and relaxation (R&R) continued for the next two weeks I was his morning Skype call, his midday email, his evening Skype call.  Each time he was requesting more and more of me.  Talking to me as if a kindred spirit.  He knew I was alone (everyone else was in theatre when I arrived.  So basically the entire deployment I was an outsider, besides I was much older than the rest of them)

 

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One of the nights he had me on Skype he was like, “let me see your body”.  I noticed in his camera his hand was making a gentle stroking motion.  It was obvious he was stroking himself.  I don’t know if I was shocked or flattered.  Please don’t judge me on this.  When  man of the cloth is supposedly not allowed to have sexual contact, don’t you think the person he is doing this in front of in a way feels honored (and let me say CREEPED OUT at the same time).

I’ll bring us up to the time he returned back to theatre (military lingo for down range location).  He arrived back late at night.  And I mean LATE!  He called me on the Skype and wanted to make sure I was awake.  If anyone knows deployments, sleep sucks, so of course I’m awake.  He immediately ran over to my CHU.  What happened after that has haunted me and confused me to this day, 8 years to the date.  He grabbed and hugged me (how is this wrong priests are supposed to be loving people) until his gaze met mine, reaching his fingers out to caress my face cradling it in his strong hands and passionately kissed me……

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