A Liar Like…

The following story is disturbing. Far more disturbing than anything I’ve ever written. Because in this story, I finally tell the truth. The whole truth.

I’m an open person. You don’t need to know me long before you learn that. My filter is almost non-existent. I’m trying to learn, but I’ve just never been particularly good at keeping things inside. Except one thing. Abuse.

I’m adept at keeping abuse secrets. It’s a skill my parents taught me, the first one they taught me. Don’t tell. Especially, don’t tell because no one cares about you.

Over the past several weeks I have had conversations with several women who either were or are currently in abusive marriages. I often joke that abusers must all be channeling the same demon because they do and say the exact same things. They are like clones of each other. But in these latest conversations, that truth took on an incredibly dark hue. This has led me to the point where I feel I must finally share the whole story, damn the consequences.

My father is addicted to porn. Has been since he was young. I credit this addiction with my conception See, he was practically engaged to another woman, but he was screwing around behind her back. I am a result of one of those liaisons. There will be more about this addiction later, but I’m going to tell my story chronologically.

When I was six, we moved across the street from a man who was addicted to porn. He was having sex with his daughter. She molested every single child in the neighborhood. She was eight. My brother was five.

Two years later, they moved away. But we got a new babysitter at that time. He was addicted to porn as well. He showed us porn magazines and molested us. I was eight. My brother was seven. My sister was three.

When I reached puberty, my father took to ogling. He liked to see me in tiny bathing suits and skimpy clothes. In his eyes you could see what he was thinking.

When I was 18, I met Zelena.

He knew before we began dating that I hated porn. That I hated the way Hollywood used women. After we started dating, I told him all the reasons why. I told him exactly what I told you. He was the only person I’d ever told.

Zelena lied to me from the moment we met. He lied every single day after that. Every day of our marriage he lied to me, over and over and over and over. He lied to you too, and he continues to lie to you. Even the people in his old support group probably don’t know the true extent of the lies and their effect on me, because he neglects to tell the whole story.

He told me that at one time he’d had a problem with porn, but said that was in the past.

If he had told me the truth, I never would have married him. I never would have dated him. I never would have spoken to him again.

Zelena has been addicted to porn for nearly 40 years. His addiction destroyed my life, and the lives of my children. Because of his addiction, people are not people, they are things. And things don’t matter.

Because of his addiction, he rejected me on our wedding night, and almost every night thereafter. We’ve had sex maybe 20 times in our entire marriage. He blamed me. Made me feel and think it was my fault.

And he could do that, because my parents made sure I knew their abuse was my fault.

And I could believe all of them, because the church insists that I submit and honor them, even if they abuse me. The church teaches women to NEVER say anything bad about their husbands. It’s a by-law in every women’s bible study I’ve ever attended. The church teaches children to honor their parents and obey them, no matter what.

The church ignores in their teaching any possibility that abuse exists. And the abused have no recourse.

Look, I love God. I know that these things have nothing to do with Him. I love my specific church, because without their teaching on God’s love, I never would have known that what Zelena was doing to me was wrong and that God didn’t want me to be in that, especially as it was turning my children away from Christ.

See, that’s what porn addicts do. They abuse, they treat people with contempt and malice. They are, in my opinion, some of the most evil people, quite possibly beyond help.

All those women I’ve spoken to over the past few weeks, all of their abusive husbands are addicted to porn. Almost every one of them lies about it.

Everything that has happened to me over the past 21 years, never would have happened, if Zelena hadn’t lied. But he just can’t help himself.

You are from your father the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. John 8:44

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Carly says:

    Thanks for your courage in sharing. I am so sorry you had to go through all of that and that you were made to believe it was your fault. None of it was your fault and it is so wrong that you were treated like that- I don’t think you can ever hear that too many times. I’m so glad you were able to see the truth and to escape and that you were able to know God’s love for you. Praying for you and your sons for ever-deeper healing.

  2. Sarah,

    Thank you for your courage. Your story is heartbreaking. Your family failed you, the Church failed you, and I am deeply sorry for that. I admire that, in the midst of this, you have found faith. That takes so much perseverance and courage that many of us will never be able to grasp.

    You have brought light into the darkness, and that is always to be commended.

  3. Velour says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry about all of the abuse that you’ve lived through. It’s heartbreaking. And, sadly, it’s so common. Out of 3 girls sexually abused by the age of 17; one of out six boys sexually abused by the age of 17.

    I’m wondering as well about the blind spots that we have from abuse that blinds us to warning signs that healthy people can see (i.e. the child raised in an alcoholic home who promises that they will never marry an alcoholic and then out of all of the people they choose…they choose an alcoholic). How can we change that so that people who were abused can get healthy and have healthy lives and choices? Whom can we have support us in our growth and decisions, who can be like the mirrors on a car that can help us see our blind spots?

    Ken Blue (pastor) said in his book Healing Spiritual Abuse that he noticed a common pattern in almost all of the people who had gotten involved in spiritually abusive churches. They had all had abusive childhoods.

    1. sarasamomx5 says:

      Yes, blind spots are a huge problem. The churches I attended were abusive at some level. My ex hid it mostly until the day we were married. Once we were married he knew he could treat me however he wanted because our church, and all the churches I grew up in, as well as my grandparents who raised me, all taught that once you are married you are stuck. It’s too bad if the person is evil, you have to remain married to him. Seriously, I had a pastor once tell me that even if a husband shot his wife and tried to kill her, she had to remain married. It’s nuts out there.

      To change, pastors need to stop fearing divorce more than they fear God. They need to be bold about abuse. They need to preach series about how marriage doesn’t trump basic human kindness, that a marriage license isn’t a “do what I want and get away with it” badge.” And about how parenting doesn’t give you the right to do whatever you want to your kids to make them behave. (Chucking parenting books like Dobson, etc, wouldn’t hurt either. Ugh.)

      Thanks so much for reading and engaging. 🙂

  4. Diana Stevens says:

    Just atrocious Sara. That these people where church goers is just disgusting. It’s like somehow showing up at Church negated their deviant behavior. I am just amazed at your strength. Hugs to you and yours.

    1. sarasamomx5 says:

      That’s exactly it. They use Christianity as their cover. Claiming that they are forgiven, but never repenting. Kind of backwards.

  5. Sara, this is a courageous step you’ve taken in writing and posting this. I’m proud of you’re stepping out and telling the world your story. It will give other women courage and hope. God bless you!

    1. sarasamomx5 says:

      I truly hope it will. That is the main reason I write. Thanks. 🙂

  6. iwillbloom says:

    Brave you.

    I do believe that the silencing of women in the Christian Church is akin to the horrors in the Catholic Church (as highlighted in the film Spotlight).

    It should be stopped.

    Women need to have a voice otherwise the generational cycle of abuse will continue.

    It’s people like you who – through their bravery – are slowly opening up the possibility of this to be openly acknowledged/discussed.

    Brave you. I salute you.


    1. sarasamomx5 says:

      Thanks. That is my hope. Though I’m fairly hopeless about that at the moment, considering the things I see in the church at large. :/

      1. iwillbloom says:

        And the climate of hate in America, in general….unfortunately….

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