Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A Scary Story

 I will tell you a story about when I dated a…Murderer.  This is a true story.

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I was living at home still, as I was only about 17, and not yet out on my own. My family life was semi-normal, I guess. I will explain what I mean by...I guess.

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My father was a part time pastor and part time mechanic/truck driver, depending on his mood at the time. He hopped from job to job like a frog hops from lily pad to lily pad. If he wasn’t happy with the church we would leave and find another one, and it was the same story if he wasn’t happy with his job as a mechanic/truck driver. So growing up, you could say we moved a lot. Making good friends was hard to do and we rarely had time for that kind of thing, as we were constantly moving.

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I grew up with all manors of rules and regulations, mostly taken from the very conservative churches we attended. There was the girls don’t wear pants or makeup rule, and the don’t speak unless spoken too rule, also children are to be seen and not heard rule, and the read your Bible every day, and go to church every time the door is open rule. Of course, there are many more but I really don’t wish to relive them all.

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By the time I was a teenager we had moved several times, to several cities in California, and Oregon as well. This story finds me in Talent, Oregon somewhere in my 16-17th year. I was in a rather rebellious state at the time and hanging out with my friends who drank a little, smoked a little, etc, etc. One of them had a friend they wanted me to meet, and he seemed to be a nice guy so we started to hang out! I am calling it hanging out because we really never went on a date per se. We were just together.

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I had already given away my precious virginity so we were involved in that kind of a relationship. I was floundering in school and at home, and getting more and more away from what my parents had tried but failed to teach me. I knew what the Bible said about sex before marriage, but because my parents never spoke ONE word about it to me, I didn’t really get why it was so important to wait. I did not know that what I had was SACRED, so I just gave it away.

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This man was supposedly just out of the ARMY and on medical discharge, later I found this to be a lie, like most of what he told me. He also told me he had been abandoned as a baby and was in and out of foster homes until his grandparents took him and raised him themselves. Another lie. We hung out and partied mostly, but one day we were going through his duffel bag and there was a Black Hand gun in it, at the time I did not really think much, He told me the ARMY issued it to him and I believed him. He had been very quiet one day so I tried to get him to open up to me, but instead he got very angry and grabbed the necklace I was wearing and yanked it off my neck and then threw me into a shed wall. My friend walked around the corner of the trailer right then and saw him running through the door. My friend asked me what happened, I told him nothing and ran after my boyfriend to apologize. Yes, I apologized and he promised never to hurt me again. Another lie.

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He started to get very scary and threatening with me, and I no longer thought I could trust him. At the time I was working at Burger King part time and stayed over at his place one night, when we got there it was just an empty shell of an apartment. No furniture, no dishes, nothing. We had to sleep on the dirty floor. He was just so angry at the time, like a ticking time bomb, I was truly frightened that night. I felt that I had to get away to somewhere safer, somewhere away from him. Days later I was reading an article in the paper and saw an ad for the Job Corp, it was perfect and after begging my parents to let me join, it was a done deal. I never did tell my parents about the abuse or fear I lived with. I still haven’t to this day. He was terribly controlling, and would make me walk him to work every day, and he hated knowing I had other friends who wanted some of my time as well, especially if they were men.

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So off I went to Washington and into the Job Corp. There I met a lot of very friendly dysfunctional people, much like myself. I became very popular with the guys and had a few relationships in a very short time period. One with a drug dealer, one with a domineering Samoan, and one with a sweet, sweet guy, of course none of those worked out, mostly because we were all dysfunctional in one way or another. One night my boyfriend called me from Oregon to tell me that if I didn’t come home he would kill my family. I can almost remember the very fear I felt that night. It didn’t take me long to concoct a good reasonable story to tell my counselors, to get them to send me home.

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Not long after the phone call I was home. My boyfriend knew I had come home, and he showed up at my door. I told him he couldn’t come in but that I would walk him to work if that was what he wanted. We walked to work and on the way I told him I didn’t think I could see him anymore. This made him angry but for some reason or another, he did not hurt me, maybe it was because we were in a public setting I don’t know. It was probably a God thing, now that I think about it, but at the time I just dismissed it. Anyway, I broke up with him at his work and told him to never call me and to never come by my home again. I told him the relationship was not a healthy one and he was abusive and I could not live that way. As I walked away, he yelled and cursed, and I could hear him all the way down the street. I later learned he lost his job due to his anger and drinking problem.

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For the next couple weeks I stayed out of sight mostly at home. When I would see my friends they would tell me strange things, like he’s looking for you, and he’s mad. I would say well what is he saying that for, and they would tell me he’s angry and wants to kill you. A lot of people say I’m going to kill so and so, but they don’t really mean it. He knew where I lived so if he wanted to kill me why didn’t he come by the house? This is something I have thought on for many years, and the only thing I can think of is God protected me and put a shield of some sort over my house.

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Literally 2 weeks had gone by since I broke up with him and I was sitting on the floor of my living room watching the news. The breaking news story was of 2 men who had kidnapped, raped, and shot two women hitch-hikers execution style, there on the screen was my ex-boyfriend and a man I had met only once, now accused of murder. Not too much longer and I had a visit from the District Attorneys office, they wanted to talk to me about my relationship with the men in custody. This led to many hours of going over my history with them, and then of course the testimony for their trials. The District Attorney and I became fast friends and corresponded by mail for many years, although now I have lost track of him.

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The trials were hard on my family and on me. I had many a sleepless night wondering why it wasn’t me he had killed. Why did those innocent women have to die, he had wanted to kill me, why didn’t he? The nightmares were an every night occurrence, and they took many years to work through. I started to drink more heavily and blamed the deaths of those women on myself. I should have been the one to die; I said this over and over again  many times. The trials dragged on for years. They were both convicted and sentenced to life without parole, with my testimony as help. He tried to escape once to come after us who had testified against him, and I found out when two officers came to my door to see if I was okay? They told me he had escaped but was caught soon after; he wanted to get revenge on those of us responsible for his sentence. I was all of 18 at the time.

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He got himself a new trial and I had to go through the whole thing over again…he was given the same sentence, but that did not stop him from trying once more. I was married and had 3 children by now. As little as 5 years ago I had a visit from someone involved in his case that wanted me to go over my history with him once more, and I wonder today if I’ll ever be free from that time in my life. I still look over my shoulder wondering if he escaped and has come to kill me, I still think about those poor women and how they were abused and killed, I still wonder why God didn’t let him take my life instead…but I guess I will never know until I can ask God myself. I wonder when someone will knock on my door again in regards to his case. I wonder, will I ever be free from that memory, probably not.

(I did find out that he wasn't abandoned as a baby, or bounced around from foster home to foster home, nor was he medically discharged from the ARMY. He was a sick person who was extremely dysfunctional and hard to manage as a child.  Also he was dishonorably discharged from the ARMY for something, I don't remember now what it was.  He is just another pyschopath, and I had the misfortune to meet up with him at a very vulnerable time in my life.)

The one thing I would tell you parents, please be involved in your childs life. Ask them where they are going and who they are hanging out with.  Spend time with your children, don't be their best friend but let them know they can come to you with anything.  Talk to them about sex, drugs and alcohol, even if it is uncomfortable.  I would like to think that if my parents had taken the time to talk to me about those things, maybe just maybe, I would have given more thought to what I was involved with.  Again, my parents did the best they knew how, after all I turned out pretty good, but I do wish certain things could have been different.

*I believe in the sun even when it is not shining.  I believe in love even when I feel it not.  I believe in God even when He is silent.  *Written on a wall in a concentration camp*

22 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

God kept you safe then and He will keep your family safe now.

Dee said...

Oh my goodness. That IS scary. And to think he has still lingered in your life after all that time. I do hope he is in prison for a very long time!

WELCOME TO MY WORLD OF POETRY: said...

It must have taken alot of courage to write and share this with us.
God must have been by your side alright, it's true some parents don't talk to their children or vice versa. perhaps people who read this and have young children or teenagers will take note.

Yvonne.

Ronnica said...

Wow, hard story. Glad you made it through to tell your tale. You came to the same conclusion I did...parents need to be involved in their teenagers' lives. While we're all responsible for our own sin, parental involvement and explaining the why's of things does help.

singedwingangel said...

I am so glad you are here to stand up and testify. Not just of God's covering even when we may not be living in a way he intended it, but the courage to face those who would try to control us. The ability to sand up and say this is not right. Sweetie I am so sorry you feel that guilt, but you shouldn't.. what HE made a decision to do and who he did it to has NOTHING to do with you. He would have done it even ifhe had never met you...

Jenny said...

Oh my what a terrifying thing to go through! It is good that you are telling this story so you no longer have to deal with it by yourself! Thank you for having the courage to share your story!

melodygreen said...

How scary! I am proud of you for having the courage to write out your story too. I am so glad that you were kept safe.

Margaret said...

That is so scary! I can't even imagine going through all of that. God has bigger plans for you hence the reason you are still here!

Bud Ezekiel H. said...

...it does take courage to share this story, Shannon. it could very well help others too. our parents could have been related:) i believe that parents absolutely MUST speak to their children about sex and the earlier the better.

The Lord definitely has His Hand upon You and preserved your life for His Honor and Glory! you have a purpose...for Him.

Milena said...

Thanks for sharing.

Beth said...

That is scary! So glad God protected us from our own foolishness when we were young!

DJ GlenMC said...

Glad you're still among us. Glad you stopped by my blog. I'm now a follower of yours too.

Be blessed. Be a blessing.
DJ GlenMC

Mary McDonald said...

That's really brave of you to share and to remind us about keeping our children safe. I hope someday soon you'll get peace from the nightmares and wondering. It's all his fault. None of it was yours. It's not a a matter you or the other girls, it's a matter of why anyone should have been killed. And all that is on his head, not yours.

Take care.

Lisa said...

Thank God for His protective Hands! I'm glad you weren't a statistic!!

Belbin9 said...

Wow that is an extremely powerful story and I feel so sorry that you had and still have to go through that pain. God always has a plan, and as much as those two girls dying was painful, there had to be some reason. Got will continue to protect you and your family, so don't worry.

Wanda said...

Wow...God's hand was upon you and continues to be. Appreciate you sharing this story, Shannon.

Patricia Stoltey said...

That is frightening. Thank goodness you are safe.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I am in awe of you Shannon. To have gone through all that, and to emerge as the positive person that you are is a real miracle.
And thank you not just for sharing a most traumatic experience, but telling all of us parents how to try and avoid the same with our kids.

*hugs*

Mr. Stupid said...

This is so scary. I am just glad you had broke up with that guy. It must have taken a lot of courage to write this post. God was there to protect you all the time...:)

Have a good day!

Elle said...

WOW. This story just hit way, way too close to home for me. I'm so glad and amazed that you managed to escape harm from this sociopath. God will keep you and your family protected from him now just as he did back then.

Thanks for being brave enough to share your story.

Tylaine said...

Wow (sorry I'm so late in reading this story) I can't believe what you went through. Thank God you were protected. A true miracle. :)

Joann Mannix said...

That is horrifying! God was watching over you, indeed. And so glad you got out of an abusive relationship before it was too late.

Congratulations on BON!

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