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Jesus Did Not Protect Me From My Abusive Christian Stepfather

I listened for the voice of god and prayed every day, but life did not change.
 
 
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When I was a little boy, I was taught to love Jesus. Jesus would save me from sin and guarantee my place in heaven.

Karl Wilder as a youngster.
Photo Credit: 
The Huffington Post

Early on, my mother's husband "Bob" gave me a picture of Jesus with a wooden frame. At the time I did not realize it was a cheap bit of laminated crap. I loved my blond Jesus with a beard who was going to save me from suffering.

Except he didn't.

I don't remember the first time Bob hit me. My life was suffering. Our entire family suffered. When the abuse was not physical it was verbal, mental and all-consuming.

I learned the commandments and the Lord's prayer. I went to Sunday school. I went to Lutheran grade school, and always I prayed.

"God please make him stop. Please! I will do anything, I will pray more and go to church every day."

I believed harder and harder and harder.

In the first grade, I had access to a large library of books and magazines and a teacher I very much liked. I asked Mrs. Johnson why kids were starving all over the world.

She told me that God wanted to take them home to him to live in heaven so they could eat as much as they wanted.

Not satisfied with the answer I asked the pastor.

"If you have faith you can move mountains, you need to pray for them."

And I prayed.

I shared a bedroom with three brothers and I went into our large closet, sat on the floor and prayed.

I told God how much faith I had and how I believed mountains could move and please, stop the starvation and make Bob love me, and stop.

I listened for the voice of god and prayed every day.

Life did not change.

I was often at the doctor, a slight endocrine disorder was grossly magnified by stress. I was over-treated, over-medicated and as a result often sick. I remember asking Dr. Ulrich if I would die, hoping that I would. I wanted so badly to go to heaven.

It might have been then I was put into therapy. The memories and episodes of abuse tumble all together. I remember in a doctor's session putting the doll of Bob in the oven. I put my eldest brother in as well. He had chosen to align with the abuser and be abusive to me as well.

If I could not die I wanted them dead.

If Jesus did not want me in heaven, I would pray differently. I began to pray that he would take my brother and Bob. Let them live in heaven and I could live on earth with the remainder of my family.

Life did not change.

That is not to say there were not good times. I loved playing cards with my mother and sister and making them laugh. I would do funny voices and do everything I could to bring the mood up.

I adored my grandparents and the families of several of my friends. I liked food and cooking and cookbooks.

So I changed my prayers.

I prayed that I would be sent to live with Grandma and Grandpa. I had faith that would move mountains.

Life did not change.

I then prayed to go live with my Aunt Phyllis. She loved me and my mother would visit and I could be happy. Phyllis died from a brain aneurysm soon after.

 
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