I received this email from a reader in another part of the state. He had read a couple of blog posts in My Bossier dealing with domestic abuse and child abuse. I am printing this first hand account of dealing with abusive people with his permission. If you have any questions for the writer, he will be glad to answer them, just leave a comment with your question.
By 'John Q':
My daughter from my first marriage began to like someone we disapproved of and she knew it and kept it hidden. I finally caught up with them and after a chase exceeding 100 mph I came to my senses when I saw he was headed into an area that I knew I didn't need to follow and he was on his cell and I figured he was calling for backup. I thought, now what am I going to do if I catch him? Probably get the crap beat out of me or worse.
I went back to my sister in laws house where I saw my daughter headed and she moved out for a couple weeks. It broke my wife's heart.
Eventually that relationship finally faded and another boy came along that grabbed her attention. We figured he was ok, especially since he was constantly keeping track of her, the same thing we had been doing. Now we could take a break, because if she was headed back into the other relationship, he would find out and we would know.
The blessing of this all is that during this time, I came to know Jesus as my Lord and Savior and He has been the most important thing in my life since.
But this boy turned out to be abusive. One of the signs of an abusive person is that they are possessive. Remember I said he kept constant track of her. He also hid his temper rather well from us, for a while, it always comes out eventually. I caught him verbally abusing her one evening and told him I would go to jail for my daughter. He proceeded to tell her that I threatened to kill him. An abusive person will always try to alienate them from the parents and friends so he is her world.
Eventually a small incident involving the breaking of a $5 vase he had gotten her by my son and someone else wrestling brought out his anger. He threatened to kill my son. I ushered him out of the house and on the way out he got in my face and said, I will take your daughter away and you will never see her again. At which point I told him to leave and never come back.
My sister showed up after church that morning and wanted to talk with me. She told me she only met the boy once and noticed the interaction between my daughter and him and said, this is an abusive relationship. How'd she know? She had been in one. He showed back up that afternoon and we had a discussion in the living room. I told him I believed he was an abusive person and told my daughter if she wanted to leave him I would support her. A few weeks later she had the guts to break it off and said it was because of what I said. But during this whole relationship, she came to me and wanted me to lead her to the Lord in salvation. Wow!!! You just don't know. She is married to a good man now.
Since then though, I have had to deal with young girls in my church youth group who had fallen into these relationships. It is amazing how fast they advance from not knowing each other to it looks like they were married. It usually occurs in less than a week. It will blow your mind. My pastor and I were able to stop one rather quickly and the boy went straight to another girl. I couldn't stop that one and was threatened by him. The boy was just out of jail for violence and was still married with a child. I spent many nights on the couch just waiting for him to show up with a gun, especially since his brother had moved in with us and the last time he had talked with his brother was years before and was told he would kill him the next time he saw him. He was also over 21 and the first girl was just 14 and the girl we were unsuccessful with was 16. She moved in with him and from time to time show up with certain injuries at the hospital. Eventually she got out of that relationship.
This boy always went after the girls who were not the most attractive and have a weight problem. Another words they have a self esteem problem. That is why it is important for the father to compliment his daughter and affirm her.
This is not just contained to the guys. I saw also at least 2 relationships where the girl was the abuser. There form mostly was the possessive type. Being called 21 times a day and telling the boy that the parents don't want them to see her and have fun, and the parents just want to control them.
Now I am gonna get religious if you don't mind. We need to teach kids to see others as God sees us. That takes a true understanding of how God sees us. We also need to change our view of dating. This involves not stirring the flames of desire until the wedding night.
Hint: the first time you hold hands those flames are stirred. If it occurs at the age of 13, that is a long way until you are able to marry. But we need to be open with our kids and teach them that there are predators out there and they deserve to be treated as God would treat them.