Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Worst Night of my Life: Dead Kitty, Confrontations and Feeling Betrayed


When I was 17, I spent the night at a Korean family’s house from our church. I enjoyed the company of the mom, and really like their family. They had 3 boys; all of them were younger than I was. So, at night, while I was about to go to sleep, their 16-year-old came into my room and we talked. He had his pajamas on; I had a long nightgown on. We had a very enjoyable talk and it really did not have anything to do with sex, or physical attraction, although I remember at the time I thought it was nice to have him in there with me. At one point, before he went to bed, the boy laid down next to me on the bed and we talked. That was it. Then he went off to bed, and I went to sleep.

At school ( A very small private school that was run by the pastor and my dad) I told my “best friend” at the time about my interesting night because I thought it was cool, and for a sheltered preacher's daughter, it was very exciting and fun to tell my friend about it. Well, I am not sure why, but this “friend” thought she needed to tell her dad about it (an elder in the church) who told the pastor about it. So, you can guess my parents found out about it pretty fast. I was told after church one Sunday night that my dad and the pastor wanted to talk to me in the pastor’s office. (uh oh!)

At the same time, my cat was really sick and was unable to even hold his head up to eat. I was worried about him and knew my parents could not afford to take him to the vet. My dad was the assistant pastor at the church, and we lived in the church parsonage across the street from the church. He was retired from the Navy, but they did not pay enough for a family of 5 children to survive on.

So, I headed to the pastor’s office. By this time, the church was empty of everyone but my dad and the pastor. I sat nervously in the chair and I am sure my hands were shaking. I had no idea why I was there, but I knew it must not be good by the way my dad was acting. Here is the way the conversation went: (as well as I can remember)

Pastor: So Lori, I guess you know why you are here?
Me: (looking confused at my dad) No?
Pastor: Well, we heard about you and (lets just call him) Billy
Me: Okay?
Pastor: We want you to tell us the truth and we are going to get to the bottom of this if it takes all night.
Dad: What did you do with Billy?
Me: What do you mean what did I do with him? (red faced, I am sure!)
Dad: We heard that he came into your bedroom and was in bed with you.
Me: Umm ya. He was in bed with me.
Dad: (freaking out) WHAT? What happened? Why did you do this?
Pastor: Did he touch you?
Me: No, we just talked
Dad: We want you to tell us what he did to you.
Me: He talked to me? (I have to say I was pretty innocent and virginal and had no idea what they really wanted me to say)
Pastor: What did you talk about? Why was he in your room?
Me: We talked about school and our parents and our siblings.
Dad: What else?
Me: Nothing.
(Both of them looking skeptical)
Pastor: Were you in your pajamas?
Me: Yes
Pastor: Did you take them off?
Me: No! (How humiliating to talk to this man about that!)
Pastor: Did he take his off?
Me: No
Pastor: Did he touch you?
Me: No (You can see where this was going, right? I feel like maybe this pervert was getting off on this and I was way too innocent at the time to understand it all. I was thinking: Why am I talking to two men about this? Where is my mom and why is she not here to protect me? What did I do wrong? Why do I have to talk about this to the pastor of the church?)
Pastor: We know more happened and you are going to tell us what happened!
Me: (crying) We talked and we didn't do anything else.
Dad: Are you sure you are not leaving anything out?
Me: No!
Pastor: Are you still a virgin?
Me: Yes (Wow, this was humiliating for someone so shy and private!)
Dad; Well, we want you to make a promise to us and to God right now that you will stay a virgin, which means un-kissed, until your wedding day.
Me: Okay (this is what was really going through my mind as I said “okay.” I am going to find a way to get a boyfriend who will kiss me if it takes me begging him to do it. I will never stay a virgin until I get married and I swear I will make them pay for this!)

I broke down crying from pure exhaustion and humiliation and walked home (across the street) ahead of my dad. I could not even look at him. When I got in the door my mom looked like she had just killed my best friend. I wondered what the heck was going on. So then, after the most humiliating night of my life, my parents sat me down to tell me that they had asked their friend, a man who had a gun, to “put my cat to sleep” (by shooting him) and told me that my cat was dead and that the friend had buried him in the woods. They tried to rationalize this by telling me that they could not afford a vet and that it was cruel to keep him alive and that he was in cat heaven, or some other such bullshit. Somehow, this was not making me feel any better.

I cried the whole night. I felt so betrayed by my parents! How could they do that to my cat without telling me? I had horrible visions of my cat, looking up at a man about to shoot him, and wondered if he hated me for not protecting him. How could my parents be so subservient to a pastor that they would allow him to talk to me the way he had and not do anything to protect me? I tried to think of people I knew or relatives that would take me in if I ran away. I could not think of anyone. I wished I could die, but I really had no idea how to end my own life. I was pretty sure Billy was not in this much trouble, which was fine, but why was I?

I wondered why it was so important to God that I stay a virgin. Would kissing someone eliminate me from heaven? I angrily told myself that hell would be better than being a Baptist preacher’s daughter. Could that fire from hell feel this bad? I doubted it! Any religion that made their females feel this shitty was one I wanted nothing to do with! I felt angry at God, my parents, the pastor, religion, the man who killed my cat, and so many other things. But mostly I wondered why God cared that I had a fun night talking to someone of the opposite sex, and what kind of cult was I involved in anyway? I lost so much respect for my parents that night. I began to think that they were brainwashed and beyond help. But I also knew, from then on, that once I found a way out of this cult, I was never going back!
Picture: Our cat, Casper. We call him "old man." He is about 13 years old now. :-)

Next: My first kiss! :-)

4 comments:

  1. Wow. I can completely feel how you must have felt in that moment. This reminds me of the story I told you about Josh & I (although I think we were a little more mischievous than you were!!) It is so sad to me that religious people can make sex into something so awful and forbidden, and attach so much fear and shame to it. It's awful and it makes me sick.

    I'm also sorry about your cat :(

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  2. :::hugs:::

    What a horrible experience. I can totally sympathize with the humiliation and mistrust you must have felt. I'm glad you saw it for what it was; most women would have internalized that message. :(

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  3. I love that you went from a Baptist girl to a Feminist. See, miracles do happen. Love the authenticity! Thank you! Dee Dee

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  4. I'm floored they pulled you in to have that talk while they had your cat put down in a very cruel way. That's beyond wrong and awful. Yikes, Yikes and YUCK. No wonder you wanted to run away. Did your mom comfort you at all after you got back? I can't believe they didn't let you say good bye to your cat. That's so just plain evil. Pets are a part of the family, not just a mere animal. And to think your dad and that other pastor didn't believe you, but kept hounding you to really tell the truth when you were telling the truth. It gives me chills that you had to go through that hellish night. No wonder you left the faith.

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