This post is going to be difficult for me to write and probably very difficult for some to read. But, it is time to write this part of my story.
My son is now ten years old. Ten years of parenting a child is a long time. The day in, the day out of ten years, from ultrasounds, to labor and delivery, to dirty diapers, colic and teething, first words, first steps, first injuries, pre-school, kindergarten and so on…it is such a journey…and I am absolutely so in love with my son. But, parenting him comes with a unique challenge.
What if he turns out to be like his father?
In 2006, I separated from my husband Chris. We had, had a very rocky early marriage, strewn with infidelity, pornography addiction, drug and alcohol use and my pleas to seek counseling fell on deaf ears. So, I left. I took our two young daughters and set out on my own as a single mom. After spending four months alone trying to deal with my own demons and addictions, I realized what a neglectful parent I was and that I needed support and help. I cried out to my mother, whom I had begun to build a relationship with over several years. She and my step-father agreed to take the girls and I into their home.
Slowly, I began to heal. I began attending an amazing church, finally got the teaching job of my dreams, had a nice day care picked out for my youngest daughter and had support at home to help me with parenting issues. And there were many. The girls were just 4 and 8 years old. My eldest was so angry and she was not afraid to show it. I could not have accomplished any of the healing that happened, had it not been for the love and generosity of my mother and step-father. I tease and say, they were the parents, and they gave me enough space and grace so I could figure out that living like a teenager when you are a mother didn’t quite work. I emptied my life of so many of the things that were tearing me apart and I was really making progress. There was just this one thing, that I wasn’t ready to trust God with.
I wanted a partner. I wanted a partner every day. I didn’t feel loved, or complete unless I had a partner. That is what lead me to meet David.
In all my searching I somehow landed this super hot, super sweet, although a bit younger than me, amazing guy. We had the most romantic dates. He’d take me on late night hikes on the mountain to watch meteor showers. He’d send sweet messages to me all day long. He called me his “queen” and I called him my “king”. But, things weren’t ideal. Over the YEAR that we were dating, he didn’t seem to want to be involved with my family at all. He didn’t show much interest in the fact that I was a mom. We didn’t talk about parenting, although he already had two sons himself. (Neither of whom he got to see much, he said due to his career.)
David was very occupied by his career. He was just 23 and wanted to make it as an MMA fighter. He was talented and trained nearly every day all day long. When spring time rolled around, the distance between us had grown so great and I had been really convicted about the fact that I was sleeping with a man, still married to another man, and still claiming to love Jesus on Wednesday nights and Sundays at church. The Lord was trying to speak to my heart. I wasn’t listening. Then, I went through a trauma.
One evening after work, I received a call from my brother. The news: Dad is dead. He has died. They think he had a massive heart attack and he is gone. We are all meeting at Dad’s tonight, can you come?
Wha? What? Dad is only 53. I just talked to him on Sunday. He was fine. They never said he had heart issues. This can’t be real.
But it was real. I drove the 5 hours from Albuquerque to Virden through tears that just fell like rain. I spent the next year, really in a daze. Vulnerable.
That year included the conception, pregnancy and birth of my son. At one point during the year I had decided to break it off with David. I met him on the mountain and we took a hike. I told him that I needed to end it because this wasn’t going anywhere long term. He agreed and we had one last “goodnight”. Literally the next morning, I knew I was pregnant.
I spent about a month in denial and then one morning my mom came down to breakfast and I let it all out. She was so sad for me but also so very loving. She encouraged me to tell David.
At that time David was just getting some publicity and had started to do things to market himself as a fighter. He got an enormous tatoo on HIS FACE and in the “cage” his name became David “The Viking” Anderson. (Google him, you will see his picture.) I tried to call David and arrange a time to meet with him to tell him about the pregnancy, but he was extremely “busy”. I ended up telling him over text. Then he finally called and we agreed to meet for dinner. \
It was the most mind blowing dinner of my life. Suddenly, he wanted to be a dad, he wanted to be a family, with ME and with my girls. He wanted to start house hunting and help me move out of my mom’s house. It was all too good to be true, but I went for it anyway. We were finally a “couple”. I started working on my divorce paperwork and we found a house in Rio Rancho. I bought him a car and we bought an above ground pool.
Now, the rest of the story is hearsay. My word against his. We lived together in that house from June 1st, 2008 to September 1st, 2008. I found out he had another baby mama and that she knew nothing about me. He lied and and said he loved me and wanted to be with me and my girls, but that he had to help this other woman sometimes, because of the baby. I bought every word. He convinced me not to contact her because if I did he would lose any chances of seeing his new baby daughter. I believed him. And then, he molested my daughters.
Things happened fast, but in my mind it was so slow. Such a fog. So confusing. Not real. Not possible. Not David and definitely not to MY KIDS. The backyard pool became a place for the kids and David to go, to get out of my hair so that I could rest. I was very sick with early pregnancy and so very, very tired and grieving the sudden death of the man who had raised me, Vulnerable.
The pool also became the place where David could groom the girls. Right. Under. My. Nose. I won’t go into the detail of the abuse, as that is not my story to tell. I will say that after I started to get a hunch that something was not quite right, David “The Viking” Anderson, left. I came home one afternoon from work and his things were packed and he said he was leaving for Vegas… that he had been accepted into a “fight house” and this was important for his career. He said he’d be back and he’d help with the baby. He kissed my tummy and that was it. He was gone.
I found a therapist. I knew I’d never make it through this pregnancy alive (suicide crossed my mind every single day). My therapist helped me with three major decisions.
- She helped me find a way to move out of the house in Rio Rancho.
- She helped me report the abuse to authorities.
- She reminded me that I was loved and that my baby boy was not going to be born a demon.
Experts say that the best thing to do to help end abuse is to report it. I’m still not convinced that the justice system agrees with this. It took four years…FOUR years for our case to go to trial. David was acquitted of all charges and continued to abuse his next girlfriend’s children. We went to that pre-trial too. Her case, now 5 years in the making, still untried as far as I know.
My son’s biological father is “David the Offender”. He has never been held accountable for the pain he has caused. I believe he continues to offend. I believe he needs help. He has a problem and it won’t just go away on it’s own. I have spoken to all of the women that David has harmed that I know about. The “baby mama” learned of my existence and she found me. She didn’t believe me at first about the abuse, but God revealed that to her in time. After I learned what David’s predatory strategies were, I started to try to contact the women that knew him. I tried my best to give loving warnings, but children beyond my own had been hurt and David continued to father more children with the mother’s of his victims.
My son has four half siblings by his father. My son knows about all of them. He knows what his father did to his sisters. He knows about his father’s problem. Part of my healing and my forgiveness towards David has come because of my son. He has the kindest heart, and although I know the struggles of raising him are not even close to being over, I know that my decision to be transparent with him and to tell him how greatly he is loved, can’t hurt. Loving my son is one of the greatest blessings of my life.
Although, I have tried to make it clear in my posts that I am against the registry, I want it to be known that I am not against offenders doing time for the crimes they have committed. I do believe that sometimes prison can save a person’s life. I am thankful that Tom got caught and that he got help for his problem. I hope the same for David some day.
~Gem the vulnerable
My readings for today
Although it is an older article (2006), it is relevant to the topic:
An eye-opening brochure that I wish I could have seen prior to 2007. https://icdv.idaho.gov/conference/handouts/2019/ProtectingYourChildren.pdf