Escaping Spiritual Abuse: A Survivor’s Tale -Part 4

We had such an amazing romance. It felt like a fairy tale: too good to be true. I did not think it was necessary to wait until my wedding to kiss; but I made my fiance’ wait about a month and a half, which drove him nuts! Though I wanted so much to be with him, I still had doubts: was this what God wanted; was this truly His will?

During this time, I developed an even closer relationship with Him. I am a very doubting person, thanks to having OCD. It is probably a miracle that I married Darcy, knowing all the doubts that ran through my head, and how people with this disorder can ruin their chances at relationships. All I can say is this: the strength of Christ pulled me through everything.

My husband did things the old-fashioned way and asked my father for permission to marry me. This was before Dad had utter contempt for him; he agreed, merely saying, “You gotta do what you gotta do.” He did not seem sad to let his little girl go. Maybe it was because he had high hopes of still being super involved (controlling) in our life. I hardly had a relationship with my dad and tried to avoid him as much as possible, making myself scarce when I saw his truck return home from work.

On November 17th 2012, we got engaged. I already knew he was going to ask me, and had started planning our Lord of the Rings’ elvish forest-inspired wedding. My family was supportive, and the wedding day was a (hot and humid) but gorgeous day. A few things happened, though, that cause me to look back with sadness. My father made a speech at the reception about how he was the patriarch, and how thankful he was for the new son-in-law now adopted into his family. This might sound heartfelt to some, but there was a deeper meaning in his words. In his bragging over being the patriarch, he did not leave much room for Darcy to be the man of his own family. He also treated my grandparents and my husband’s family rudely. My grandparents left early because of him.

Things were heading south even before the huge blowup and ensuing fallout.

After we were engaged, Darcy wanted us to move an hour away, to have some distance from my family. I wanted the same thing. We did not see it as a sin because we had already been married in a spiritual sense by pledging our forever commitment to each other. However, I was not sure if we should actually go through with it. We had not had a public wedding yet, and it may have appeared as sin to some since they did not know of our personal vows.

I was also concerned about setting an example to my little sister. We discussed it, and she did not see it as a bad thing. I then asked her to test our father by mentioning it to see what his reaction would be. He would sometimes say to us that marriage actually starts when a couple is engaged, so I thought that maybe he would be fine with us moving away together. Of course he had a double standard, and said that it would not be proper. Instead of escaping right then, we stayed through the madness.

Shortly before our wedding, my husband was offered a job doing tech work. My father helped him get the job through a friend of a friend, for whom he also did remodeling. This position offered a great salary and the opportunity to move where we wished. We had planned on heading out west, but I watched my mother cry because we were going to be so far away. It broke my heart, and I felt like we should stay put for a little while because of the emotions.

I realized later that she might not have been upset over my leaving, but because she was not the one who would get to move. The northwest was where she had wanted to live, for quite some time. Dad, on the other hand, was happy for Darcy to get this job, likely because he was hoping to use him as a resource on his dream compound.

After the wedding, we had a brief honeymoon. Darcy’s new job started the day after we returned, which took him out of town for several days. We still were not certain where we were going to move, so we were living in the apartment above my family’s home while we came to a conclusion. I was not even eighteen yet and had no job. When the wedding was over and reality set in, I felt so depressed over being (sort of) back in my family’s house, and did not know what to do with myself.

I had been slightly worried before the wedding, because we had not discussed birth control much. I was afraid that I would get pregnant; at the same time, my parents had drilled into me the idea that I would be playing God and being selfish if I prevented pregnancy. I think it was silly of us not to talk more in detail about it; thank God, Darcy is not the kind of man who merely envisions me as a baby factory. We used contraception and I felt so relieved, yet later also guilty.

We decided to stay in the area for a bit longer and moved to my grandfather’s other apartment about a mile away. I remember laying on the floor and telling Darcy how I would not be able to work when we had kids, because I would need to be home with them. That was the only “right” way; because of what was taught to me, I thought that any other way was basically sinful. I do believe that a mother should put her kids before any sort of job; but now realize that is possible for a woman to safely work outside the home, if she finds a good balance that serves her family well.

It disturbed me when Darcy would mention our future kids going to school instead of being homeschooled. My narrow mind thought homeschooling was the only way, that it was just wrong to do it a differently! For the first year and a half of marriage, I did not have a job or go to school. I was still searching, and did not know what was wrong or right for me to do.

I wanted to be more than just a baby machine, but also did not want to be a woman who made her career too important and thought she was above having a family and taking care of her husband. I spent so much time researching what to do, what would displease God, if it was wrong to avoid pregnancy, and if it would be wrong to further my education…which could lead to a *gasp* career! “Career” was pretty much a bad word in my parents’ household.

My mother ridiculed college degrees. The only reason I am in nursing school now, is because of my husband. When we were engaged, he said that I would be good at it; I disagreed and could not see myself as a nurse. I let the idea sink in and realized that it really could be a good fit. He encouraged me to pursue it and has been supporting me all the way. I am so blessed to have a man who is very much the opposite of the kind of men in Quiverfull, patriarchal communities. Can you imagine what they would say if one of their wives expressed interest in pursuing such a thing? It would be shot down in a heartbeat and maybe then a discussion would follow on the sinfulness of her heart’s desires.

Darcy still worked a lot with my brothers after we were married. They tried to be entrepreneurial together, working on different construction projects and such. My older brother Eel had married a few weeks after us; one weekend he and his wife were visiting. My husband had been very generous to my brother since he was lacking financially, and had purchased him a phone and plan, among many other things. During the visit, Eel was acting very protective of his phone. Suspicious, Darcy took a look at it after my brother went to bed; what he found was so disturbing, it was hard to process.

There were texts from Eel to another woman, saying that he loved her. But it was more than an adulterous affair; my brother had begun a polygamous sexual relationship with his wife and a woman old enough to be his mother. He would essentially force his wife to have lesbian relations. She was uncomfortable, but Eel manipulated her into it, using her as a prostitute more or less. He would say that since the woman was “good to them” by buying them furniture and such, his wife needed to give herself to her.

Horrible sexual photos indicated the woman was making pornography of Eel’s wife for the Internet. My brother wanted to have a sort of “happily ever after,” where the three of them all lived together. She had attended their wedding where I complimented her on her shoes; I had no idea at the time who she really was or what was going on.

Besides the sexual deviancy, Darcy also discovered much manipulative behavior: Eel would tell one person a story, then tell another something different; he had recorded himself on every phone call. There was so much disturbing information that he wanted to do something; the only option that occurred to him was to speak with my father.

Dad was dismayed at the news, but glad that Darcy told him. His first reaction was to want to keep it hidden from Mom for a year or more, but he ended up telling her soon afterward. They had meetings with my brother, his wife, the wife’s parents, my husband, my younger brother, and me. I thought it was inappropriate that they included me in that discussion since I was not involved.

My brother was kept by himself, away from his wife, to think over what he had done -or something to that effect. He was not allowed in my parent’s house during that time; that rule was broken in a week or less. He is very violent-minded, so it was important to keep him away from the children. My father prided himself on being Eel’s counselor during this time. He believed his son was becoming reformed when no such thing was occurring.

The afternoon of the meltdown, my parents had gone off to a rally protesting common core in public schools. What an irony: they were doing this for children; yet they left their own (homeschooled) children at home. Somehow this event was extremely important to them, even though they were in the midst of hearing such disturbing information about their own child. My fourteen-year-old sister was left in charge of the younger kids. Lo and behold, Eel broke the rule, entered the house, called my sister an obscene name, and started to rummage through a dresser drawer looking for his knife.

Naturally, she was afraid, and took the kids outside into the yard. My grandfather, who happened to stop by, asked if everything was alright. When he found out everything was not alright, he told them to go to his house. One of my siblings called Darcy and he went right over; Grandpa told him to call my parents. Before this, my grandparents had no clue what was happening within my family; my parents did their best to make sure of that. They did not want their failures brought to light.

My grandparents asked Darcy what was going on. Their grandkids were at their house in a state of fear, and they needed to know what was happening. He filled them in.

My parents finally arrived, and Darcy lost his cool. He yelled at them for being irresponsible parents. It was a culmination of everything: all the events leading up to this, how they could leave their young children when their dangerous son was close by, how they broke the very rules they had just put into place (like allowing Eel to drive Dad’s truck).

My husband told them like it really was. They were embarrassed that my grandparents and uncle now knew the truth, and angry that Darcy was against them; this set off a tsunami of events. It was November 18, 2013: 1 year and 1 day since our engagement, and only four and a half months after our wedding.

That evening, my father went nuts. He and Eel started driving around in his truck, collecting weapons they had stored at a friend’s house. Dad called Grandma in a state of craziness, saying horrible things about Darcy, like that he wanted to bash his skull into the pavement. He banded together some friends from his political group in a sort of army against Darcy. All of the disgusting things he had learned about his son seemed to have vanished.

Eel twisted stories around into the tallest tales that no person in their right mind would believe. He said that Darcy made him commit all of his horrible deeds, that he put a gun to his head and forced him to have a threesome relationship. Eel had been stealing from people and blamed it on Darcy; he also claimed that my husband was the leader of a prostitution ring. My parents bought Eel’s stories and believed he was reformed because he “apologized” to the people he stole from: by saying that he was sorry for being involved, but was made to do such things.

Eel is truly an evil manipulator and reminded me so much of Satan. I seriously wondered aloud to my father if he was Satan in human form. He denied that, saying, “No, it’s just sin.” Later, Dad called Darcy “the devil.” He also used Eel’s attributes, saying that they were my husband’s traits, and asked a psychologist about it. He learned that it indicated sociopathy and kept repeating over and over to many people that Darcy was a sociopath.

In an email to my little brother, my father said:

There was an attraction between Darcy and Eel. The difference is Eel has a conscience. He repented and came forward on his own because he wanted to. Darcy on the other hand tried to and still does, cover up everything with premeditated lies. No conscience. No God.

This makes me angry because of how untrue it is. My husband did nothing but be candid with my father. He apologized to him for any way that he had wronged him, and strove to handle things the way God would want. He had many opportunities to take revenge on my family, but chose not to.

My snake of a brother, though, is now “repentant,” “honest,” “has a conscience [ha]” and is “forgiven.” On the other hand though, it is kind of laughable, because anyone who is right in the head would know this is utterly insane. My father is taking his son’s traits and putting them on another person, in order to make himself feel better.

Apparently Dad is also the judge of who was forgiven and who was not. He said that my brother was forgiven…when there is no way Eel was a changed, repentant being. My husband though, who apologized to my father and worked hard to mend the broken pieces, is damned. Dad literally told my little brother, “He is divorced and can go his own way. He violated our trust so bad he is no more; as God divorced Israel we divorce him.”

The day after the blowout, I started packing. We decided to move, even though we did not have a place in mind yet. I remember pulling clothes out of the closet and onto the bed, and putting things in boxes. We packed so quickly that I think it even surprised my dad and brother. We stayed with my in-laws for a couple of weeks and things worked out just right (thanks to God). My husband’s aunt was travelling south for the winter and needed someone to care for her summer home, so we stayed there for 6 months.

This season that should have been filled with joyous newlywed moments, was the darkest time of my life. My OCD skyrocketed to a new level; I was in a constant state of anxiety and depression, mixed with all the horrible drama from my family. We were constantly being bombarded with emails, and passive aggressive messages through other people.

My husband figured that my OCD was flaring because of my family. Just as when my dad questioned me about it when I was younger, I failed to see the connection between it and the things that I had experienced. Realistically, though, the recent events probably set off some sort of alarm to make my OCD fire up the way it did.

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