Month: January 2013

BGBC: Chuck O’Neal’s Counter-Blog Proves Julie Anne Smith is Telling the Truth

I’m a month behind because I’ve been reading other survivor blogs as well, and there are a ton of them out there.  But since Julie Anne Smith won the defamation suit brought against her by her former pastor for her blog, he has now set up a counter-blog: True BGBC Survivors: Surviving Four Years of Hate, Reviling Accusations, and Criminal Slander.

Just perusing a few documents posted there, convinces me that Julie Anne’s charges are not at all “hate,” “reviling accusations,” or “criminal slander.”

First is the DHS interview letter.  This convinces me of nothing except that Chuck O’Neal convinced the social worker that the report against him was malicious slander and a false, criminal report.  That doesn’t mean that it was.

In my research, I’ve found that this sort of thing can happen, that a report can be made, but the victim of abuse does not back it up, whether out of fear or a child’s unconditional love for a parent, making the child fear being taken away from home.

There is also a case in Madison, Wisconsin in which Social Services was called many times about a family, only to close the case as “unsubstantiated,” until finally the teen-age daughter was found starved, childlike, and wandering the streets.  (Lots more detail here.)

So this letter is not enough proof for me that Meaghan was being vindictive in her report to the DHS.

I am also well aware that Richard and Tracy, if they figured out at the time that I reported them, could easily have charmed and manipulated the social worker into believing it was done out of vengeance and spite, even though Richard had been charged with choking his daughter–and his daughter reported that, not me.

Another important document is the historical timeline.  This is supposed to “prove” through various e-mails that the church was under “attack.”

But on the contrary, it proves that the supposed “attackers” were merely trying to voice their opinions, but the leadership tried to force them to sit down, shut up, and change their opinions because the church leadership proclaimed them to be wrong.

When the “attackers” and friends objected to this (and to the church leadership telling the whole church about the situation from their side only), tried to get the leadership to see reason, and naturally spoke about the problem to their friends (as everybody in the world does), they were shut down, and accused of trying to spread division in the church.

The e-mails are also posted with explanations which are supposed to color how you read them, accusations which do not bear out when you read the actual e-mails.  You can see it all for yourself.

I also see O’Neal as trying to “poison the well” at Tim Varela’s new church, by convincing the pastor that Tim is doing bad things that must be dealt with, that the pastor has the authority to do so, just as Richard and Tracy tried to “poison the well” with my priest about me.

O’Neal also keeps insisting to Tim that BGBC is a Bible, Gospel and Christ preaching church, contrary to Tim’s complaints.

He proves through his own posted e-mails that he encouraged the members of his church to stop associating with the disgruntled ex-members, though he denies telling them to “shun” the ex-members.

I also note that he connects the DHS report with Tim’s receipt of the e-mail–but we only have a time stamp of when it was sent, not when it was received.  How do we know that Tim (or Meaghan) even saw the e-mail before she made her report?

Somehow, Chuck O’Neal imagines this will “prove” his point about Julie Anne and others.  But it does just the opposite, all posted to the Internet by Chuck himself.  It’s amazing that he actually thinks this will prove his point!  Instead, it all proves that Julie Anne is telling the truth!

Article from the Wartburg Watch
Pastor Starts Website to Attack Church’s Attackers


Classmate a stand-in for “Rudy,” Jigging at College Dance, Library Tales, Happiness Returns–College Memoirs: Life at Roanoke–September 1993, Part 1

Classmate a stand-in for “Rudy”; Jigging at College Dance

I wrote this in my diary on September 1:

Last night the old friends of Mom and Dad who have the college grandson stopped by.  I discovered they’re still thinking of fixing us up, and the woman asked me several questions and talked about him ([he’s going to] Purdue), and showed me a picture of his brother because she didn’t have one of him.  If he looks anything like his cute younger brother….

And I noticed with surprise that the man’s eyes were sky-blue! [my favorite eye color]  My parents were looking all over for a picture of me they could give them.  When Dad pulled out pics from 7th and 9th grade, I hurried upstairs and got a senior picture.

All this began just as Hawaii ended on channel 50 [Chicago] and the 1st part of the sequel, Hawaiians, began with cool music and a pic of a boat on the sea with Charlton Heston in it, dressed like a captain.

I don’t know whatever became of this fix-up with the grandson.  I never heard any more about it.

Hawaii and Hawaiians were excellent movies, though.  Hawaii was funny, with the natives doing as they’d always done and not realizing they might be doing something wrong; the missionary’s list of sexual sins only gave them new ideas: “Hey, I hadn’t thought of doing that.  I should try it.”

Rudy was a movie about a college student who’d always dreamed of playing football for Notre Dame, but was small and not that good of a player.  But because of his lifelong dream, he worked hard, and got to play at least once.

The crowd chanted, “Rudy, Rudy, Rudy,” when he played.  Dad saw that game and remembered the chanting, though he didn’t know at the time what it was for.  On September 3, I wrote this in my diary:

On the 10:00 news on [channel] 16 tonight, they talked about how hotly Rudy is selling, and showed the long-sideburned stand-in–[one of my high school classmates]!!  

He’s a Notre Dame student, and the reporter was talking with him at a kitchen table, it appeared.  The reporter said, ‘Don’t think he wants to be an actor.  He wants to be a game-show host.’  

I can just see that–and I think I remember him saying that once. 

He was also the stepson of a famous South Bend DJ, one of our local gods.  He was the James Dean lookalike in this McDonalds commercial when he was 19.


I probably arrived at school on Monday, September 6, because that was Labor Day and a much more convenient day for my parents to drive me to Roanoke.

On Saturday, my friends and I went outside Bossard to cool off and drink pop while the DJ played “Jump” by House Of Pain, a rap song.  Because of the Irish theme of the video, which had Irish hats and buttons and dancers, Astrid and I began to dance an Irish step-dance or jig.

Since it was so much fun, I realized I liked it far more than the modern, boring sway-dancing going on in Bossard.  I requested “Funky Ceili” by Black 47 so we could jig again, but the DJ didn’t play it.  I don’t know if he even had it.

Library Tales

To my glee, James worked with me for the last few minutes of my Tuesday and Thursday shifts.  I had a chance to get to know him–and possibly even more.

Though some people thought library work was the most boring, I thought it was the most wonderful.  Almost anything seemed better after a year working in Food Service, but it wasn’t just that:

I could sit at the information desk and read my homework assignments, waiting for people to check out or return books.  When the cart of returned books was full, I put the books in order and re-shelved them.

I loved being alone among all the books, and often found books on the cart or on the shelves which I checked out for myself.  I hung the daily newspapers on racks in the main reading room (by the information desk).  I loved spending time among the 800s, of course, since that’s where literature is in Dewey Decimals.

There was a third floor, a half-floor, actually, a kind of balcony extending over part of the second floor.  It may not have been in use junior year, though senior year it was used for a juvenile section.

My boss, Head Librarian, was a tall, skinny woman with glasses and dark hair.  I don’t remember Flora’s librarian title; she had short hair and glasses.  I don’t know how old they were; probably forties.  Flora was from Indiana, but had a Southern bent to her mostly Northern accent.  She must have come from farther south than my hometown.

Seymour was the circulation librarian.  He dealt with the newspapers and magazines.  I wrote an essay on him for Advanced Writing.  He was tall, mostly bald, and dark-haired, with glasses and a gentle expression.

This was a post-retirement job, taken after he got a Library Science degree.  He often sat at a desk alongside the wall opposite the information desk, and above the desk was a window.  People would come in and, without turning his head, he greeted them by name.  Some people found this scary, but he could see their reflections in the window.  He was friendly and talked to everyone he could.

Freshman or sophomore year, I went into the library and checked out a book.

Seymour asked, “Where are you from?”

“South Bend,” I said.

“Why did you come so far away from home to Roanoke?”

I came for the Writing major, and other things.

“South Bend is the home of Notre Dame football.  Are you a fan?”

“No, but I still support the team.”  I supported it by rooting for it, not watching the games.

Sophomore or junior year, we had the same conversation, almost word for word.

Though Head Librarian and Flora could occasionally be seen doing things around the library, much of the time I found them sitting in the office watching a TV on a wheeled stand.  Sharon wondered if they had us student workers do most of the work.

They were pleasant and laid-back, not caring if student workers came in a few minutes late, and often smiled at us.  The library clerk, J–, had one leg shorter than the other.  She was a pleasant person, with blonde hair and glasses.  When she was at the desk, she’d chat with me.

Sometimes I was the only student working, and sometimes there was someone with me.  When setting up hours, you had to be careful not to schedule yourself with more than one person.

One of the heirs to a prominent local business was a schizophrenic man in probably his forties or fifties.  He would come into the library to find his tutor.  He talked very loudly, and as if he were a little slow mentally.

He was tall, maybe a little overweight, and dark, with heavy eyebrows.  His tutor was heavy-set, dark, and mustached.  I grew to recognize them both.

“Mr. Heir” would ask me if I smoked, maybe to offer me a cigarette if I did (bleh), and go outside to smoke in the entryway, the only place in the library where it was allowed.  I think sometimes he even lit up in the library itself, and had to be told to move into the entryway.

Teachers put articles, test answers, books, and other things on reserve, and these reserved materials were put in a bookshelf to the left of the information desk and along the wall, with each teacher’s name pasted over separate sections.  Students had to ask one of us to get the reserved materials for them, and they signed their names on long cards stuck in the material.

Because of this, I felt like I knew a lot about what was going on in the classes.  Sometimes, teachers came up to the desk and talked to me because of these reserves, or because they knew me.

Flora’s husband liked to call her a lot, and always asked for her by her first and last name.  Since many people just asked for “Flora,” we’d know it was her husband.  It almost seemed as if he wanted there to be no mistake that she was his woman.

I didn’t know her full name at first, and had just read in the student workers’ information manual that the student workers weren’t there to go fetching people all the time.  We often got calls asking to talk to people who might be in the library, so I went to Head Librarian and Flora, who were usually in the office, or to Seymour and asked if they knew who such-and-such was.  They often did, and found them if they were there.

So one day I asked if they knew a Flora T–.  Flora laughed and said that was she.  She took the phone and told her husband I was new.

I had to read the manual on my first day, and though I probably forgot a lot of it, I knew I was supposed to answer the phone and say “library” if it was on-campus (one ring) or “Roanoke College Library” if it was off-campus (two rings).  I kept wanting to say “Lib’ry!” like the British.

Sometimes Latosha came into the library and talked with me.  She, of course, had her cute baby daughter by then, and sometimes brought her in.  Last year, when she conceived the baby, she was living off-campus with E–; now, she’d broken up with him, and was glad to be rid of him.

(She’s on my Facebook, and now that little baby is all grown up and graduated from high school!  Scary how time flies when you pass 20.)

Happiness Returns

On Wednesday, September 8, classes began.  The new year excited me: What would it be like?  Shawn was gone, and I didn’t see Peter anywhere.

On the one hand, it was sad to not see Shawn anymore, but on the other hand, it was a relief.  Both those men were finally gone, and I was free!  I could start the year off on my own terms.

I had gotten used to looking at everyone who came in or passed, wondering if it was Shawn or Peter, but now it would never be again.  That was weird.  A wonderful semester began, the best and happiest semester I ever spent at that school.

Though I thought about Peter during the summer, I did not want to get back together with him.  On September 22, I wrote in my diary–and later told Pearl–that maybe the supposed “word” about Peter and I getting back together, referred to friendship and not romance.  Though before I would have hated this thought, now it elated me.

One night, sometime before mid-October, as Jennifer and I washed our hands alone in the bathroom of Fox Valley Mall in Appleton, I asked what had become of Peter.  I hesitated and took great care in bringing this up, probably because I didn’t want her to think I was still hung up on him.

She said, “He dropped out of school.  He decided he didn’t need a degree for what he wants to do.  Now he’s working in Radio Shack in the S– mall.”

On the one hand I wondered how the supposed “words” were supposed to be fulfilled now; on the other I felt joy and release: Peter was truly out of my life.

I rarely stayed in my room on Friday nights, and I think Clarissa often came with me.  My friends had parties, or Jennifer and her new boyfriend Mike invited me to join them and others as they drove off to Jennifer’s house or elsewhere.

Jennifer and Mike weren’t together yet at the beginning of the year, though: We met him that year.  He may have been a transfer student or a freshman.

I remember him sitting next to me in the back of a car full of my friends, and talking to us.  I thought he had an uncanny resemblance to my World Civ teacher (and laughed like him)–though, thank goodness, he didn’t spit when he talked.

I soon discovered he liked Jennifer.  I thought they started dating, but Pearl or Sharon told me he was interested in another girl and had to decide which one he wanted.  This anxious triangle was soon resolved when he chose Jennifer.

Cast of Characters (Work in Progress)

Table of Contents

Freshman Year

September 1991:

 October 1991:

November 1991:

December 1991: Ride the Greyhound

January 1992: Dealing with a Breakup with Probable NVLD

 February 1992:

March 1992: Shawn: Just Friends or Dating?

April 1992: Pledging, Prayer Group–and Peter’s Smear Campaign

May 1992:

Sophomore Year 

Summer 1992:

September 1992:

October 1992–Shawn’s Exasperating Ambivalence:

November 1992:

December 1992:

January 1993:

February 1993:

March 1993:

April 1993:

May 1993:

Summer 1993: Music, Storm and Prophetic Dreams

September 1993:

October 1993:

November 1993:

December 1993:

January 1994:

February 1994:

March 1994:

April 1994:

Senior Year 

June 1994–Bits of Abuse Here and There:

July & August 1994:

January 1995:

February 1995:

March 1995:

April 1995:

May 1995:


Why Not to Rush a Victim’s Recovery From Abuse

Insensitive remarks from others are quite common when victims of abuse try to share what’s happened and the pain of recovery.

But many people who have (thankfully) never been abused physically, emotionally, spiritually, or sexually often ask: “Why can’t you just get over it. Why can’t you just let it go already.”

The answer is simple: it’s impossible and defies science. Even if the last blow was inflicted weeks, months, or even years before, if the victim/survivor has not reacted, the last blow continues to inflict pain as if it happened seconds ago.

The act of communicating what happened IS a necessary REACTION to the ACTION of abuse. Allow your friend to communicate what happened. Do not judge your friend. Do not tell your friend to move faster or get over it faster.

It may take many days, weeks, months, or years of communicating the story before peace is found, because I believe the length of time a person suffers alone in their pain is proportional to the amount of time needed to communicate the pain and suffering.

If they suffered alone for 20 years, it may take 20 years to purge themselves of the pain. If they suffered for 6 months, it may only take 6 months to purge themselves.

Recovery should never be rushed or forced. Like grieving the death of someone you love, the process is different for us all.

–Read more at Newton, Pinball and Abuse–Oh My! by Paula Carrasquillo


It’s Perfectly Normal to Dread Seeing Abusers Again

…And not only is it normal, but that terror validates your impression that you’ve been abused.  Why would you be terrified if you had not been abused?

Vanci describes very well–and the commenters back her up (my own comment is at the bottom there)–that it’s perfectly normal to dread seeing your abusers again:

I used to be terrified of running into my Former Family Members.  Seriously, I’d be in the grocery store and see someone who looked like one of them and I’d turn on a dime to head a different direction.

I reacted to even the thought of running into them viscerally.  Nausea, headache, cold chills, hot flashes, muscle weakness, shakes; basically all of the terror reactions rolled up nice and neat into a gut bomb and dropped on me.

Then I had a couple of close calls, fast moving brushes of the shoulder type of deals.  I’d get out of the public place I was and slide in my car and then think, “Hey, wasn’t that….?”

I wasn’t given time to react until after the fact in those situations, and I noticed that I did feel the horror reaction, but to a lesser extent.

Then I realized one day that GCYB and my nephew were right behind me in line at the convenience store of all places and I just didn’t give a crap.  You can read about that here.

I saw the progression of my evolving reaction and interpretation of these events as a plus, a sign of healing, and I was grateful for that.

To feel nothing, to detach, is really the only option I have when it comes to these people.  There won’t ever be any relationships there, and my acceptance of that fact as a matter of small steps has been crucial to my journey to get well.

But this was different.  It felt a bit like the brass ring.  My ‘reaction’ wasn’t really that at all.  I didn’t get nauseous or scared.  I didn’t have to ponder or contemplate what I should do.  I didn’t have to run away….

But my point is this.  I used to be terrified of them.  Then I was scared.  Then I was sort of indifferent.

And now, as I was reminded earlier today of my favorite Kurt Vonnegut line ever, “You (they) can take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut!  You (they) can take a flying fuck at the MOOOOOOOON!”  —Standing Ground (With Tired Feet)

I tensed in anticipation of that familiar gut-dropping, guilt ridden constriction of my chest.  In the past when I’ve suffered these brief interactions with the NFOO that come as part and parcel of living in the same small town that they do, I’ve been immediately terrified.

A lifetime of being the scapegoat, the reason for the problem, the cause of all harm does not, after all, disappear in four brief years of LC followed by NC.  I was waiting for that terror for a split second  before I realized that it didn’t come….

I thought for a brief moment of what I would say if GCYB initiated a conversation.  And realized that I would say nothing at all.

I mean, really, who is this person to me?  He’s a user and a fraud who claimed to love me but immediately blamed me for all the NFOO’s problems as soon as NM was cut off from her access to me as her primary source of narc supply. —Who’s the Brave One?

The best part is reading, at the end there, that you can eventually get to the point of not caring anymore.  That you won’t be frightened of running into your abusers, for the rest of your life.

It was easier the last time I saw my bullies at church.  I set boundaries, posted on my blog for them to read, which they actually respected for once.

And things went–fine.  Even when they were just inches from me, things went fine, and I could chat and laugh with my fellow parishioners and friends.  I was in a good mood.  It was amazing.  So it can happen.

Also see:

Seeing Abuser is Rough for Abuse Victims, Especially When Abusers & Enablers Blame the Victim: Annie’s Mailbox

Fighting the Darkness: Seeing the abuser again

Needing to Feel Safe: Going to same church as abusers

Fighting the Darkness: Mutual Friends


My book “The Lighthouse” just got chosen for a little book club

I just got a notification from Pinterest that one of my pins–The Lighthouse–was re-pinned into a board called “book club book ideas.”  It’s not a big one–32 followers–but I’ve just sold three Lighthouse e-books and one Tojet e-book.  The e-books are free, so I don’t get any money from this, but I wanted to be read even in such a sluggish economy.  [Update: The e-books now cost $3.00.]

The Lighthouse

Enter the world of the Lighthouse, a club for supernatural beings and social misfits.  In this Gothic story collection you will find castles, ghosts, vampires, romance and terror:


Bedlam CastleAn American college girl loses herself in the hallways of a 900-year-old castle.  Eccentric characters invite her to dinner.  One is a genie, one is an undine, and most of the others are ghosts.  One man intrigues her the most–but is he a mortal man or a supernatural creature like the rest?


JarkinBecky Stevens falls in love against her will with Archibald Jarkin, an eccentric, austere and charismatic preacher.  Their passionate marriage is tested when Jarkin’s TV ministry turns into a witch hunt.  When Becky discovers the Lighthouse, their life together takes a startling new path.


Alexander Boa: Or, I was a co-ed vampire slaveWhen a young woman’s college is taken over by a vampire, she becomes his secret mistress.  Will she be torn apart when her friends decide to kill him?


CandidaA young man is stricken with a girl who falls under a vampire’s spell.  Soon married and pregnant with the vampire’s baby, she has no idea what danger she’ll be in if the baby is a boy.


All Together NowThis story combines characters and settings from the other four stories.  Jenny, a social misfit, is introduced to the Lighthouse, supernatural creatures, and a deceptive man.  When he leaves her and then accuses her of stalking him, she can only vindicate herself by facing the horrors of a haunted cave.  Will she survive?  Will she fall in love again?


Anne Lamott and others on telling your abuse story

You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should’ve behaved better. —tweet from Anne Lamott, April 23, 2012.

A blog based on this quote, by Sophia Dembling.

“Note to Narcissists~ If you think you recognize yourself in something I write, then YOU owe somebody an apology. I don’t owe YOU one. It’s not MY fault if your own behavior embarrasses you.

I never identify the lowlifes I’m writing about, and if you behave like that, not to mention being arrogant and idiotic enough to actually think YOU are the star of something I write, then you SHOULD be ashamed of yourself.

So quit whining and start apologizing for acting like a jackass and hurting people who love you.” ~Rev. Renee Pitelli, originally posted on, but now removed

Now a couple of other bloggers have been “found” by the subjects of their abuse blogs.  And they’re not backing down, either.  They’re posting things just for the benefit of their narcissists, just as I do.  And not taking them overly seriously.  In fact, one is laughing at her blog stalker.

As Paula wrote on one of her blogs:

I am 100% supportive of outing these fools by name. Unfortunately, there are many who don’t understand that outing them is a direct consequence and they should deal with it. They don’t.

Instead, they seek low-life attorneys willing to send cease and desist letters to scare us into thinking we’re committing a crime.

We’re not!! It’s called freedom of speech.

If they think we’re lying and hope to sue us for defamation, libel, or slander, they need to prove that in court.

The burden in U.S. courts is on the complainant, not the defender. I believe it is opposite in some countries, including Canada and the UK. 🙂

…Not that I’ll be doing this.  No, that information is for my friends, not the Net.

Also see: Anne Lamott: We stuffed scary feelings down, and they made us insane