Father abuses Son
by Brian Keith Hensley
(Lebanon, Indiana )
My first memories are of my father fondling me and performing oral sex on me. When I was 7 he bought me a bike and in the middle of the night would wake me up and take me on midnight rides to the local park where he continued teaching me how to please him. When I was not being molested by my gentle father, my father was irritable, cold, emotionally distant and taught me the only way to get his attention or approval was by playing our game. Our game traveled everywhere. On camp-outs, hikes into the mountains, long country drives, vacations and even when I least expected it, sleeping in my bed. Waking up to being fondled and coerced into gross acts that he would later chastise me for. Always sure to make me feel guilty and responsible.
When I turned 8 I wanted to be baptized. I remember lying to the Bishop during my interview concerning my purity and good behavior. When it was time for my baptism, it was my father who baptized me. Even at 8 years old I remember wishing I could be baptized by someone else who was worthy, realizing it was all a show because he was not worthy to perform it nor me to receive it. I went along with the teachings of the church and was burdened with the great hypocrisy of my father's words and his actions. I desperately tried to seek mental sanctuary in the church by being as active as possible.
Around age nine after church one day I told my mother about what me and my father did. As far as I know she confronted my father and apparently begged for forgiveness which he was granted. I remember mom asking me occasionally if anything was still going on between us and I always lied. I said no. For years I have tried to put a number on the exact number of sexual encounters my father had with me. I have approximately calculated the number to be around 350.
I was ordained a Priest in the church when I was 12 and also joined the Scouts of which my father was Scoutmaster. I never worried about the safety of anyone else because after an "episode" he would brag about me being the only one this happened to. Now I have come to realize that this was a conditioning technique sexual predators use to make their victims feel special. Our game was never violent. He was always gentle and would try to make me feel as good as he could. This process makes the victim feel a sense of pleasure and joy from the attention. This leads to guilty feelings and fearful of being exposed. This also makes the victim less likely
to come forward even in adulthood. This "game" is a profound form of child abuse because it is a dual betrayal. Not only was my innocence and trust severed by my father whom I depend on for safety and well-being, but I felt abandoned by my mother— the one person in the world who should be willing to do whatever it takes to protect me, even if it means leaving the man she depends on. Instead of taking care of my dependency needs, this selfish, frightened mom attends to her own. It's a good example of the quote, "She who pleases everybody, pleases no one."
I was 15 when we had our last episode. Once I became bigger than he was, he seemed less inclined to try much but he still tried. When it became clear to him that he lost his "toy," he became even more intolerable. Constantly angry, explosive and absolutely unpleasant in the home he would put on this mask for the public as being a regular, wonderful, church-going, corn fed hick. When I was 17, i slit my wrists and called my Bishop at the time and told him I needed to meet with him immediately. We met at the church late in the evening and I spilled my guts to him about everything. This particular Bishop was a good friend of my family and knew them even before I was born. In his initial shock the first thing he did was call church headquarters and see what his legal obligations were. Not the saving grace I hoped for. I never spoke to that Bishop about this situation ever again. He never seemed to care to see how I was doing even when I stopped coming to church to bless the sacrament. I found out he later counseled my father quite a bit. My immediate Priesthood leader never spoke to me again. He became my father's legal defense.
My father plead guilty to all 4 felony charges and was released on a $50,000 bond that my mother paid for. Not one of my four older siblings ever called me or asked me if I was okay or needed anything. At the sentencing hearing because there was no trial seven people from the community spoke on my father's behalf pleading for his forgiveness. Both of my sisters testified for him and against me. They said things like I could not hold a job, had been caught once lying about something insignificant and other ridiculous and irrelevant things that the Judge told them was deplorable defamation against me. During this hearing I sat with two friends and one of their parents. My family sat with him on the other side of the Court room while mom was in-attendance due to "stress."