Due to pressure from her pastor, his wife, and her abuser husband (Terrance), Stephanie returned to the run down, spider and rodent infested house, and to her abuser. If you missed part one, here is the link Part One.
And now, Stephanie continues with her story: [In your comments, perhaps some of you could give us some insight into what is going on in the minds of this pastor and his wife. What do you think is their motive?]
I returned back to our place, and my mom was worried and came to the house. Terrance refused to let her inside and he called the police on her. They didn’t show up until after she had left. But she returned the next day. He still was not allowing her inside the house and I wasn’t allowed to talk to her either. The police came and he was yelling that “she is my wife and she isn’t going anywhere.” And he said that since he was to talk to them first because, as he told them, “I called you out here.”
The police said no, we need to talk to her right now. I was on the phone talking to my brother. The two police officers walked with my mom and told her to call the county for a citation on this property [condemning it for living]. The property did receive a citation. That evening Terrance told me his friend was putting up a gate at the street. He said it was to keep the county out. That made me even more nervous. I couldn’t sleep that night and left the next morning.
Terrance and I had planned two cruise vacations, one in December and one in February. I checked my cruise account and saw that I was already replaced with a girlfriend of his for the February cruise. I forwarded the screen shot of the account to the pastor. The pastor’s reply? – “Yeah that doesn’t look good’. I will check with Terrance right now about this.” I informed the pastor, “well, he is on a cruise ship and will not be available to ask right now. He doesn’t seem to be too concerned to get me home, does he?” The pastor checked with Terrance and then told me, “Oh Terrance said he added her name just to make you mad. So the pastor excused him on that too.
I set up another counseling session with the pastor, this time including a Christian couple whom I knew from years back. Terrance comes into the meeting, moves his chair away from me, and sits down and says “I am done, she can get her stuff out of the truck”. We started talking and they asked me what I wanted from him. I pulled out the pictures of the property, and Terrance got up and leaves. The men followed him out and shortly came back with him and we talked again.
The entire time I was talking, Terrance was talking over me. He kept repeating, “is she coming home tonight?” The counselor said to Terrance, “no, you need a heart change and you need to get your priorities in order. You are all words and no action. You can’t treat your wife this way and be a Christian.” I said that I just wanted a decent home, and Terrance shot back, “you don’t deserve a mansion.”
So, I had tried to talk and to say what I needed to say. Terrance got up and left again and didn’t return. The pastor said “Oh, he is just upset.” But the counselor turned around toward the pastor and said “What you have experienced here is what Stephanie deals with everyday. It is verbal and emotional abuse and belittlement.” I said “this means I don’t go back home to him, correct?” The counselor said “no, he needs a change of heart and you must know he has changed, and you must see these changes.”
At the end of the meeting, the pastor asked me, “That gate on the driveway really doesn’t bother you, does it?” I said, “YES, it does with all his other behaviors all designed to control me.” The pastor’s wife walked me out to my car and I saw that Terrance had thrown bags of my belongings he had packed out of his truck. Some of them were broken. And the pastor wife says “Oh just pray and encourage him, it will get better. He needs your encouragement!”
[In Part 3 we will see how this pastor, his wife, and the church members further persecuted Stephanie, ultimately ex-communicating her from this Reformed Baptist “church.”]