Guest Post by Mother

In July 2016 I received a letter from a PCANZ pastor (‘P’). This letter caused me huge distress which is ongoing.

It is impossible for a victim of sexual abuse within a familial setting to plan, on her own, for a resolution. Yes, I have my husband but he became a victim along with me, and he is busy providing for his family.

We are told; Speak up – There are people to help – Reach out – We care – We love you – There’s always a solution – Don’t hide away – You’re not alone.

I am alone. It was twenty eight years of struggling alone because I knew that the onus was on me to keep peace and comfort for the clan.

Those decades were also spent blaming myself. ‘If only I had more love I would not feel so isolated, so invisible. I just have to reach out more. I’m not trying hard enough. I’m too difficult.’

The letter.
HURT.
I never imagined that the PCANZ could practise such malice and nonsense.

(Childhood – normal. I was part of a close knit clan.

(12 years old – uncle began intermittent ‘minor’ sexual harassment. I coped alone.

(22 years old – uncle premeditated, deliberately searched for me and seriously sexually assaulted me, waking me from sleep. It was a callous attack. I froze, then afterwards shouldered the clan’s emotional pain. I forgave him immediately. This was a big mistake.

(Twenty eight years of worsening disrespect toward me within my clan and community.

Meanwhile, I protected my uncle’s reputation, my aunty’s and cousins feelings, I maintained the facade of clan unity and I cared deeply for my parents’ emotional health.)

All this was private.
Safe.
No one else’s business except if I shared it with them in confidence.
Not any more.
P unfairly exposed it.
This time, I decided to fight.
If I had known what it would cost my family, I would never have decided to fight.

In June 2016 I wrote a formal letter of complaint to PCANZ leaders. I was concerned about a grave matter involving P. The matter was unrelated to me personally but I was deeply concerned for community and PCANZ. My letter stated that I wanted to be left out of proceedings. This was because P had been harassing me since 2013 in regards my church youth choir start up. (He had attended a meeting where I confronted my uncle. This meeting was the result of Police ineptitude. I would not have attempted that meeting if I had known what my uncle’s police statement contained, provided by him 23 years after the attack. That meeting was hideous.)

In July 2016 P wrote his response and broke my heart. Because of him I am estranged from parents, siblings, wider clan and now community. Because of him (and my own decision to fight), my credibility crumbled. He used the historic assault to assassinate my character, in the process manipulating my ill father. I presume his letter was an attempt to emotionally blackmail me into silence. That’s why I fought.

I fought hard, harder and hardest. I presumed that PCANZ leaders would be fair. They were very unfair. They decided to have a meeting for resolution where I was expected to cope with P. I explained to them why that was inappropriate but said I would prepare to do my best. They continually delayed the meeting then in May 2017 they convened and concluded secretly without me. I was heart broken again.

As part of my preparation for the meeting I had resigned myself to the fact that I would probably be re victimised. The fact that leaders refused to support me at the meeting (and had ignored my initial pleas to leave me out of their process) caused me to face up to that fact. From there, I decided that I would have to leave the PCANZ whom I love. My plan was to have my say, lose and move on.

(Move on – move on – move on. Forgive and forget. Move on. This is all I ever wanted to do since my uncle’s attack. This was always my reason for any quiet action I took. Why does my community make it impossible to move on?) These thoughts were once private too.

So, the PCANZ failed to follow their own stated process for complaints, and I changed my mind about leaving them. I had been stripped of my speaking rights and I presumed I could cope with that. (PCANZ are big on saying that the Lord’s grace covers over all our sin. This was part of my indoctrination – not indoctrination which worked both ways. It was mind twisting and led me to believe that I would have to forgive any and every nonsense. But when I needed mercy?…..just more insults.) I loved them, so I forgave them. I planned to quietly continue at church.

I tried to continue quietly. On the last Sunday in August 2017 I realised that the congregation should know that national leaders don’t follow their own stated process. I simply planned to inform them. As I stood speaking one person repeatedly harassed me, another videoed me and another turned off the microphone. I cracked under the pressure of too much long term heartache, disruption and exhaustion. I stood on a pew to get away from the harasser and to try to finish what I wanted to say. It was a bad look.

Still, I figured that I could continue at church. Being made to appear foolish never stopped me before.

Five days later they trespassed me, accompanied by another vitriolic letter. At the same time somebody gave a malicious false report to Oranga Tamariki about me and my children. While my husband staved off their aggression I had a meeting with Presbytery. This meeting was also a mess. The trauma I suffered by being put out of fellowship was huge. My concern for family because of the lies to OT was overwhelming.

Over several weeks, the young interrogator from OT did her best to upset us. Thankfully, during our formal interview, she was accompanied by a superior. This experienced lady said, ‘well, it’s not nice to be slandered.’

It is now November 2018 and I continue to try to heal. Seven years ago the Police began to bungle my uncle’s case. That’s another story, initiated by my father and aggravated by PCANZ. Recently the detective inspector advised us that the best we can do for community regarding my uncle is to publicly name him. I am seriously considering this, although I think it is unfair of Police to put this upon me. If Police had properly done their job, P would have had nothing to harass me about and I would still be a part of community.

As it stands I am bereft, isolated and traumatised. Yet I know that I must let the public know my story.

I spent more than the last year sharing my life testimony with many PCANZers and challenging them, to no avail. They simply do not want me, nor my children. All in all, these are people who seem to think that sexual abuse and harassment is a way for a woman to be closer to God as she learns to forgive. I have even had to listen to pastors who say that this experience of suffering is important for me because it’s like being nailed to the cross.

All my life I listened to teaching about acceptance, tolerance, honesty, sound thinking, impartiality, bravery, community spirit, generosity, forgiveness, kindness, mercy, freedom in Christ….

I have come to the conclusion that the PCANZ does not behave like a Christian church. Are they something else?

However, I still believe in Church. When will I heal? There is an unwelcome mantra in my head that goes, ‘they put me out of fellowship, I love them, they put me out of fellowship, it hurts, they put me out of fellowship, what’s wrong with me, perhaps I could change, they put me out of fellowship, it hurts too much, they put me out…..’

There is a lot more to my story, including Anglican strangeness when the PCANZ gossip bounced. One of my counsellors told me to keep away from the churches because ‘the leaders are crazy’. He told me this when I shared with him the trauma caused by PN’s letter and he said that he hears many such testimonies.

Apart from maiming me with his letter, P’s letter admitted to insincerity. He also provided a recriminating statement regarding the deceit of people he supported in the grave matter which was the crux of my complaint. Where are the PCANZ leaders? In my experience, they are each gazing at their navels while patting each others’ backs. Yes, apart from my distress and cries for understanding, I gave them a wee bit of cheek. They couldn’t cope with that. As leaders they dish out abuse and insults, yet they cry if their victim fights back. I think they are the proverbial playground bully.

As I try to heal, I can honestly say that the PCANZ create pain. They are harsher than harsh. They isolate and maim those who are already too hurt. They are family wreckers. I am qualified to know. I am a wife and mother, and I loved and respected the PCANZ all my life yet they tried to separate me from my husband and children. I love and honour my parents. I want the best for everybody including P’s family.

I would like to publish the three letters.

I have a tendency for effervescent hope in Jesus Christ my Redeemer which I learn from scripture and which I continue to practise.

Freedom of speech is the way to go. Let’s not lose that.

Leave a comment

38 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 1, 2018

    I find it very difficult to follow your story, Mother. Maybe it would simplify it to focus on these questions:

    What do you want? What does your husband want? What do your children want?

    If those things are clear it would be easier to see which past events and issues matter.

    Reply
    • Mother

       /  December 1, 2018

      Well said Alan. Thank you. The murkiness which victimisation creates in a person’s psyche takes however long to clear. One of the things I want is discussion.
      There is a follow up, written last night, which PG may add to today’s post. Stay tuned?
      Discuss whatever you need to discuss. Listen if you wish. Take action if you’re prompted.

      Reply
      • Mother

         /  December 1, 2018

        Silence Your NZ? Why?
        I certainly do know what I want Alan, and in a way your question was irritating.
        Media are great at superficial issues. Alleged bullying gets sensationalised. Patrick gets turned into a hero for coping with every day sort of nonsense.
        I want discussion, but if it doesn’t happen I will be neither surprised nor too disappointed.
        I also want closure. I think PG understands that.
        I am a social visionary. I know I will get answers from my guest posting. This will help me with future decision making. As for the questions I need answered? I’m a very private person Alan, and protective of family. Can you see that it is a huge thing for me to put my story publicly? Kudos to PG. In giving me a guest post, he has acted as a champion. I am impressed indeed!

        Reply
        • Mother

           /  December 1, 2018

          ‘Patrick gets turned into a hero for coping with every day sort of nonsense.’

          Does anyone wonder about the human counterparts of media personality stories about growing through growing up pains?

          I think that we need to give msm the strong message that we’re just not interested in trivia.

          We are Kiwis, and we are sensible go getters. We established, the best we could, a Christian society. I think many people want to hold tightly to our Christian heritage. And you don’t have to be a Christian to do it, but we do need at least a few Christians with a strong voice.

          Reply
          • Mother

             /  December 1, 2018

            I would like people to understand that when two girls falsely and grossly accused a man, I was livid. That hurt a whole family and that hurt never ends. They harmed PCANZ, whom I love. They wasted community resources which I wish to be used for good purposes.
            I want you to understand that I was annoyed when Police bungled my uncle case which came to the fore, against my will, because of the above girls.
            I want you to understand that I care about community, but your understanding is not essential to my well being. However, I want you all to know that if you cannot understand these things, I think you are fools.
            And if you really are fools, that in itself answers some of what I set out to do by going public. If you are such fools, I can use that knowledge toward my future life choices.

            Reply
            • Mother

               /  December 1, 2018

              Culture of Silence.
              Christianity in NZ can only hold that up for so long. Something has to give.
              Speak up freely.

            • Mother

               /  December 1, 2018

              Dear two downtickers. Why? I did not insult you. I said that I think you are fools if you cannot understand that gross false accusations are hurtful. That’s my opinion and my right to state. Are you snowflakes? If you are older snowflakes, why do you think we have an epidemic of wannabe victims in NZ? If you are young snowflakes, take heart. Your minds are yet capable of searching for truth, and finding it. This is peace.

            • Don’t worry about downticking. It can be done for aa number of reasons, including disagreeing with the comment, not liking the comment, or just being contrary. Someone or some people sometimes just go through downticking everything or many comments, for no obvious reason.

              Sometimes downticks can be a good sign – that you are hitting a particular mark.

            • MaureenW

               /  December 1, 2018

              Downticking is a tool of freedom of expression. Upticks mean support for a comment, downticks the opposite. You could try lobbying PG to remove downticking if this brings out the snowflakiness in you.

      • Mother

         /  December 1, 2018

        Are you a PCANZ minister Alan?

        ‘Take action if you’re prompted.’

        Think about the basic mandate of the PCANZ Alan. My obedience to the Lord in fighting P’s letter has exposed some crumbling foundational stones. Everything I have done since hearing of the false accusations, has turned out true.

        I have pleaded and pleaded, because I love the PCANZ. Truly Alan, if you can’t come down on your pride now – it will continue to get worse. You need to sit at the foot of the cross.

        Of course, I could be wrong for jumping in with the notion that you are a minister. I only use my phone. Also, I’m running on adrenalin, which is mentioned in my follow up post.

        Reply
  2. Gezza

     /  December 1, 2018

    However, I want you all to know that if you cannot understand these things, I think you are fools. And if you really are fools, that in itself answers some of what I set out to do by going public. If you are such fools, I can use that knowledge toward my future life choices.

    Your story is complex and many critical aspects are so unclear that sensible responses at this time could only be questions you would need to answer clearly and truthfully without identifying people by name, but maybe by a better method than just initials and numbered labels – for example by giving them a name like *Pastor Miles (*not their real name.)

    This blog is targeted at times by devious, deviant individuals whose intent is simply to legally compromise PG and / or attack specific regular long-time posters.

    Their motivation is purely malicious & they adopt different identities and different characters, sometimes with different, unusual life stories, until eventually they slip up and say something true to their real character, and real intent and are banned until the next time.

    You are already acting out of character. You had pretended to insist on respectful dialogue. The above is grossly disrespectful. What is your explanation?

    Reply
    • Mother

       /  December 1, 2018

      Dear Gezza, Your NZ is my NZ with you. If you have a problem with my guest post you should take your concerns to PG whom pushed the button.

      As to the confusion — yes, you are so right. You might like to take that issue to PCANZ.

      Respectful dialogue — yes, let’s do it.

      I hope that PG posts the rest of my contribution which I wrote and sent to him last night. Gezza, do you have any idea how stressful this is for me? I don’t think you do, and I’m glad. I need good strong people in my country. However I respectfully suggest that you will need to grow in empathy if you wish to begin understanding my testimony.

      Reply
      • Mother

         /  December 1, 2018

        Yes, I will answer your questions clearly and truthfully. Ask away.

        As for your proposition of pretending and unreal characters etc, none of us are a two dimensional slip of paper Gezza.

        I’m real.
        Please be aware, I am a busy mother. That is the reason if there are time lags.

        Reply
        • Mother

           /  December 1, 2018

          “As for your proposition of pretending and unreal characters etc, none of us are a two dimensional slip of paper Gezza.”
          Oops, I just realised how easily that is misinterpreted. In my mind Gezza, I was thinking of Alan’s question, ‘what do I want out of this?’ Put it this way –
          I wanted peace re my uncle trauma. I never got it. So I settled for quietness within my community. I got that for approx 23 years. I presumed it was by the Lord’s grace. But it wasn’t really. It was by my fine efforts and my efforts became a most cumbersome burden. In 2013 I hit upon an idea for a community service. (This story might come out in the answering of your questions.) If it seems to you that my character changes, that’s because of the perceived audience Gezza! For example, ‘I hit upon an idea for a community project’. No, that’s not exactly true by my mind. I don’t think ‘I hit upon it.’ I believe the Lord ‘gave the idea to me’. I believe He ‘called me.’ I believe….. but it’s just my belief isn’t it? And I’m satisfied with that status quo. If I put things differently in different situations, so what? I bet you do that too. That’s what I meant by my statement, which I suppose is one of several which is open to misunderstanding. Blogging is like that.

          Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 1, 2018

          I already asked my questions and you haven’t answered them.

          As Gezza said, your story is incomprehensible at present so most people have no response except to wonder about your state of mind.

          If you answered my questions we might begin s sensible conversation. If you are too private to answer them I don’t know why you think it is useful to discuss your problems here.

          Reply
          • Mother

             /  December 1, 2018

            OK. I will look at your questions again.

            Reply
          • Mother

             /  December 1, 2018

            It is useful to discuss my problems here because I want to. My freedom of speech was stripped from me by the PCANZ. That is wrong.
            You need to formulate some questions about my story if you need any particular answers for yourself. There are plenty of questions which would spring to mind when a stranger reads my story. There are also plenty of assumptions which anybody is free to express.

            Reply
      • Mother

         /  December 1, 2018

        Down ticks because I said that this is stressful for me? Case in point.

        Reply
        • Mother

           /  December 1, 2018

          No Maureen, I’m not a snowflake. But your inability to apply empathy is a concern for community. I did not take this action of publicity for my sake, although I will be glad for the answers I am seeking.
          I challenged — Down ticks? Why? I already knew the answer from within my own wee bubble in the world. I think that a few people are down ticking because they are frightened or uncomfortable or contrary (as PG suggested) I’m cool with that. I invite you to see my challenges from a different perspective to your usual one, which also comes from your own wee bubble within the world.

          Reply
          • MaureenW

             /  December 1, 2018

            Your ramblings are of no particular interest to me. Good that PG gave you you’re own slot.

            Reply
            • Kitty Catkin

               /  December 1, 2018

              Your own slot.

              You’re not forced to read them.

          • Mother

             /  December 1, 2018

            When an individual cannot perceive that a person presenting with vulnerability is doing so within the challenge of collective humanity, we get strife to varying degrees.

            Reply
  3. NOEL

     /  December 1, 2018

    Wasn’t there a poll on uptick down tick and the consensus was to let it remain.
    I never presume to know the reason for down ticks. Just let them be.

    Reply
    • Mother

       /  December 1, 2018

      The trouble with feeling victimised is that it weakens a person into over sensitivity. Then the strong swoop in for the kill.
      Best not to feel victimised!
      What about when victimisation happens despite one’s best efforts? At that point, personal presumptions can aid inner equilibrium. Know the truth. If you are bothered by not knowing the truth, then seek it.

      Reply
      • Mother

         /  December 1, 2018

        Yes, my personal presumptions re the down ticks aided my inner equilibrium. But now I wonder — there doesn’t appear to be much interest in my post. I think it’s because Your NZ people don’t like controversy involving emotions, and they want to keep away from gossip. I like that. We want to be safe within our own families and with our acquaintances. The trouble for me is that P made me almost completely unsafe, then PCANZ dived in for the kill. If PG posts the rest of my testimony, you may or may not understand my longterm difficulties. The fact that there is no bickering here speaks volumes. This Your NZ experience is proving to be a healing experience for me. The abnormalness that I mention in my posts to come is eased by this experience. See? Is it possible that NZers at large do wish to hold onto our Christian heritage. Please remember though, I never said that everybody should be a Christian. Free speech. Freedom. I have heaps to say about this, and I can yet say a lot about the gross false accusations issue, but I don’t know whether or not I will continue here. Alan, I do know what I want. It is to serve the Lord. It can only be one step at a time.
        Back to the home chores. Healing.

        Reply
        • Mother

           /  December 1, 2018

          ‘What do you want? What does your husband want? What do your children want?’

          Peace.

          Keep trying to understand Alan, if you wish.

          Reply
          • Mother

             /  December 1, 2018

            Oh, I get it – maybe.
            I think you might be asking me to express my answer to the unspoken question,
            ‘What do you want me to do for you? What do you want me to do to make your pain go away?’

            Reply
            • Mother

               /  December 1, 2018

              I can’t answer that question Alan because you’ve never asked it.

  4. Mother

     /  December 1, 2018

    One of my favourite songs is –
    Jesus bids us shine with a pure clear light
    Like a little candle burning in the night
    In this world is darkness, so we must shine
    You in your small corner, and I in mine

    The last line is awesome.

    At risk of repetition, but to keep trying to help you understand –
    – I was a quietly go getting sort of child.
    – things happened which disturbed me deeply.
    – my uncle went in for the kill when I was 22.
    – I forgave him immediately. Wrong decision.
    – I carried on quietly in my community, but I always felt ‘all wrong.’ But I never lost my faith.
    – I grew up respecting PCANZ leaders. This was very important to me, because of my faith.
    – I suffered from recurring glandular fever. I knew it was because my uncle hurt me. But others presumed it was because I kept having babies.
    – In 2014 I founded a special community project. I found that my quietness wasn’t cutting the mustard with this. People repeatedly took me for granted, even slandered me, P especially.
    – In 2016 I heard about that false accusation. I thought, ‘I’m not tolerating that.’ The strife with PCANZ went from there.
    – when I heard about the false accusation, I knew three things –
    1. I would do my best for the falsely accused
    2. I would gain insight re the place of my project within community
    3. This was a momentous situation in the history of PCANZ.

    As time went on, I learnt more and more that, actually, PCANZ have been crazy for years. Anecdotally, they have hurt many people over the decades. I have much to say about the reasons why, but I’m not concerned if I never receive a platform for that purpose.

    Also, as time went on, I gained another thing that I needed to know – maybe this is the answer to your question Alan:

    I need to know exactly where I think our country is sitting in regards to Christianity.

    I believe it is time for another Reformation. The Protestants will become the ‘Uncomplaining Courageous.’ Alan, this is a prophesy. Whether or not it turns out to happen is another matter.

    When I use the word ‘prophesy’ I’m not saying that I am a prophet. I do not believe in that nonsense.

    There Alan, I’ve given you more to chew on than you deserve!

    Reply
    • Mother

       /  December 1, 2018

      Alan Wilkinson! Are you a PCANZ minister? If so, this is so funny. Let’s presume that you are a PCANZ minister –
      No wonder you questioned my mental state. Yes, it’s very PCANZie to immediately question the mental state of a person whom YOU isolated.

      (When I pronounce PCANZ, I say ‘peecanz’)

      You may be interested to know that I warned and warned and warned PCANZ that if you can’t get me back into fellowship, it will get worse and worse and worse for PCANZ.

      I think that you may be very interested in my further posts if PG runs them.

      And you said to me early on in the blogging to ‘stay in character mother’. No problem with that Alan! Can you? Will you hold integrity? You can now name me. Go ahead! I am not afraid.

      OK then, a little afraid. So – I’ll reveal my vulnerability again. What will you do? Come again to wreak havoc for my precious family?

      Here’s my vulnerability again Alan. Please don’t expose my name. Things are difficult for me because of my decision to obey the Lord, which was to fight P’s letter.

      Reply
      • Mother

         /  December 1, 2018

        ‘As Gezza said, your story is incomprehensible at present so most people have no response except to wonder about your state of mind.’

        If you are a minister, there are now witnesses to PCANZ cruelty. My story is incomprehensible to a minister???

        My state of mind? What right do you have to blog this way, when nobody but Gezza has responded to my story??? Whether you are a minister or not, you are so cruel and incredibly silly to blog this way. Where is your compassion for those in emotional turmoil Alan?

        I am angry with you because I love my community and I love Church. Do you?

        Reply
        • Mother

           /  December 1, 2018

          ‘I have a tendency for effervescent hope in Jesus Christ my Redeemer which I learn from scripture and which I continue to practise.

          Freedom of speech is the way to go. Let’s not lose that.’

          You read that.
          Yet you went on to try to undermine my credibility re my mental state.
          You read about PCANZ not following their own process for complaints, yet you said that my story is incomprehensible.

          If you are a minister, what are you doing to the people who put their faith in Jesus Christ? What lengths will you go to, in order to maim them? Who exactly are your followers? Because if they’re not people like myself, who trust in the Saviour, who are they? What do they believe? Why is it too hard for PCANZ to get me back into fellowship?

          And if YOU ARE A MINISTER, then how come you’re not ‘out’ as a Christian on Your NZ? How come I’m braver than you? I’m just a maimed, scared, isolated nobody – but I am not afraid to name my Lord! If you are a minister, then how come you are scared to own the Saviour?

          Reply
  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 1, 2018

    Mother, I have no connection whatever with PCANZ. I have not been in a Presbyterian Church since about 1957 when I decided most of what they taught was nonsense.

    I didn’t tell you to stay in character – that was Gezza. I can see you are upset to the point of distraction and obsession. I think you need professional help. None of the things you say you want seem to be things we can help you with.

    Reply
    • Mother

       /  December 1, 2018

      Thanks Alan. I don’t need professional help thank you. And no, I’m not distracted nor obsessed. I’m happy not to have your help. That’s not the point of my guest post. 1957! You figured it out young. Did they put you off Christianity?

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 2, 2018

        Yes, too much unbelievable stuff. I was 12 and lay awake wondering how adults could pretend or fool themselves into believing their fantasy stories and how I was going to live a whole life amongst such stupidity.

        I have tried to take the good stuff from Christianity and reject the nonsense and the manipulation and I am content with how that has worked out. I think I am far from alone in that and the attitudes to religion have generally changed greatly from when I lay in bed wondering if the adult world was nuts.

        Reply
  6. Gezza

     /  December 1, 2018

    I didn’t tell you to stay in character – that was Gezza.

    It was Griff.

    Reply

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