Monday, November 28, 2011

My Crime Fighting Partner

At some point within the next couple of months following my "meeting" with David and company, I received a strange email. Joe [name changed], my childhood best friend and one of David's chosen wanted to talk. We had loosely kept up with each other since high school; our wives had also been best friends. They lived out of state, but we still managed to see each other at least once a year. Still, knowing each other as well as we once did, I knew it wasn't normal to get this sort of email from Joe. He wanted my phone number so we could talk sometime. We set up a time that would work for both of us.

Almost simultaneously, two thoughts went through my mind. One, I assumed David called him like he promised Rick he would. Two, what if his recollections of what happened to us are different from mine? What if he disagrees with my assessment of the situation? And if he does, what if he's right? Obviously at this point in my journey, it didn't take much for me to doubt myself. Thankfully, Joe would have a lot to do with me moving past that "self doubt" stage.

When our appointed time for the phone call came, I answered the phone with no small amount of apprehension. The first thing out of my mouth was "is this what I think it's about?" After Joe answered affirmatively, and after some discussion, I discovered that something amazing, something I can attribute only to God, had happened. Regarding my initial thoughts, David had not in fact contacted Joe, and Joe did agree/remember things the way I did.

Forgetting for now the fact that David had not contacted Joe (and in failing to do so, had deceived Rick and Dennis in a very provable fashion), Joe agreed with me!! This would be the first time I would have the incredibly liberating experience of hearing from another of David's victims that I was right. That everything I remembered, and the way I remembered it was correct. That it was right for me to call it abuse. And more importantly, that I was right. I was justified.

So the next question is, if Joe didn't get a phone call from David, and if myself, Rick, and Dennis were the only ones at FBC that knew this was going on, why did Joe want to call me to talk specifically about David? And why now, after all these years of silence? This is where the God thing comes in. Turns out, not even weeks after my blow up and subsequent emotional floodgate opening with my wife, Joe had an almost identical experience. The idea that two childhood bestfriends, separated by thousands of miles but joined by such a monstrous act would be almost simultaneously dealing with something as life changing as what we were dealing with, even now is more than I can comprehend.

At that point Joe had not had contact with anyone at FBC regarding David. He was understandably disturbed when I learned of Rick's "solution". Couple that with the fact that Rick had communicated to me that David had reported to him that his attempts at amends were complete, and something didn't add up. As far as Joe was concerned, the solution was inadequate, and David had obviously been less than truthful with Rick (again).

Thankfully for me, Joe entered the FBC picture at a time when my resolve and determination were not just beginning to flag, but were completely gone. He was, at least with FBC, able to pick up where I left off. Over the course of the next several months, Joe and I talked at least weekly. Other than my wife, he is the biggest reason I've been able to make it to this point. Having someone to talk to that truly understood the emotions I was going through, the thoughts running through my head, and the doubts I still had was quite literally a lifesaver. I was very much at a point that I felt like I had done everything I could to stop David. Joe was able to continue to apply pressure where it was needed.

Finally, in the late winter/early spring of 2009, I received a phone call from Rick that he had decided that David had been less than truthful, and would be firing him when he returned from a senior adult trip the following Saturday morning. It would be announced that Sunday night in a special "called meeting". I had not set foot in FBC since my last meeting with Rick, David, and Dennis, and I certainly wasn't going back now. Sunday night (which, at this point worried me much more than Saturday morning) came and went. I was able to talk to a couple people who were at the Sunday night meeting. It was reported to the church that David was let go for "some serious moral failures". I like to think of it as abuse.


Anonymous said...

Yes, I do believe it was a God thing that Joe was led to contact you as he did. A friend told me once that when God sees us hurting, He sends us people. That happened here as well, and I'm glad that Joe was able to come into the picture as he did when you needed it most.

And yes, certainly criminal abuse, not "serious moral failures". It still stuns me that even at that late stage of the story, Rick still didn't "get it".


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