There were many ways that skip manipulated me. Remember that he was practiced and quite good at it long before I ever showed up on his radar. But there were a few things that stand out in my mind.
He manipulated my parents. He gave our family low cost dental work, invited our family over to their house for meals or family home evenings, made sure that my parents knew how involved in our church he was, which church leaders he knew and had worked with, and made a point of letting them know how respected he was in the community, again name dropping.. My parents gradually began to trust him. There were times when they felt that something just wasn't right with him but the evidence of his greatness was overwhelming. Their hearts were telling them to be wary but they almost felt ashamed for doubting him.When he began singling me out more and more, again their gut instinct was telling them to intervene but in what? They had no way of knowing what was happening and so many others were dazzled, they just felt silly. Lesson here-ALWAYS TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS! You may be wrong or hurt someones feelings but so what? This is your little one and they are more important than anyone Else! Looking back, my parents are heart sick that they let themselves be taken in by this guy, but they are no more at fault than I am. We were all victims.
He manipulated his wife. She knew what was happening. On one occasion, he had me in his bedroom with the door locked. She came home early and came to her room and, finding it locked, asked what was going on. skip quickly had me hide in the bathroom before opening the door and taking her into the hall to talk. After a few minutes I could no longer hear voices so I came out. There they both were and when she saw me, she whirled around and marched out. skip turned to me, and while I don't remember the words, I remember the feeling he wanted me to feel, he was really angry, we were both in trouble, and it was my fault. Later that day, Barbara (his wife) came to my door and without saying a word, handed me a note, then walked away. The gist of the note was to stay away from her husband or she would tell my mom. I wish she would have. But even though she absolutely knew what was happening, she kept her mouth shut and played the dutiful wife. Years later, after he was arrested for abusing another girl, the police went to find her over at the church. When they told her what had just happened, she passed out but got one thing out first, "The Burtons." Upon hearing that and knowing that was a new name to them, the Detectives did a little searching which led them to see that the Burtons had lived next door, years before, and were now in San Antonio, and they should probably talk to their daughter, Jodi (me). So I guess I have Barbara to thank. Shortly after this she was asked, "Why do you stay? Look at what he has done!" She answered, "What would I do without him? I would have no money and nobody would ever love me, only him." Obviously he had spent years breaking her down.. No matter what he did, she felt dependant on him.
He manipulated me. he manipulated me in many, many ways but I will only go into two. 1. If I ever refused him or even just avoided him, he would act like I was really hurting him and pout and act sad. At the same time he would refuse promised things to his kids or just be blatantly mean to them. His looks to me made it very clear that their unhappiness was my doing. It was well understood by all of his children that if they needed or wanted something, have Jodi ask for it. 2. One day while he had me in his gazebo, I told him that this just didn't feel right and that I thought people who were married shouldn't do this stuff with little girls. He told me that we knew each other in Heaven, before coming to Earth, and that this was Gods way for a man to show love to a woman. (a 13 year old woman?) and all of this was okay. How could I doubt him? He was a leader in my church so he must know more than I, right? Wow. Looking back on it, this makes me sick.
All in all, he knew what he was doing. But he was anything but unique. Pedophiles often follow a script of sorts, and skip was no exception.
I usually like to end on a happy note but there is nothing happy about abuse. I am really happy now and that is wonderful revenge though, huh?