**Trigger warning: Mention of sexual assault and spiritual abuse**
It may come as a surprise to you, but there’s a reason I haven’t been in touch with you in ages, nor seemed particularly friendly when we have on rare occasions bumped into each other since that day. There’s good reason, though, and it’s not bitterness or anger. It’s mistrust and a lack of respect for you as a pastor.
You see, when you said to me, “Well, what could you expect? You married someone who society doesn’t value”. To excuse and blame another man (not even my husband!) for sexually assaulting and mentally torturing me. You died to me.
I will never trust nor respect you again. If anyone asks me if you’re a good man, I won’t be able to say “yes.” A good man doesn’t blame the victim of abuse. A good man doesn’t defend the wicked. A good man doesn’t say “this is what you deserve” to someone suffering. Especially not a man who says he’s a representative of a kind, compassionate, loving God.
I wish I had sent you the letter I wrote in response to yours, instead of writing it for “therapy only” purposes.
Looking back at what I wrote in that therapeutic letter, though, the words I wish I had actually said to you were these.
“I’m hurt and surprised that you would blame me for another person’s evil acts against me. I dated him, yes, but I didn’t ask him, give him permission, or in any other way deem it acceptable for that man to sexually assault me, verbally and emotionally abuse me, nor stalk me after the fact and cause problems for my family and friends. If you think I would, then obviously, you know nothing about me, and nothing about people who have lived through abuse…
“I hope and pray that if you ever meet anyone else who is victimized by a man such as that, that you do not blame or shame that person for being injured. Jesus certainly does not blame me for that man’s evils, and he doesn’t blame other victims.”