An Overdue Victory

Please join me in celebrating another small victory for a select group of victims (children who have suffered sexual abuse at the hands of teachers) in Washington state!

The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) in Washington state is creating a position specifically for a legal assistant to review documents of disciplinary action posted on their website, to ensure the identities of minor victims stay safe.

Read all about this (much overdue) development over on my personal site, Barbaric YAWP Girl.

My gratitude, sincere love and warmest wishes to everyone who has encouraged me during this battle. You all make it so much easier to fight, with you alongside me!

~Christina-Marie

Tedd Cadd’s Story, Part 3

Continued from Part 2.

When I was in high school, my dad joined a small sex cult. He tried to pressure my mother into joining. That was the breaking point and they were divorced during my senior year.

Shortly after I graduated, the cult moved to Las Vegas and my dad and his new cult wife went with them. A few months later, I went to visit him. The cult had a large house and many of the members were living there. I was unaware of the real purpose of the cult. I believed their propaganda about the religious purposes they espoused, things like following psychics like Jeane Dixon and Edgar Cayce.

I didn’t know anything about their sexual perversions or practices. My visit had one goal: I wanted to talk my dad out of the cult. I did so discretely, only talking to him in private.

After a couple of days, he brought me a message from the leaders: they had decided to kill me. Instead of considering my attempts to talk him out of the cult, he had been betraying my words and actions to the leadership. In essence, he was willing to trade my life for sex. They said they’d let me live if I promised to leave and never say anything about them to anybody.

I have since learned that they had the means to do what they said. They had a stockpile of weapons, automatic rifles, grenades, and pipe bombs.

The leader had convinced his followers that the “Feds” were going to come after them and they needed to be ready to defend themselves, even to the death. (Sound familiar? Remember David Koresh and the Branch Davidian horror in Waco, TX in April, 1993? 76 men, women and children died in the fire that ended the standoff between authorities and Koresh and his followers.)

Many years later, I confronted my dad about that specific incident in the cult. He freely admitted that he had betrayed me to the leaders: I asked, “Did you actually betray my words to the leaders?” He responded, “Obviously!” and chuckled.

He was also confident they would have carried out the threat. I asked him if they would really have killed me. Smiling, he said, “Oh, yes! They were very dangerous people.”

He thought it was funny.

He didn’t think about the fact that he was just as dangerous, that they were only dangerous to me because of his treachery.

I can’t even begin to name the price I’ve paid or the losses I’ve suffered for what those various people did to me. It’s been 60 years since I was first sexually abused. And it still causes problems.

My healing began in 1991 at a men’s retreat. During one service, we were offered the opportunity to have time with a pastor in prayer—three pastors on the stage separated for privacy. I didn’t know it, but God had chosen that moment to rip me open—to begin dealing with the pain I had firmly closed off for so long.

If you had asked me about the sexual abuse prior to that weekend and the circumstances were just right, I might have told you. I was “stronger” and more confident in my denial. I completely believed that had been no long-term consequences. I was doing fine. I was an active Christian, a leader and teacher.

I decided to ask the pastor to pray that I could accept my wife’s love freely.

For reasons I didn’t understand, I knew she loved me but I didn’t believe it. I had to forcibly hang onto it—keep telling myself that it was real.

Sitting on a folding chair facing him, I told him of my request. He asked if there was anything else. I heard my mouth say, “Well, I was sexually abused as a child.” I hadn’t planned on saying that. He didn’t seem react to that. He just started to pray.

I don’t have any memory of his prayer or how long it lasted. The moment he started to pray, my body exploded—pain beyond anything I’ve ever experienced.

I went away. It was utterly black. No sound. No time. No physical presence.

I had no body or voice or idea where I was. I had no sense of being in a “place” at all. It was simply an emptiness.

I decided I had died and wondered what was next. I tried to imagine what “dead” looked like but couldn’t make up my mind. After a while, I heard a screeching sound in the distance. It was getting nearer. I didn’t want to meet this “thing” whatever it was; but I had no way of escaping.

When it came right up to me, I woke up. I was the “thing” making the noise.

I was curled up in a ball on the floor and there were several men kneeling around me laying hands on me and praying.

I was completely undone. I couldn’t walk or even stand up. When I was quiet again, one of the men raised me to my feet, gave me a hug and passed me on to the next man in the chain that had formed. The last man was next to a pew and I collapsed there in a state of anoesis—a state of “pure sensation with little or no cognitive content.” It was, perhaps, the closest I’ve come to that elusive Shalom.

I gradually became aware of my interior landscape. The first thing I realized was that I felt CLEAN. For the first time in my 43 years, I felt clean. It was amazing beyond anything I can communicate. There was an immense holy awe about it. I reveled in that utterly new experience.

Next I realized that it was quiet inside. I didn’t know I lived with so much internal noise until it was gone.

God let me soak in that for a little while then began showing me the reality of the damage I’d experienced. “This is why you think that.” “That is why you act that way.” There was so much information I had to start journaling to keep from losing what He was showing me.

Journaling has been my primary healing tool. I found no books on male survivors. I read several other books for women on sexual abuse before I found Dan Allender’s book, The Wounded Heart. He really understood. It almost felt like he’d been watching all along and knew how my heart had reacted.

The first counselor I went to had no idea what to do with me. I actually gave him a copy of Dr. Allender’s book. I’ve seen four or five counselors over the years, mostly when I got stuck in my healing.

There were a few memorable moments in those various counseling sessions where God opened up truth, exposing lies I’d believed, memories I’d hidden away—times where I came close to the sort of pain and illumination I’d experienced on that retreat weekend.

Even then, it’s only been in the last four years that I’ve begun to understand the severity of what I experienced. Experienced Journey Group trainers told me they were “blown away” or “overwhelmed” by my story. At a week-long counselling session in Michigan in 2012, Dan Allender told me mine was one of the worst stories he’d heard.

I continue to heal. And I am amazed that God has used my life, my story, to bring healing to others. It is an incomparable privilege to see that first glimmer of hope in a woman’s eyes as she listens and begins to believe there is healing for her, to see a man begin to tell his story for the first time as he starts to believe it is safe to speak of the evil out loud. I wouldn’t trade those moments for anything.

It is only by God’s intervention and a wife that understands and has stood by me that my marriage is intact and thriving. We celebrate 45 years in February.

It is a privilege to tell my story to the new advocates and help give them tools they will need to give hope to another survivor—to equip them in some small way to undo the work of the Evil One. Sometimes, it moves one of them to begin their own healing journey.

Because of the things those people did to me, there is a man who started working in Ecuador, at first to bring steady and dependable power to HCJB World Radio, broadcasting 240 hours each day of Gospel programming in many different languages around the world. They even have excess power they can sell to the government. Now my friend and his wife are building Christian schools in villages in the high Andes Mountains. It is a delight to be part of his healing.

God gave me the unwanted “gift” of having experienced such things. I embrace that gift with all my heart knowing the great good He has brought from it. I understand what it meant for the king in the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant to forgive that servant’s debt. The King personally paid that 10,000 talent debt, that 200,000 years’ wages debt. In forgiving, he took that price on himself.

I have accepted the losses visited upon me and my body without my permission. Not one of the abusers could repay or undo the damage. God Himself cannot undo the past. I’ve lost so very much and it is my loss to sustain, mine alone. God can redeem it and He is. But He cannot restore my childhood. There is more pain to come in my healing journey. I have more to do. But I am willing to pay the price to find the Shalom that God intends me to live.

Remember my prayer request that retreat weekend—the one about being able to accept my wife’s love freely? This healing journey is God’s answer to that prayer.

I offer my story in the hope that others will know that there is no experience—things we’ve done or things done to us—that can keep them from freedom and purity and wholeness.

Tedd Cadd’s Story, Part 2

Continued from Part 1.

The last time he threatened my life, I was 18. (More about that later.)

The third abuser was a hebephile—a person who prefers sex with postpubescent children—living a few blocks away. I was 8. I visited his house 3-4 times a week all summer long before 4th grade. It has only been in the last year I have understood why he thought I had been through puberty.

Ten years ago, I started trying to verify as much as I could about this man.

During that effort, I discovered he had stalked me. He knew my name.

He knew my behavior. He knew where I lived and who my family was. He knew at least a little of how I was treated at home. I was able to verify his name, address, the kind of house he lived in and the only year he lived at that address.

His opportunity came as I was on my way to play in my secret sagebrush fort one early summer’s day. He was sitting on his porch as I walked by. He called my name and asked how I was. He offered friendship and comics and soda. I was wary at first but he was very good at the grooming process and he knew me and liked me. I was desperate for somebody who cared and that overpowered my defenses. I fell for his offer of friendship.

He let me read his comics and drink his sodas while I sat at that little table in his small kitchen. He watched me as I grew to trust him. He talked very little; he just gave me the treats. I thought I had found a friend—somebody who cared. The lack of interaction actually gave me a sense of safety.

Then one day he let me stay longer than usual. There was one thing he needed to know before he struck. My “friend” asked, “It’s getting late. Won’t your parents be worried?” It felt like a caring question, like he was concerned about me. I didn’t know how dangerous that question really was.

“They don’t care what I do.”

His trap slammed shut and I was caught.

After a little bit on the next visit, he invited me to go sit on the couch. When I sat down, he sat right next to me. It was too close and I started to get tense. Because of the “training” by my dad, somehow I sensed what was coming: I actually wondered if he was going to do the oral sex thing on me.

Even though I was only 8 and didn’t know the words for sex, I knew the “signals” for sex.

It was 1957. I had no words for any of this. I didn’t know the word “sex” let alone the various varieties.

He put his arm around me and rubbed me through my pants. He asked me, “Does that feel good?” I said it did. Then he said, “Let me show you something.” And he undid my pants and started oral sex.

I thought I’d found a friend. Now I knew he was just dirty—dirty like me. So we were a match. But it felt good and at least he didn’t threaten to kill me or do things that hurt. So I gave up longing for a friend and settled for dirty.

The comics and soda stopped. Every visit after that would start with him saying, “Do you want to go back to the bedroom?” He always made it my choice. I’d always say, “Yes.” After a couple of visits like that, he said that he’d been doing something nice for me; so it was “only fair” that I return the favor. And I did.

When he figured out that I wasn’t past puberty, he decided to switch to anal sex. He had me do it to him first. My ignorance of sexual development was a salvation of sorts. During that encounter with him, something happened to me that I had never experienced before. I asked him what it was and he said he didn’t know. At that point, he didn’t realize what had happened. If he had considered my question, he could have told me what it was. But he didn’t and I’m grateful.

When I went home that day, I tried to understand what had happened. All I could figure out was that I was somehow contaminated and I contaminated others. I was worse than “dirty.”

I decided to tell him I didn’t want to do that new thing. I wanted his friendship and to keep doing what we had been doing.

On the next visit, he asked the standard question, “Do you want to go to the bedroom?” Looking at the floor, I was terrified but I managed to whisper, “I don’t want to do that anymore.”

He got angry. He threw me out.

I disappeared that day. It was like I was absorbed into nothingness.

Someone asked me recently where I went when I left his house. I don’t know. There was nowhere to go and that’s where I went.

If he had asked why, I would have stayed. If he had answered my question on that previous visit, I would have stayed. So far I’ve identified at least 20 things that could have kept me there with him, things like if it had happened the visit before or if he had waited one more visit, I would have stayed.

All that the little 8 year old understood was that he was so dirty that even the dirty people didn’t want him. I was dirty and contaminated and unlovable and worthless. Invisibility was my only camouflage.

I now know that God was extracting me. He used all those things that could have been different but weren’t. God was right there in the worst, in the dirtiest parts of my time with that man. He used those ugliest parts to get me away from him. But I spent 50 years believing the lie that I was contaminated and too dirty for even the dirty people.

There was one other sexual abuser, an adult female relative. It was a visual and verbal kind of sexual abuse. I was at her home frequently. She’d call me to come and do a chore for her. Sometimes when I arrived, she’d be naked from the waist up and tease me about looking. Her words were of the kind and tenor of a mistress teasing her lover into bed. I don’t know when it started but the last time it happened, I was 20 and my fiancée was with me.

I was good at hiding my shame and filthiness. I was a good student. I was a leader in scouts and church youth groups. Nobody knew how dirty and worthless and unlovable I was. And I was determined that nobody would ever find out.

God was gracious and kept me from most of the destructive things many with my background have chosen as ways of coping with such evil. Christ claimed me when I was 11. God stepped in and said, “Not this one!”

The timing was critical. Three weeks later, a friend wanted to take me with him to use a girl who was a couple years younger than we were. I could have gone down the same path my dad had walked—with a three year head start.

Instead, I ran. Or perhaps more accurately, God’s Spirit in me ran. It’s only been in the last few years that I understood why I ran and how critical it was that God had claimed me when He did.

And I have to ask, “Why me? Why did God choose me and not so many others?”

Continued in Part 3.

Tedd Cadd’s Story, Part 1

Tedd’s story will be published in three parts, over today and the next two days.

Tedd is a brave advocate who works with survivors, helping them to break their silences, and heal in God’s love.

Please, as we LISTEN to Tedd’s story, let’s remember that survivors — whether male or female — need our support to break their silence. Let’s join in lifting them up, in a mighty roar of prayer, support and love, and remind them they are NOT alone.

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6, NIV)

Christina-Marie

I have told my story over and over in a number of different venues.

I’ve told my story in the local paper as a way of letting people know of a conference at my church called The Wounded Heart, a program of Dr. Dan Allender’s work on sexual abuse.

I’ve spoken of it at a few men’s retreats.

I tell my story in the 12-week abuse survivors groups I co-lead (Journey Groups developed by Open Hearts Ministry in Kalamazoo, Michigan).

I’ve told my story in Michigan at the training times where I learned how to lead those groups.

I’ve told my story to a few counselors.

I’ve told my story twice a year for more than 15 years as part of the training for new volunteers at the local sexual assault agency (the Support, Advocacy and Resource Center or SARC). I’ve been a volunteer there for 22 years, at first on the crisis lines or going to the hospital to meet with rape victims as they came in for that horrible forensic exam called a rape kit.

The new advocates will be doing that work, too. I tell my story to help the new advocates understand the dynamics and effects of sexual abuse and assault. They are invited to ask any and all questions, however personal.

They need to be able to hear and talk about ugly things so they can do the work they are going to be doing.

And my story is part of an hour-long video on male sexual abuse survivors on YouTube as well as being broadcast on some ongoing manner on the local public access channel. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KzhFxpE-
p9k)

So why tell it here?

Simply that the 25+ million males in this country who have experienced (or will experience) childhood sexual abuse or assault need to know it is OK—even necessary—to talk about it even if it isn’t easy. Our 47+ million sisters who have experienced (or will experience) childhood sexual abuse or assault need to know it’s OK—even necessary—to talk about it even if it isn’t easy. We have tens of millions of brothers and sisters who know what it’s like—tens of millions of brothers and sisters who have been there.

There are hundreds of millions worldwide. We are not alone.

I tell my story because 22%—more than 1 in 5—of the people sitting in the pews in church each Sunday have experienced childhood sexual abuse.

They need to know it is OK—even necessary—to talk about it even if it isn’t easy.

Even though I’ve shared so many times before, I’m reluctant to share again. I feel that way each time. I’d rather read your stories.

But now I share my story with you.

I could say the abuse started when I was 5. But there were earlier
elements. I could say it started at 4. I could say it started when my parents met while they were attending a well-known conservative Christian college where he earned his degree in Bible.

But I think my story was birthed more than 75 years ago when the boy who was to become my dad was 14 and he began molesting his 8 year old sister. It continued for three years. It only ended because their dad died and she moved into her mother’s bedroom. After the war, he tried to rape a woman. My mother knew about the rape before she married him. She discovered his pornography (some of it would still be illegal today). Before I was three, he molested two of my cousins while they were babysitting me.

My mother was one of his victims in various ways. These are some of the ones we know about.

When I was three, we moved to the town where I did most of my growing up.

When I was 4, my abuse began. It was not specifically sexual in nature although it had a connection. A 4 year old neighbor boy and I were curious about our bodies (an age-appropriate “activity”). When my mother “caught” the two of us comparing our bodies, she threw the other boy out and told me for the first of innumerable times, “You’re going to be just like your father.” It was not a compliment. It was her hatred of his sexual perversions that drove that mantra—her curse. I knew she hated him and now I knew she hated me. And somehow it was tied to my body.

She became my first abuser. Her hate and her curse continued for years.

Her hate followed into my marriage and to our children.

When I was 5, a older neighbor boy invited me into his room. He exposed himself to me and masturbated, inviting me to do the same in front of him. I don’t know how many times that happened.

In our house, punishment was a wide belt on a bare bottom. My mother would send me to my room with the instructions to take my pants and underwear down, bend over the bed, and wait for my dad. He intended it to hurt — a lot. If I tried to protect myself, he hit me even harder. Sometime when I was about 5, I was waiting for him to beat me. Instead of the belt, he raped me for the first time. There was no grooming. No special favors or promises. No attempt to make it anything other than what it was: simply a punishment more to his liking.

He told me, “This’d be more fun if you were a girl.” Once in a while, he’d do oral sex on me after the anal rape. There is a vague memory that I might have had to do oral sex on him also.

He was apparently worried that I’d tell somebody. So he took his .38 caliber Smith and Wesson revolver and held it to my head and told me he’d kill me if I ever told. There is a little irony in the fact that I didn’t tell for 38 years.

His abuse lasted for some years. I don’t know how long for certain but I know I have very few memories inside my house until I was about 13.

Continued in Part 2.

Video

Superbowl Sunday Online Prayer Party: Pray to End Trafficking

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The Superbowl… It’s one of the biggest events of the year, and the biggest for human trafficking.

This year, WE are going to stand together throughout the world, spiritually, for freedom! Are you going to a Superbowl party? Great! Join our online Superbowl prayer vigil, as well.

Please join, and share, share, SHARE the event on Facebook at:

http://www.facebook.com/events/529733753809223/

We are asking our readers to pull out all the stops on social media. Let’s see this go worldwide!

We will be praying for victims, traffickers, consumers, activists, advocates, and law enforcement. We will pray for awareness, prevention, rescue, healing, restoration, and hope. We know that God hears the cry of His people, and this Sunday, we plan to send a mighty cry up to His throne. Please join us, and invite your friends, as well. Let’s get mobilized, and change lives!

Ephesians 6:
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

What I Want My Abuser to Know

Hey, there, LISTENERs!

I couldn’t sleep last night. Like, all night. Something was really in my head, scrambling to get out.

So, I wrote it down.

I wrote a letter to my abuser, and included what I wanted him to know about me. I threw down the gauntlet, so to speak, and challenged him to repent.

It was… Healing.

Sure, I could hate him. It would be easier! But, God hasn’t created or called me to hate.

God has called me to pursue JUSTICE, and justice is His to deliver.

I love working with my co-founders so much! Some of the behind-the-scenes work is gnarly, crying, snot-running-from-our-noses catharsis… And some of it is just plain beautiful.

Upon reading my post, this is what Kymmberley had to say:

The courage it takes to address your abuser can often seem like a far away fantasy. The strength needed to confront the atrocities done to you, impossible to muster… The beauty of the boldness Christina-Marie exudes is not confined to one who has been “lucky enough” to find the strength within themselves. Take a moment to LISTEN to the healing that comes when we make a choice to move forward, to join hands with our Creator and stare our abusers in the face. LISTEN to the battle cry that Christina-Marie is stirring up in her refusal to remain silent. Time to speak up, to call our abusers out of the shadows they’ve been living, and shed light on every dark thing.

Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops. (Luke 12:3)

We’re done hiding. No more whispering. We are exposing every lie and shouting it from the rooftops. LISTEN, can you hear us?

Am I blessed with sisterhood, or what?

~Christina-Marie

K’s Story: I Wasn’t Helpless Anymore

In K’s story, she narrowly escaped an assault, thanks to the timing of a friend, but a number of concerning issues are contained in her story.

First, her would-be assailant wasn’t stopped by witnesses (in this case, his friends). One laughed, and the other looked away.

Next, the substitute teacher said “nothing” could be done because no adult witnessed the attempted attack, and offered to “keep an eye on” the individual who tried to assault K. It is unclear, from the story, if the substitute informed other staff members of the report, but as a substitute teacher, his offer to monitor falls short.

Then, the boy who attempted to assault K — and his friends — continued to torment and harass her, throughout the school year, in a effort to humiliate her, and make sure she didn’t speak out.

Afterward, she found strength and courage in learning to defend herself.

Many local organizations offer basic self-defense courses to individuals. A web search may turn up one in your area.

Knowing what to do in case of attack can go a long way toward not only prevention, but also toward healing the feelings of helplessness that plague so many of us.

It is so important that we — as a society — learn to LISTEN. We need to make a radical shift in our response to reports of assault or attempted assault, and reassure victims and survivors that they will be HEARD, and kept safe.

And, of course, part of supporting victims is giving them tools to fight back. Do you have an awesome resource for self-defense training? A video, a class, a book, or something more? Please, share in the comments.

Christina-Marie

My freshman year, I was sitting outside of my high school waiting to be picked up. I can’t remember now who I was waiting for, but I was completely alone listening to my iPod.

A group of boys from my class walked by and were whispering between each other something that I couldn’t hear.

They stopped on the edge of parking lot and didn’t seem to notice me. I then saw another boy come up and he handed the ring-leader some money and he got a brown paper sack in return. At that point I stood up and started to gather my things because I didn’t want to be a part of whatever these boys were doing.

This was my mistake.

The ring leader of the group, “J,” noticed me and quickly closed the gap between us. “What did you just see?” he asked me.

“Nothing. I’m just going to go wait inside.” I said.

“That’s right you saw nothing. And you ain’t gunna say nothing, either.” I tried to leave and he put his hand on the wall beside me.

“Sorry. I’m gunna just go.” I said.

He put his other hand on the wall on my other side. I was trapped. I looked to the other boys. One was laughing and the other couldn’t even look at me and he turned away.

I looked back at “J” and he said, “You should be a good girl and kiss me. I know you’d like it.”

I told him, “No. I don’t want to. Please just leave me alone. I won’t say anything.” He just laughed and leaned in to kiss me.

I tried to dodge it. I tried to fight him off and get away. He grabbed my shoulders hard and pinned me against the wall. He said something in Spanish and the other two boys came closer and blocked the sides of me.

He kept telling me to hold still “or else.”

I kept thinking, “Why can’t anyone hear me? Why can’t anyone see us?” One of my really good friends at the time, “R”, came around the corner and I screamed for her at the top of my lungs.

That caught the group off guard and I was able to grab my bag and run to her. He yelled after us, “Don’t you dare say anything!”

We ran into the school and hid in an empty classroom. A substitute noticed us go in there and asked what happened. I was so shook up by it but “R” explained the situation to him.

The sub told us that there was nothing he could do because no adult witnessed it, but that he would keep an eye on “J” and the rest of the boys.

He told us that we shouldn’t be in the room unsupervised, and to quit making so much noise in the halls.

“J” was a jock and had quite a few friends. Every time I saw him in the hallway he would wink or make kissy noises at me and then his jock friends (including the 2 that were there that day) would erupt in laughter. I cringed.

I started avoiding places I thought he would go and avoiding people I knew he associated with. I wouldn’t go anywhere alone, especially around the school.

I was afraid that if I told someone else what happened that “J” or his goons would find some way to torment me further and maybe this time I wouldn’t be able to get out of it.

A few months later my Girl Scout troupe signed us all up for a self-defense class. We learned just the basics, but I tried to soak up as much as I possibly could. It was empowering to know that I now had a tool I could use against “J” or people like him.

I wasn’t helpless anymore.

I fully advocate self-defense classes for both men and women. I know that I am a stronger, more confident person because of what I learned. I don’t have to feel that terrified ever again.