The Monster’s Wife

Standard

I saw a movie last week, called Girl In the Basement, about a girl, named Sara, whose father, Don, locked her in a secret basement in their house when she turned 18. She hated her father because he was a control freak, and because he’d been molesting her for years, since she was eleven, so she was planning on running away after her eighteenth birthday. He kept her there, hidden from the world, for 24 years. He made her his sex slave, and she gave birth to seven of his children during the time she was held captive in his cellar.

The first two children, Marie and Michael, lived with Sara in the basement. Next came a daughter named Lisa, and then twin boys, Alex, and one who died three days after they were born, followed by two daughters. Lisa, the remaining twin and both of the last two daughters were taken upstairs by the father to be raised by Sara’s mother, Irene, as purported foster children. Don had taken steps to have he and his wife certified as foster parents, and when Sara’s four children “appeared” on the front porch, with notes saying Sara couldn’t take care of them, Don and Irene were able to take them in easily and raise them. In reality Don had forced Sara to write a note for each child, saying that she couldn’t keep him or her where she was in Florida.

That had been Don’s lie all along, that Sara had run away to join a religious cult in Florida, and he had forced her to write various notes and letters periodically to perpetuate the deception.

As I watched this movie, I became more and more enraged at Don. Right from the start after he’d locked her in the basement, he made her call him Don instead of Dad, and the sexual abuse started immediately after she was imprisoned there. Also, if she did something he didn’t like, he would beat her in addition to raping her, all of which belied the way he treated Irene and Sara’s sister, Amy.

In reality, the story of Girl In the Basement was based on a real-life family drama that played out in Austria, and began in August of 1984, when Josef Fritzl lured his daughter, Elisabeth down to the basement of their house by telling her that he needed her help carrying a door downstairs. Once down there he locked her in the basement, and kept her there until she managed to escape in April of 2008 through a series of circumstances, after her oldest daughter, Kersten, became seriously ill, and Elisabeth convinced Josef to take her to the hospital.

Once Elisabeth and her children were freed from their captivity, they had a lifetime of rape, abuse, and consequent PTSD to overcome. And for Elisabeth, one of the most difficult things for her to deal with was the idea that her mother, Rosemarie, did little to nothing to try and find her once she’d gone missing back in 1984. She blindly believed whatever ridiculous tale Josef told her about where Elisabeth was, even though the police said that Josef’s stories were not plausible. It seemed like Rosemarie was willing to abandon Elisabeth to Josef’s devices. But why? Maybe it was so she, Rosemarie, wouldn’t have to subject herself to his abuse, though in Girl In the Basement, the father kept his life and abuse of his daughter separate from his life with his wife and family upstairs.

The reason this story means so much to me is because I identify heavily with Sara/Elisabeth. I felt compelled to watch the movie over and over again, and I couldn’t stop. I kept yelling at the TV, shouting at Don about what a jerk and terrible person he was. But more than anything, I was angry for Sara about her mother, how she could have been much more proactive in searching for her. Why did she just accept on blind faith everything Don had told her about where Sara had gone? A lot of what he’d said wasn’t even plausible, yet she just took it at face value without questioning him.

It reminded me so much of the way my mother did nothing to help me throughout my childhood. She’d just left me to Harry’s evil devices. And there were plenty of signs that bad things were happening. For instance, I found a doctor’s report from when I was about four or five years old that said I had a rash around my mouth ~ and my mother did nothing about it. She didn’t question why it was there or what could be causing it.

I wrote a post back in January of 2020, called The Monster Is Dead. It was about Harry dying, and I wrote it the day after my cousin called me to tell me he’d died. And just so you know, my mother was the Monster’s wife.

I can tell you what was causing it. Harry was forcing me to have oral sex with him! That’s what was causing it!!

And after I’d begun to have memories of being abused, I told my mother that I was having sexual abuse memories. Her response was, “Well, I thought he was abusing you physically. If I’d known it was sexual abuse the divorce would have happened a lot sooner.”

When she said that anger just boiled up inside me. Children are killed all the time from being physically abused!! All I could think of was that she was making excuses for allowing Harry to do whatever he wanted to do to me!! It also told me that she knew something was going on and did nothing to stop it. I was just steaming I was so angry!! All those years!! All those years when she did nothing to protect me!! She just let it happen!! I asked her how she knew Harry was abusing me physically, and she said she saw bruises on me. So she KNEW!! She KNEW!! How could she not have tried to stop him!!??

And later when I told her that she’d said that to me, her response was, “I didn’t say that. I never said that!” Her denial was like a slap in the face, because she did say it. She did!!

After all is said and done, I know that I have to forgive her. Because I can’t go back and change the way things went. I can’t change anything about it. Even God can’t change what’s already happened. It’s done and over with.

I’ve already forgiven my mother for so many things, but right now, I’m feeling kind of… kind of stubborn. It just hurts too much. When I look at what she could have done but didn’t, I just want to scream. SCREAM!! So I don’t want to forgive her.

I think this is the first time I’ve ever considered the ramifications of what she could have done but didn’t. It was obvious to me that she was more interested in protecting herself than she was in helping me, which was kind of the story of my life. People have always been more interested in protecting themselves than they were in protecting me. I’ve never mattered that much to anyone.

I’m so grateful to know that I matter that much to God! Jesus died on the Cross to save my soul, and God expended a huge amount of energy keeping me alive and protecting me from the worst of the abuse from the time I was born onward, and that includes all the times I tried to end my own life.

So even though I don’t feel like forgiving my mother, I’m going to do it anyway, because God forgave me, and He commands me to forgive others. So because He forgave me, I can do no less.

I forgive you, Mom! I forgive you!

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. ~ James 2:13, ESV.

I love that verse, and I especially love it in the New Living Translation,

There will be no mercy for those who have not shown mercy to others. But if you have been merciful, God will be merciful when he judges you. ~ James 2:13, NLT.

This is a big reason why I know I have to forgive my mother, aside from all the places in Scripture that tell me that if I don’t forgive her, then God won’t forgive me.

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. ~ Matthew 6:14-15, NLT.

I don’t ever want to be in the position where God can’t forgive me because I’ve been holding unforgiveness against someone! I’ve done that before, and it didn’t do anything to the other person. All that happened was it made me physically ill. So don’t do it, people!! It’s a really BAD IDEA!!

About sarahjesusnlily

My name is Sarah Abigail Kuriakos. I come from a background of extreme child abuse, and it almost destroyed my life. My mother tried to kill me while I was an infant, my father threatened to kill me if I told anyone what he was doing to me, and I tried suicide nine times as an adult. Fortunately, God had other plans, and none of the attempts on my life succeeded. The purpose of this blog is to chronicle the progress I'm making as God heals me from my childhood, while making sure that God is glorified in the process. I'm a voracious reader, and I enjoy crocheting, doing counted cross stitch, and creating art. I also enjoy playing with my cat Lily, listening to Christian music, and watching movies. My favorite books are, first and foremost, The Holy Bible, then Jane Eyre, David Copperfield, The Count of Monte Cristo, and To Kill a Mockingbird. I also love Christian apologetics. The most important thing in my life is knowing and serving Jesus Christ, and telling people about His great love for them. People need to know that God loves them!

5 responses »

  1. Sarah,

    This must have been a very difficult thing for you to watch and deal with. Its hard as an ‘outside of abuse’ person looking to grasp what horrific evil is perpetrated upon the innocent. Obviously, there is no way to say or do the ‘right’ thing and make it all better. As a mother, we get programed to help our children see things from different points of view, which hopefully can help make things seem more healthy or positive or learning. There is none of that in this, I mean my gosh how depraved do you have to be?

    Remember when Jesus said ‘If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you’—–I mean who loves more than little children coming to their parents?——Even sinners love those who love them. But there is no love in these stories, so what do we do with that? What do we do with scenarios which go beyond ‘even sinners’?

    Jesu is giving us this hard idea- God wanting us to turn 180 degrees around. Ouch, I don’t know how you even get to the point where you want to do that? I guess it is the heart which wants to please the Father, I guess that person can do that. With the Holy Spirit of course, cause I honestly don’t see how a person can even think of trying forgiveness without the guidance of the Spirit. But as you wrote, to not forgive, only hurts the person holding evil tightly in their grasp and letting it spread its destruction further.

    Ok I am gonna be kind of mean and judgmental here, but your mother was a coward. There I said it, first she didn’t protect you, then she deflected the evil to try and save herself and her conscience, because having to stare straight into what she allowed would have meant she was a bad person. Who wants to be that girl or guy?

    But turning aside from that, I am including a picture. I hope it shows up. It is the first picture of a black hole. If you can’t see it. try this link: https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01186-7
    There is a video in the link which explains how they got this picture.
    [First ever picture of a black hole may be revealed this week | New Scientist]

    Isnt that amazing!!!!!!! Isn’t the work of creation being revealed layer by layer just put you in awe of the Parent who doesn’t let us down? I mean evil didn’t create that LOVE created that. This is the power which gave a young child the ability to overcome evil, the greatest power in the Universe.
    As we look into all the things around us and see God’s story revealed more every day we can become stronger every day. But it aint easy! I guess if it was easy everyone would do it………..

    From: God’s Not Through With Me Yet
    Reply-To: God’s Not Through With Me Yet
    Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 8:13 PM
    To: Kim Anunson
    Subject: [New post] The Monster’s Wife

    sarahjesusnlily posted: ” I saw a movie last week, called Girl In the Basement, about a girl, named Sara, whose father, Don, locked her in a secret basement in their house when she turned 18. She hated her father because he was a control freak, and because he’d been molesting her”

    Like

  2. Hi Kim:

    Thanks for your comments. As always, your thoughts were helpful to me, and your kindness and understanding for me and my experiences make me feel like I’m not alone, and I have the support of friends who care about me. Thank you for that!

    You’re right. It was a very difficult movie to watch, and yet, I couldn’t stop watching it. I felt compelled to watch it, not just once, but over and over again. And it wasn’t just the movie that was difficult. This post was hard to write as well, because of all the feelings and memories the movie stirred up for me.

    I was reminded especially of the way my mother did nothing to protect me from Harry’s abuse and manipulations, and nothing to rescue me out of his clutches, and I felt angry all over again, which said to me that I had hit a deeper level of anger at my mother, and therefore had more to forgive her for. As you read, I struggled with it, but finally realized I had to do it, because to not forgive is simply unthinkable. To not forgive would put me out of fellowship with the Father, and that is simply not an option for me.

    I think you’re probably right, Kim. My mother probably was a coward. It’s kind of scary to say that, because I’m a little afraid I’m judging her, and maybe that judgment will come back on me. If nothing else, Harry was a violent and fearsome guy, though I remember him telling me once when I went to visit him that my mom chased him around the kitchen with a butcher knife.

    I don’t know if that really happened or not; I can’t quite picture my mother doing that, and I don’t trust my father as far as I can throw Mt. Rushmore. But I’ve had a couple of memories of my mother abusing me, so I suppose it could have happened.

    I LOVE the photo of the black hole!! That’s amazing and beautiful!! And the process of getting the picture is very cool as well. But what amazes me the most is that God would put everything in place, and then gave human beings the knowledge and skill, so that we would be able to get this photograph, and observe this beauty in outer space. What it tells me more than anything is how incredible and wonderful and marvelous and amazing God is.

    Thank you again for your listening heart, and your kindness, Kim. I always know I can trust your reactions and comments when I post something from my blog, and I so appreciate that. You are a good and wonderful friend, and I love you!!

    You are a blessing and a Gift from God to me!!

    Like

  3. You know Sarah its obvious the movie was a trigger. Strength and forgiveness are a process no way around it. We can say we want to forgive but actually crossing that finish line is sort of a race, a race between our angers, our fears, our wants.

    This always sticks in my head when I get triggered. Ha ha learning from a cartoon

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZfGTL2PY3E

    And truth is truth, if you talk about your Mom’s behavior as a truth, I am not seeing that as judgmental, it just a fact. At is also a fact you are struggling with what you want to be and think and where you are. We are ALL like that, the older we get the more realize how sinful we are. It’s a bit disconcerting. But nothing will take you out of the hand of the Father, sometimes it seems like you are very hard on yourself. Give yourself the grace, the Father gives you.

    John 10:29 I give them eternal life , and they will never perish. No one can snatch them from my hand. My Father who has given them to ME is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one

    Another verse comes to mind is:
    Psalm 13:2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts Oh Lord and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will the enemy triumph over me. Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give Light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.

    I feel like as I am getting older my brain doesn’t communicate very well and what’s in my head doesn’t translate out correctly, so thank you for taking what I wrote with such a sweet heart.

    You know how much I love Michael Card’s stuff and how his stuff talks to my soul. Mostly, I think because he puts emotion to the bible, emotion I can feel and use. Its shows us what one person can do when they follow God’s directive. So here is a video I think you will like

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qiWPjYscpHE

    I love that photo too and I love the science behind it and how it teaches us no matter how much we learn, we are so far behind God its just —- well just humbling.

    From: God’s Not Through With Me Yet
    Reply-To: God’s Not Through With Me Yet
    Date: Tuesday, March 23, 2021 at 8:13 PM
    To: Kim Anunson
    Subject: [New post] The Monster’s Wife

    sarahjesusnlily posted: ” I saw a movie last week, called Girl In the Basement, about a girl, named Sara, whose father, Don, locked her in a secret basement in their house when she turned 18. She hated her father because he was a control freak, and because he’d been molesting her”

    Like

  4. You know Sarah its obvious the movie was a trigger. Strength and forgiveness are a process no way around it. We can say we want to forgive but actually crossing that finish line is sort of a race, a race between our angers, our fears, our wants.

    This always sticks in my head when I get triggered. Ha ha learning from a cartoon

    And truth is truth, if you talk about your Mom’s behavior as a truth, I am not seeing that as judgmental, it just a fact. At is also a fact you are struggling with what you want to be and think and where you are. We are ALL like that, the older we get the more realize how sinful we are. It’s a bit disconcerting. But nothing will take you out of the hand of the Father, sometimes it seems like you are very hard on yourself. Give yourself the grace, the Father gives you.

    John 10:29 I give them eternal life , and they will never perish. No one can snatch them from my hand. My Father who has given them to ME is greater than all. No one can snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one

    Another verse comes to mind is:
    Psalm 13:2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts Oh Lord and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will the enemy triumph over me. Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give Light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death.

    I feel like as I am getting older my brain doesn’t communicate very well and what’s in my head doesn’t translate out correctly, so thank you for taking what I wrote with such a sweet heart.

    You know how much I love Michael Card’s stuff and how his stuff talks to my soul. Mostly, I think because he puts emotion to the bible, emotion I can feel and use. Its shows us what one person can do when they follow God’s directive. So here is a video I think you will like

    I love that photo too and I love the science behind it and how it teaches us no matter how much we learn, we are so far behind God its just —- well just humbling.

    Like

  5. Hey Kim,
    I’m finally, FINALLY, getting around to returning your last comment. I do apologize for taking so long! I tried three, count ’em three (3) times and everytime, somehow, my answer got erased before I could post it. SOOO annoying!!! Hopefully THIS time I’ll get it done! Another part of the problem is my glasses. I ordered a new pair with new lenses on February 6th or 10th or something like that (they took the money out of my account on February 12th), but after all this time, I STILL do not have them!! And the glasses I’m using (because I have no others) make me see double. I’ve called and called and called, and they keep telling me that the lab that makes the lenses keeps running into difficulties (i.e. scratches, cracks, etc.) I talked to the lady on Friday and she said that I should have them on Monday. That is tomorrow! I PRAY that’s what happens!! It’s hard to read and write and type when you’re seeing two of everything!!

    You are so right, forgiveness is definitely a process. I’ve heard it likened to the layers of an onion, and I really like that comparison. The deeper you get the stinkier it gets, but once it’s resolved there is such peace and relief.

    I love the cartoon. It was hilarious! And you’re right, who would have thought we could learn from a cartoon?! I also love that Michael Card song. He is such a gifted musician! He really ministers straight from God to us.

    I don’t have a hard time understanding what you’re saying, ever, Kim. You say it with such a kind and loving heart that it’s not hard to figure out what you mean. I love hearing your responses to what I write! You always know just the right things to say! I’m so grateful that you’re reading my posts!!

    Thank you for always being there for me!! I love you!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s