I was two years old when my mother abruptly died from a hemorrhaging brain aneurysm. Less than a year after her death, my dad married a woman named Judy. Judy had an uncle whose name was Clyde Corbin.
I don’t remember all of the details, but for some reason, my dad and new stepmother used to drop me off at Clyde’s house to spend the night.
While staying at his house, he frequently took me to carnivals and parks. He also took me shopping for toys, and ice cream. The days I spent at “Uncle Clyde’s" house were fun. When night fell, the demons emerged, and his house turned in to a living hell, leaving me paralyzed with fear.
Clyde would wait until his wife (Ann) would go to sleep. He would then come into my bedroom, lead me into a front room, and make me perform *** acts on him. (I’ll refrain from giving full details. ) When this started, I was about three years old; the frequency of nights spent there, was at least twice a month.
Clyde was successful at making me submit to what he wanted because he quietly mumbled threats under his breath.
The most frequent threats were “If you tell your dad what’s happening, he’ll hate you" or “If you scream, make any noises, tell Ann, or anyone else, you’re gonna be in a LOT of trouble. "
His mind control gripped me with anxiety every night I stayed in his home. When daylight arrived, Ann would awake and my fears would ease. Soon after waking, my dad would arrive to pick me up, but I was too afraid to tell him what happened.
At age ten, my dad and Judy divorced. The pain of their divorce was almost unbearable (Judy was the only mother I had ever known).
The divorce did become a turning point in my life though, because I realized my dad wouldn’t be taking me back to Clyde’s house. This realization liberated me from the fear and I was finally able to confess to my dad.
My dad was hurt to find out what happened, but he never took it any further. He assured me this type of thing would never happen again, I was safe now, and that was good enough for me.
From age 10 to 19, I had no recollection of any of the events that occurred during those years of staying with Clyde. I suppose the Lord had intervened and had blocked all memories of those traumatic events. The Lord did this to preserve my sanity.
At age 19 while watching a t. v. show, something I saw on t. v. triggered some of the memories from when I was a child. Within a few days, I had remembered everything Clyde Corbin “got away with. "
Angered by the memories, I decided to track him down and give him a “piece of my mind. " I really wanted him to suffer for what he had put me through as an innocent child.
I wanted to tell his wife Ann that her husband was a child molester and I wanted him to suffer extreme emotional pain.
Vengence was on my mind and I was determined to “get him back. "
As far as I know, the statute of limitations had run out for me to try having him convicted, so confronting him as an adult to find out why he did those things was the only recourse I had.
I located Clyde’s phone number through my ex-step-brother, who had no idea why I wanted to reach him but gave me the number anyway.
When I was finally able to reach Clyde by phone, he sounded shocked to hear my voice. His first reaction was to ask if I had told his wife Ann. The next thing he did was deny, deny, deny. He said he didn’t know what I was talking about and that I needed to leave him alone.
I continued asking him why, but he refused to acknowledge his guilt. He said he was an old man, and that he was sick and about to die.
I told him I didn’t care if he died and demanded an answer to my “why" questions. He finally hung up on me.
By this time, I could literally feel steam coming from my head and eyes. Infuriated, I decided to call him back to give him a piece of my mind, but he never answered the phone. Two days later, he had the phone number changed.
When I was twenty- three years old, I gave my heart to Jesus and he instructed me to forgive Clyde. This was a grand task I thought, and wasn’t sure I could do it.
Jesus asked one question which changed my entire point of view. Jesus asked, “Is it possible Clyde Corbin was also molested when he was a child?"
I pondered the question and actually started feeling sorry for Clyde. For the first time in my life, I felt compassion for him. I found myself kneeling in prayer asking God to forgive Clyde for his mistakes. I also asked God to forgive me for becoming so bitter and angry.
Once I finally forgave Clyde in my heart, I experienced a new freedom and peace of mind I hadn’t felt for years.
Renae Patterson is a wife and mother of three girls (One of which has already gone to be with the Lord) and one son. When she is not taking care of the little ones, she’s busy editing for the online magazine Christian Woman Daily. Com located at http://www.christianwomandaily.com