Sunday, September 20, 2009

Day Sixteen - On a roll

I can tell you a lot about my life but I'm choosing to share mostly the parts that I believe were impacted by the relationship I had with Jack.  Although, I am who I am today, good or bad, because of this experience.

In the summer of 1976, I graduated from high school having just turned 17 the previous February. There was only one person in my class younger than me. My last two years of school came with a great deal of fun and full of really great memories. I was a cheerleader, a member of the gymnastic team, had a lot of friends and seemed to get a long without many issues. Some of my classmates might remember a little differently.

Upon graduation, as did most students, I prepared to leave to go to college in the States. My parents weren't coming with me because back then they were only able to leave the mission field once every five years. We had just returned to Japan in 1974.

I left the Tokyo (Haneda)  airport leaving my mom, my dad and my little brother heading towards bigger and better things or so they said. I gave them each a hug and noticed that my dad began tearing up a little, my mom, however, remained stoic. I cried all the way down the walkway to the plane. I arrived, by myself, at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). I had to go from the international wing of the airport to the domestic wing by myself. This task to me seemed incredibly enormous, especially for a 17 year old who really didn't have a home in this land and was alone for the first time in her travels. 

I flew to Washington, D.C. to visit my brother, my sister-in-law and neice for a short time. I then flew to North Carolina to visit my friends from my sophomore year with hopes to rekindle a relationship that had ended due to distance. From North Carolina I flew to Mississippi and joined my sister who was attending Mississippi College.

My first year at Mississippi College was miserable. I dormed with a stranger who was from Shaw, Mississippi. I didn't even know there was a Shaw, Mississippi. I struggled immensely with many different things. I couldn't call my parents because in 1976 the international phone rates were extremely unreasonable. A five minute call could cost up to $20.00. We didn't have $20.00 for a phone call.

That fall my dad experienced some difficulties with his heart. His doctor in Japan didn't think it was prudent for him to stay in Japan and urged him to immediately return to the States and receive medical treatment there. Fortunately for me, they came back to the States and stayed in Mississippi at my grandmother's house only one hour away from me. I don't know what would have happened to me that year had they not come home. They stayed until January of 1977 when they returned to Japan with my little brother.

During college I struggled with several different things. I worked at a local pizza place where all the law students met and studied. They became my friends and I started hanging out with them. One of the law students started to pursue me. He was 30 years old and I was 18. He bought me presents, took me out to dinner but I wasn't really interested in him. He would not leave me alone. One night at a party, he stopped me in the corridor and told me he would give me $2,000 if I would date him. He proceeded to put 20 $100 bills in my hand. I looked at him and said, "What, do I look like a prostitute?" Eventually, however, he was able to wear me down and I ended up dating him. As you can imagine, that relationship was a very unhealthy. We dated for a little less than a year. He expected me to conform to his 30 year old status while I was still experiencing youth. I wanted to go to a movie, he wanted to go to an antique auction. I wanted to go out and dance, he wanted to go eat at Shoney's. You get the picture. While in this relationship I developed severe anorexia. I went from a size eight to a size three and that was even baggy! I would run five miles everyday and eat virtually nothing. I still thought I was fat. It didn't help that my boyfriend would say things to me that caused me to think I was still fat. He did things that humiliated me. He alienated me from my friends and family. I was isolated and alone. He wouldn't let me communicate with anyone who cared about me.

That first summer after my freshman year I returned to Japan for my one trip provided by the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board.  I continued to struggle with anorexia and managed it by swimming, walking, and running, eating very little and using laxatives.  My poor mother struggled with her weight and I obviously was very judgmental because she saw it necessary to hide her cookies when I entered the room.  While in Japan, my 30 year old boyfriend wrote letters to me and I to him.  This was before all the modern technology of skype or cell phones or even email.  I returned to the states in August for my second year at Mississippi College.

After living in the dorm the first two semesters, I petitioned the school to allow me to live off campus.  In the 70's school policies were designed to discriminate against women.  If the school closed over the holiday's, one of the men's dorms remained open for those men who were exchange students but there were no women's dorms left open. That meant if you didn't have any place to go you were stuck.  So there were several holidays that I slept in my bosses car, office (on a sofa) or on a bench at the pizza parlor.  Often, when people found out where I was staying, they would offer for me to stay in their home.  Because I didn't have transportation, I couldn't drive to my aunts house one hour south of me, nor did I feel that the relationships I had were appropriate for me to ask if I could stay with anyone during the holidays.  So, in the fall of my sophomore year, I moved into a small one bedroom duplex next to the laundry mat and pizza parlor.  

Upon my return to Mississippi that fall, I finally convinced him to take me to a movie. We were sitting in the movie and I remember him saying something to me that made me mad. I must have said something to him, don't remember what, when he jabbed me in the ribs with his elbow. That was it!! He drove me home and I broke it off. He couldn't understand why I would break it off. For at least a month he harassed me, sending me flowers, and even proposed with a diamond ring!

To get away from him, over the Thanksgiving holiday I went to visit my older brother who then lived in Cleveland, Ohio. That was the weekend of the Jim Jones massacre in Jonestown. It happened on November 18, 1978. I remember watching the news fascinated and scared because I really couldn't grasp what was happening. Here was this master manipulator walking his followers to their death. Unbelievable! How could anyone be so vulnerable to someone like that? I didn't realize that only 7 years before, I was being manipulated and subject to something similar, only thank God not that!!

I came back to school after the holidays only to find out that this guy I had broken up with went into my apartment and took the letters we had exchanged the previous summer out of the trash and placed them all over the apartment. What I didn't know was my duplex mates had asked him to stay in their side of the duplex during the holidays while they returned to Florida. It was then I decided that in order for me to continue to function I had to leave. After the first semester of my sophomore year I moved to Gainesville, Florida to live with my two sisters.

While I lived in Gainesville, I gained back all of the weight I lost. I worked at a local restaurant waiting on tables and allowed my body, mind and soul to heal. I couldn't have done it without my two sisters. I considered transferring to Baylor the next semester but at the end decided to return to Mississippi College.  As soon as I began thinking about returning to Mississippi I started loosing weight again.  When I arrive back at Mississippi College I was once again a size 3.  Slowly, during that year I gained back some of the weight and began living a little more of a stable life. 

Upon my return to MC, I felt stronger and able to make it on my own. I found a little apartment for $75.00 a month. It was perfect for me and provided my own little place to finish out my schooling. I knew that I wanted to get a degree and by this time had switched majors from music to business. I excelled in the business school and finally graduated in 1981.

My old boyfriend?  When I got back to Mississippi he was married to a woman who had five children.  Go figure.  

In 1980, I fell in love with my soon to be husband. We married in September of 1981 in Dallas, Texas. We will celebrate our 28th anniversary on Saturday, September 26, 2009. [Now 34 years] We lived in Dallas, Texas for a while where our first son was born. We then moved several times, first to Austin, Texas then to Tennessee where my husband began his career job. We had three more children all born in Tennessee.

During our time in Tennessee, my husband was a member of the Rotary club that met once a week. Once or more a year they would invite the spouses of the members to lunch. This particular day they had a woman speak to the club about child abuse. She was explaining how rampant child abuse was and began stating statistics. She asked, "Did you know that 25 % of all Americans have been sexually abused?" I was listening to her and started thinking, that's one out of four people. That means at our table of eight, two people here have been sexually abused. That's when it hit me. I was one of the statistics. I had been sexually abused. Wow, what a revelation! Although, I guess I knew it before, I really had not defined it in those terms. But, even with that revelation, there really wasn't anything I could do about it now. I went on trying to live my life, attempting to be a good wife, mother and friend.

This was in 1983 or 1984. I was 24 or 25.

In 1990, while still living in Tennessee, my husband and I flew to Los Angeles to attend the first "70's" reunion held in Long Beach, California. We attended with both of my sisters. I was so excited to reconnect with old friends. During the planning stages of the reunion we received information about different plans for the reunion. We received the schedule and another request in the mail. This request was to vote for your favorite teacher. I don't remember exactly what I did, whether I voted or not. I do recall, however, realizing that there would be a very good possibility that Jack Moyer would be nominated and possibly win the nomination. I didn't think I would be able to stomach that.

So all of my excitement to reconnect with friends was now replaced with fear of his nomination for favorite teacher. I decided to covertly contact the reunion committee and tell them a little of my story. I did let them know that if he was nominated that I would have to say something at the reunion about it and expose him for who he really was. I didn't know at the time that he had won the nomination and they had already told him.

His secret perpetuated even into 1990. Unbelievable!! The reunion committee some how explained to him that they had to withdraw his nomination. I don't know exactly what happened, what they said, or how he took it but somehow they did it. I do believe that the school finally knew, without being officially told, that they had a pedophile working for them.

You see, anytime I had any contact with the school, be it at a reunion, receiving literature in the mail, or getting on the website to look at the content, I was reminded about the three years of abuse. His name and successes were constantly at the forefront. Even after the school was notified via the reunion committee he continued to work for them. It is amazing to me how people can turn a blind eye to sexual abuse only to preserve the benefits they are receiving by doing so. He was a famous teacher, worked with Jane Goodall, published several important science books, saved the islands from destruction. Exposing him would expose them.

© Copyright 2009 Janet Calcote Simmons All rights reserved.

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