Saturday, November 14, 2009

Day Fifty-four - Live Life to its Fullest?

If you care to bear with me while I write a little about my ramblings I'm going to digress into some basic thoughts about things. If you want to skip this, please do.

The other day I was thinking about several things. One was the often heard phrase or sentiment, "Live life to its fullest!"

For several days before this, I was grappling with the verse from the Bible, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
1 Corinthians 10:31.

Now, I know some of you who are reading this don't share the same beliefs as I do, however, thank you for bearing with me through this. Just for this reading, start with the supposition that there really is a God. And this God is all loving, all knowing, creator of the universe, gracious, merciful and just, perfect in every way. Hopefully, now you can see how I am looking at these two statements.

So, I was thinking about living life to its fullest while sitting in my living room listening to my now 17 year old playing the guitar he got for his birthday. Shortly after, my 14 year old came in and began playing the keyboard. Then the dog came in and started harassing the cat (now you can sort of see how my household is - my sisters can vouch for this!!). I was just sitting on the couch with a glass of wine, trying to enjoy the moment (living life to the fullest!!) but as I started contemplating this, I began seeing a problem with this sentiment. If we all are living life to its fullest, but while doing so, have no consideration of those around us then because of our own goal of living life to the fullest, we may be robbing another person of their joy.

Take my cat, Blair, who was just sitting there minding her own business - enjoying our presence. Well, her peace and solitude was completely interrupted by my little dog, Polly was doing what she wanted to by barking and lunging at Blair. Polly's actions of doing what came most naturally to her completely disrupted the peace and tranquility of Blair. In the same way, when my 14 year old came in to play the piano while my 17 year old was playing the guitar, he interrupted the goal that my 17 year old had of wanting to play his new guitar while we were listening to him. Do you see where I'm going with this?

I started comparing that to the verse, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God." Supposing that there is a God, if our our behavior is constantly being filter through this, what would that look like? Rather than our "living life to its fullest" no matter the consequences to us or others, if we do everything to the glory of God, then our actions and life would be completely different. I wouldn't respond to my husband or children with frustration but with love and respect. I wouldn't cut people off while I'm driving and would be kinder to people who I don't like. I would love continuously even when I don't want to. Really - isn't this what we all desire?

I have really been trying to concentrate on this verse and try to do this. Do you know, it's really hard!! In fact, it's impossible!! Lots of time I don't remember I'm concentrating on that verse. I don't even think about God. I think someone called that selective atheism or something like that.

As I write about our journey I see that while Jack was, "living life to the fullest", children were being abused. I also see in some of my communications and actions later, I didn't concentrate on the verse, "do it all to the glory of God." This puts us all in the same dilemma. None of us are able act, do, perform, serve, behave, or think in the way God desires us to. So, what do we do about that?

For me, that places me firmly on the level ground in front of the cross - for God sent his provision (himself- his son) to bear the burden of my failures. Thanks be to God.

I really am thankful that you were willing to read this. :)

Day Fifty-four - New Communication to Jack

So, sometime between Thanksgiving and the first of December Michelle sent Jack an email. This is what it said.

Janet and I have both been investigating your history of inappropriate behavior with children for some time now.

We very much appreciate the candidness in your past letters as well as your willingness to communicate with us. We strongly recommend maintaining this level of honesty and cooperation with us. Happily, it sounds like you are willing to do this. We really want to resolve this matter with as little collateral damage as possible. However, we need more information. We have both read your letters, and need to do a little more investigating before we respond to you. I sincerely promise we won't do anything that would hurt or embarrass your wife and children. But your honesty is key here, I hope you can appreciate that.

For starters, we really don't think it would be wise for you to contact any of your old victims directly. Our experience with those we have encountered so far is that they would only suffer further violation and pain to hear from you out of the blue. We sincerely appreciate your desire to make direct and immediate amends, but trust us to handle this from the perspective of the violated child. Let us do that for you. We can provide a much safer shield for everyone all around while maintaining privacy and discretion. If someone wants to communicate directly with you, we will be more happy to set it up as we know how healing this can be.

In your letters, you have encouraged us to check some if these facts out on our own, so if you don't mind, we'd like to take you up on that. Your wife left a phone number with Janet that was written down incorrectly. Could you please email me the correct one. I would like to speak to her myself. I will be as courteous to her as Janet was.

Also, I want the last two known addresses of both XXX and XXX. We want to contact them too. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Michele Connor
Victim Advocate/Miyake Survivors Group

(I never knew until I just re-read this email that Michele had signed it with the "Victim Advocate/Miyake Survivors Group. I find that really kind of funny actually. )

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Day Fifty-three

I started to write last night but was so tired I was falling asleep at the computer. I don't know if I mentioned this or not but after I was able to decrypt three of the five files Michele sent. It is taking an enormous amount of time reading through them. For example, the first file is 66 pages. The second is 144 pages and the third is 156 pages. So, between and full time job, a full time wife and mother and football, I don't have much discretionary time to filter through all of the correspondence. However!! This morning I discovered several messages that fit the time line of late November and early December.

Just wanted to recap and remind you (and me) of somethings. Some ( a lot) of our correspondence was done verbally via telephone or in person. So, I'm having a hard enough time remembering my name much less a conversation I had with someone 6 years ago. I'm not sure that we have all the written correspondence associated with our endeavors, either. I am attempting to remember it as much the way it was as possible but there are more than likely discrepancies of time and of instances because of the lapse of time since 2003.

As I mentioned in a previous post, after I returned home from my parents from Thanksgiving and Jack had left a message on my answering service, it was evident that we needed to switch things up. At this point Michele took more of the initiative with Jack and I backed off waiting to hear from her. Here is her initial response to his first emails.

Dear Janet,
Thanks so much for sending the letters to me. I can see why this posed such a quandary to you. Its long, rambling, and its hard to reconcile some of the time frames that he mentions. Also, I can see how he pushes all emotional buttons. Its hard to remain indifferent to his suffering. He certainly trotted it all out, the psychological suffering, the poverty stricken wife, the huge loan overshadowing them, his old age, his heart attack, his suicide attempts, his loneliness, his hermetic lifestyle, his great love for his children, his great affection for US. I don't think he missed a single beat.

May I just throw out some thoughts that I have after reading it? Many you have mentioned already...but I just want to go over a way, it helps desensitize me by doing this. He justifies his attraction to kids as a way of resolving his terrible, terrible, loneliness. He was never a "cold plotting predator", just a lonely, isolated guy with no-one else to turn to. The kids were just there. Can you blame him? He was all by himself on Miyake with nothing but the fish he was studying. He had a great affection for us kids. He really loved us! (I never saw him as a confused, messed up individual, did you? I thought he was pretty organized and friendly and got along well with people.)

He quit ASIJ in 1984 after he got his Doctoral Degree. How does that fit in with him "leaving in 2000"? Do you suppose he left and came back purely "off-campus"? Could something have happened in 1984 involving a child. I can't believe that ASIJ fired him in 2000 based on one letter, judging by their historical inactivity. I'm beginning to suspect other stuff happened. I really want to know who those other 2 were. Maybe he got caught two other times?

"I think my children should have roots, and they will live in the Philippines after I die, (many, many references to his death), so it is best they get a good education there." In justifying why they are there, and he is is Japan, this sentence makes absolutely no sense to me whatsoever. If anything, it has to be more expensive for him because he is maintaining two households. I think it has to do with his old wife. How does he explain us living in Tokyo, knowing we would end up in the US or another country after we graduated. Its totally hypocritical.

Don't go after me. If you do, you will only be hurting my children and my poverty stricken (extreme!), subsistence-level existing wife who has a huge $40,000 loan hanging over her head. I have only a limited, fixed income. I need my schools for the survival of my family. I live alone at the edge of poverty and send all the money I earn to help my wife and kids. Exposing me will destroy THEM not me. Remember for the first time in my life, I found peace and happiness with them. He lived alone while still working with the ASIJ Miyake program, because he had a heart attack, and needed his 8 hours of sleep, not because he couldn't be near children.

He is consultant, administrator and adviser to programs that work with children. But he does not live with children or interact with them by himself. He doesn't even know the kids names or remember their faces. I find this a tad difficult to imagine. Do you suppose he just remembers their bodies?

Just thoughts to throw into the air. Let me know when you hear from him. I will wait until you do. I have some other questions for him, mostly financial ones to start with. I'm sure he has a pension from the school. In the Philippines, a third world country, a small pension can go a very very long way. Most of San Miguel are retirees living like kings on their meager pensions.

One very good thing about these letters are, he does admit that he is/was a pedophile.

I sent an email to ASIJ today, to push them into some action. I have waited a month, I think its time for some answers about some programs. A friend is sending me a telephone directory with all the current students, names, addresses and telephone numbers. I told him I don't want to start contacting these parents on my own, I would rather do it with the blessing and in conjunction with, ASIJ. But it was a bit assertive.

I told him you heard from Jack and that Jack admitted to his pedophilia, nothing more. And that it doesn't let ASIJ off the hook in terms of their lack of responsiveness. This admission of his is a tremendous relief isn't it? I guess this is more than I ever expected.

Thanks and love,

Gotta run. School and work! I'll write more later.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Day Fifty-two - Child Slavery - Trafficing children

(I started this post earlier in the week but life and circumstances have gotten in the way of my posting anything yet. I'm not completely finished with this but I'm going to post what I have with the hopes that I can write tonight after Catholic High's Open House - for which I am volunteering.)

Last week I received an email from a MK friend who I just reconnected with during our SBMK reunion in October. She is my oldest brother's and sister's age so was at ASIJ during the late 60's. When she wrote the email she didn't realize that she was affirming for me exactly the response I had hoped for from someone who didn't or doesn't know me now. I don't plan to share the entire email as it's personal but I do want to share a few of the comments that mean a lot to me.
"I am glad I got to see you as an adult before learning so much about Jack's attacks on you, because I can see that despite his best efforts, he did not destroy you, and you are a beautiful woman, inside and out. I’m not sure what I would’ve pictured if I’d read your blog entries first. I probably would’ve tried to imagine what a mess I’d be if I’d been sexually abused for 3 years by an adult, not to mention a teacher I idealized, and then on top of that, felt I had to keep it all inside. The situation is so shocking that there are no words in the English language to describe it. I’ve been reading your blog since you told me about it and I’ve completely worn out the word “appalling” in my head. It’s come to mind so much that it’s lost its meaning and I need to come up with something stronger to replace it."
I also had lunch with a friend yesterday and she said, "I don't really know how to say this but as I'm reading your blog I see that you aren't wallowing in it." Again, I am very thankful for these kind of responses because as I've tried to express that I'm not seeking pity or even compassion. I've already dealt with the implications of this and have gone through that mess. This is just an attempt to share what this "mess" looks like from the inside.
So thank you friends (you know who you are) for supporting me with your encouraging words.
The other day my husband, oldest son and I stopped at a local chinese restaurant for lunch. As we were walking in a huge billboard above the restaurant posted, "Stop Child Slavery - Go to" Well, it might be good for you to visit that website. It is amazing how children are still being exploited in this day and age.
That's why when I read an email like the one Michele got from another ASIJ student I continue to be amazed.
Dear Michele,
During our first or second mini-reunion at your house with the girls, the subject of Jack's pedophilia came up. I was appalled and could only think about the children he was now coming in contact with. I did not ask you or the others for permission but when I got back home the first thing I did was call ASIJ.

I said it was an emergency and I received a call back from the headmaster. I recounted to him the tale of sexual abuse I had been made aware of. I had been reading about what a great program Jack was running at Miyake and could only feel fear for those children. Would you believe his (the headmaster's) reaction?

He did not in any way acknowledge Jack's activities, I don't know if he knew or not. All he said to me is "don't you know, he is happily married with children?" And all I could say to him is that "that's never stopped anyone before."

He also said that the Miyake children were always with many people and never alone with Jack anyway. To that, I responded that if that's what he thought of Jack, then Jack should not be with children. And then I heard nothing about it, not from him, the Board, nothing.

When was that Michele? 1996 or 1997?
Does that mean that the headmaster did nothing to tell the school that I had contacted him or confront Jack till 2003? 8 long years? I hope not but who knows.

I'm so glad you finally had the courage and conviction to confront him and the school.
Now, what to do about the headmaster if indeed he did nothing from when he talked with me untill 2003?
Much love, ( I deleted the name of the person who wrote the email.)

So again and again and again the school was told, given an opportunity to something and they did nothing!! Unbelievable.

I must run and get ready for work but will begin tonight to tackle December of 2003. As more and more communications came in from different people the list and number of those he abused continued to grow. Well beyond his own memory of those girls. That is another example of his narcissistic psychopathy that continued to prevail in his emails.

Sorry I've been so long in posting. I'll get back on track and hopefully get through this story before too long. As always, I love to hear feedback so keep on commenting as I go along. Stay posted!! Protect your children. Give to organizations who help protect children!!