Breaking The Silence | Diannes Story Part Four
As time went on, there were many many women who were hurt by Michael. Some of them I only found out months later, after the fact. Michael would tell me about some of the women, usually really young girls from Africa. But as always when he would tell me about the newest one and I asked about the previous one, it was always THEIR FAULT for the “situationship” to end.
Things went on and on with Michael but the Congregation grew significantly. We had 10-12 members in the fellowship now, which was way more than usual. When we started there was Michael, Jackie, and myself….then came Debra, which she soon left after she was rebuked in the meeting. Then Jackie left, leaving me and Michael. I couldn’t figure out why no one was staying in the fellowship, until one day. He had convinced Jackie to come and reconcile. As they were discussing this, Jackie suddenly asks “ Does Dianne know about Us?” I noticed how Michael hurried and try to shut. She did not shut up and so he hung up on her. I didn’t realize at the time that Jackie was hurting. Just like all the other women. When I asked Michael what that was about and what Jackie meant, he told me that she was just being wicked and evil and that I shouldn’t concern myself with that wickedness. Again, I pushed it off and moved forward. Jackie left and was never discussed again. People kept coming to the fellowship but then suddenly would stop coming.
We finally got men into the fellowship and a family. I was pleased because I wasn’t the only one there. Jane who was “as we were and believed as we do, came to the fellowship along with her daughter. It was growing and we were all having interesting studies, and fun and great fellowship. Michael would cook dinner after fellowship for the locals and we would eat, listen to secular music while he cooked, and had a great time. Immediately after dinner, the group would leave. I always stayed behind to clean the mess up in the kitchen while Michael would sleep on the couch. I enjoyed the fellowship so much, that I didn’t mind doing anything. I would wait on the members who were all men except one. Edward, Jefferson, Benny ( Edwards’son), and Hazel, Edwards’daughter. Hazel hated being there, she always fell asleep during the study, and her brother Benny was always sitting under me. This boy was 18 years old and would get on my last nerve. Michael had seen me pushing Benny away from me numerous times. I even complained to Michael on occasion, that I really do not like the way this boy is trying to touch me in an inappropriate way. He responded that “I could not treat a brother like that”. One day after everyone left Michael came to me and said ” I saw how you treat Benny, and it’s not right. He loves you, he treats you like a mom”. Like a mom? Would he try to touch his mom in the way he is trying to touch me? It is inappropriate the way he is always sitting under me laying his head on my shoulder and stroking my arm. He would hug me and hold my breast next to him and would not let go. This made me feel really uncomfortable. Michael responded with “ If Benny comes to you and grabs your breast, you will have to take it. And if it becomes unbearable, then you do not say anything to him, but you come and tell me, and I will talk to him”. From that moment on, Michael would always “keep an eye on me” whenever Benny would ask me to get him some water or something with a “you better do it” look.
To me, the fellowship meetings started to get uncomfortable. NOt only that, but they also cost me a lot of energy and money too. I would have to drive and pick everybody up, bring them to the house, and after the meetings bring them back. I would like a private chauffeur for all of them. One that did not get paid. The funny thing is that Edward had a car, but Michael still expected me to drive around and pick everybody up. And, according to Michael, I could not complain, since I was doing it for my brother. Michael had developed the habit of using me as an example of how a woman should obey. He would do this in front of the men. He would rebuke me in front of Benny who saw that I didn’t like being a target of Michael’s power. He saw how I would get angry when Michael would again rebuke me in front of everybody like a little child.
One day. When Michael was trying another one of his power trips, I lashed out at him. I didn’t know that Benny was still in the house downstairs. Michael started to rebuke me again and I just snapped. “Okay, I’m not going to follow many more of your “EXAMPLES” of How much power you have over me”I yelled. “It STOPS NOW!!!!” Michael looked over at Benny and that’s when I discovered he was still in the house. I actually did not care that he heard me, I was glad he did. I was hoping that would make him see what a control freak Michael was.
I stopped pushing Benny away, instead, I let him know that hugging me and laying on my shoulder was not cool, he was okay with that.
As the months passed, some of the members were experiencing health issues, Edward in and out of the hospital, and so was Jessie. We would have the meetings at the hospital where they could be included…one day Edward asked me, “Why is Michael so hard on you? I can tell you guys have tension between you…what’s going on?” I told him nothing was going on and left it at that.
At the same time, Michael was telling me that Edward was the only one in the fellowship who “knows like he does what the truth is” Believe me, I was very surprised at this comment from him since he always boasted about being the only one that really understands the scriptures. He would go on and on about how nobody ever explained to him anything, but he would understand the scriptures since the age of 4. Michael tried to make me and anyone else see him as some kind of “wunderkind”l. As the weekly gathering continued, Michael and I had a falling out over money. I discovered that he was getting paid weekly by a networking marketing company for residual income. When I found out I automatically went off because he never paid any bills, bought any grocery, not anything. We had words, and he stopped talking to me. I would go out and come back in and speak to him and he would not even acknowledge I was there. I asked him: “How can you live in my house and not speak to me?” He said he could not ever have fellowship with me in any way. So I suggested that maybe it is time for him to move on then., He replied “ I will when I am ready… it will not be long” and he started to pack his bags. He set them by the front door.
The next day, Saturday, was fellowship day. Since Michael told me that he could not fellowship with me in any way, I decided not to go. which was fine with me. I was beginning to see how this man had used me over and over for two years. I was both angry and embarrassed. “ how could I have been so blind?”. My friends were telling me this all along, they had warned me, so many times on so many different occasions. It had to Stop! Suddenly my phone rang, it was Edward. He called me and told me he was sorry for not being at the meeting because one of his family members was in the hospital and he had to go and check on them. We talked for a few minutes but I didn’t say anything about Michael or the fallout. He asked me if everything was okay? I assured him I was fine. From that day on, Edward started to call me every day to ask if I was okay. I kept telling him that I was. That afternoon I went home. While I was in the kitchen, Michael asked me to talk with him for a few minutes. I did not want to talk because a week ago he said he was leaving I didn’t want him to change his mind. I really did not want to give him a chance of explaining or suggesting to stay longer, so I made a move to walk away. Before I even made one step, he grabbed me, broke my coffeepot and shoved me down to the couch and said “whenever I tell you to do something you will obey and do as I say” He continued while holding me ” I could hit you HARD right now and wouldn’t be wrong for doing it, If I killed you right Now I WOULD BE RIGHT!” By this time, I was being held down on the couch by him. I was furious! I looked at where my knee was positioned between his legs, and I looked him in the eye and said ” iF YOU DON’T GET YOUR DAMN HANDS OFF ME RIGHT NOW, YOU ARE GOING TO BE EATING YOUR BALLS” He immediately let go when he looked down at my knee. He backed off. I got up, straightened my clothes, got into my car, and left.
I was Furious and scared at the same time. Angry of how he tried to mistreat me again, and afraid of the look in his eyes when he was telling me how he could kill me and be right by it.
I think I was finally awake… I could see…I finally knew who I was dealing with…. he wasn’t a Man of God…not in any way!
I started to see the real Michael more and more, It wasn’t a pretty sight. Like every day, Edward called me and this time I poured my heart out. .He took me to lunch and we talked some more. He was SHOCKED by what I was going through. I begged him not to share these things with Michael because I wanted him to just leave without confrontation. Edward agreed