Together We Heal

Together We Heal is for any who suffer from the trauma of Childhood Sexual Abuse. We are here to provide a safe forum for survivors of abuse to share, learn and heal, give direction to those seeking guidance and to expose sexual predators for what they are and their methods of getting into our lives.


9 Comments

What’s Your Reason To Fly?

I witnessed something this morning that at first made me immensely sad. Initially I thought someone had thrown something at my sliding glass door. When I rose to see who had done it, instead I discovered a tiny blue bird lying on the ground at my feet. Its’ fragile body was twisted sideways and I could see its’ heart pounding from beneath its tattered feathers. As I got closer, it lowered its’ head, its’ heart began to beat slower and I almost started to tear up as I thought I was witnessing the end of this little creature’s life.

My dog was inside going nuts wanting to get to the bird, so I led her away, and truthfully, I really didn’t want to see it die. Strange thing, death. I did my internship at the DeKalb County Medical Examiner’s office in the summer of 1996. I witnessed all manner of death that year. Every conceivable way a person could naturally or horrifically come to their end. The extreme ways in which one or more persons would look into the face of the evil inside to take another’s life. And yet, with the exception of the children’s deaths I saw, I accepted it as the natural occurrence of events, handled myself in a professional manner, and gained knowledge, insight and compassion in what turned out to be a transformative time of my life.

But for some odd reason, I don’t do well with the death of an animal. Especially if it’s been a pet of mine. Knowing this about me, understand why I just couldn’t watch this bird die. So I went back to the couch knowing it wouldn’t be long. I settled my dog down, gave it a few minutes and returned to what I knew was going to be a sad moment.

What I saw before me was remarkable. This brittle-boned fowl had managed to somehow shake the cobwebs out of its little bird-brain, straightened out its feathers, and was teetering back and forth like a heavyweight boxer would had just been given an almost knockout blow! Oh he was wavering back and forth, but he wasn’t down for the count just yet!

I sat down in awe as he fought with every instinct in his body and spirit to regain his composure and his life! As the minutes went on, the rocking back and forth stopped, his heart rate normalized, and eventually he even started to look around as if to say, “What the heck just happened to me?!”

At this point I opened the door, used my cane to scoop him up and onto the shrubs outside my patio so he would be free from ground predators like snakes, rats, etc. You know we have a few of those down here in south Florida.

As I placed him on the shrub, he even started to get his wings flapping. He wasn’t ready to take off yet, but you could tell it was only a matter of time and he was going to be just fine! I was so relieved! I lay back on the couch, watched him for the next 20 minutes and then, BAM, off like a rocket he shot! Flew away as if nothing happened!

This got me reflecting on the “sliding glass doors” that I’ve flown into! After all I have been through; after having been sexually abused as a child, addicted to narcotics in an attempt to numb my emotional pain, arrested, imprisoned, divorced, fired, kicked out, knocked down, and as we say in the south…”felt like I’d been rode hard and put up wet!” How on earth did I manage to do like that little bird? How did I shake off those cobwebs, dust myself off and get back on my feet again? One word – RESILIENT. The human spirit is amazing that way. Like those little birds’ instincts, so ours is to survive at all costs, no matter what’s happened to us.

For that little bird, he was born to fly and that’s what he knew he had to do again. I had to figure out my reason to “fly again”. All of our drive and reasons to push on, to fly again, have as many variables and possibilities as we are individuals. For me, mine is to keep other children from going through what I did and to help my fellow survivors begin to heal. I gain a little more altitude each time a person comes to me and says, “What can I do to better protect my child?” Or when a survivor says, “Thank you for telling your story. When I heard what you said, I knew I could move forward too.” Let me tell you something folks, I’ve done a lot of drugs, I’ve been as high as any addict out there. But for me now, there is no better “high”, no greater lift, then when you know you have helped someone struggling with what you’ve also been through.

So let’s all learn a little lesson from that tiny blue bird. Figure out your reason to fight like hell to survive, and no matter what happens…

…find your reason to fly.


Leave a comment

Help Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse

A very dear friend of mine and our group “Together We Heal” is doing an AMAZING fundraiser for us. Her name is Angie Frazier Scrivner and she has dedicated a section for TWH on her webpage. While I have told her thank you a hundred times, there’s no way to truly thank someone for giving of themselves and using their business for such good, but I will do my best to try here.

Thank you so very much Angie for doing this for us. But more importantly what you are doing for the survivors of childhood sexual abuse that need this help.

For those that may not know, when we raise money, it goes directly to pay for counseling survivors of CSA that can either not afford it or do not have insurance to cover it. We do not have any “admin costs” or “executive fees” to pay to anyone. We operate solely for the benefit of survivors and raising awareness by public speaking on the issue of CSA. We do a monthly support group meeting here in Fort Lauderdale for the entire South Florida area and the location is provided to us at no charge. Nor do we ask any that attend to give money to pay for books, information packets, etc. We do what we do because every member of TWH is either a survivor themselves or related somehow to one and donates their time, energy and support out of a desire to help. We are truly blessed to have the team of volunteers we have.

Below you will see the link to the webpage. Please take a moment and consider making a purchase for a loved one or simply to help a survivor of CSA.

You don’t see me asking often, but every once in a while we do have to remind everybody that we are only able to do what we do with your help. Thank you for considering helping the survivors Together We Heal reaches.

Peace be with you,

David

http://m.houndstoothhunnyllc.net/FUNDRAISER-FOR-TWH.html


Leave a comment

Healing From Abuse – Roads to Recovery

Today, Joanna and the other good folks at The Good Men Project featured an article we posted on “Roads To Recovery”, therapies for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. If you hadn’t had the chance to read it before, please take this opportunity now. In it, we present everything from traditional to experimental methods. The main purpose is to find one that works for you and to show survivors ways they can move froward in their healing process. Please share with any who might find help and hope.

http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/hesaid-healing-from-abuse-roads-to-recovery/


6 Comments

The Abused Addict: The Ultimate Fight *Updated 2014*

This will be a little different than previous articles, in that, this is not so much solution based, as it is issue based. I want to bring to light an issue that many survivors of abuse have to deal with on a daily basis—Addiction—whether it is to alcohol, drugs or something else.

As an addict, you must first recognize that you are not “in control” and you are powerless to the addiction. And it is acknowledging that this “giving up control” enables the addict to begin their healing.

Meanwhile, as a survivor of abuse, while we are being abused we are also helpless and powerless and taking charge is empowering. Claiming power is a significant experience of healing. It enables us to reclaim what was taken from us when we were abused.

So, survivors who are also addicts have a razor thin line to walk (and just as sharp), of giving up control of addiction while regaining control from abuse.

Is it any wonder why so many fall back off the wagon, are never able to maintain a healthy mental/emotional/physical life, or even commit suicide?

We have these solutions that run simultaneous and contradictory to each other—the Ultimate Battle. This is why it’s so important to get professional help and seek the support from others such as AA/NA/SNAP and other support groups.

The statistics are remarkable. In a study of male survivors sexually abused as children, over 80% had a history of substance abuse. 75% of women in treatment programs for drug and alcohol abuse report having been sexually abused. Another 10-study program found there was a direct correlation to CSA and substance abuse.

Now full disclosure, in all of the research I read, I was able to find one psychiatrist who did not believe there was a correlation, but he did not produce any statistics or empirical data to support his argument. So it is my conclusion, both from my personal life experience and studies from all over the globe, this is something we cannot ignore.

I read in another article, instead of looking down at addicts and asking them, “What is wrong with you?” wouldn’t it be a more productive question to ask, “What happened to you?”

Very few services exist to help with both issues: addictions and abuse. It needs to be understood that the two go hand in hand. The services which do exist are often inadequate, requiring the individual to heal only on the therapist’s terms, or to “get clean first, then we’ll talk.” Often, if you make one mistake, you’re out of the addiction program. This isn’t fair. Only one out of every 100 people make it, perhaps because of the programs themselves.

And this is what happened to me, I had to address my addiction first before I was able to even acknowledge my abuse and face it. As they say in NA, “face life on life’s terms.” Once I got clean from narcotics, I was finally able to reach out to Dr. Light and confront my abuser, Frankie Wiley.

Now in reclaiming my power over my abuser, the addiction is not the issue it once was, and that is because my primary reason for using drugs was to numb myself from the pain of the abuse.

Now that I have had my abuser removed from three jobs where he had power over kids, I have regained my power, but I KNOW that I will NEVER have power over the narcotics—they control me in such a negative way that I can never do them without extreme, awful consequences.

Just because this is what worked for me, does not mean it will be the direction a fellow survivor will have to take as a path to healing. Seek the professional help that is available to you—we have therapists here and there are many others out there with other groups—if not here, just get help somewhere.

As I said, this is not a solution article. I just wanted folks to know what many survivors have to deal with and if someone in your life is going through this, maybe it will help you better understand what they are going through. Remember, love is patient and kind, and that is ultimately what we need in the battle we face—patience and kindness … and true love.

Michael and Cheryl Irving, two psychotherapists said in an article what I have been saying and feeling for years so I thought it best just to quote them:

“Survivors need to value themselves, to be true to themselves. Survivors often find it hard to say no to anything, and survivors need to fit in, so they often say yes…We need to understand that treatment for addictions is slow and progressive. You cannot help addicts quickly or with some other drug…Healing from addictions and abuse is possible and they often go hand in hand. It takes time, it takes trust.”

References:

Dr. Michael Irving
Mrs. Cheryl Irving
New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault
Mental Health Association in New York State
The Relationship Between Sexual Abuse and Addiction By Andrea Presnall, Argosy University
Dr. Stanton Peele

David Pittman Bio:

David spent years on a healing journey that continues to this very day. This led him to seek out groups specifically for men as well as those who had been through a similar trauma and ultimately inspired the foundation of Together We Heal, an organization focused on providing counseling and guidance for those who have suffered the trauma of childhood sexual abuse.
As the Executive Director of TWH, David works to educate the public through speaking and collaborating with other groups to raise awareness and expose the sexual predator’s methods. TWH now works with therapists, counselors and groups aiding both men and women in their efforts to heal, grow and thrive. He is also the South Florida Area Support Group Leader for SNAP, Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests.

TWH follows the saying, “you may be just one person to the world, but to one person you could be the world.”


68 Comments

Pedophiles are like Serial Killers – My Story

My name is David Pittman – For 30 years I kept a secret that almost killed me. From the time I was 12 until I was 15, I was sexually abused by a youth minister at Rehoboth Baptist Church in Tucker, Georgia. I was sexually molested and raped. His name is Frankie Wiley, full name Franklin Andrew Wiley. Due to the pathetic statute of limitation laws in Georgia and too many states throughout the USA, he walks free. Until recently he was serving as an associate minister at Trinity Baptist Church in Ashburn, Ga. While he no longer holds an “paid” position at the church, he still has a leadership role as the “Worship Leader” and has access to little boys because the pastor of the church defends him. I have been told they grew up together so he’s allowing this confessed child molester continued access to potential victims of sexual abuse.

In 2006, I found Frankie serving as youth minister at Jodeco Road Baptist Church, where Jerry Light was the Pastor. I contacted Pastor Light, told him my story and he and the Chairman of Deacons, after doing their due diligence, confronted Frankie. Frankie admitted to both men that he had sexually abused me and swore to them I was the only child this happened to. They fired him on the spot. He then went back to get help from a family at a previous church in Flowery Branch, Ga. When they were made aware of the circumstances, they too told him to leave. He returned to his hometown of Ashburn, Ga and got a job with the school as a substitute teacher. When I told the superintendent, Ray Jordan, he allowed Wiley to “resign”. Jordan belongs to the same church as Wiley. Fellow advocates continue to track his activity with children via social media and personal contacts. If you look at his social media pages, he has dozens and dozens of children as “friends”. Unfortunately, the internet has given him a whole new world of potential victims.

There is an important update I need to give you as the reader. I first posted this article in October of 2012, but as of February 27th, 2019, a total of 9 men have come forward, from 4 different churches, whose ages ranged from 9 to 15, that Frankie raped, molested or sexually assaulted in some way prior to, during or after the time he was sexually abusing me. Their words condemn Frankie as a liar, since he told church officials I was the only victim.

Their names are Cale Harbour, Christopher Elrod, Ray Harrell and sadly one is now deceased, Andy Harrell (Ray’s big brother). Andy gave me permission to use his name prior to is death in 2012. Unfortunately 4 others are not in a place of healing and told me “they just can’t talk about it right now” and I know how they feel. It’s how myself, Ray, Cale and Christopher felt for many years. But they reached out to me because they thought all this time they were the only ones and needed to talk to someone who understood what they had been through.

It’s important that you know how Frankie and other sexual predators like him operate. He invites 2-3 boys over to his house for sleepovers. He keeps 1 or 2 in another room and has the other boy stay with him in his bed. This is where the abuse and/or rape takes place. Or he will tell you that several boys are staying over and when you arrive, you are the only one…trapped.

These vultures go after others like myself who come from a family of divorce or worse. They take advantage of the vulnerability; a young boy simply wanting attention from a male role model. This is their “play”, also known as “grooming” and it eventually leads to the abuse. God only knows how many victims there actually are-which is why I am writing this.

The F.B.I. tells us that “an uncaught child molester has approximately 117 victims.” And one young man I mentioned, can no longer speak at all-he died in June 2012. According to what he told me, because of the shame and guilt from being molested by Frankie Wiley, he took drugs to numb the pain, the drugs lowered his ability to make proper decisions, and in the end it cost him his life. It seems clear to me that the blood of his death is on the hands of Frankie Wiley.

Since the state of Georgia has a pathetic statute of limitations on child rape, I am unable to bring him to justice. I called Mr. Kenneth Keene at the Georgia Baptist Convention to inform him of this pedophile using his church as a haven for hunting. His response was to pray for me and say “sorry but each church acts separately and there is nothing we can do.” After two conversations, I tried to tell him that Frankie had moved churches, but he stopped taking my calls and responding to my emails. It appears the Southern Baptist Convention, as an organization, is following in the footsteps of the Roman Catholic Church. It prefers to deny and cover-up, rather than own up to the evil within. It appears the Southern Baptist Convention and its churches would rather have more children abused, molested and raped, than to become proactive, get these pedophiles out of its churches and help victims.

But don’t just take my word for it, an organization has found countless leaders within the Baptist Church who know of instances of abuse and choose to do nothing. Mr. Keene is listed among them.

“The only thing needed for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.”
– Edmund Burke

http://stopbaptistpredators.org/blind_baptist_leaders.html

How many other adults out there have suffered this atrocity and are unable to bring their abusers to justice due to the insufficient laws held by almost every state in the land? Sexual predators know this and count on it. They count on us not saying anything until it is legally too late. The reason being, most survivors of abuse aren’t capable of acknowledging what happened to them until, on average, we are in our 30’s and 40’s. The statute of limitations in almost every state runs out between the ages of 18 to 23. It’s simple math for sexual predators and the organizations that protect them.

When Dr. Light contacted the pastor of Trinity Baptist, Rodney Brown, with verification that Frankie Wiley admitted to sexually molesting/abusing me, he said he would do was to bring it to the church. He lied, we had to tell the congregation ourselves. While Frankie is no longer a paid staff member, he is still active with the youth. What they fail to understand is these predators NEVER stop until they are caught and incarcerated or deceased. The deacons and leadership at Trinity are either ignorant, negligent or both in failing to protect the children within their care.

When I sent an email to the parents of Trinity Baptist, after the pastor failed to tell them, he called me and said I was a bad person. Pastor Rodney Brown said I was destroying “his” church, that I caused a split in “his” church. To which I replied, “pastor, first of all, it’s not YOUR church. The “church” is the people who make up the body of Christ, not the person standing in the pulpit. And who is the bad person here? Me, for letting the parents of Trinity know about an admitted child molester with access to their children, or you, who CHOSE to keep it secret until you were FORCED to admit what I told them was the truth? And hearing that the church split tells me that half of the people there didn’t agree with you in allowing this sexual predator to continue to be around their children.” Below you will find a link to Trinity Baptist Church where they proudly list Frankie as their worship leader. Is this the type of church you want to send your little boys and feel safe about doing it?

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ga/county/turner/trinity.html

And to any of the aforementioned people who would deny anything I have spelled out in this letter. I challenge them to submit to a lie-detector test. I am more than willing to do so and testify under oath. Myself, Cale and Christopher have the one thing they don’t…the truth.

I wonder how many parents of the children Jerry Sandusky molested wished they had this kind of information. How many little boys would still have their innocence? How many little boys would have been protected? To me, this pastor is almost WORSE than the pedophile. A pedophile is sick and won’t stop until incarcerated or deceased. Rodney Brown, like the administrators at Penn State, or the church leaders in the RCC, CHOOSE to protect the monster in their midst.

My childhood voice was strangled by the rope of molestation. My assailant is free (for now), but with your help other victims will have the courage to come forward in time to incarcerate these predators. Most survivors have a similar feeling; that of feeling trapped—having to relive the crime that keeps them silent, it even costs some of them their lives. Too many have committed suicide because they did not have the tools to handle the trauma, others (including myself) turned to drugs and alcohol to numb their pain (many times ending in an overdose). And even more who are never able to have any kind of life. No loving relationships, no lasting friendships, no children to show true parental love – all due to the pain caused by the crime of abuse, molestation and rape.

palsk image

 

I was told by a GBI investigator in 2006 something that has stuck with me to this day…“a pedophile is like a serial killer that leaves their victims alive.”

I believe that most accurately describes a pedophile/sexual predator. It’s truth articulated. Read it again and really think on the words. Think about a little child, trapped, unable to fight off the attack. And then, unlike a murder victim, that little child has to relive each and every assault for the rest of their days.

Frankie served as a music and/or youth minister at the following churches from the mid to late 70’s to 2011 – if you or anyone you know has concerns or questions, please contact me.

Pinecrest Baptist Church, Cordele, Ga.
Rehoboth Baptist, Tucker, Ga.
Second Avenue Baptist, Rome, Ga.

Tom’s Creek Baptist Church, Toccoa, Ga,

Poplar Springs Baptist Church

Grace Baptist Church, Gainesville, Ga
A Baptist church in Flowery Branch, Ga.
Jodeco Road Baptist, Stockbridge, Ga.
Trinity Baptist, Ashburn, Ga.

He also worked as a substitute teacher at the local school system in Ashburn, Ga., sometime around 2009-2011.

If you or anyone you know has been sexually abused by Frankie Wiley or by anyone, please reach out to someone, things are different now, you WILL be believed, you are NOT alone. Please, reach out…there are people you can trust now.

9/25/2013 – An Update on the Pedophile/Sexual Predator, Frankie Wiley…

There is now an even more recent update that further validates everything we’ve mentioned, and reaffirms all we knew. I am posting what ANOTHER victim of Frankie Wiley sent me. You can read it after the *** marks and my thoughts follow after.

Here is this victims story…please read how to this day he feels responsible for what Frankie did to him. That’s the control these predators have over children…

*****

I just wanted to let you know that I too encountered Frankie Wiley in my youth, growing up in Ashburn GA. It was pretty well-known in the ’70s that he was molesting kids. I know of several other boys besides myself during that time. I see you also mention Rodney Brown, and if that is the old Pastor Brown’s son from Sycamore, then he knew about Frankie back then too. I think Rodney was about Frankie’s age, or maybe a few years older, and he and his brother Eddie both knew about Frankie, heck just about everyone in town did. Back then people just called him queer and other names and kind of turned their back, perhaps most not really knowing that he was actually molesting young boys in the church. But all the kids knew. This is when Frankie was in his 20s and he was always involved in leading some kind of youth group. He particularly liked to organize campouts for boys. You get the idea.

At the time when I ended all contact with Frankie, despite his efforts to contact me, I believe he was the Minister of Music at a church in Cordele, GA. That doesn’t seem to be on your list. This would have been somewhere around 1975 or 76. Seems like he was also involved in a church musical group called Maranatha out of Cordele too.

From time to time over the years I’ve looked online to see if he ever got caught or punished, and this website (together-we-heal.org) is the first time I ever found anything mentioning him. Apparently he still goes UNPUNISHED and UNREFORMED. In my case this was nearly 40 years ago, so that would make him in his mid-60’s now I think. And he’s probably done the same stuff for 40 years. Even though there were at least 3 incidents I recall, I’ve lived a pretty normal life and been able to cope, I think. I’m sure the scars have caused me some problems, but I’ve never talked about it and never told anyone that I was molested as a child, much less publicly accused Frankie. I’m probably not interested in coming forward now either, after all these years. But after finding this site I had to at least post a note. I’ve put in an email address that will actually reach me, it’s real but anonymized.

If I can provide any information that will help your cause then I’ll consider it, but I’ll probably not make my own identity public. I don’t really want to open up that old wound again, and don’t really want to admit to people who know me that this happened. Yes I was a child, but I feel like I somehow allowed it to happen too, being at a very susceptible age. So I remain ashamed to this day.

*****

Notice how this latest victim coming forward feels responsible for what Frankie did to him? This is why we must protect the children that are currently in harm’s way. Even after being sexually abused, the victim often times feels as though it was something they did to allow it to happen. The ONLY one to blame here is Frankie Wiley! Frankie is the sexual predator. This child did NOTHING to deserve this. Help us to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse, educate families on keeping children safer and identifying and prosecuting predators like Wiley.

At one time I thought I was the only person Frankie Wiley sexually molested while I was in the youth group at Rehoboth Baptist Church in Tucker, Ga. I have since learned that there were more before me, at Rehoboth, and several after at other churches. Today I learned this goes back long before RBC. And this also exposes another lie Frankie has told in his attempt to justify his pedophile and sexual predatory actions. He told me the reason he molested and raped me was because he was raped in seminary. Not that it’s any type of rationale, just the reason he gave. It turns out, he’s been molesting little boys for a long time before that. Below is a comment posted to the TWH website from a victim of Frankie’s that happened long before Rehoboth and seminary and the cover-up that’s been going on to protect him. This folks, is why we do what we do. To this day, Frankie has access to little boys and we have to expose him for what he is to try to protect them from going through what an untold number of little boys already have. Please call Trinity Baptist Church in Ashburn, Ga and demand they remove Frankie’s access to children before another falls victim.

There are many other “Frankie’s” out there. Please help us name them so we can help those in need receive the healing they so desperately deserve!

Copyright © 2013 Together We Heal