January 29, 2015

Dr. Phil 2

I was contacted by a producer of Dr. Phil around the end of November. Among the things they assured me in order to get me to agree to be on the show were the promises that I wouldn't have to confront my dad, that he wouldn't know what I was saying to them, and that Dr. Phil was an advocate for children and would let me speak. 

Although they said all those things, I was initially very skeptical. I didn't believe they would follow through with their promises and didn't see how the show would be a positive resource or outlet (and definitely not a final solution) for helping me help my sisters be safe from our dad's abuse. After years of the court system failing me and my sisters, my sisters running in July 2014, and all the ways my dad has attempted to keep me silenced in court since then, and all the ways my dad and his supporters have tried to scare me into backing down, I was almost to the point where I didn't think there was anything that could do to help my family's situation. I was losing hope.

Around this time, a lot of people told me they thought it would be a good thing to go on the show. I had family and friends who had seen highlights of shows where Dr. Phil stood up for the child, and the producers continued to tell me the same thing: that he was going to let me speak. I was very hopeful for that, because I felt that if my dad and I were able to civilly talk without him interrupting me like he had always done, maybe we could be a step closer to finding a compromise; a resolution.

I made a deal with the producers that I would go on the show only if I didn't

January 28, 2015

Dr. Phil

In the end of November, I was approached by an interested producer of Dr. Phil’s with the possibility to be on his show. I was led to believe that the show was on my side, ready to help me defend myself and my sisters from an abusive home life with our dad. During the process of being asked questions about the situation, I wondered if it was a good idea to trust Dr. Phil or not. I decided that I felt (and still feel) that shining as bright a light as possible on my sister’s situation is the best chance of them being protected and everything being resolved. Between our dad’s extreme emotional abuse and alienation, the court officials shredding our trust and failing us, and thousands of people jumping on my situation and making angry judgments… those girls have been through quite enough. I decided to go for it.

I assumed that Dr. Phil would be a good way to get even more people aware of our problems. After I realized that they weren’t going to help us unless I faced my dad on camera in person, I almost refused because I knew the imminent trauma of being in the physical presence of my abuser who I was (and am) still recovering from living with. But I weighed the possible good that Dr. Phil could do for my sisters, and I decided it would be worth the risk of facing my dad for the first time in over a year. I decided it would be worth the trauma. I told myself that I could handle it, prepare for it, and get through it.

But no amount of hopeful thinking could prepare me for the trauma I experienced being in his presence again and feeling his anger emanating toward me from

January 19, 2015

Dad's Attempts At Alienation

My dad (Brian Wolferts) sought my total isolation from my mother and anyone in her life, hoping that I would discover for myself his idea that my mom (Michelle) was “mentally ill” and “damned.” It was obvious to me that he needed me to have as little time as possible with my mother in order to make his implanted ideas stick easier, because the reality of time with my mom was completely opposite to what he kept repeating about her.

He told me the only way that I would discover for myself that she's "mentally ill" is if I cut off every tie not only with mom, but with her family, her friends, anyone in any of my wards I’ve lived in, anyone from her work field or people she knows from the ward, etc. For me to even begin to know "what she’s done, and the kind of person she really is". Because “they’ll all defend her because she’s got them thinking she’s the victim.” He would also tell us that she wasn't a good mother, and didn't really love us because of the way she tried to destroy our relationship with him. I have endured countless hours of my dad railing and lecturing us about our mom about all these things and many, many more. Yet she never tried to alienate us from him like he claims. I find it absolutely mind-boggling how much he accuses her now of doing the exact things he has done my entire life. I'm thankful that his attempts to alienate me from my mom didn't work.

When I say his attempts to alienate me from her 'didn't work,' I mean that they didn't keep me from wanting a relationship with her. I'm very thankful for that. But I didn't survive his alienation attempts without being affected. Dad tried as hard as he could to make us hate our mom. He found every excuse possible to sneak my mother into every subject, whether it was suggesting how awful a driver she was to accusing her of being mentally unstable and unfit to raise us. He always spoke negatively about our mom to us, and it was apparent that our dad wanted us to hate her. He incessantly channeled rage and abhorrence at us in hopes that we would channel it to her--it was apparent to me that the end goal of his raging to us was to get to Mom. It seems he wanted us to blame her for our pain he was causing us. It hurt us to have him talking about her so horribly (and I think it hurts any child to hear any parent talking bad about the other).

We knew Dad was not telling the truth. My sisters and I lived with our mom for six years, then visited her for the remaining four, and we never heard a negative remark against my father from my mom, even when we cried to her about the scary things he was saying and doing. She was gentle and kind our whole lives. I knew that his attempts to make us believe something untrue about Mom were wrong. The bad things my dad kept trying to convince us Mom was doing were almost verbatim what he was doing and had been doing for years. 

It was easy to not internalize the falsehoods about my mom, because there was such a stark contrast between her true self and what Dad kept trying to make us believe about her. With that being said, though: there were times that it seemed that it would be so much easier to earn our dad's love and stop his attacks if we started hating her, but we knew it wasn't right to hate our mom, and we didn't want to! All of this constant negativity toward my mom that my dad openly fostered ever since they first separated brought us all immense internal pain. 

In my personal experience (and I know Sydney and Dani feel the same way) I didn't want to be a vessel that channeled my dad's hatred to our mom--or anyone else for that matter--and so I turned the hatred inward. It seemed like the solution at first, but it didn't take much time to wear on me. My self-esteem, my faith in my talents, my belief that I was a good person--all of that began to decay. I've thought a lot about it, and I think that my dad fosters the idea in all of the people he lives with that they somehow deserve the horrible treatment he inflicts upon them. Because people with little or no self-esteem don't fight back. 

What motivates him to do this?

January 18, 2015

Comment Left in Moderation 1/14/15

This comment was left on my blog in moderation, and I felt it deserved its own post to address it, in order to give any readers a chance to address it too.

First of all, my dad called me into his room when I was a teenager and blindsided me with this discussion of child pornography. It wasn't because I was "lumping him in with people who were doing such abhorrent things" (whatever that's supposed to mean?). It was only after he put his own self and my baby sister in an example of filming child pornography that I 
considered him to be on that level. He painted a picture of himself engaging in child pornography with my baby sister. He looked excited when he talked about it for 20 to 30 minutes with me, as his unwilling and extremely uncomfortable audience. As I said before, he acted like he was gloating as he told me about child pornography.

Pretend that your kid randomly gets called into the principal's office in school for no apparent reason. Once alone with your child, the principal says, "A ring of people who made child pornography was busted, right here in our state! And what's crazy is that these people have made thousands of videos of doing things to children, even in schools like ours! Do you know what child pornography is? You need to understand how it works. What happens is that adults take children as young as your 2 year old sister and perform sexual acts with them. Those adults can be my age. Can you even imagine someone like me doing something like that with your 2 year old sister? Sometimes, they hire other people to come in and do it. But sometimes, it's actually principals and their own students!"

If your child came home disturbed by this, would your response to them be, "Did you ever consider that he was trying to explain how severe child porn is, because you were lumping him in with people who were doing such abhorrent things, and he was perhaps concerned you considered him to be on that level?" Would you suggest that the principal "was simply trying to illustrate just how terrible pedophiles can be, and that he was not in that category?" 

No; you would consider him a twisted threat to your child and all children. You would immediately seek for him to be removed as principal.

January 16, 2015

Random Memory #11: Attracted to Cousin

One day when I was 17, my dad (Brian Wolferts) came into my bedroom.
     "So... your cousin Gideon."
     "Yeah?" I replied hesitantly. I couldn't imagine why Dad had suddenly come into my bedroom to randomly talk to me about my cousin from Washington who was two grades behind me in school.
     "Are you excited to see him at your mom's family reunion?"
     "Of course." I said. It was a no-brainer; I only saw him once a year at my Grandma's house when his family came to visit Utah. I was confused why my dad even asked.
     "Do you have a crush on Gideon?"
     "Do you have a THING for him?"
     "Ew, NO!" My mouth dropped open and I was completely disgusted.
     "A lot of people have an attraction to their cousins. It's completely normal. I had a thing with my cousin, you know. It lasted a while. I would get really excited to see her when family reunions were scheduled. We would sneak off together and stuff. I even kissed her a couple times." He was talking about his female cousin on Omi's (his mom's) side of the family. His eyes gleamed in the strangest way while he told me this. I can still remember how excited he looked. It grosses me out so much to recall it... it even makes me nauseous. "It's okay Brittany, you can tell me how you really feel about him. It's normal."
     "Dad! I do NOT have "a THING" for Gideon!" I remember my horror at the thought of my dad kissing his cousin and sneaking off with her. Has he told anyone before? Did their parents know? I thought. Why is he telling me this? Seeing the look in his eyes, I knew he was telling me for the pure enjoyment of my discomfort and shock.
     "Well, I just wanted to tell you that it's perfectly natural if you do."
With that, he abruptly left my room while I sat there gaping in shock.

January 15, 2015

Sydney's Writings

I'm going to dedicate a couple posts on all of the alienation speculation going on, because not only does it affect me, but it affects my sisters.

There are statements such as "Brittany is the only one coming up with this stuff, so she's alienated", "Sydney and Dani haven't spoken about abuse", and even "If there was really abuse, Sydney and Dani would have come forward about it" circulating the internet. (And those are just to name a few.) No, I am not the only one claiming abuse. Sydney and Dani have spoken about it, in the ways that they could without facing Dad's wrath for doing so. This post is to highlight one of Sydney's writings, and also to encourage everyone to look at the Documents tab where there are multiple journal entries from both Sydney and Dani.

Until I turned 18, the only way I felt I could express myself was through my private journal entries and by confiding to my close friends. My sisters have tried to speak about the abuse they suffered in many ways as well. They told me of it when we lived together at dad's house, and continued to tell me of it after I moved away. What they disclosed to me compelled me to get them an appointment with Dr. Hyde, who believed them. He stood up for them and agreed they would be severely emotionally harmed (see #10) if sent back to Dad's. Sydney and Dani also wanted to tell a judge. They ran away rather than go back to Dad's abusive house. They made a video, stating that they are not safe there and that they would rather live in a box than go back there (and they had told me that very same thing on both visits home to Utah between December and June). They stated they will run away again if forced to live there. They also wrote journals outlining their experience, as I had.

Here is what Sydney wrote, outlining what she heard our dad (Brian Wolferts) telling her on a weekly basis. I highly encourage you to read the entire first three pages.

If you're interested, the next page (titled "My Only Freedom") was something she wrote for school, which she won an award for. She hid it from Dad because that poem was her expressing how she felt living in his custody, but she explained the imagery of her poetic words to me. When she writes, "it's like talking to a rock. There is no significance to my voice." she is referring to our dad as the rock. When she writes, "...like I used to when I was three. Before the mix-up." She is talking about before the divorce. When she writes, "Everyone expects me to cope with it," She's talking mostly about Dad when he would repeatedly tell us to "get over" the custody change that altered our world. She also felt there were other adults he associated with that expected the same thing of her. The page after that is a poem Syd wrote for me after I moved out, "ancrer mon ├óme" ("Anchor My Soul"). I hold it close to my heart.

If Sydney saw what has been said about her and Dani being alienated by Mom, I know she would be offended and hurt. Here they have put everything on the line to speak out about what my dad said and did to hurt them, in the best ways they could, only to be shot down. Sydney is a passionate writer, and obviously chose her words very carefully. In her moments of deepest pain, she would write to express herself. Shame on anyone who claims her writings are false.

Stay tuned for the next post, and thank you for everyone's supportive comments!

January 13, 2015

Random Memory #10: Complete Disturbance

As I stated in my previous post, some of these memories are so difficult to write about. They give me a knot in my stomach and a lump in my throat. But when my dad made a public outcry to thousands of people to help him find my sisters back in August, I made a decision to speak out about the abuse, discomfort, fear, and everything else that we endured. It wouldn't be fair to those involved in the situation, fair to my sisters (who have needed a voice for far too long), nor would it be right to keep all these things silent. I feel that withholding the truth would be an act of dishonesty in and of itself. 

My dad often made me feel highly uncomfortable in ways that were hard to pinpoint exactly--ways that brought a creepy feeling of disgust. Sometimes he would look me up and down and comment about how he felt certain clothing items complemented my body. One time I got a new pair of jeans for school. When I got home he asked me to show him and Angie the pants, and when I did, he talked about the way my jeans hugged my hips and thighs. "Whoa, Brittany," He said, "I didn’t know you had hips. Those jeans really show them off. You shouldn’t wear those anywhere, they’ll make boys think bad thoughts." 

He would look at my body in a way that made me feel like he was undressing me with his eyes and made me highly uncomfortable. I immediately felt that I couldn’t wear those jeans around him, because he would stare at my hips and butt. After that, Angie wouldn't allow me to wear those jeans again... She seemed upset at what he said, and I didn't understand why.

My dad constantly told me I was 'putting bad thoughts in boys' minds,' whether it was the kind of bra I wore to my choice of pants. 
(And I feel the need to add that I was one of the most modest-dressed girls at school. You can ask any of my high school friends.) It didn't seem to matter what I wore or what I did--I was putting naughty thoughts in men's mind. That had an absolutely disturbing effect on me and the way I perceived myself. To this day, I can't decide what is worse--feeling like my dad wanted to see through my clothes or feeling like I was constantly walking porn to other boys.

January 8, 2015

Inappropriate Sexual Conduct

My dad abused us in ways that are difficult for me to talk about. He has committed multiple acts of abuse in the form of lewd and inappropriate sexual conduct in the presence of his children at home. Those who view the following post do so to their own discretion, and I recommend them to be over the age of 18.

My dad would touch Angie’s crotch in the presence of us kids, and he did so multiple times when my sisters and I were in the same room to witness it. When we first started living with my dad, and had every-other-weekend visits with our mom, there were instances where he would touch Angie inappropriately in front of us. When it first started happening (even before he had custody) I would turn a blind eye out of disgust and give him the benefit of the doubt. I kept telling myself, He doesn’t know we’re watching, and I'd keep hoping it were true. 

But whenever I saw him touching Angie there, I felt extremely uncomfortable, and I knew that after a couple years of it happening that my dad was completely aware of our consciousness to those actions. He wasn’t oblivious. Most of the time it was when we were all in the living room, sitting down to a movie or TV. I’d try to pretend like I didn’t see anything when I'd see him doing it... But knowing it wasn’t right, I ended up telling one of the DCFS workers involved in my mom’s visits. I’m not sure if the worker contacted my father, or what happened, but he stopped after that.

My dad also seemed to enjoy telling us sexual details of his sex life for his own enjoyment. One day, at the dining table, Dad was determined to tell my sisters and me what sex was like. In particular, how their (his and Angie’s) sex was. Angie was present in the beginning of the conversation, but left partway through, and that’s when my dad went into further detail. (To this day, I'm not sure if she left out of discomfort or if she felt it wasn't appropriate. I have always wondered.)

Due to the sickened feelings this discussion caused, my mind has blocked out much of what was said. As hard as I’ve tried, I remember hardly any of the exact commentary, because I was so disturbed by the entire thing. I remember that he was talking about how good it felt to have sex with Angie, and that having sex was an enjoyable experience filled with lots of pleasure. 

Sydney and Dani were so uncomfortable that I could see them physically squirm as he talked. Even as I write this, I can feel my stomach rising up my throat, making me want to vomit. He went on and on, and as usual when we asked him to stop, he only pushed further.

He didn’t go into explicit detail about his privates, but he talked about the pleasure sex brought in a way that made me feel like he was trying to make us picture him having sex. I remember him describing the tingly feeling that sex gives, and making strange comparisons to try to describe exactly what pleasures sex brings. He would specifically compare to experiences we could relate to, such as slipping into a hot bath. He told us that it's like stepping into a hot bath, "and your entire body starts tingling, and you don't want to get out because it feels so good." The connections he made, and the effort he put into forcing images and feelings into our minds made us feel dirty and sick to our stomachs. 

When we asked him to stop again, he said 'What? Don't tell me you girls don't need to know about this. Because you do.' And treated us as if we'd asked for this conversation, while we silently prayed for him to stop.

He wanted us to hear what he was saying and visualize their sex for reasons that I don't even want to imagine. To be honest, recently discovering that my dad admits to being aroused by 6 year olds and admits to having "a history of sexual contact with a child" only validates the disturbed feelings I already got from him.

Sydney and Dani confided in me that they felt utterly violated about the discussion. Multiple times, when he did these kinds of things, they expressed emotions of fear and physical nausea. They told me they felt uneasy about living with a man who seemed to have a continued desire to make us feel sexual discomfort. None of us could understand it.

I can't describe how difficult it is for me to recount these kinds of experiences I went through. For me to go back to those places of fear and disgust and disturbance.

I try to describe these memories with as much detail as possible because of the many people involved who deserve to know the truth. It's difficult to try to recount experiences that have caused trauma in my life only to have people tell me I am making something out of nothing, or that I'm making everything up. I am not doing either. These are memories of events that took place in my life, and I have the right to speak out about the life I endured with my father for three years at the side of my sisters, who lived with him for another year after I left. There is too much at stake for my sisters if they are put back in that harmful environment.

January 5, 2015

What Most People Don't Realize

I have seen speculations that I haven't been following the proper legal channels in trying to get my sisters heard. I have also seen speculations that my dad is supportive of getting my sister's voices heard. Both are false, and this post will explain why.

My dad seeks for Sydney and Dani to stay in hiding so he can continue to look like a persecuted victim to others. My sister's silence helps him spin his chosen narrative about them being brainwashed as they hide. He knows I've been telling the truth about him. What his supporters don't seem to know is that he is the kind of guy who can get angry at his own three-month-old (my sister Sydney) and throw her by the leg across the room. What does he care if the girls who dared tell on him have an inconvenient time while hiding from him?

He could have quietly faced us in court and avoided all public exposure of his abuse. Instead, he has chosen to use the system like a tool: delay and lie to make taking him on in court almost financially impossible. He has been using earnest people to verbally abuse my sisters and I so that he doesn't have to publicly expose his own abusive nature. A couple examples of how I know this: he doesn't discourage anyone from being nasty to me or from stalking me. He encourages stalker-like strangers to continue to search for Syd and Dani to be returned to him.

I am going to continue to speak up about what my sisters ran from while he forces them to remain hidden. He first forced them to run by avoiding facing them in court on a technicality, by fighting to get their TRO vacated, and by twice moving to remove their appointment of their own GAL. Those are facts. He fought from the start to get them returned to his house behind closed doors after they dared tell on him. Since they ran, he has also forced them to remain hidden by failing to offer them safe asylum, by failing to move the court to order them a safe living situation while proper authorities hear them, and by currently fighting to have my petition on appeal dismissed on another lame technicality. 

January 2, 2015

Random Memory #9: Crimes Against Women 1

My dad often told my sisters and me detailed stories of crimes against women.

One time I remember him sitting us all down, saying “I need to tell you what happened on the news today.” He went on to describe a story about a pregnant woman who was befriended by another seemingly nice woman in a grocery store. Dad told us that when the stranger offered to help the pregnant lady out with her groceries, she got in the car with her afterward and “sliced the pregnant lady’s belly open." 

I started asking Dad if it was necessary for us to hear all the details. I asked him politely to stop. He didn't care. "Then," he continued, "Her bladder and guts spilled out of her and the lady ripped the baby out of her tummy, and cut the cord. Then she cut the lady and left her to bleed out in her car.” My dad discussed with us all possible reasons and thoughts the crazy lady might have had that made her decide to kill the pregnant woman.

I attempted to stop his story multiple times, saying “Dad, I don’t think we need to know about this to this extent. I don’t think Sydney and Dani should be hearing this. I’m uncomfortable – all of us are uncomfortable.”

But instead of stopping, Dad told me that we needed to hear this. When I asked why,he said “if you don’t know about all of this, then how are you going to know to defend yourself against all those crazy people?”

Anytime I questioned my father about telling such grisly and violent stories against women, he would give the reason that when me or my sisters encounter this stuff, we need to "be prepared."

These stories terrified us, and I would think that if he truly wanted to "prepare" us, he would teach us self-protection or put us in a class. Instead, he chose to tell us gory details that made us wonder why he was thinking about the story so much. And why on earth he felt he needed to share it with us in extreme violent detail. Telling us that we needed to know what happened to other women to be prepared for when it would happen to us petrified us!