My name is HollyJane (Stewart) Belle. I am tired of being silent, so here is my story..
Holly — Daddy’s Little “Bawl Baby”.
My Dad is the Wood County Surveyor in West Virginia. His name is Scott Franklin Stewart. He is very well known in his community as being a very upright man of God, who is very active in his Independent Fundamental Baptist Church. When I was growing up, he was the leader of the junior church, my Sunday School teacher, and always walked with his head held high above everyone elses. Yes, he is a very prideful man. Above all else, he strived to be better, and have a better family than everyone else. He gave Mom and us 3 girls such strict rules to live by every day, that even the preacher’s kids seemed ‘worldly’ by comparison. He was the greatest man of God at church and no one can deny that! But at home, it was a far different story. Dad was a tyrant, who I nicknamed ‘Hitler’, and us 4 girls were the Jews in the ‘concentration camp.’ That was our home. One of my best friends from our church school told me that she thought we had the perfect family. I thought, ‘that’s what Dad wants everyone to believe, so I guess he’s got his wish.’ I didn’t say it though.
I was so afraid of everybody and everything…. so many thoughts going through my head every day, all day long.. just wanting it to stop, but they wouldn’t! Every day at our church school, then again when we started to homeschool, if I got stuck on a problem, all those thoughts would tumble forward! Those horrible, nightmarish thoughts, the ones I was trying so hard to forget! I was just sitting there, in 3rd grade, at my desk, trying so hard to finish my math, and solve the problems correctly, but, those thoughts.. The rememberance of the night before!! When my Daddy came in my room in the middle of the night!! Yes, he touched me, and made me touch him. He made me put his penis inside me. Inside my 9 year old body. “Rose, I’m going to go read my bible and pray. I’ll be back after awhile,” I would hear him tell Mama in the middle of the night. Every Saturday night, Wednesday night, and the night before Easter, Christmas Eve, and every Thursday night, (he went door to door selling Jesus to people on Thursday nights). Just like clockwork, I knew that in a few moments, daddy would show up at my door, with a washcloth in one hand, and his KJV Bible in the other hand, then whisper in Kelly and Julie’s room at them, to see if they were awake, and then he’d saunter into my room, asking if he could ‘pray’ with me for a while.
This is Dad’s version of praying with me, there, in the middle of the night, knowing I needed sleep, but never caring.. HIS needs must be met! So, he would sit and read his bible aloud to me for what seemed like an eternity. This is what Dad told me God was like – “He is a jealous God, Holly, just like your daddy is over you girls”. God wants what is best for you, Holly, just like I want what is best for you. Our heavenly Father loves the world, and the things of the world, do you believe that, Holly?” “Yes, daddy”. “Our Heavenly Father wants and craves his children for himself, Holly. Just like I do for you. “How come you never kiss me on the mouth anymore, Holly? I always loved it when you kissed me on my mouth.” How could this happen to a little girl… No wonder I hate the night… Everything bad happens at night. While he would read his Bible out loud to me, I’d fall asleep, then awake with my hand around his penis… I awoke all the time doing bad things to my dad. He raped me in my own bed, while he was praying to “Almighty God” and spanking me with his penis, telling me it was because I was such a bawl baby. In the middle of the night, my dad would come into my pink decorated bedroom, take all my stuffed animals out of my bed, wake me up, and rape me. He’d beat me with his penis, yelling to his god, “Ohhh God!!! OOOOHHH God!!!! Holly, quit bawling like a bawl baby!!!! I’ll give you something to bawl about! Ohhhh God!!!!” He just kept raping me, putting his penis inside my ‘little kitty’ as he called it. He’d use the washcloth to clean himself up afterwards, but left me to lay in the filth for the rest of the night. So many nights I slept with wetness covering my nightgown. He told me that when I hit puberty, I’d have to start shaving my ‘little kitty’. When I shaved it for the first time at age 17, my dad was the first man to notice. It wasn’t my husband, or a boyfriend, it was my dad. I felt so ashamed.
He raped me every Sunday night. I think he thought he’d been so spiritual all day Sunday, and had felt the very hand of God in his own voice while preaching to the teens, that he felt he should be rewarded. I was in 6th grade when he taught my class. He didn’t even read his bible as he was preaching. He wanted to show off to the class that he could recite the whole book of something or other, (I remember which books, but if he someday reads this, he’ll want the whole world to know what books he could recite, and have pride in it). He told me he could recite them without missing a single word. He actually humbled himself when he spoke like this to me, and said, if he missed one word, he really felt bad. But he was committed. He acted so humble, and yet still so arrogant at the same time somehow, always thinking he was the best thing God had ever made. If God would make such a creature as my dad….. and then I think I’M a mistake?? He must have felt so good about himself after not missing any of the scriptures he quoted, and when he didn’t miss a chord in the song he played for the offeratory with his guitar, and when he thought his voice was the greatest as he led the choir and the congregationals, if all this came together without a hitch, that night, he would come into my room…. We attended church regularly on Wednesday evenings as well, so he’d ‘visit’ me that night also. On Thursdays, he’d go ‘soul-winning’, selling Jesus to blocks and blocks of people, always taking me with him, then coming to my room that night. Saturday nights he’d come in again, and I wondered if he thought I was his good luck charm. I sure didn’t feel like it. All those nights with my dad, I thought he was praying, so I kept my eyes shut. But I cried the whole time. He’d ask me, “Are you going to bawl this time, Holly?” I tried to sound sure of myself, and told him no. So then he would start smacking me with that horrible, long, uncircumsised thing of his. When I was 7, we carpooled with with some 16 year old boys, and I remember wanting to sit on their laps and touch them like my dad made me touch him. I wanted to play with them like my daddy made me play with him. I hated it, doing that to my dad, but I remember thinking these boys were different. While my mom would be busy in the kitchen, and dad would be in the living room, sitting in his rocking chair, and have me get on his lap, made me unzip his fly, and I would willingly put my hand inside. I’m so sorry!!! I wish I had known better, but, when you’re a little girl, you want to hide in all the little compartments of your parent’s clothing… at least I did. I didn’t know what I was doing.
Until I came out about this, and Mom told me it wasn’t my fault, that it was that man’s fault, I thought I had done this horrible deed, this awful sin, that even GOD couldn’t forgive me. If I had just told someone sooner, maybe I wouldn’t hate myself so much for sinning so badly. All my life, this is what came with my days… every day when I would wake up, the whole day long, I would just be trying ever so hard to forget what happened the night before. I cried a lot… because I couldn’t communicate very well. I didn’t get my way a lot, or I didn’t know what I really wanted, and my mind was always racing, and rhyming. Horrible rhymes. I think in my little girl mind, I thought rhyming would make the memories go away, but it just got worse. The reason behind all of this, is because I was constantly trying to forget what had happened to me, and just always trying so hard to find something to be happy about, and thought if I could just find something that could make me so happy that I could forget what happened to me the night before, everything would be okay! I always found something to be happy about, until Dad came home. Mom has told me recently that I didn’t cry all the time. If I didn’t cry all the time, then why do I remember crying all the time? I had such fun with Mom, Kelly and Julie every single day! But, I always knew that one day they would all be grownups and leave me. I didn’t want Mom to ever have to be alone with that horrible man, so I decided I would never get married! I told myself that all men are like my dad anyway, so who wants that? I tried to get Julie to let me be her maid, so I could always be with her, she told me I could, but I always knew in the back of my mind she’d get married and leave me. Kelly was a no brainer. She wanted to get married, I tried to get her to let me be her maid, she thought I was kidding. I still wish we were all together, but I love my nieces and nephews and Kelly and her husband, so it’s all worked out… and Julie is living with us now! And even though life was hard when we didn’t have our family living around us, it wasn’t all that bad. Mom and I were together, and we had each other. If it hadn’t been for Julie and Kelly moving away, I probably wouldn’t have gotten the help I needed.. I may have just killed myself, not thinking anyone needed me… So, it’s probably worked out for the good. I was diagnosed in August of 2002 with Schizophrenia, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Major Depression, Paranoia, and a big, long list of other psychological problems. None of my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, or immediate family have been diagnosed with these disorders. My therapist, who knows me well and has been working with me for 11 years now, has told me that I’m not a typical schizophrenic, that there is hope that I will get better one day. As a side note, one of the last times I spoke with my dad, (after I’d been diagnosed) he told me that if I lived with him, and went soul-winning with him every day, it would heal me of these problems. When I was smaller, he would tell me that I was his best friend, and that I was the only person he could really talk to. I didn’t feel like I could tell Mom, Kelly, or Julie, because he told me over and over that if I told them about him and me, Mom would divorce him, and that divorce is a sin of the devil, and it would be my fault.
I’m not proud of what was done to me, but I tell this because I’m tired of keeping quiet about something that was not my fault. I’m tired of ‘covering’ for a man who did unspeakable things to his own daughter, all while advertising himself as a godly, holy, Christlike man in all the churches he’s attended over the last 30 years.