my life 4


Renette Vermeulen








This story is illustrative of the Scriptural study, DEALING WITH ABUSE AND ABUSERS GOD’S WAY 

And, Great Irreconcilable Differences between Psychology and the Truth of God’s Word 


Peter was the only child of wealthy, weekend-alcoholics named Charles and Zeena Manson.  Zeena often boasted how, to dance and party with her, she made Peter drunk since he was nine years old.  She lived in mini skirts and over weekends, tight tracksuit pants and short pants, and paraded in the house in Shorty Pajamas.  She never closed the bathroom door when Peter was around.  Zeena thought she was God’s gift to men.  She believed she was even above the rebuke of God Himself; taking the Lord’s Name in vain with every second sentence she spoke.  Charles was a has-been, featherweight boxer (125 lb/56 kg) with an attitude; a perpetual joker with a filthy mouth and an even dirtier mind. 

The parents were ‘smart’ businesspeople during the week and drunken party animals over weekends.  Yet, they claimed they were ‘perfectionists.’  Charles worshiped his expensive, shiny car above all else and no one was literally allowed to lay a finger on it.  Even when Peter was a baby, sitting on Zeena’s lap, he was not allowed to touch the polished leather seats with his little feet.  Everything in their house was straight and supposedly super clean, and everything they did, were allegedly done ‘absolutely perfectly’ - including executing their evil way of life. 

It was never necessary for Zeena to work out as, in the early years, Charles was a good provider, but she looked down on women who chose to be homemakers.  When tipsy, she would boast how her boss jokingly lifted her onto his desk to ‘speak’ to her, and how she was the queen of the ball at office parties.  At first, she left Peter with his grandmother but later she hired maids to take care of him at home.  Zeena was always too busy to notice anything — especially the fact that emotionally, Peter was a seriously neglected and maltreated little boy.  

Weirdly, Zeena never referred to her husband as Peter’s “father.”  In turn, he never referred to her as Peter’s “mother.”  Whether she spoke directly to Peter or not, she would always refer to her husband as “Charles.”  Charles would refer to her as “the old woman.”  Together, Charles and Zeena abused Peter on all levels of life, coaxing him to follow their bad example in character and lifestyle.  Charles Manson was a extremely controlling person, who focused some unreasonable anger on Peter.  He never tolerated any excuses or resistance from Peter, no matter what he commanded Peter to do.  Since Peter was a little boy, Manson did not hesitate to let his extremely filthy verbal abuse, boxer-fists, and kick-boxer feet fly into Peter’s face and young body. 

By the time Peter met Anna, he was already yoked with a serious drinking problem and still firmly under his parents’ unreasonable control.  Under his guise of a happy family life, Anna got to know Peter as a tall, warmhearted man, whom she gradually began to believe, could be the one she could allow to become her lifelong friend. 

The couple met shortly after Peter broke up with his girlfriend Gwen, whose parents also heavily partied.  Charles and Zeena got along with Gwen’s parents like a house ablaze with booze.  Consequently, Charles and Zeena disliked the idea that Peter lost interest in Gwen, as their breakup interfered with their alcoholic friendship with her parents. 

Anna was a naïve country girl.  She was of strong character and from a God-fearing, conservative home where alcohol and the Lord’s Name were never abused.  From the start, it was clear that Anna did not fit into Peter’s family.  Shrewdly, Charles and Zeena never spoke negatively about her to Peter.  As far as Peter was concerned, all was well between his new girlfriend and his parents.  However, when the cold shoulder they gave Anna could not dent the growing relationship, they made nasty, underhanded plans to get rid of her. 

Years later, Anna would hear from Peter’s aunt Bessie that, from the very beginning, Charles and Zeena slandered her name to such an extent, “The whole family and all their friends could hardly wait to meet the whore, whom Peter is dating now!” 

Anna was flabbergasted.  Tears of insult and injury clouded her eyes.  “That’s such a wicked lie Aunt Bessie!” she cried.  “God knows, my father is a strict man.  He never allowed me to stay out late or to go with just any guy…  As any normal girl, I had boyfriends before I met Peter.  My parents did not approve of one in particular, and they hurt me deeply in the process of driving him away.  But I never gave myself to another man.  Truthfully, I could never give myself to a man I did not love.  Peter was my first and only...” 


When Charles and Zeena realized Peter and Anna might have been falling in love, they brought Gwen to stay with them over weekends, forcing her constantly on Peter.  From the beginning, Peter told Anna about this unscrupulous control-trick to make him reconcile with Gwen, but he was still living with his parents and did not have any say in the matter.  Anna was not that attracted to Peter yet, so it didn’t bother her at all.  Consequently, the couple decided to simply ignore this revolting strategy to separate them from each other.  Even as Anna and Peter’s relationship grew, Anna did not see Gwen as much of a threat.  She trusted Peter, and began to believe that he loved her. 

As Anna’s parents strictly guarded her social life, she was content to wait for Peter to visit her over weekends and on Wednesday afternoons after work.  She looked forward to Friday nights especially, as that was their movie night.  As if she was instinctively inviting God to master this relationship, she invited Peter to church with her on Sunday evenings. 

They enjoyed life together.  In those happy early days, they could never have foreseen the saturating sorrow, which his parents would constantly inflict on their young souls and lives. 

Peter and Anna got engaged with their parents’ consent and blessing, oblivious to the fact that Charles and Zeena were raising hell behind their backs.  But smiling wryly at Anna’s engagement ring, Zeena once taunted, “You should see Lorraine’s ring!  (Lorraine eventually married Peter’s cousin Dennis.)  Now that is something spectacular!  It’s something like the one Charles first gave me when we got engaged.”  Zeena neglected to mention that Peter flatly refused to accept money from them to buy Anna a ‘bigger stone.’  So, Anna believed her ‘little’ diamond came from the depth of Peter’s heart and the thought of a ‘bigger stone’ never entered her mind.


The couple was engaged for about six months when Peter’s great aunt, who lived some 120 kilometers away, suddenly died.  No one thought of notifying Anna, because Peter apparently had to work and did not plan to attend the funeral.  As cell phones and the internet did not yet exist, and Charles Manson would not allow the “unnecessary expense” of a telephone in his house, (to have a telephone cost about R3.00 per month in those days,) Anna, and as Peter made her believe, Peter too, were in the dark concerning  the appalling plan Manson and Zeena were secretly executing. 

That Friday, the morning of the funeral, without warning, Charles Manson commanded him to take the day off work to drive some people to the funeral, as Zeena had organized transport for all their stranded family and friends.  Peter later said he protested but met with Manson’s ready response, “Remember who paid the deposit for your car.  Its mine, I can take it back anytime I want.  You just shut up and do as I say.”

Later, Peter explained, he was surprised to see Gwen amongst the people Zeena carted to their home that morning.  His mother arranged to take as many as possible in her car, while Charles Manson, (stocked with a picnic basket filled with glasses, cool drinks and liquor bottles,) his old drinking buddy Boet Rheeder, and Gwen, piled into Peter’s car.  Manson and Rheeder took the back seat, while Gwen slid into the passenger seat next to Peter.

That day, everyone ignored the fact that Peter was engaged to Anna, “because Gwen [supposedly] knew the great aunt better than Anna did.”  Still, that day at the funeral, Peter’s family were stunned to see him with his old girlfriend again, confused as to what happened to his fiancée. 

Manson and Rheeder were drinking non-stop and eventually ran out of booze before they left the after-funeral party.  Gwen again took the front seat in Peter’s car on the way home.  As was their pub-crawling custom, Manson commanded Peter to stop at the town’s hotel, and to pull off at every other hotel along the way for “another quickie.”  As usual, Peter participated in their drinking spree, driving as drunk as possible.  However, drinking all the way home was not enough.  When they finally arrived home late that afternoon, Peter and Gwen had to go to the “shebeen” first, (Charles Manson’s illegal all-night liquor store,) to buy more booze.  Charles Manson knew the bootlegger so well he jokingly called him “Brother Mike.” 

Peter’s mother happily joined them after dropping off her passengers while Gwen stayed behind with them and Peter.  The drinking party continued until Gwen and Peter had visited Brother Mike a few times and he had forgotten all about Anna, if ever she existed at all in any of his thoughts that day. 


In the meantime, earlier that Friday afternoon, a friend of Anna, Peter’s cousin Irene, came to tell her the news about the great aunt’s funeral and Gwen, who arrived and left with Peter in his car.  Even before Peter and his array of boozers could return from their pub-crawling spree, the story of the discarded Anna was already the talk of the town! 

That evening, Anna waited in vain for her fiancé to take her to a movie. 

She could not call Peter, as his parents did not have a telephone at home. 

She knew instinctively he was spending the evening and most probably the night with Gwen.

Her whole life fell to pieces.  

Afterwards, Peter explained that he stepped straight into his parent’s trap — or this was what he tried to make Anna believe for the rest of their lives together.  Apparently, he never realized what they were really doing, even after their backbiting conspiracies had dealt his engagement to Anna a deathblow.  Hoodwinked by the liquor bottle and his inability to stand up to his manipulative and oppressive parents, he effectively helped them to do away with the gullible Anna. 

Peter had to work the following Saturday morning, but after work that afternoon, he cautiously parked his car in front of Anna’s home, where she waited on the steep steps, leading to the deep, cool veranda of the old farmhouse. 

He had hurt and humiliated Anna before all their watching family and friends. 

Her heart was in tatters. 

She unceremoniously broke off the engagement and gave him his ring back, realizing that Peter had been unfaithful to her, but he flatly refused to acknowledge this, take the ring, or to let her go. 

Peter denied any involvement with Gwen that night, stating repeatedly that Charles left him no choice but to take her in his car.  He got drunk on the way home and much drunker during the evening, but he innocently went to bed all by himself.  He swore he did not touch Gwen.  He swore he loved Anna, not Gwen.  He chose Anna, not Gwen.  He declared he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Anna, not Gwen.  He begged Anna’s forgiveness, reaffirmed his love for her, and promised never to step into his parent’s snares again. 

However, in reality, Charles Manson and Zeena, who were supposed to lead Peter in a moral, honorable life, had caused and/or assisted him not only to break his engagement covenant with Anna, but also to reject and humiliate her in public; parading her as the ‘controlling, unwanted invader of Peter’s life’ in front of all their family and friends.  They apparently caused him to lie to her, and to deceive, betray, and reject her without allowing her the dignity to make an enlightened choice about their future together.  This scarred their young lives indelibly and opened doors for massive demonic infestations on, (as Anna understood it,) this once loving, innocent relationship. 


That Saturday afternoon Anna chose to forgive Peter for bowing to the demands of his parents.  The couple decided to be married as soon as possible, set up their own home, and forget about Gwen and the humiliating event at his great-aunt’s funeral.  Young and inexperienced in dealing with such devastating abuse and satanic strategies, they consulted Anna’s parents to set the wedding date. 

The next day, Sunday afternoon, they went to notify Peter’s parents of their wedding plans. The parents had visitors;  another of their drinking partners - one of Manson’s sisters, Hannah, and her cheerful husband Old Dappy. 

Surprisingly, it was Aunt Hannah who broke the hostile silence after Peter’s announcement. 

“Come on, Zeena,” the woman said sternly, “stop your nonsense.  You know what it’s like to be not wanted!” 

As usual, Peter ignored that strange rebuke as all the other obscure things that happened so ‘co-incidentally’ between them and his parents.  Anna was too dumbfounded to say a word.  She never realized she would be “not wanted” without any legitimate cause! 

What did become clear as time went by, was that Zeena knew exactly “what it was like to be not wanted” by her husband’s parents - and for  good reason!  

Before Zeena married Charles, she was the girlfriend of his younger brother, Dirk.  Apparently, Zeena played the brothers against one another until she finally dumped Dirk to marry Charles. 

Charles had a disturbing birthmark in his face and never wanted children.  Nevertheless, not long afterward, Peter was born healthy and unscarred.  Something about Peter’s birth was kept a closely guarded secret for nearly sixty years, as Zeena and Charles, as all slanderers, permanently focused on everyone else’s past while burying their own dirty secrets.  Nevertheless, at the time, great turmoil rampaged through the family concerning the birth of Peter, Anna and Peter later heard from his cousin Hannah, who was twelve years older than him. 

Long afterward, what Aunt Hannah said to Zeena that day when Peter announced their wedding plans, began to make sense to the couple.  Peter’s aunt was actually saying Charles’ parents could not stand the sight of Zeena for all she had done to their family. 

That Sunday afternoon, however, Charles Manson and Zeena kept their cool and did not utter a negative word to Peter and Anna about the wedding. 


Three months later, however, during the wedding rehearsal a week before the wedding, Zeena quietly said to Anna so Peter could not hear, “I give you six months, and he’ll be home again!”  

Anna chose to ignore her nasty remark.  She focused on being happy with Peter. 

It was a sunny spring day when the couple got married in a beautiful church ceremony with both their parents’ explicit consent.  Anna’s five year old niece was her “miniature bride.”  Her twelve year old niece was a bridesmaid, together with one of Peter’s younger cousins.  Her maid of honor was one of Peter’s older cousins, whose husband was Peter’s best man.  As the wedding party entered the church, everyone gasped at the sheer beauty of the procession. 

Weirdly, that day, when the ceremony was over and Peter and Anna had to sign the register in the church rectory, an intense sadness engulfed the bride.  She could not stop crying until they met the cheerful guests outside the church in a rainbow of colored confetti. The miniature bride was also crying because she said her shoes were hurting her toes.  

Only years later, Anna would remember the strange dream she had some time after she got engaged to Peter and was at her happiest with him.  She didn’t know Jesus, and so, she didn’t think much of it at the time because she could not connect the dream to Peter.  In the dream she was laying in the arms of an old man she did not know, and she was the unhappiest woman in the whole world.   


Once the couple had moved into their own home after the wedding, his parents trashed a highway to their door, visiting at any hour and up to five times a day over weekends.  The fact that the couple had found a place some distance away in the country close to Anna’s parents, did not deter the Manson’s overbearing visits in any way. 

One Sunday morning, Charles and Zeena ‘caught’ Peter and his wife sleeping late.   Charles, drunk by nine in the morning, nearly blew his top, screaming how “lazy, useless, senseless” and whatever else low down and dirty “the two of them are!”  Without mincing words, he accused Peter of being “(a foul swearword for a prostitute’s genitals) struck!”

This was not the first or the last time this very malicious man and his hypocritical wife would try to turn Peter’s innocent wife into something inhumane and detestable.  Peter and Anna did not realize it at the time, but Charles, with the supposedly ‘passive’ support of his wife, was actually shouting everywhere that Anna is a whore.  Nevertheless, as if bewitched by the constant abuse of his parents, both Peter and Anna tolerated this, and countless other assaults on their characters, marriage, intelligence, privacy, and lives in general.  These emotional murderers were continually committing crimen injuria or character murder on them, but through misconceived tolerance, neither Peter nor Anna realized what the parents were doing. 

As usual, that morning, it seemed that Zeena had either no say in the matter, or that Charles’ beastly rampage did not concern her in the least.  In reality, however, her silence proved that she supported Charles wholeheartedly.  As all so-called ‘passive’ abusers, she was executing her evil in secret.  She was instigating Charles on the sly; nagging and pushing him into fits of rage by complaining unceasingly; focusing on trivial matters tirelessly, and twisting important facts. 

Even more horrendously, Peter again failed to protect himself and his bride against Charles’ onslaught, and, as usual, Anna’s faint complaints never reached his ignoring ears. 

Maybe Peter and Anna too, simply accepted that Charles and Zeena were two foul-mouthed individuals, and erroneously believed they could do nothing to change any of  that.  They taught Peter to talk disgustingly too, and this escalated when he indulged in drinking parties with his parents over weekends.  In the beginning, Anna joined in some of their swearwords but as time went by, she began to detest their verbal and other filth, and their foul pollution of her and Peter’s life. 

Shortly after they were married and still furnishing their home, Peter got a bargain from someone at work.  He could buy a working fridge and washing machine for only R45.00!  This sounds like a toddler’s pocket money today, but 46 years ago, as an engineering apprentice, Peter was a hardworking man, but he scarcely owned that amount per week with overtime.  Nevertheless, he believed this was a bargain and unwisely, borrowed the money from his parents.  A few days later, during one of his usual arguments with Peter, Charles Manson commanded Zeena in the middle of the night to drive all the way to the couple’s home to fetch his R45.00 – and to bring back his gas lamp, which Peter had borrowed from him. 

That night, Zeena waited unshakably in the doorway until Peter, extremely embarrassed, had gone to wake Anna’s parents to borrow the money from them.  Peter and Anna were not in the habit of borrowing money or anything else, but after this humiliating episode, they tried to steer clear of financial transactions with Peter’s parents. 


Charles and Zeena always brought their liquor with them when they came to visit, urging Peter to get drunk with them.  He also pitched in his own stash of booze.   Anna moaned, but as usual, Peter and his parents simply ignored her protests. 

Once, Zeena actually had the audacity to tell Anna to her face, “Shut up you sewn-on rag; you do not buy the booze!”

Forcing the shameless woman endlessly on Peter, the parents soon began to invite Gwen on their visits to Peter and Anna’s home.  Undoubtedly, Peter felt flattered and consented by not saying a word.  The naïve Anna couldn’t convince herself that Peter could still be ‘into’ this woman; she greeted the woman with a kiss and treated her kindly. 

Once, when they brought Gwen for another visit, Charles and Zeena insisted that Peter and Anna join them to visit Gwen’s parents.  Without objection, Peter drove them there in his car and Anna kept on being nice to them all.  She was not willing to let anyone know how these unprecedented abuses of her marriage to Peter, this immoral woman, the ‘passive’ Peter, and his unprincipled parents were degrading her again; this time, in her own home, and even by parading her before strangers such as Gwen’s parents. 

Charles, Zeena and Gwen nearly succeeded in crushing her engagement to Peter, [an engagement is the first part of God’s two-phase marriage covenant and binding before God and the law.]  Now, they were aggressively invading her home with this woman and more importantly, her marriage to Peter!  Naive as she was, Anna could never anticipate the distressing price she would have to pay for submissively allowing this ceaseless assault on her personhood, marriage,  and home.  

During the following year, Zeena and her husband’s barefaced abuse escalated, still without any resistance from Peter. Anna kept on objecting while Peter kept on acting as if he were deaf.  Still, it was the disillusioned Anna, who did everything in her power to make his parents feel at home during their constant, disrupting visits.  As all their other guests, she treated them at her table and in her home with everything warm, honest, and homemade, and shared all her family and friends with them too. 


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