Story 2

For many years, I tried to make sense of my father’s death. I was 3 years old when he died, and have no memory of him, only stories that people told me. He was told he had 6 months to live, which he surpassed, and lived another 9 months. “It was because he wanted to spend more time with you” people told me. I believed them, and I believe that he loved me deeply. I thought about how awful it must be for people who have terrible fathers, cruel, violent men, who abandon their children. Maybe I’m lucky, I thought, because my father didn’t choose to leave me.

And my mother, she loved me, her only child, a constant reminder of the love she lost. She clung to me, she made a good life for me, and we were very close. Until she chose my stepfather over me. And now I know the feeling of being tossed aside. The feeling of being manipulated. The pain of living in the same town, where she chooses to live with her beloved child-molesting husband. Thoughts of her consume some part of every day. Some days much worse than others. Yes I went to therapy, yes I take anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds. Yes I have 2 children who I love more than life. But there is nothing that can take away the sting of knowing that my mother would rather be with the man who molested her daughter, her granddaughter, and several other members of his family, than have a relationship with me.

But I can’t lay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself. I have to get on with my day, and my life. I have the support of my friends and family, and I have one less toxic person in my life. She will never understand the years of grooming. She will never understand the effect that being molested had on me. That at 13, I was constantly thinking about suicide, I felt worthless, I was depressed and anxious. I felt like it wouldn’t matter if I lived or not, who would even care? I went to school every day and thought about ways to die. At 18, I realized that I liked male attention, but I had no self-respect, so I let myself be used. At 24, I married the only boyfriend I ever had.

The one thing she should understand is how it feels when your daughter tells you she was molested. Imagine having a panic/asthma/heart attack for 24 hours, that’s how it felt. Everything from my childhood flooded my mind, and I knew with 100% certainty that my daughter experienced the same thing I did, in her own bed. But that wasn’t the worst part. After her interview with child protective services, I was told that he went further with her, and when she told him to stop, he didn’t. I was ready to beat him, choke him, stab him, and watch him suffer. I hoped that he would just kill himself, and make it easier for me.

My mother arranged for him to post bail, met with his attorney, went to counseling with him, and made weekly visits to see him in jail. Then she welcomed him back home with open arms. She recently moved to a new house with him, because he was in violation of his probation by living too close to a daycare center.

I went to weekly counseling with my daughter, I reassured her and encouraged her. I explain it to her teachers every year. I fought for an order of protection. I hounded the district attorney to move the case along, and when that didn’t work, I went to the lieutenant governor and complained. I gave a victim impact statement in court on her behalf. I worry about her every day, how will this affect the rest of her life? How could I have let this happen? I’m also incredibly proud of her courage and strength. Because she spoke up, a man who molested family members for over 40 years went to jail and is listed on the sex offender registry.

And she isn’t keeping a secret that would eat away at her for her entire life.

11 Comments Add yours

  1. vshakvamantz says:

    I know exactly how it feels to see a mother you love not loving you enough to get rid of an influence that is killing you daily. I hate that your daughter had to go through something so foul, but I firmly believe that all you can do is walk her through what you did to STOP him, and tell her you love her and are sorry. I crave those things at 30 still from my own mother.


  2. Rachel says:

    You are so brave and have survived so much. I choose YOU. And you are an amazing, brave mother who is going to save your baby girl. She is able to see a picture of bravery and grace in you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are an amazing woman. You chose a different path than your mother chose. Your daughter will remember you choosing her. Keep fighting, brave sister.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. beth says:

    I and all on this page choose you. Believe you. And you are STRONG and so BRAVE because you chose your baby girl. Holding you and her in my heart. Thank you for sharing your story. ❤


  5. curiositycat says:

    You brave, amazing girl. Brava brava brava. Your story has brought me to tears of sorrow for what was taken from you, wrenched from you, and awe at what you have done with what was left to you.

    You have given your daughter what your mother could not give to you and it is enough, it is more than enough. It is enough. She will be okay. Because she knows that you choose her.

    You brave, brave woman. Thank you for fighting for your girl and thank you for sharing your incredible story. May you find peace and fulfillment in all the rest of your life. You deserve it.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Kburke says:

    Yes! How strong younare able to be for your strong daughter. Please take, with respect, my motherly words unto you that you did NOT “let” this happen. This HAPPENED. HE allowed it to happen. Again. Your very own strength and incredible ability to channel your emotion into creating a voice for you, your daughter and countless others going forward is unfathomable. Though I wish it was not so, your child will continue to see YOU, her mother, fighting, speaking out, modeling strength. And THAT, my dear, will be ALSO memories. Powerful ones. Keep fighting. Please know that we can have no control over our parents’ choices, though it is they that must live with them. Seek the mothering you need by entrenching yourself with fellow warrior women who nurture your soul. I wish you and your little one continued healing, light and love.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I can’t fathom how much this must hurt. I am so in awe of you for surviving and being there for your daughter. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Hillary says:

    I am in awe of your fierce bravery.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Deb says:

    Holding you in my heart brave momma.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Katherine says:

    You were for your daughter what your mother couldn’t be for you. You did it. And I am in awe of you, both you and your little warrior.

    Liked by 3 people

  11. Oh mama. I just want you to know that I am holding you and your brave, brave baby girl in my heart. You are WARRIORS and I am in awe. Thank you for sharing this, thank you for writing it DOWN.

    Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply to Deb Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s