The man who I call Daddy calls me “Baby Girl” as if he were still living in the day that I was born. As if he were the one who made me, named me and counted all ten toes when I entered this world.
He was not there on the day I was born.
He came much later after the damage had already been done.
I imagine my memories are like lottery balls in a cage. They are spun around with all of my present thoughts, dreams, ideas and new memories. Every once in awhile the ball that pops out is a memory of my biological father and a cloud of darkness shrouds my space on this earth. A melancholy shadow spreads from my heart and infects my soul in it’s entirety.
My father sexually abused me. I am sure at this point maybe you are becoming a little uncomfortable. It has been many years since this information has been a secret and because I have done nothing wrong, I have no qualms in sharing this information with anyone. If you don’t know it now, trust me, it’s because it has never come up. Feel free to stop reading now.
A few days ago I found a picture of my father and it’s as if I personally opened Pandora’s Box. It is no longer the abuse that affects me so greatly. It is not about the manipulation, the physical damage or the innocence lost. It is the frustration that even now a simple photo can stop me in my tracks.
It is the weary place in my heart that is still negotiating the unfairness of the abuse. How a man that bought me a telescope and taught me about constellations could have been so cruel. How the man who taught me to sing could attempt to destroy my voice. How my interpretation of God and Fatherly love could be so warped by the same man that tried to teach me those truths.
On days when the shadow lurks, I lay on the floor kicking, pulling at my hair and screaming, “It’s not fair!”
I hold my children and beg God for their safety with no assurances and I whisper, “It’s not fair.”
I remember that I must forgive for every ounce of rage that I conjure up and I squirm in the unfairness. I tend to wallow in self pity, holding and petting the unanswered question of ‘Why?’.
All the while, I know there is no answer.
Tomorrow, I will step out into the sun from underneath the shadow of my Father’s crime and the unanswered questions will rest in the hands of a God that comforts the fatherless.
On those days, I feel lucky to fall into that category.
You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted;
you encourage them, and you listen to their cry,
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.