A Fatherless Child

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,

defending the fatherless and the oppressed,
in order that man, who is of the earth, may terrify no more.
~Psalms 10:17-18

2 thoughts on “A Fatherless Child

  1. Tasha, I struggle with the “why” question, too… and mostly because I just don't understand and I have realized that I have a very real need to understand things, to make sense out of them. I hear all the time from Godly men and women that I would not be the person I am today had I not been through everything that I have and continue to go through.. that I would not be able to help others and understand that place of pain where they come from had I not been there myself.
    But to be completely frank, in selfish moments, I say- I don't care how many people I've helped or will help I just want a “do over” on my childhood, I want it to be “normal” etc.. etc.. I just want to grow up carefree like “everyone else” did.
    But the TRUTH is.. that God has indeed used my pain to help others. I have been able to shed tremendous light for Robert on what it feels like to be fatherless and grow up in an abusive home. He has then taken this knowledge and devoted his life to helping kids that were just like me and even worse.
    I love the scripture where Joseph says to his brothers- what you meant for evil, God meant it for good.
    Tasha, you may never have all the answers to the question “why”… but I hope God reminds you often how he has entrusted this pain to you because he knows you will turn around and use it for good. You are an amazing woman and as painful as this may be to hear, I wouldn't change anything about you or what you've been through for anything. Because EVERYTHING in your past has contributed to who you are today… and I really like that girl a whole lot. :)

    I'm always here for you..

  2. Every time you place these memories in the context of who you are, and who God is, they lose their power over you. Keep doing just that! You are such a fighter, and such a strong woman, thank you for sharing your thoughts here. You aren't weak because a picture takes you back, you're strong because you fight your way back to who you are when it happens. That's true character. We'll leave the righteous anger to God for today, but I will think of you if it's ever my battle to fight.

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