This Christmas 2015, with a beautiful full moon and quiet consuming victory, will be burned into my memory for eternity. My healing goals include fulfilling my family karma and ending the inherent chain of abuse. To successfully achieve this goal I must slay multiple demons that thrive upon sucking my soul into their fiery bellies only to regurgitate sabotage and betrayal. This week alone I have slayed multitudes of the blood thirsty beasts crouched in venomous fury awaiting my next breath and calculated action. The demons I speak of dwell in the hearts of my poor family. Their device is to keep the family confused and acting upon ill thoughts of denial and infatuation with magnificent lies they hold in reverence. It has been nearly 45 years since my father raped me as an eleven year old child yet the damage done is ageless. My unconditional love for my family has only allowed them to manipulate a play designed to destroy my spirit and rob me of my life. Today, I have triumphed as a survivor with a cause and will not be silenced by their ignorant whining and protests.
In this lonely much misunderstood journey, I have walked alone. The depth of my pain goes to the core and cannot be consoled by common healing avenues. My role is that of the warrior and I will rest only when all children are protected from abuse. When I was young, I tried to bury these ugly memories and behave with sweet complacency. My hope was that I was demented and the abuse did not really happen. I told myself that I was subhuman and was supposed to die in early childhood. I would cry for hours on end and quietly cut myself in places that no one else would see. I believed that I was living on borrowed time. I was sure that my parents secretly wished that they had aborted me so that none of this would come to light.
When I was 15 my friend K. W. and I took a joy- ride in the Suburban. When dad caught me he beat me up while screaming how much I was like him and he was going to beat it out of me. I ran away for the night; I don't remember where I went. Mom knew that there was "something wrong with me" and attempted to understand the problem. She sent me to a child psychologist . Back in the 1970's receiving psychological help was stigmatized as a placebo for crazy weak people. I shut down in the therapist's office as soon as I saw the doll house and toys on the floor. I felt disrespected as a young adult and punished as if I were a child by the experience. My problems were much more grown- up than mom could ever imagine.
The truth resurfaced when I was 16. Dad approached me in the kitchen as I was readying myself for my waitress shift at the pancake house. He said; "Dasi, I am sorry that I molested you that day in the orchard.". My face must have turned red from terror and fury at the realization that this ugly image and memory that I had tried so hard to forget really happened. I kind of feel sorry for him trying to make- up but, there is a long list of reasons why that is an unreasonable response on my part. One reason is that he actually legally raped me! He always tried to minimize the event and downright denied the multiple other accounts of fondling and abuse. I found myself caught in an endless cycle of self- loathing and self destructive behaviors for which I had no support system to aid in coping.
I have confronted my father, my perpetrator twice in my life with unsatisfactory results each time. The first time was in a therapist's office with my first husband there to accompany me. I was pregnant with my one and only child and was ready to end the silence to assure the safety of my unborn baby. My father confessed only to the one count of csa but, not the multiple other counts of abuse. He did however go home afterward to use this information as a weapon to inflict punishment upon my mother. He told mom that he committed csa against me but, minimized it with, "She wanted it!". He then left mom and filed for divorce. Mom was devastated and suffered from severe depression for about 5 years after. Both dad and I knew that she could not handle knowing the truth. This is the very reason I stayed silent long past the statute of limitations. Meanwhile, I made my escape from this unsavory scene by fleeing 2 states away to California with my new family. I continued to attempt to have a "normal" relationship with both my parents and brother with annual visits up north.
In the second confrontation I was in my late 30's. We were considering a visit up north. I would normally get suicidal before these trips. This time my suicidal thoughts were just too overwhelming for me to cope with the trip. I called dad crying and told him how truly self destructive it was for me to come visit him. I told him about all my sufferings and that he really actually owed me big time. He responded as predicted. He claimed that he had already paid enough with his own personal suffering over the ordeal. Funny- he never even did prison time like he should have nor had his life destroyed in any visible form. The only way that he could possibly back up such an outrageous claim would be if he had to suffer the ridicule of being a registered sex criminal. I knew that there was nothing that I could do legally at that point.
In fact he was enjoying the benefits of the height of his career and certainly had no intention of sharing anything with the daughter he had wronged so deeply. The daughter that had obediently protected him, his career, and the family from the legal punishment and public humiliation which he so richly deserved. It was very difficult but, I realized that for my own survival, I must cut off all communication with my father. His mother and his third wife tried everything in their power to guilt me back into seeing him. They said that he was suffering terribly and that I was being cruel to abandon him this way. (They had no concern for the deep damage that his abuse had done to me!). We went up north the following year to visit mom and my brother's family. My brother and his wife told me how it was killing dad that I had cut him off from my life. We ended up getting into an argument about it and my brother finally called me a liar. He did not believe that dad raped me and ordered me out of his house. He told me to never return and so I did not for nearly 10 years. Since that day dad confessed to my brother as well, but always adds, "She wanted it!". Thereby brainwashing, manipulating, and minimizing the crime to all the people that he has "confessed" to. He never took responsibility for his criminal behaviors.
It has been 20 years since I had last seen my father. My paternal grandmother died long ago. Cutting out my father meant that I sadly had to cut off grandma too. My brother and I have since attempted to have a reasonable friendly relationship. It has been awkward and quite uncomfortable at times. My father and brother have also had a very strained relationship in that 20 years and rarely ever saw each other. I had heard through the grapevine that dad has suffered several mini strokes over the past few years. I was informed that he had undergone a major personality shift and would really like to see me again. I have done much healing work on myself and was ready to have some closure with dad. I also want to protect any young people from being sexually assaulted by him. I came prepared for the worst and had done a lot of work- up with my therapist for this visit of redemption. I knew that this could be the final battle with uncertain results or maybe a new beginning with possibly much deserved retribution due to me.
I was able to arrange a visit with dad and his current wife last weekend. He has had some mini strokes and has become as gentle as a kitten as a result. This only makes him even more dangerous to any children that he may be around. His mental illness has certainly not gone away as evidenced by the fact that he was checking out my breasts last Saturday. He obviously has never had self control and is only worse than ever now. It was nice to be able to have some quality time with him at his best. It is unfortunate that it required such a dramatic drop in his mental status to be able to have a pleasant time with him. He was normally always mentally abusive and toyingly mean. Now he cannot hold a train of thought long enough to be mentally tormenting anymore. He would attempt to tell me stories about people that I knew from our past but then quickly forget what he was talking about. We went out on the river and he complained of the cold. The man I used to know would never show such weakness even if his toes froze off from frost bite. He can still drive but got us all lost twice on the back roads. Again, he is an accomplished outdoors-man and never got lost on back roads before.
All together we had a pleasant visit aside from me having a couple of short PTSD episodes from the experience. I have to be able to talk to his current wife about protecting her grandchildren from this man. She and I are only now getting to know each other. They were only newlyweds when I broke things off with him 20 years ago. She and I had met only once or twice back then. Now that communication lines are open again I intend to call once a week or so until she and I have a good rapport. When I feel that the time is right I will attempt to remind her that it is not safe for her grand kids to be left alone with him. Now that I am strong enough, I will do everything in my power to protect any and all children from him. His csa is no secret among my closer relatives but now I understand that there must be other survivors out there, somewhere. I have not found the other survivors to date. However, from here on I can protect all children from falling prey to him until he dies. It is so sad how the laws protect perpetrators but not survivors or future victims.
On Christmas day I reported to mom how my visit with dad went. She is not happy that I have reopened communications with him and his wife. I pointed out to her how the chain of abuse works. I elaborated upon the people that I suspect contributed to the inherited problem and behaviors in my brother and his son that are red flags as well. There is a story about my paternal grandmother giving birth to stillborn twins. My father is the eldest living sibling and I believe that the twins came sometime after him. Anyway, apparently her father made her throw the twins down the outhouse. Talk about dysfunction, huh?! Naturally this was horribly traumatic to my grandmother to be forced into such an act. Well, this makes me think. Were the twins really stillborn and who was the real father anyway? Certainly no part of that story was "normal". I also suspect my paternal grandmother of csa, as does my mother.
There was another story about my second eldest uncle. He was out hunting with a friend and supposedly they were crossing a barbed wire fence when the rifle fell down accidentally shooting his friend to death. This brother also was notorious for acting out with his violent temper. He is also suspected of spousal abuse. I am quite familiar with this temper for both me and my brother have inherited a milder version of this problem. All these siblings were raised in the country hunting and fishing daily nearly from birth. They all knew about basic gun safety while hunting. (Side note; one of the favorite games that the boys played was to throw knives "at" each other to see how close they could get to each other.) Granted things were different in eastern Washington back in the 1940s- 1950s but, this goes to family history of dysfunction and abuse.
I cited other examples of dad's neglect and abuse toward my brother and me, not to mention our pets. He would take us out fishing in cold weather and make us sit on the bottom of the freezing cold and wet aluminum canoe. I remember begging to go back to the shore and I would be shivering with purple fingers and toes. My teeth would be chattering so hard that I could barely talk. Dad would tell me to shut up and sit my butt back down on the freezing bottom of the canoe. If anything, telling him that I was cold would make him keep us out there longer not shorter.
I reminded mom about the stories above related to the high statistics of csa in minors by age 18, the chain of abuse and people in our family that fit the profile, and perpetrators mostly being repeat offenders. I told her that she needs to look at things for herself and not just take people's word for things especially when its all so fishy. She broke down and told me that she could not take anymore! She said that I should just focus on healing myself and leave the rest of the family out of it! She is protecting the males in the family and refusing to see that since they have sided with dad, a known perpetrator, on several occasions that it leaves them open to suspicion as well. I told her that perpetrators will cover for each other. I have been told to shut up by all the males in my family at this point. Of course, I won't shut up until every last child is protected and safe from abuse.
The only exception here is my son, who bless his heart, has grown into a mature and respectful adult. He is well liked and has many friends throughout the southern California area. He honors women and is a kind,loving, and devoted partner. He is in a long term relationship with a beautiful woman who mirrors the same respect and kindness as well. Their relationship is an inspiration to me and I hold as a model for what a functional relationship actually looks like. I harbored and protected him away from all the family dysfunction for all of his childhood. It looks like that decision payed off.
What I learned from these events is that neither complacent niceness, deep depression spiked with PTSD, nor suicidal thoughts eased by self mutilation, or even outright anger and confrontation could possibly cool my internal volcano. The school system failed me, social services failed me, the legal system had failed me, and most importantly my family had failed me. I had protected them all those years and they have reaped many benefits while I got the shaft. My family always put the whole thing back on me as being "my problem" and therefore skirted their part in perpetuating the chain of abuse. They have not shown an adequate attempt to educate themselves on the subject yet. I have advised them to join aftersilence.org so as to become a functional supportive network and allies in prevention. I eagerly await that day!
They prefer to make unreasonable proclamations based on naive concepts and obsolete stigmas. Furthermore, the more I give statistics, quote professional statements, and report personal experiences and observations, the more they continue to betray me on a larger and larger scale. The whole family is now on this journey with me I am no longer alone. The big question is; are they strong enough to survive the truth the way that I was forced to for all these years?