Letter to Daddy
April 13, 2000
This might be the first of a series of letters that I will be writing to you, as well as it might be the only one.
What’s written expresses feelings that have been bottled up inside me for many, many years, and I must say it is a milestone for me to finally be able to mail one of the so many letters that I have written to you. You may or may not respond to my letter(s). It is your choice!
Nevertheless, I would like you to take some time and read it (them) carefully, because what’s written is very important. It is very important because the outcome will determine what type of relationship we will have in the future. This includes your future relationship with your grandchildren because this is my duty to protect them from anyone I feel might harm them. Unfortunately, this includes you. When they are old enough, they can make their own decisions.
After I left home on February 3, 1983, we had not spoken for many years except on two occasions during family crises. Our last family crisis has forced us to communicate in a way that we were unable to before.
Although our conversations are pleasant, I will not pretend that all is well with us. I feel like a hypocrite for pretending it is. This is not so! It was a long time ago, but the memory is still very clear. You might have forgotten or think that I forgot what you did to me, but every episode is still very fresh on my mind. And, in order for us to remain having pleasant exchanges, I must confront you with this issue that caused me great discomfort. I would like to eventually speak to you in person about this matter; however, it is better that I write for now. I will let you know when that time comes!
Several years ago, when I was a very young girl, you approached me in a manner that was unbecoming of a father, and I did not know what to do: I expected you to comfort me when I needed it, but you took advantage of my innocence. You molested me!!!!!
I was too young to understand what was happening, to defend myself, so I remained silent for a while because you were my father and I trusted you in spite of how uncomfortable I felt with what you were doing to me. I felt guilt and shame, believing I had done something to make it happen. This has controlled my life ever since. More so, I was controlled by shame. Ashamed of myself for not being brave enough to stand up to you until I was 12 yrs old!
This just made matters worse for me. Everyone saw me as being rebellious. Little did they know what was happening because I was too ashamed to tell. Frankly, I didn’t think anyone would’ve believed me! Who I did find the courage to tell, didn’t believe me anyway.
You stepped over your authority and robbed me of the innocence, trust and security I had. Children are supposed to feel secure, not insecure, with their parents. I did not feel secure when you came into my room repeatedly, looking for me to give you pleasure that you felt to you had the right to have. IT WAS NOT MY JOB TO SATISFY YOUR SEXUAL DESIRES!!! You had no right to abuse your authority over me as my father.
An old proverb states. A man’s home is his castle.Our home was my castle too, yet I was not safe there. Yes, you gave me security. The security of having food, clothes, a comfortable home, and instilling the importance of a good education. Most importantly, you taught me to fear and love God. I MUST SAY THANK YOU FOR THAT. But that was not enough!
I needed to feel safe. Safe to be able to enjoy my youthfulness by learning who I was and what I wanted to be. This is what I was deprived of. Instead I was exploited (sexually abused) by you.
This ordeal made me a very vulnerable person. I endured situations in my teenage and young adult years that were very unpleasant. I suffered, patiently accepting that anything was better than what I went through at home, because I lacked the confidence that there was something better for me and I could actually try to have it.
I did some investigating into our family history and I’ve learned a lot of things about my paternal family (your family). I am convinced if I had not stood up to you at age 12, your plan was to take this molestation further—to actually have sex with me, your own daughter. However, in spite of what I learned, I am not going to make any excuses for what you did. This is not wise for me to do. I’m giving you the opportunity to explain this to me, if you would. I would like to know why this happened. Why did you violate me, your own daughter? Someone you claimed to love so much.
I can go on, however, I’ve said enough for now. I’ve prayed and asked God to grant me the serenity to accept something I cannot change, to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. I can change from being ashamed of this ghost that has been hovering over me for so many years and set myself free! It has not been easy, but I’ve made such strides. This is my goal.