My parents split up when I was a baby. My Mom moved us to the Midwest when I was very young, and I got to see my Dad during Summer visitation. I loved my Dad. I relished the time I'd get to spend with him, and even with my Mom's defamation of him, that love didn't start wavering until I was older.
When I was 8 years old, my Dad remarried a different woman, S, and told me that he was going to have a baby! I'd have 3 brothers, and I couldn't wait for my new brother to arrive.
S would watch me while my Dad was at work, and we had such a great time together! She was everything I wanted in a Step-mom! She was kind, and funny, and interested in going to the river and the lake, and makeup! She took me to visit her Dad, "Grandfather", one day who lived near the lake. He had an incredible little shack made out of logs and old mechanical parts that looked like something out of an old Frontiersmen movie!
While I was visiting the shack, I had to go inside to use the bathroom. When I came out of the bathroom, Grandfather was standing there, smiling. He said "hi, Little Sweetheart, picked me up, sat me on a chair, and lifted up my skirt. He pulled my underwear down to my ankles, and licked my 8 year old privates. I remember thinking "gross, I just went to the bathroom." But, I knew that something wasn't right. There was a knock at the door, and he pulled my underwear back up, and pulled my skirt down and acted like nothing had happened.
That night, while my Step-mom was in the shower, I sat on the toilet seat, and told her what had happened. She pulled back the shower curtain and said "I'm so sorry, Sweetie, he does that." My little 8 year old head never thought another thing about it.
Now, my Mom, who had been brutally raped and left on the side of the road, bloody and naked when she was around 12 years old, talked to me about strangers, and about bad touches, and about adults doing things to kids, she was always collected and calm. But, her warnings always ended with "if anyone ever does something like that, you tell me, and I'll kill them. I don't care if I go to jail for the rest of my life." My Mom passed away when I was 14 years old, and I never told her.
Skip to 20 years old, I'm living with a co-worker, and I've just lost my virginity. When I told my co-worker that I didn't really like the idea of oral sex, he asked why? I told him casually about what Grandfather had done, and his jaw hit the floor. He told me that that was most likely the reason, and that that was infuriating! And he was sorry to hear about it. He said I should tell my Dad, as Grandfather was still around my little brother, and it could happen to him, too. So, I decided to move back home to the West Coast, in with my Dad and my brother, to try to re-connect, and I wanted to tell him. One day, while throwing my little brother a birthday party, S and Grandfather show up. I spent my time cooking and cleaning, and generally just trying to make my brother's day special without having too much contact with S and Grandfather.
The party finished, everyone had gone home, and my Dad is sitting on the couch with me. I decide to finally tell my Dad what had happened. After telling him, his response was "that sucks that you had to keep that in so long." I was dumbfounded. That was it? This is his reaction? So I do the only logical thing I can do. I say to him, "if you're not going to have a reaction, can you at least promise me that I'll never have to see either of them ever again?" He said "sure, baby." Of course, that promise only lasted about a week.
My Dad and I got into many long fights and crazy arguments about my Mom, about his selfishness, about child support, etc. One day, my Dad said to me "all women are whores." To which I replied, "well, I'm a woman, Dad, does that make me a whore?!"
I cut ties with my Dad for 3 years, and moved back home. When I tried to re-connect with him, he stole money from me, and my brother still didn't have his own room, and was sleeping on the couch, because my Dad has a spending problem. He buys used cars and has a million of them while his kid has holes in his socks. How could a man I loved so much, be so selfish, so hurtful?
I am now 30 years old, Sugars, and in early June, Grandfather finally died. I wasn't sorry, in fact, I thought it should have happened sooner. People that I tell my story to are enraged about what happened, are disgusted by my Step-mom's behavior, and especially my Dad's behavior. I still have some issues with oral sex, but, once I am comfortable with someone, the issues dwindle. Some of the people I've told get upset with me that I didn't turn Grandfather in, and tell me that I may be responsible for him having done this to other children, because I stayed silent. This chills me to the core, and I don't know what to do with that feeling.
Cut to this past Father's Day. I have forgiven my Dad for so many hurts, Sugars. I really have. Missed birthdays, hurtful words about the people I love, selfishness, stealing from me, the way he raised my brother. I forgive because I don't want to hold onto the anger and negativity. He'll keep disappointing me, and keep hurting me. But, if I don't forgive him, it'll only hurt me. So, I suck up my feelings, yet again, and invite him to dinner on Father's Day. He informs me that he'll be going to Grandfather's memorial service that day with S.
Sugars, I'm a 30 year old woman with a great life. With great friends, with great family. I have a wonderful job, and I live in a vibrant city. Things are going so well for me, with the exception of my Dad. Is it time to simply cut my Dad off completely? For whatever reason, him going to Grandfather's memorial, the man that sexually assaulted his daughter, instead of spending time with his kids, is beyond me. And I think it might just be the most hurtful thing he's ever done to me. Do I forgive him for the sake of having my Dad in my life, who I want so deeply to know and love, or do I cut him off completely because I can't keep being hurt like this?