The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #16698   Message #157456
Posted By: Name Witheld by Request (but a fellow 'Catter)
03-Jan-00 - 02:31 PM
Thread Name: The father / son thing
Subject: RE: The father / son thing
Anyone who has or had a good/great relationship with their father, I am envious of.

Sometimes you think you know, trust and love someone and then one day you wake up, everything is upside down and you know nothing.

I had a a very loving relationship with my Father growing up, from childhood, adolescence and adult years. Always there for me, emotionally, spiritually and even at times, financially.

Then one evening in the Fall of 1994, he came over to baby sit my 4 year old daughter (whom we had already taught about ''good touching'' and ''bad touching'') and the following day, when she woke up she was very upset and distraught, and informed us that her grandfather had (paraphrased) sexually molested her. (He didn't penetrate her, but had her sit on his naked lap.)

I was in utter shock and complete disbelief. I made her tell me the story (calmly) several times, over and over again, and there were certain elements of the story that a 4 year old just couldn't have made up (ie: Him telling her that if she told anyone what happened, her grandfather would go to jail.)

I was between a rock and a hard place emotionally -on the one hand, I didn't want to have my father arrested, and on the other I had an obligation to protect my child, and possibly other potential children within and outside of my family. My wife wanted him arrested immediately, and I could definitely understand but my head was just spinning at the time.

I confronted my father and he broke down and confessed, and said he should kill himself. (If I'd have had a gun I would have done it for him, then and there believe me.) I told him he had to get help, but there is a Catch 22 involved with the system here in Canada. You cannot get psychiatric counselling (for either father or daughter) without the practitioner report it and it going into ''the system'' for any sexual-related offence.

In the end, we were extremely lucky and found a close, family friend who happened to be a child psychologist and my daughter and my wife and I attended counselling sessions weekly for a year.....without it getting into the system.

Touch wood my daughter who is now 9, is fine....but who knows what the long term psychological effects of this experience will have on her, when she hits puberty, becomes sexually active and how she will relate to men in general.

As for my father, I consider that he died in 1994. I have nothing to do with him, and very little contact with my mother as she just didn't get it either, and never thought it was any big deal. (He never did get any professional help and my mother thinks it was an unfortunate, isolated incident.) Her biggest fear was that he would be arrested and that her reputation in her community would be ruined. She has stuck by my Father, which in and of itself amazes me. They have extremely limited and highly supervised contact with my kids at this point in time (they see them for a couple of hours at Christmas at our place and on their birthdays at our place,) and it is the same with my siblings and their children (as I informed them all at the time this scenario went down.) If my daughter should ever decide to tell any authorities about this, it's out of our hands, and my wife and I would never forbid her to discss it, although it seems to have been kept as an internal, private family matter so far.

It's amazing to me how something like this can totally anilhilate everything my father was to me, prior to 1994. All the good things and love he gave me, prior to this point in time, mean nothing to me now. He has defined himself in this incident to me, and the betrayal and level of sickness and perversion involved make him a complete stranger to me.

You think you know someone well? Think again. The experience has hardened my heart against people, and made it virtually impossible for me to trust anyone other than my wife, completely.

I am consumed with bitterness and contempt towards him, and I would rather let it eat me up till the day I die, than ever tell him I forgive him. I could have forgiven him for ANYTHING --except that. He robbed my child of her innocence. How do you forgive that?

(Just wanted to get this off my chest as I have never discussed it with anyone outside of my immediate family...and it felt good to do so....but please, Catter's out of respect to me, don't ask me questions and encourage an ongoing dialogue on this particular subject with me. I'm not going to comment on it beyond what I've written here.)

Thanks and God Bless all of you. Count your blessings every day.