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Archive for October 6th, 2008

In my blog entry Processing Forgiveness after Child Abuse, Simon said:

My mother was the main abuser and i believe part of a larger group. My dad worked away and was uninvolved and hardly at home due to commitments. I find it complicating that my dad isnt to blame but is responsible. I cant seem to find an approriate response to that. Sometimes think it would be easier if he was an abuser aswell, easier to sort out in my head.

My situation is pretty much the same. My mother was my first abuser, and she was the person who provided access to most of my abusers. She is also the person who would pull me out of my bed at night and drive me over to the “cult” where a group of organized abusers tortured me and made money off forced child prostitution and child pornography.

My mother was clearly wrong and deserves all of the rage that I have had to work through over the years. However, when it comes to my father, my feelings are torn.

On the one hand, my father was my “savior.” When he walked in on my mother sexually abusing me when I was six years old, he put a stop to it. However, he still continued to leave me in my mother’s care, and he clearly did not stop my mother from driving me to the “cult” for the abuse. I often wonder where the h#$% he was when all of this was taking place.

Where it really gets sticky is that my father was an abuser in one instance, although I do believe that he was duped. My sister and I have both had flashbacks of our father showing up at a “cult” meeting one time. He was blindfolded, but we could see him. We both believe that he was drugged, and the group took incriminating pictures of him doing things with my sister, although I do not believe that my father had any idea that what he was doing while blindfolded was with a child, much less his own daughter. We both have always remembered that our father abruptly stopped drinking any form of alcohol at about the same time. My sister believes that the “cult” silenced him with those pictures.

So, my father was my savior and my abuser, but ultimately, he failed me. He was the sane parent. He knew that his wife was unstable and sexually abused me, but he continued to leave my sister and me alone with her. He escaped into his job, leaving my sister and me behind with a mentally ill mother to fend for ourselves. I do hold my father responsible for this choice.

My father passed away when I was a teenager, so I never had the opportunity to confront him about any of this. I did a visualization a couple of years ago to have that confrontation. I visualized him sitting in a chair across from me. I told him all of the things that I needed to say.

I loved my father, and yet I hated him. He betrayed me by choosing his insane wife over me, who he was supposed to protect. He chose escaping into his job over investing in me as his daughter.

Yes, my feelings toward my non-offending parent are significantly more complicated than my feelings toward my abusive parent.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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