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The Repercussions of Being Molested
I took a long walk this morning. The weather here in Texas is beautiful right now. The air seems cleansing. Just had to walk to clear my mind and my heart.
I had a conversation the other day that brought back some difficult memories of a time many years ago when I was child. Eight years old to be exact. My Father started to molest me then. What does a eight year old know about that? Somewhere deep inside of me I knew this wasn't right though. But this man was my Father, the only man in my life that I should have been able to trust, and he was touching me in a wrong way. I had no one to turn to. My Mom had been out of my life for years. My Grandmother was from the "old school" ,as many would put it, and there was no telling her. And I was always afraid and wondering when would he do it again. It was a lot for a young girl. Looking back now as a woman, I wish I could have protected that little girl, but I was powerless. My Dad did not think ahead of the repercussions that his actions would have on his daughter her whole life. My Dad told me I better not tell anyone. He said" Just teaching you about the birds and the bees". Right!
The physical details of the act does not really matter, yes it was wrong and he should not have touched me that way. But The details of what that act did to me inside for so many years does matter. And I believe that those incidents from the age of 8 till I was 12 have factored into almost every relationship in my life. I have not told many about the abuse, this is not something you want to shout to the world. It is shameful, even though it was not my fault, and in a way those of us who have suffered the indignity of such an act feel embarassed and tainted, something that is diffcult to wash away.
What I did not realize until now is that my Dad took my power, my self esteem and my dignity away when he molested me. Those 4 years have impacted my whole life. I have said, "I survived it, no big deal". But over the past few months I have been questioning myself about many of the choices I have made in my life.
I have loved deeply, yet never received that back. I have been abused by the men in my life physically, mentally and emotionally. I guess I felt if I loved deeply enough that I would receive that love back. But I have figured out that If my Dad didn't love me enough to protect me, to keep me safe from men like himself, why would anyone else. So maybe somewhere deep inside I have felt unworthy of being loved, unworthy of being wanted. Undeserving of a good man, a man that would love me as I love him. All these years I have never really realized the impact on my life, on my spirit that those acts made. It is difficult trying to come to grips with those feelings now, so many years later.
The men in my life have never really accepted me for me. None seemed to want to know the woman that I am. Many say you are too serious. Others wanted to change me. I tried to be what they wanted me to be. I just wanted so deeply to be special to them, to see in their eyes the same love I felt for them. But I just wasn't quite what they were looking for. My Dad took that away from me. Two marriages failed and I blamed my self. My Dad would say "Well, Linda, just love and be a good wife and take care of them". Funny that I didn't make that connection till now. He didn't love me as he should and take care of me so why should they. You don't say you love someone, especially your child, and then violate them. So this set the pattern for my life. It was okay to be mistreated, they didn't have to really love me, Just let me love them and take care of them with all my heart and maybe.... But maybe didn't come. I have loved so hard and so deep and so long, and received nothing back.
As I am trying to put my life into perspective now. I can see that I am valuable, worthy and do have so much to offer. I have a good heart, I am loyal, I am faithful, I am honest. And after so much heartache in my life I still have a heart full of love. I like who I am, whether anyone else does or not. I have always tried to look at the person within when I meet people. I believe I have finally found my power and self esteem and dignity. My family and friends have told me over the years, you have so much to offer, don't beat yourself up over people who hurt you, it is not your fault, it is their loss. I am beginning to see what they mean. I feel that now I can protect that little girl that was hurt so long ago , so deeply, and almost ultimately, by the careless actions on the part of a man whom I loved. A wise man suggested to me the other day that my Dad was looking down on me from where he is and watching over me. I never really thought about that . But I guess that he is right, because I am sure now that my Dad is sorry for what he did, and that he would want nothing more than for me to be truly happy now. For that I say, " Thank you Daddy, I trully forgive you and I love you".