Letting Sleeping Dogs LIE:
Using Family Secrets to Heal from the past
When I was 16, my “father” took me to lunch and told me I wasn’t his daughter. He also told me he felt his brother was my father. Let me ask you a question: Do you think this is something a 16 year old teenage girl with the self-esteem of an amoeba, could handle? If you said, “No,” you would be right. I cried like a baby. That day changed me dramatically. My relationship with my Mom wasn’t the best to begin with and this information pushed it to the breaking point.
My Mom was furious. Now, as a single parent for most of my children’s lives, I understand why. At 16, not so much.
We butted heads after that.
Fast forward to this past Monday when I reached out to the T.V. show, “Paternity Court.” If you know anything about this show, you know it revolves around establishing the paternity of children of all ages. Since that fatal lunch date, I’ve wanted to know if this man is my father or my uncle. One of the producers called me this morning. …you can’t imagine my surprise. I shared my story. She explains that both parents would need to participate. “That might be a problem,”
I said. See, the story is WAY more complicated than paternity. The story involves a child serial rapist, a cover-up, a stalker, and years of lies. One of my favorite saying is, “Watch out for those who thrive in chaos and confusion, mess and illusion.” This story exemplifies this to a “T.” I knew my Mother wouldn’t be strong enough to use this opportunity to clean away the sexual muck and grime forced upon her by exposing what happened to her. The betrayal was too great.
This year, she will be 70 and still relives the helplessness she felt at the hands of a serial rapist. She was 15.
No one protected her. No one took her side. No one was with her in the doctor’s office as they sewed her genitals up from the ripping and tearing of a predator. No one supported her through her pain.
In all of this, though I am now 50, I am an innocent child who has few answers. I did, however, find out today the
serial rapist isn’t my father. He was one of my uncles on my “father’s” side. He was also my Mother’s stalker and the reason why we moved to Minneapolis. As painful as this new information has been, it’s also been quite liberating.
All of this chaos and confusion, mess and illusion has nothing to do with me. It doesn’t make me less than. Doesn’t make me damaged. I didn’t lend my opinion to this situation because I was literally a baby born to a baby (she had me when she was 18). She gave me and my siblings the best she could under the circumstances. There were fabulously great times and there were devastatingly trying times. At each turn, I use the lessons learned to heal and forgive.
Today, I forgive my Mom. At least she tried.
Thanks for listening.